The airport car park was covered in slush, brown and dirty grey, with piles of icy snow where the grass had been. My driver smiled ironically, "Welcome to Riga, cleanest city of the world."
Laughing, he kept up his despairing monologue all the way through the boxy, concrete suburbs. "Here everything is expensive. You go to the supermarket and think I don't need this bread today, the milk can wait. Everywhere is corruption. In Estonia and Lithuania they have better ideas, younger people. Here only corruption - soon we will be more expensive than Moscow."
We drove past a TV tower, over a bridge. There were heaps of snow on the pavement; I caught a glimpse of church spires and red roofs in the distance. "Crime is high here too. You don't have a car? Be careful on the streets after dark."