On to another Medieval town
Trip Start May 01, 2009
21Trip End May 22, 2009
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This morning, I had a nice chat over breakfast with these two German couple about their travels. They mentioned to me that the American crisis is also affecting the German economy due to the large presence of American Car company such as GM in Europe. The GM in Germany is avoiding taxes there while cutting cost and pumping any left over money back into the US to save the headquarter in Detroit. As a result, lot of German workers åre not getting paid or laid off. Another thing that they mentioned to me is that in Germany they have a central credit agency that people in Germany are not allow to have multiple credit cards and going bankrupt on one while jumping to apply for another. The credit agency will notify all credit card company if å person has bad credits and freeze any attempt for him or her to apply for another credit card or even buying a house until all the bad debts are cleared. I think the US should set up some similar agency like that, so our nation would not be in such credit crunch...
The country side of the Baltic country is beautiful, dotted with mutiple small houses. It is very relaxing watching and scenery as the bus drives. I am kind of shocked about how much American influence has in this small country that the whole time the bus is going, the TV is on blasting American MTV like Madonna, Michael Jackson and Snoop Dogg. The Estonian and Latvian kids in the bus are just going with the beat.
Once in Riga, I had the whole thing planned out, reserving in advance the CLOSEST hotel to the bus station WALKING distance. It took me less that 15 minutes to find the place :) no getting lost and "excuse me , do you know which way is" , " I need a taxi". I am very proud of myself finding the place to stay so fast. This is a huge relief for me because I do not have to carry that heavy luggage around. Just mention again the importance of packing light.
This afternoon I got a chance to wonder and " get lost" in the winding streets of beautiful old town Riga. °The history of Latvia also dates back to the the 12 th century. They were also conquered multiple times by their powerful neighbors like Germans, Swedes,Poles and last but not least Russians. for the better part of the 19th to 20th century , Latvia went through the similar tragic story like its neighbors. They eventually declared independence in 1991 after the dessolve of Soviet Union. Due to Policies under ther Soviet's Russianization, the ethnic Lativian population is less than 40 %.
I spend°that night chatting with some nice Chilean and Portuguese travellers before heading to bed.