Hello Riga, here I come!
It was a dark Sunday night, not a single star in the sky, as an Airbus A220-300 was making its descent to the snow covered runway of Riga International Airport. Frightened by the big boom the plane suddenly had made I nearly fell out of my seat, good thing I was wearing my seatbelt.
I have the gift of being able to sleep through every service announcement on the plane and waking up thinking my life is about to end just before realizing that the plane has landed and everything is fine. So I quickly wiped the shock off my face and took a first look out of the plane window at a snowy world that is so foreign to me.
And I am not exaggerating. I can find Latvia on a map, I know that Riga is its capital, and now I also know that I haven’t packed enough warm clothes, but that is all that i know so far. I don’t even know how to say “Hello” in Latvian. But I will have plenty of time to figure that out, as I am going to spend the next month in Riga as a student and intern at Liden & Denz. I have already studied at their school in St. Petersburg, where I started my fight with the madness of Russian grammar in late summer of last year. Now I am taking this fight to the second round.
My name is Finn and I am from Germany. I’m 21 years old and currently trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I know I am grown up already, but I haven’t quite figured it out. That’s why I’ve decided to take time off from university to reevaluate my situation. I’ve spent an amazing time working and traveling in Australia earlier this year while also seeing bits of Asia. Now I want to continue my passion of studying Russian here in Riga.
“But why Russian?”
… asked literally anyone I’ve been telling about my plans of going to Riga. To me the answer isn’t that straight forward. There was always something about Russian that drew me in. Maybe it is the sound of the language, the music, the people or the fact that it feels so different, so exotic but in a completely unique way. Something captivated me and before I knew it I saw myself trying to impress my friends in school by writing their names in Cyrillic letters, listening to Russian songs and learning my first Russian words.
And this is where I am now.
I’m in Riga, and I am stoked to be here. I am ready to fight my way through the dense jungle of strange words and confusing grammar that is the Russian language, to fill out the blank map of “uncharted Riga” and find the treasure of Latvian culture in this city. I am excited to be able to share my story with you. Спасибо за чтение, thank you for reading.
Finn Botjes, currently learning Russian at Liden & Denz Riga