Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Danger in the City

Occasionally I get visitors to the blog from the UK and Ireland, usually having found the blog by way of such search words as "clubs", "Cheap beer", Cheap Cigarettes", Clubs in Riga" etc.

Now it is well known my disdain for many of these would be visitors, and of course we do read from time to time ( to frequent for my liking) of the cretins using the Freedom Monument for a toilet.

Likewise it is well known about town that many of the so called clubs are simply rip-off establishments who charge hundreds of Lats for cheap champagne, and who use physical force to ensure prompt payment.

For these individuals I have little or no sympathy, however there are others who whilst they do come for the cheap beer, cigarettes etc, basically just want a good time.

Well last weekend such a young man saw himself seriously beaten up and robbed, in the early hours of the morning, whilst meandering in the Old Town in the vicinity of McDonalds.

I have no doubt he had "enjoyed" his evening, but in no way did he deserve to get the beating he got by a gang of local thugs. Regretfully little of any of this gets reported in the local press, and frankly the police seem to take no action. Even when he reported the incident to the British Embassy, I understand he received little or no sympathy or attention. Point to note he was seen by a Latvian employee of the British Embassy - what happened to the days when there was actually British staff inside British Embassies ?.

So to all of those who may stumble across this blog, seeking info on the nightlife etc in Riga a word of warning.

When out and about either late at night or in the wee hours of the morning :-
1. Take a taxi to get you from place to place, and in particular when heading back to your hotel or hostel.
2. Never walk alone.
3. Do not carry your passport or to much cash.
4. Avoid so called nightclubs in the Old Town - the majority if not all are rip-offs

I have no idea how young overseas visitors get done over at weekends (never see any mention of it in local press) - but I suspect it is a few. So to all would be visitors - enjoy Riga, but -



Anonymous BeniMacLet said...

Hello, first good job on the blog although I'm a bit disappointed at your lack of sympathy for the victims of the shady scams going on in the nightclubs as it seems a bit nimbyist. Such scams deter 'normal' visitors as well as the pissheads, yet Rigan authorities generally don't seem to give a toss.

As for the public pissing thing, yes that's a problem, but is there any other city so badly served for public toilets? It's quite normal in many bars to have only two toilet cubicles for a large bar e.g. De Lacy's and Stella pubs. It hardly helps!

Also no offence but if you dislike the "cretins" so much then why spend so much time in the bars you name on the blog? Places like De'Lacys and Paddy Whelans are/were unashamedly chasing the British pound. Furthermore, they've largely priced themselves out of the range of many Latvians so it's obvious which type of people you'll meet there (mainly why I don't go!) So to me complaining about too many cretins in such places is a bit like going to Paris and complaining that there are too many French people!!

10:30 pm  

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