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ON 'TOURISM ADVICE'

  • 2007-12-05
  • Soren Christensen, Riga
It is quite interesting that after only two visits to Riga ["Tourism advice," TBT #580, Nov. 1] you find that you are able to advise Latvia on how tourists should be treated.
Mind you, the days are long gone (10 years!), where you had a [unique] status because you were a foreigner and spoke English.
Today the English language is not very popular among locals in Riga because this language means, among other bad behaviors, excessive public drinking, [forgetting] you are here as a guest and generally treating local people in an arrogant manner.

I am not saying that you and your friends have done this, but you were probably talking (loudly?) in English when entering the taxis and nightclubs.
So the staff's reaction would be that this is just another bunch of English "hooligans" staying for two nights, getting drunk and making a mess in the streets, so let us take whatever money they can pay.
I am sure, more or less the same treatment can be experienced by people who visit Copenhagen as tourists, go to nightclubs and [travel] by taxi.

My advice to you for the future would be that you learn to speak a few phrases of Russian language in the taxis, bars and shops.
You will notice a completely different attitude towards you then, and no cheating with prices .
If you are such a globetrotter as you describe yourself, the Russian speaking should not be so difficult for you.
 

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