Thursday, 28 April 2016

Positive mental attitude and what it can do for you

Last week i was watching a Vice video about hardcore punk.
One of the topics that came up was Positive mental attitude

Whats interesting is, in between what looked like a bunch of crazy's stage diving, the lyrics are very positive, if you can understand them.

A lot of people in the video had troubled upbringings, the PMA attitude helped them to get their lives together, the message spread as far as Korea, if you can believe that?

Take a look for yourself

One guy offered someone from a hardcore punk band a donut, the guy said
Guy 1: "No, i'm a vegan"
Guy 2: "There is no meat"
Would you believe it, that inspired Guy 1 to become a vegan, and later a vegan chef?

Ideas happen in strange ways, and that's how one guys life was changed and there are tons more examples

Introducing the "Bad Brains"

Attitude Lyrics
Don't care what they may say
We got that attitude!
Don't care what you may do
We got that attitude!
Hey, we got that P.M.A.!
Hey, we got the P.M.A.!
Don't care what you may do
We got that attitude!
I Don't care what you may say
We got that attitude!
Hey, we got that P.M.A.!
Hey, we got the P.M.A.!
We got that attitude!
We got that attitude!
Hey, we got that attitude!
Hey, we got that attitude!
Don't care what you may say
We got that attitude!
Don't care what you may do
We got that attitude!
 Keep it positive people!!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Sigulda, thank god the Red army are gone

The house

I got back from Sigulda, I stayed in the Krimulda Manor, very nice.

I can honestly say, i really enjoyed staying in a place where you could play football in the corridor and ping pong in the toilet, but i guess that’s just me?

Summer dormitory’s (built when the house became a hospital)

Of the many little stories i read while walking about, i stop to read the tourist stuff was about how in 1918 the Red army and the Bolsheviks came knocking, but the family were on a boat out of Latvia.
The Red Army is credited as being the decisive land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II. During operations on the Eastern Front, it fought 75%–80% of the German land forces (Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS) deployed in the war.
How interesting, i wonder if anyone these days could fathom the terror they had, knowing, that the Russians were on the way? And things weren't looking good for them?

I was wondering what it would take for someone to drop what they are doing and run for your lives and get out on a boat to some other country? And these were rich people, they knew there was no negotiations, just get out with your life,

Obviously they had an idea of White terror and the Russians were not going to take any prisoners?

The White Terror in Russia refers to the organized violence carried out by the White Army during the Russian Civil War (1917–23).
It began after the Bolsheviks seized power in November 1917, and continued until the defeat of the White Army at the hands of the Red Army. The White Army had support from the Triple Entente and fought the Red Army for power, which engaged in its own Red Terror.
In contrast with the Red Army, the White Terror was not a series of premeditated actions directed by their leaders, but some Russian historians argue the contrary and say the terror came from officials high in the White movement.

This was in 1918, way before Hitler came on the scene, and the Surname Liven in Jewish, so there was no winning that one.

Side of the house

A little background on Latvia

The left wing of Latvian Social Democrats had become allied with Bolsheviks and during its conference of November 18-19, 1918 proclaimed that Latvian commune is a part of Russian Soviet Federation.

On December 1, Soviet army from Pskov and Daugavpils began their attack. Much of the Soviet army in Latvia consisted of Red Latvian Riflemen, which made it easier to establish Soviet order. On December 17, 1918 the Provisional government of Workers and Peasants, led by the veteran left-wing politician Pēteris Stučka proclaimed the Soviet rule. On December 18 Lenin officially recognized the new Soviet Latvia.
The house comes with lots of buildings and many staff

Soviet offensive met little resistance coming just a few weeks after the collapse of German Empire and proclamation of independent Latvia, very soon Provisional Government and remaining German units had retreated all the way to Liepāja, but then the Red offensive stalled along the Venta river.
The Red army entered Riga without a battle on January 3, 1919 and the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic was officially proclaimed on January 13.
Road to the hunters lodge

Stučka established a radical communist regime of nationalizations, expropriations and executions of class enemies.
Revolutionary tribunals were established, condemning to death German nobles, priests, wealthy traders as well as peasants, who refused to surrender their grain, in total some 1000 people were executed. Due to food supply disruptions 8590 people starved to death in Riga
The view of the house as i walked up to it

 Another happy ending, for me

You cant help but think, what a crazy history, and it wasn’t that long ago either.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Riga house of horrors, the KGB house

People come to Latvia for all kinds of reasons, we all have things we like and dislike, you learn them by doing them.

A few days i was chatting with someone, they said, you should check out the KGB house, but go with a guide.

I had a quick look, it was on the way to a brewery i wanted to visit, called Labietis, so off I went.


What becomes apparent from being to my second KGB prison, is how little we know about the KGB in the west, probably because Hollywood was never interested in movies about the Russians behind the Iron curtain, what happened here seemed to stay here.

The door of no return, only five people that went through here were seen alive again

A tour, i got on one, and we went in and down, to see a place worse than hell.

In one cell for ten people, they had 36 people, heating on all the time, the Russians loved to torture people, every way you can imagine and they did.

I asked how anybody could to such things, the guide told me the KGB had drugs like the Americans had in Vietnam, so Opium, heroin and of course Vodka

KGB psychos

The back court yard

Many many people were murdered in this room

Opposite this door was a screening of a movie of when the Russians withdrew from Poland, two guys would bring in a Polish soldier, one guy would shoot him in the head, two guys would shove him up a delivery shoot, two guys would load bodies to be buried in the woods and that actually happened.

Its a wonder people are able to be normal?

Black plastic in the murder room

Last day of the KGB before they pulled out in 1990

They listed and record record your conversation, this device was in every apartment in Riga, in the ceilings and walls.

KGB Listening device

You got twenty minutes here per week, on Sundays the prisoners could hear bells, it was link the angles singing, even people that didn't believe in god would pray, only he could help you in there.

The guy at the end here is a random guy they hung, just to make up the numbers.

Schindler elevator

Just like in Roman times, once you were accused of something by an unknown person, you were finished!

If your name ended up here is was either tortured to death or hard labour in Siberia

The KGB building was built in 1912, it was said to be the tallest building in Riga, you could see all the way to Siberia, because that's where you would end up, if you were lucky. lots of old people are still afraid to come near here this building.

The guides teacher told him when he was in college to not go on this street in case he ever got pulled in the door for what ever reason, crazy history!

The outside

I didn't expect to see and hear what i saw, not at all, and i got to where i was going and there is another KGB prison i have heard about in Estonia, so that will be in a few weeks.

A happy ending, but only for me only

Sunday, 17 April 2016

I wanted a change, so i went over the Iron Curtain...

So, I had a good winter in Ireland, it only rained twice, one for five months and the other for six, but who's counting?

I finished my contract in Galway, the good news is my boss might want me back for the second phase, the bad news? There is no bad news, I got a 22 Euro flight to Lithuania, which leads me up to today, well kind of..

The Iron curtain

I was cycling to the next town (place on the map) through a forest, on a bike path/road and I though...
Isn't Lithuania an awesome place for bike riding?
Yesterdays bike ride

When you think about it, you have trails by rivers, through forests, bike paths under bridges, you can get around, everything is spaced out like a tourist in Amsterdam and no one expects you to be a tourist, what I mean is, I'm one of a few, what I mean is, so far, I have met an English guy, one in the last 10 days, so we pretty much have the whole place to ourselves, oh bliss!!

Other things that are bliss.. Cepelinai, this is to die for

They also do a version of black pudding, no tomato sauce, I'd almost be afraid to ask for it, its definitely not in their culture.

I was telling the English guy from my dorm, for a country that was occupied for 49 years by the Nazis and Russians, they seem pretty normal, there doesn't seem to be much social problems?

In Vilnius, I went to the KGB prison, I was told by two people that the people preferred the Nazis to the Russians, if you can believe that?

One guy told me...
My grandmothers house was on the battle line, it changed frequently, so they had Nazis that came that were clean, polite, only took some stuff and the Soviets that were dirty, smelly, took everything, killed some one and raped someone, the Nazis were like angles in comparison

Tough stuff, try being normal after a war like that? And they only left in 1990, the population went from four million to 2.5 when they could travel

Oh they have problems, anti-social problems called Facebook, but not the homeless alcohol and drug stuff you see on the streets of Ireland, the rest of Europe, Australia and pretty much the rest of the world.

Trakai castle

For a country that I thought was poor, they seem to drive very good cars, I have never seen so many Porsche four wheel drives, you see them everywhere

A guy I met in Vilnius told me in the Ukraine you cannot believe all the expensive cars, so too in Romania, I was also told that "Money walks", as in they stash their money in off shore accounts like the people named in the Panama Papers and bring it in as they need it, and they need it!!

Like I was saying...

The first thing I learned about Lithuanian was, Lithuanian languages is the oldest living language of the Indo-European family, its as old as Sanskrit, and they still speak their own language, people in my own country, Ireland don't know their own?

I became a regular here, all due to some crazy guy behind me and I though it a good place to get off the street, Bingo!!!

I met a girl from Belarus that told me when the university in her own country closed, she moved to Vilnius and learned the language, got a job in an industry she loved, beer. It would make you think, how many people do you know would do the same, and Lithuanian is one of the hardest languages to learn?

No wonder, I met a guy from Romania that said people in Ireland are lazy and don't want to work? Amazing, some people can overcome any obstacle?

Kibinines, get them while they are hot!!

A guy in the hostel told me about pastries Kibinines, Trakai has the best, he would drive there for two, so I had three and a beer, and what an experience, but I prefer empanadas from South America

He also told me he killed people and we were shooting a BB gun at a tin can on the street one night?

Where you get he Kibinines

Next up, Latvia...

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