Category Archives: Opinion

Hitting the end of the road

Non-citizen passport

Few months after I made up my mind and decided to work on the non-citizenship subject for my first tv news documentary, and also after dozens of interviews and posts in this blog, I can say that the job is done.

The final piece is finished, though I am now gathering some important – for me – reviews before handing it in.

I am chuffed as nuts to see that all the hard work has finally paid off. Intense months where people around me had to bear with my ups and downs due to the stressing process of such a big project.

Of course there are always bits in the final output that I – and whoever knows about these things would agree with me –
would change. I keep thinking… “Should I move some clips around or change anything? Do I need more footage?” and so on.

I am an extremely perfectionist person, so I know this little bugger will always be whispering such thing into my ears. No matter where I am or what I do.

In the next couple of weeks I will be posting up some more bits of each interviewee, so you can get a broader glimpse of all what they say.  At the same time, the final documentary will be available to watch online any time soon – probably at the beginning of September.

Finally, I want to say that while writing this post, I noticed that this site has reached the 2,000 visitors since it was created back in February. Honestly, thank you so much. I never expected to have that many views. However, that also means that people have been getting engaged with the project as it was growing month by month. Thank you so much again for your patience and dedication to read and watch all what I’ve been sharing with you!

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“Non-citizenship is an artificial controversy”

Tom Schmit is a management teacher, communications consultant and long-term resident. He was born in Buffalo, New York, but moved to Latvia 12 years ago.

He speaks on the issue of non-citizenship in Latvia and the naturalisation procedure – comparing it to the one in the US. He also offers his take on the subject of politics and non-citizens in the Baltic country.

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Curiosities about Latvija (I)

Laimas pulkstenis (Riga)

From now on I’ll be posting up some of the curios things I have come across since I moved to Latvija almost two weeks ago. There are plenty of them, so I hope you get to know the country better through these lines.

I’ll be starting with something I found out in the capital Riga. Have you ever noticed that locals have a special or certain place where they meet up in city centre? It’s true, no matter where you are, just have a look around and get mixed with locals. I bet you will discover wonderful things!

Going back to the meeting point… Like many and many other cities, Riga has also this place where people meet up. Even if they do not know each other. Its name is Laimas pulkstenis – Laima’s watch – and it is located just in front of the Brīvības piemineklis – Freedom Monument.

Laimas pulkstenis - meeting point

Believe it or not, tourist guides do stop by the watch and tell the bunch of avid photographers that this place is where Latvians usually meet in old town. They nod, take some pictures and keep walking.

But there is also a story behind this watch and due to my thirst of curiosity I have asked around to find out more about it.

It is one of the most popular symbols in Riga and it was set up in 1924. It’s main purpose back then was to help Latvians to be on time for work. It took 12 more years for the Latvian chocolate factory Laima to put its name on it. The watch survived WWII and in 1999 the famous sweet company refurbished it in order to give the watch the same look it had back in 1936.

I set up some of my meetings in Riga there and I would recommend to anybody visiting Latvija to spend some time around it, for you can have a wonderful sight of some of the main monuments in the city.

Besides, the chances to be approach by someone randomly and be asked whether you are the very person they are waiting for are quite high. They could become your next friend, they could have an interesting story behind… You never know…

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