The Latvians are only slightly better at camping than the Germans. Just a quick tip to European festies — taping a garbage bag over your $15 tent doesn’t count as a rain tarp although I can fully appreciate the effort.

    I found wild strawberries growing in the woods. They were delicious. Then I noticed that everybody seemed to be pissing nearby so I stopped.

    There’s a place in Riga that has serve yourself dumplings for a ridiculously low price. I died and went to dumpling heaven.

    A girl let me cut in line in front of her at the grocery store because I only had one item. I saw her later at the festival and she told me, “I try to do three nice things a day.”

    The American television shows that everyone brings up: Full House, MacGyver, and Friends.

    My camping neighbors were a group of Estonian girls. “We’re in a gang,” they told me. Their flag was AK-47s and unicorns. They had also packed a tea set. “We’re a fancy gang,” I was told.

    Baltic humor is dark, sarcastic, and wonderful. So far I’ve been threatened with a beating, robbery, and murder — hard to tell when they are joking.

    Festival Fate. You don’t exchange numbers. You don’t make a plan. Just a chance meeting with a fellow festie. You could just as easily never see them again. Or you happen onto them in the strangest of places.

    A series of events led to me traveling back to Riga on an illegal minibus although the driver insisted on calling it “a party bus”. Between the¬†flashing lights and nonstop techno, I found myself wishing that he would just drive us all into a tree.

    I arrived too early in Riga to check into a hostel. Not knowing what to do, I fell asleep at the bus station. They threw me out. I went over to the train station to wait for the grocery store to open. Fell asleep. They threw me out. Finally was able to secure a room at the hostel, but couldn’t check in until noon. I feel asleep in a beanbag in the common room. They didn’t throw me out.

    I never have I ever going to play that game again. I lose way too quickly.

    My vegan friend bought some prosciutto for me to throw onto the quinoa supper she made and let me crash on her couch.

    Almost everyone in the Baltics that I spoke with has heard of Vermont and knew its general location. I only had to say “it’s the place where Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is from” like three times.

    Gear Update: After three weeks my missing sock has returned. Just showed up in the laundry via whatever wyrm hole missing socks vanish into. I also can’t seem to get the smell of salami out of my backpack despite a 100 Nights of Summer ruling from three weeks ago that declared: “Stop carrying salami around in your backpack. It’s fucking gross.”

    Injury Update: Besides some troubling itching on my foot that I’m just pretending are bug bites, everything seems to be on the mend.