Saturday, July 19, 2008

Two Lies and a Truth

When telling people we were re-locating to Latvia, the most common response was a look of surprise, followed by an attempt to put on a pleasant face while searching the mental stacks for any information about this "Latvia." The less geographically inclined, or perhaps just the more honest, would say. "Oh! ... Where is Latvia?" The more pop-culture-addled would occasionally offer one of the following:

1. "Oh! ... Isn't that where Latka on Taxi was from?" Truth: No, lovable mechanic Latka was from an unidentified, fictional island in the Caspian sea. His name was similar to Latvia, his supposed origin was not.

2. "Oh! ... That's not where Doctor Doom is from, is it?" Truth: No, thank goodness. The arch-enemy of the Fantastic Four was from the fictional principality of Latveria. Furthermore, this fictional country was fictionally located in the Carpathian mountains, near Transylvania, thereby making it extra spooky.

3. "Oh! ... Didn't George from Seinfeld want to marry a girl from the Latvian Orthodox Church?" Truth: Yes! Apparently the only genuine reference to Latvia in all of American pop culture is "the one where George converts to Latvian Orthodoxy for a girl he's dating, while a Latvian Orthodox nun wants to abandon her vows so she can date Kramer." The ever-reliable Wikipedia claims that the writer thought he was making up a fake order, but the Latvian Orthodox church is real. So, one pop culture reference, ever, and then by accident. Oh, well: Better than having that horrible Dr. Doom hanging around Riga.

Internet problems continue, making photo-uploading difficult. But as always, we are doing our best for you, the loyal Latvia-loving public.

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