Studies: International Communication
Native country: Latvia, 2.5 million people
Loves: eating and sleeping
Last time you were in Latvia?
‘This summer I worked my ass off in a bar. I went home for two months. The idea was to save some money, but that plan didn’t work out at all. I went out all the time because I wanted to meet all my friends. In the end I spent most of the money I made on partying and vodka. I went to Latvia with zero, and I returned to Holland with zero.’
What did you expect when you came here?
‘I didn’t expect anything. I hardly knew where the Netherlands was on the map! I didn’t even know the Dutch had their own language. I guess all I expected was that you guys were always eating Dutch cheese. In Latvia Dutch cheese is quite popular, so I thought the Dutch people would eat that all day.’
Biggest mistake for us to make in Latvia?
‘Don’t get into a fight with Russians, they are more hot-blooded than the Latvians. And even more important: don’t end up in the middle of a fight between Russians and Latvians! When it comes to girls in Latvia, you should be original when you are hitting on us. Don’t come up with clichés like “Oooh, you have beautiful eyes”, girls hate that. And last but not least, don’t drink too much Black Balsam. It’s a very strong and disgusting drink that will get you very very drunk.’
Did you notice any typically Dutch habits?
‘Oh yeah! Dutch men all like kroketten, but none of the international students think they’re good. And why do people always have their curtains open? You can really see everything! When I look out my window, I can watch five different ‘channels’ every night, you can follow everybody’s private life here. One thing I really hate about Dutch students is that many of them drop their glasses on the floor after they finish their beers. It’s ridiculous! I heard a story of a guy who slipped and fell on the floor in a bar. A piece of glass went into the back of his head, just an inch away from a central nerve. It’s not just a waste of glass, it’s very dangerous. I asked a bartender in De Tapperij what he thought about it. He just told me that it’s so common that the value of the glass is included in the price. In Latvia when you break a glass, you have to pay three euro. That way you think twice before you throw your glass on the floor. Oh, and Dutch people love to talk about sex, but they never talk about their families.’
Could you live here for ever?
‘No, never! I like it here, it’s nothing personal, but I won’t stay here. For one, I don’t like the weather. I need real seasons. Winters have to be cold with lots of snow, summers have to be hot. The climate here is too mild for me. I don’t want to live in another country forever, anyways. I want to travel as much as I can, but in the end, my home is Latvia.’
What’s your motto in life?
‘Nekad Neko Nenozelot! Whatever you do, right or wrong, never regret anything.’
Give us a characteristic Latvian proverb.
‘Sviests! Literally it means butter. It’s not a very traditional expression. It’s mostly young people that use it a lot nowadays. If something goes wrong or is just bad, you say sviests!’
What do you want to do after you finish your studies?
‘Travel around for a while and eventually start my own small business, like a bar or something, and live happily ever after!’
What question did I forget to ask you?
‘You didn’t ask me why I choose Holland for my studies!’
Well, why did you?
‘I don’t know, it just happened, hahaha!’
Source: Hanze Mag