In Riga, we lived at Marijas iela, in a newly-refurbished apartment with three bedrooms, kitchen and living room. It’s a huge apartment with somber, classical interior design. I like the dark floors and wall papers. For one moment it made me regret our choice of light gray floors and walls in our new condo that is being built. But hubby reassured me that ours would have a different atmosphere – modern, light, minimalistic. Although he admits, too, that dark and classical isn’t so bad – it’s beautiful in its own right.

But it felt scary for aunt and my 8-year old daughter. They didn’t like walking in the dark hall to go to to the washroom at night. In fact, my daughter was having nightmares and could hardly sleep. Even I controlled my toilet visits at night. I don’t want to believe in ghosts, but sometimes, I just get this scary unpleasant feeling.

I liked the apartment – except for the shower that was not warm enough.

I felt it gave a dramatic setting – so I took out my mask – a gift from cousin – and my black dress and forced Marcus to take shots of me by the old, beautiful fireplace.

We stayed there for three nights, at a price of  over 1100 Swedish crowns per night – so over 3 000 crowns for the whole stay. Our treat, we felt it was the best we could do since we wanted aunt and cousin to enjoy their European tour. After all, besides this trip with us, they were also out on their own in other European countries.

Speaking of scary, my friend has just told me a story about bad energy that is haunting a store (I am forbidden to tell the place). A man had been feeling eyes watching him, and when he took a picture in one dark corner of the store, he saw an image of someone wearing a mask (note: not a robber). Others who work there felt the same energy, of someone passing them, even after the store has closed. And hangers and clothes being thrown into the air when they work alone.

I feel goosebumps as I write this. And yet I do not want to believe in ghosts.

Now in a brighter tone – one of the pics in the photo gallery above (click the arrows on the sides of the pics) shows me in front of a mirror and wearing earrings designed by my relative, Aunt Tess Shafer.

PS I almost forgot to mention that our landlord supplied us with a huge container of water, a Latvian bubble drink, and a Latvian chocoloate bar.