Touch Up In Riga

My last day in riga was a cold grey rainy day.

Kris was not that pleased at having to escort me to the airport at such an early hour.  It was around 8 am when we left the apartment.  My last time that I would see Terbatas Street

A couple of days earlier I had ditched the expensive back pack I had bought in Australia except for the small day bag and it was packed away in my large new suitcase.  I had upgraded because I can’t help myself, I’m always buying and collecting junk.

So I dragged this heavy thing all the way to the markets. Then it was a pain up and down stairs for use of the underpass pedestrian tunnels.  Kris let me struggle with it, nice guy.  He’s not a morning person.

Finally we reached the bus station and waited in the drizzle for the airport bus.  when it arrived it was already quite full and it was a hell of a struggle to get the damn suitcase on board.

After about half an hour of being tossed around standing up in the isle holding a ten ton bag we finally arrived at the Riga International Airport.

Kris directed me to RyanAir while he went for a smoke.

RyanAir are the lowest priced airline in this and some other universes. I think the fare from Riga to London was about $10.  By the time taxes were added it came to a pretty reasonable $90 or thereabouts. You would have to agree that for a 3 hour international flight that’s not bad.

The trick with RyanAir is to follow their instructions implicitly or you will pay very dearly indeed.  For example if you fail to printout your boarding pass and bring it with you, it’s going to cost you $80!

They also have a very strict policy with regards to carry on and checked baggage.  Both have weight restrictions. My concern was the check in baggage the limit is 15 kilos.

I carefully placed my big new suitcase on the scales hoping that this would magically make it weight less, cause dragging it around all morning had made me begin to think it may weight more than 15 kilos.

The woman behind the counter looked at the scales and involuntarily sucked in some air then turned to me with a look of pure disbelief.  She stammered that my bag was overweight in broken English.

I tried to remain calm and smoothly asked, Oh by how much?

She looked at the scale again and then turned to me with what was now a rather white face, the blood had pretty much drained out.  8 kilos she whispered, probably not wanting to have any loud noises startle the clearly insane person standing in front of her.

I asked her how much it was going to cost me to put it on the plane. This must have been such a rare occurence that she needed to make a call.  Apparently it was going to cost $250!

So I got out of the line and flipped open the big new suitcase near an unused scale.

The day pack from my discarded backpack was sitting on top so I started going thru my junk and putting as much as I could into the day bag.

After about 15 minutes I had gotten the weight down to 16 kilos and that was all I could figure to take out.  Luckily they didn’t bat an eyelid this time and we were ready to fly

After a quick very manly goodbye to Kris I headed into the security line. It doesn’t matter how many times I go through this I always seem to get something wrong.  After taking off my belt, shoes, coat and taking my coins out of my pocket, the laptop out of it’s bag I walked through the metal detector.



What could be making the noise.  I’m patting myself down as a huge clearly Russian Gulag guard comes lumbering toward me.

Pat Pat, no coins, pat pat, nothing in the back pockets, pat pat, nothing in the breast pocket.

The giant guard tells me to spread my legs and stand with my arms out.  That’s, of course, when I notice I left my stupid metal watch on! Damn!

Now most of us have probably had this situation and they wave a wand over you and let you go.

Nope, not in Riga.

The guard puts his hands on yours truly, and I mean all over.  Jokingly I said he should buy me dinner first but that didn’t help so I suggested that maybe he could let his good looking female colleague take over.  All this comments seemed to make him even more diligent in his search for a bomb cunningly hidden in some orifice.

By the end of it I was shaking and wanting a shower…

Just another example of how time effects us all 🙂

greg says November 30, 2009

Thank God I stopped wearing a watch years ago!

Marianna says December 1, 2009

oooooooooooooo nnnooooooooooooooooo that is aweful purely aweful… i would have been shaking like a leaf..
that is one reason why i am slow to travel these days, I am not looking forward to any security mess. And the weight of luggage… ooooo my

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