Foreigners love to moan about Latvia's roads and road users. The dangerous drivers, the disrepair, the lack of signs, the inability to parallel park. Let's imagine I've written all those pieces and you've read them and found them a bit disappointing.
Boiled eggs, mayonnaise, marinated gherkins: all of them I can eat, and all of them I don't particularly like. Combine them and you have the basic chemistry of the pre-eminent Latvian salad, rasols, so it is fitting that rasols was the thing that introduced me to an important but hidden concept within Latvian society: pretending to like things a bit more than you really do.
Pensioners and others with health problems are being targeted by unethical advertising campaigns in which fictitious medical professionals recommend the use of humble vitamin pills to cure everything from deafness to parasitic infestation, an LSM investigation reveals.
Nawras Riga, whose surname is shared with the Latvian capital, is a gray-haired radiologist in Syria's Aleppo. He wears a ring, almost two centuries old, on his finger. It's amber, and it's a souvenir from Latvia, passed from generation to generation in his family. He is also the owner of Riga Palace, a hotel in Aleppo, the only one currently kept open in the war-torn city.
There's a peculiar tradition on Miķeļi (September 29), known in English as Michaelmas, for kids to bring homemade trinkets, food and other things to school for sale. It could be seen as an attempt to instill entrepreneurial spirit among young people, but wherever there are children involved, things are bound to slide off course.
Exiled Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama appeared on LTV September 26 in an interview on the popular 1 pret 1 (1 against 1) strand.
Just because you like taking part in torchlight parades doesn't necessarily mean you're a Nazi.
This week the Minutes from Latvia podcast features British historian Philip Ruff, whose decades-long researches have cast new light on a fascinating period in both Latvian and British history.
Riga is the best city in the world through which to walk with your head tilted back at an angle of thirty degrees.
A couple of our colleagues at Latvian Radio and LSM are on their way to becoming Latvian citizens after spending their lives so far as "non citizens" with an "alien passport". Here's the sixth part of their journey towards becoming full-fledged Latvian citizens. Now they describe the oath-giving ceremony after they successfully passed the citizenship exam, along with their feelings during the course of it.
Most of our 'Things of Latvia' are lighthearted observations on national quirks in this, the best of the Baltic states. But this one is different. I write it with a bottle of tranquilizers to hand and according to how things go, I may have to take one, two or possibly the whole lot.
The Minutes from Latvia podcast is back and this week the guest is Agnese Kleina, a writer, publisher, artist, entrepreneur and avowed style leader in Latvia.
Norbis is a young man. He is very popular. Why? He plays video games and says hello.
The Latvian love of foraging for wild mushrooms is a matter of record. Indeed, while Latvians like to regard it as a national oddity (treating with barely-concealed disdain the claims of French and Italians to be keen on fungal foraging) the great mushroom hunt is in danger of becoming a cliche.
The Riga trolleybus route Number 15 is the most famous public transport route in Latvia. It is an abundant source of urban lore and its route reveals the tragic side of Latvian history - to really get to know Riga and Latvia, you have to know the No. 15 trolley.
A favorite party question of mine to foreigners is: "What do you think is the most popular flavor of potato chip in Latvia?"
Podcast number 21 sees Renaissance man Tom Crosshill (a.k.a. Toms Kreicbergs) entering the pod to talk about his dizzying array of interests.
One hundred and twenty five kilometers from Riga on the Vidzeme highway, just before the turning for the town of Smiltene is the little 'Jautrais ods' ('Merry mosquito') cafe. The food there is good, fresh and cheap.
The pod is bedecked with festive streamers and the cheap champagne is flowing in copious amounts as we reach the landmark of 20 podcasts.
Latvian is not the easiest language to learn - at least for English speakers - but it's nice that many visitors to the country do go to the trouble of learning a few words, such as 'Sveiki' (Hello), 'Lūdzu' (Please) and 'Paldies' (Thank you).
The Minutes from Latvia podcast is back, this time with a business-oriented flavor.
If April is 'birch month' when every self-respecting Latvian is gulping down gallons of birch juice, July might be regarded as its evil sibling, 'Latvānis month.'
Following the publication of our feature about potholes earlier July 14, we were surprised to receive a furious reaction from one reader who accused us of slandering the fair city of Alūksne by using a picture of potholes there that he claims no longer exist.
The Minutes from Latvia podcast is back in a musical frame of mind as we are joined by acclaimed contemporary composer Eugene Birman.