[Photo album at the end of the article.]
Although I fell asleep like that sometime past midnight, I got up as soon as I heard the alarm – of course, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. I packed up quickly, got the heavy suitcase down the unreasonable staircases, and even finished making sandwich (luckily Kate taught me the Latvian word for “cheese” so that I could find the right product in the little food shop by myself later).
Kate’s boyfriend came shortly after the appointed time, and he was just as relaxed as ever, which is a positive thing. When we were about to step out of the house, he checked my suitcase wheels and told me that the axis of one crucial wheel was already broken – and I thought that was some tiny rocked jammed there! He said that maybe that wheel could be unscrewed from the inside and be exchanged with another less important one. Well, he’s surely a handy type of guy, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that or have someone do that later. In any case it was lucky he drove me to the bus station.
On the way to Liepāja two young German girls were talking incessantly for more than hour. Sure, they articulate squarely and cleanly as they should, but someone should shove them in the luggage storage.
The bus driver was probably rather pissed that I don’t speak Latvian, so when I arrived I let him get the heavy luggage off the bus. A bit of exercise is good for both body and mind.
The trolley screeched like a monster on the gravel road to the tram. I think I was smart to have asked my host for the exact name of the tram station; it’s so much easier for me to know where I am. I asked a mid-thirty-ish woman at the front seat where that stop is, not expecting her to speak English – after all no-one seems to; however she answered me in serviceable English, so I directly asked her to tell the driver to remind me of my stop. That worked perfectly.
I took the first but from Kuldiga to Liepaja, and I arrived at my host’s place shortly after 10am. The master of the house, who works in a shipping company, is just about to have his breakfast, and he nicely offered me coffee (with coffee powder directly in the mug – that works too, although I never thought of that before). He was happily surprised to see my present (藍花陶瓷粽子中國結) and started our happy talk. Later his beautiful wife appeared with their young baby to join us.
They very kindly asked what I wanted to see and offered to a ride to show me the sights, and upon hearing “Karosta Prison” among my answers, the mistress of the house suddenly asked, “Who told you so?” “Well, some stupid tourists and the number of people on Taiwan’s (very good) backpacker forum who have been to Latvia.”
They drove me to the prison, asking me questions and hearing intently to my portrayal of Taiwan. The host brought a printer, saying that he was to return that. I was a bit surprised that he knew the staff there well enough to borrow anything at all, but later as it turns out, the hostess is a supervisor of this tourist site!
The host said that the young lady who’s supposed to show me around is “too lazy,” so he took the key and showed me around(!). After that we left the hostess to chat with the girls there(!), and he drove me to see the fortress near the sea – to my surprised, he knew it so well, and even put a rope somewhere so we could grab that to climb up from underground at a certain point. He said “it’s a part of a treasure-hunt game,” and he was the one who created it!
We had to rush home, since we left the baby for the grandfather to take care of, and the baby was expected to have a two-hour nap.
Afterwards I went with the host to pick up their second son from school, a handsome little boy with nice half-long hair. He was so happy to see the little present I prepared, and that was what I was counting on. The host praised how nice I am. After leaving them, I went to take a walk of my own. I triple-checked about the bus tomorrow, went to a drugstore to try my luck, (where a nice old lady turned to me to ask whether I am a tourist. “Hello, look at me!” I said. She welcomed me, saying she migrated to Canada twenty years ago and now returns to visit friends,) and went to a food shop to spend the last Lat coins I have – I will leave Latvia tomorrow, after all.
I returned home shortly after 7pm, (the little boy said “hi!” and even “this [your gift] is… very good!” I was very impressed;) and the hostess asked whether I want to eat anything. “The guys are all watching ice hockey now; they won’t take care of you.” I enjoyed a bit of yogurt and fruit and wi-fi. After that the couple joined me and had quite some talk. Among many things, I learnt from the host about the pagan characters of Latvians and its close connection with the nature. That’s something, and he’s really very keen to teach me 🙂
Afterwards I was led to the tiny living room on the second floor for my fold-out bed – to my surprise the host more than considerately provided sheets, aside from all other things!
I continued to enjoy wi-fi until well past 1am.
[Photo album = this.]
記帳：*1LVL = 1.43EUR, 1EUR < 40 TWD；當1EUR = 38TWD時、1LVL = 54.4TWD
Kuldiga – Liepaja = 2.7 + 0.55 = 3.25,