Colors of June

The grass is always greener on the other side

In mid-June I’ve traveled to Helsinki through Riga to participate in this rather boring internal health and safety training. Well, if I’m completely honest with all of you out there, the training in itself wasn’t all that boring, and presenters did their best to make this training good, but… There is a huge ‘but’ – even though I know in my mind that HSE is important, and it helps save lives, health and all, I still find everything related to the subject yawn-worthy and extremely boring. Well, that’s just my luck as it seems. In almost every single job I ever had somehow I always end up being in one or another way responsible for the subject and matters of HSE. More so, when I was interviewing for my current position (which is not so great as I’ve learned by now, and not just because of the boring and unwanted HSE part), I was clearly told by the manager that the company has HSE matters fully covered, and that they won’t require me to be involved in the subject but for a few translations now and then to make group policies and other materials available in local language.
Alas here I am – not the sole responsible person for the HSE in the company, but still involved more than I’d like to be, and that pisses me off greatly. Damn.
During my career I’ve seen plenty of corporate meetings and training sessions, but this one was different from the very start. First of all, none of the participants were given an agenda for the event prior to its start. Strange and unusual though it seemed, the goal of the organizers, as it was revealed eventually, was to prevent participants from coming ‘too prepared’. And it sort of worked pretty as none of participants knew what the training was going to be about in more detail and thus none could happily just to daydream or drowse to the end.
So I’ve spent a day and a half in this hotel conference room learning things I did not really want to learn, and was almost literary killed by the fact that the agenda of the said training was so tight there was literary no time between training session and compulsory evening/lunch parts to get out for a half an hour of fresh air. Ah, if only I’d have known that this was just the top of an iceberg!
The first clue to what was yet to come was the fact that on the second day the training session was wrapped up quite early in the afternoon, like around 2 p.m., and we – me and my manager with whom I came to the training – came to realize that there was way too much time to kill until the flight Helsinki-Riga would take us homeward bound. If I were on my own, I would have used those extra 3.5 hours for some shopping or sightseeing, but being in tow with the manager, I sort of had no choice but to follow the lead and ended up spending hours and hours at the airport with no book to read and only a smartphone and a free Wi-Fi access at the airport to keep me from shooting myself with a loose door handle out of sheer boredom.
that's pretty much most of what I've seen of the Finland

After long hours of waiting finally the time for boarding has come and we hurried to the gate only to learn that our flight was delayed by half an hour. This would not have been much of a problem if it were a direct flight, but since we had to transfer to another one at Riga airport and the layover between flights was that of half an hour, this made for an ‘oh, no’ moment. The crew of the plane really did their best to catch up for the lost time, but as soon as we landed in Riga bad news became even worse. Our connecting flight to Vilnius has not yet departed and those who were fast to the gate could still see the plane attached to the boarding gate, alas we were denied access to the plane since we were to the gate like 5 minutes past the time for ‘gate closing’, and the lot of twenty something passengers could do nothing but watch the plane leave without us on board.
By the time everyone gathered at the AirBaltic ticket counter, tensions grew and people were getting real angry. Judging from the comments of some other unlucky fellow passengers from Helsinki flight, I’ve learned that it’s not so uncommon for AirBaltic not to wait on their own delayed flight even if for not all that much of a delay, and that some of people already have tasted more than once during their travels that buying a plane ticket not necessarily means one is going to actually fly. Seems that coming on time sometimes is an issue with them, but they never fail to provide a bus on such cases, and our bus was like ready at the moment we’ve reached the airport AirBaltic ticket counter, as if they were pretty confident Helsinki-Riga flight was to be delayed for much longer time, either they were never even intending on waiting on us in the first place, or whatever.
While some of the left-behind passengers seemed eager to fight for their rights, and willing to dig their heel deep and stand their ground to the very end, all I wished was to get moving, get to that damn bus and start rolling home.
finally on the move and homeward bound

It was almost 9 p.m. when the lot of us has finally departed from Riga to Vilnius on the bus. Instead of a relatively short flight Riga-Vilnius, I was now facing a more than 4 hours long bus trip to Vilnius, and having sat doing like nothing for the greater half of the day, I did not feel very happy about being robbed of these extra hours of my time. But at least with every turn of the wheels I was getting closer to my destination.
I love Latvia. I love its many castles and so similar yet a bit different nature from that of Lithuania. I like people of Latvia, even those surly and unsmiling, since it’s just like being at home there and yet not. I even am already planning to visit a couple of spots in Latvia this very summer. But on that never ending day I really could not wait but to get out of Latvia as soon as possible, and signs marking the Latvian-Lithuanian border were like the best thing I saw that day and inwardly I cheered and punched the air. Looks like home, smells like home, it must be home, even if the actual home was yet hours away.
There is a saying that thy neighbor’s grass is always greener, but like for once I could not disagree more. The grass is always greener on the other side, only this time I thought it was greener on the ‘right’ side of the border.


Swimming through a meadow

Through out the whole day at the office I was longing for a good ol’ walk, alas rain which started at lunch did not want to give up. While a warm cascade of summertime rain might be fun at times, and good rain boots combined with a cheery umbrella might add to the fun, this rain was of a much nastier temperament – cold, slow, and boring to the very bone. Thankfully it stopped at last, and I sprang into action at once. Since my friend who often joins me on such walks decided to pass on this one, I ventured on my own, bravely treading through some sloppy wet ground, hiking some forest paths and hitting a nowadays mostly unused due to some  road constructions tarmac road. Then I came to this meadow…

to be or not to be

On the other side of it there is a stream with a stone crossing. After a moment of hesitation and weighing pros and cons of crossing this lovely yet very VERY wet meadow, I opted to get my legs wet a bit. While where I’ve entered the meadow its grass was low and only came to my ankles, as I went further the grass grew higher and seemingly wetter. To be or not to be, I asked myself, and deciding it could not be any worse I continued soon to find myself almost literary swimming through the wet meadow. I’d say meadow swimming is quite fun, though a little bit warmer dew would’ve made the experience even more pleasant. Anyways, in the end I reach the stream, only to find that its usually shallow waters has risen a bit and some of the stones in the crossing are now under water. Plunging into a stream murky with all this excess rain water wasn’t very tempting, but it was either two steps of faith or going back the way I came. Uh-huh, one swim through the meadow is quite a limit for a day. So ahead I went into the stream.

one can usually cross the stream with dry feet. Not this time
Wet feet and clingy wet capri pants aren’t the most pleasant pf experience on a day with temperatures only as high as 17 C, but a good adventure and a gulp of some fresh air after a tiresome day at work was so refreshing :)
wet yet almost shinny clean toes :D

Taking care not to step on any of the many snails which crawl from some hidey holes after each rain I proceeded homeward bound.
Through the forest once more lay my path

 On my way I noticed this rather strange painting on a pine’s trunk:
Aliens go this way.
I hope humans are also allowed to take this road. Anyway at least I did ;)
Do I look like an alien? I sure hope I do C: Otherwise what's the point in taking an upside down pic ;)
 I used to live on the edge of the forest. Still do, only nowadays the forest has shrunk a bit and its edge had to give way for a new road.
And finally a home stretch – a road to be


Summer time

Since on last Saturday summer has officially started, I could not waste a minute of the perfect weather and opened my swimming season. Ah, good thing that so close to my home there is a lake which I can be easily reached by foot or – if I want to get there faster – by bicycle.

just some 10 minutes of pedaling and there it is…
2 kilometers are like nothing when I’m driven by the desire to plunge into water :) And since the swimming season is open, why limit myself to sunny days only? Any day is a swimming day unless it’s really too cold for that.
almost some sort of a personal heaven on Earth – green and soft grass, water, and a pleasant company of two ‘guys’ ;)

Also the company on those not so sunny and not so hot days are so much better and so much quieter too ;)

That’s what I call good company, when I’m up to enjoy some solitude :D Their swimming costumes are also were dashing and catching the eye
On the more serious note, I’ve switched jobs like a month ago. Since the job offer was like grab it or loose it, but in either way I’d loose by then my current job, I took my chances and plunged deep into new water. What can I say? I’m starting to dot some ‘eyes’ already, I can state that I’ve forgotten that some companies could be such… joy killers. If I cannot find at least something to enjoy in this new company, then I’ll be back to looking for something else.
Like a neighborhood where my new office is located, there is something fishy about this new company. Can’t yet put a finger on it, neither can I tell if I really can’t find anything to like about this new job, but for a while I’m still about to give it a fair shot.
One of the ugliest of new neighborhoods in Vilnius. Built on a former landfill, with buildings rising up to 12 story high – as if it’s NY or something, and with building so close to each other that some balconies come so close to each other that it seems one neighbor could climb balconies to visit another in the opposing building. Concrete jungle which leaves me rather depressed and sorry for every one living there