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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Yesterday we got a bit of a sleep in (Cecilia) and longer work session (me) as no one showed up until 9 (so actually 9:30). Andis and Mix turned up, and after breakfast, we were tasked with babysitting the little bub. Given how child-phobic we are, we were a little unsure about the whole thing, but it was actually OK. We couldn't get him to settled down at all (he's a whiny little guy!) but after a little bit we got him in C's lap and I pushed both of them on the swing, which he loved, until he fell asleep, which we loved. We've worked out that the poor kid is probably getting less than 8 hours of sleep a night, and doesn't get regular naps (he's 1.5), and is largely left to his own devices most of the day, so it's no wonder he's a grump, especially because in Mix's world, being a grump = getting good food.

Anyway...after Zane left to do...something? We packed him up in his stroller (he was droopy, but awake again by now) and set off for a local swimming hole, which we didn't make it to haha. He was fast asleep by the time we passed the turn off for it, and so we kept walking into 'town' to get a couple of snacks, at which point he'd decided to get up. We gave him a snack and then tried to take him into the blow up bouncy castle thing that was randomly set up in the parking lot, be he's a little young, or was a little too asleep, or something, so didn't really enjoy it.

Back into the pram he went and we trundled back off to the beach, but half way there we realised just how late it was getting and headed back. It was about a 5.5km walk in the 30ยบ heat, but not so bad with a bit of a breeze. We came back and as he started to fuss started singing him songs, except the only ones we actually know are Christmas carols. His favourite, by far, is Rudolph. When I had him alone, he got quite the medley of Secret Revolution, The Ataris, and RENT. He was a Seasons of Love fan.

We dipped his toes in the sister's pool and then brought him back for lunch. After that, we downloaded Kung Fu Panda for him to watch, but he wasn't so into it, though he didn't seem to mind chilling in C's lap too much until he passed out there, too. Seems that when he's with us we'll be giving him the chance to catch up on his sleep. He's really quite cute when he isn't exhausted and therefore screaming.

At about 3, we got sprung from our babysitting duties to go into town--Zane and Andis also host a lot of couch surfers, and there was a girl from Thailand, Tukta, who arrived yesterday and is spending two nights with them, so Zane thought we could spend some time showing her around what we have seen already and hanging out with her.

My first stop was to the central post office, where my mail hasn't arrived yet :( at least we know where to go now, and hopefully some or all of it arrives before I leave in 9 days!!

Then I had to take care of a 6-week old craving and get a Big Mac haha. After those two important errands were taken care of it was off to the Freedom Monument to meet up with Tukta. She's a sweetie and traveling around Eastern Europe on her own. She's been studying technology in Germany, and this was her graduation trip, I think. We walked around Old Town and then got a picnic from the grocery store (eating out in Riga is the same price as at home, but groceries are about half the price, so we've decided this is our new tactic) and went to one of the huge parks to eat. We walked down an embankment to eat by a canal but after about five minutes two pissed off cops came and barked at us to eat 'in the park. Don't sleep.' Ummm OK? Upshot: get off the embankment you foreigners. So we did and it was fine, kind of ridiculous. Reminded me of Japan, where I had a student say 'in your country, grass is for walking on, in my country, grass is for looking at.'

Anyway, Soviet jail avoided, we headed over to the Art Nouveau section of town, which was very cool. Riga is known for it, and the buildings are pretty sweet. Grampa, there will be photos soon, I promise!

After that we headed back over to the minibus we take too and from town to the squash club when we can't get a ride, and took Tukta with us, so that we could drop her off at the stop for the flat. Unfortunately, we weren't entirely sure how to stop a bus with no stop button in it (we get on and off on the first and last stop, usually), so we ended up just yelling 'ummm stop?' in a bit of a panic, which was embarassing, but effective. Seems you just walk up to the driver and ask him to to stop, usually. Funny system of tiny buses rocketing around the city, but they are efficient and seem to be about the same size.

After our two km walk home from the stop, with a gorgeous sunset keeping us company, we just watched a Friends and then I passed out while C watched another one. Getting up at 6 every morning to work is A) ridiculous and B) cramping my late-night style!

Today is interesting as we are getting another workawayer. An Italian guy. Should be interesting!

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