After my week of solo travel, K came to visit me on my world trip from Germany. We have known each other for the past seven years and appreciate our strength and weaknesses. K is all I am not and yet, we have a common basis in our interests for design, photography, food, music, and traveling. After completing her degree, she decided to take up a profession and started to work in a company with a future. She is doing very well in the corporate world and is starting to reap the benefits of being part of the system. She is living a life that would be a horror scenario for me. The horror scenario for one is paradise for the other. I love how we go our own ways and find happiness and fulfilment in very different places. She is a planner through and through. Preparation and planning give her just as much fulfilment and pleasure as the experience of the planned moment. I'm bored with planning. My goal is to be in the moment and respond to things quickly and efficiently when they occur. In the moment, I'm bombastic. In addition, I gain a lot of pleasure in formulating and describing a goal or a vision, while K. prefers to explore and plan the steps to get there. Together we are a pretty good team. On the trip it looked as follows: K. had organized the perfect AirBnB in Riga, researched a list of Instagram photos with geotag, and said things like, "If we want to see wild horses, they should be there if the geotag is correct..." She picked out a route for the road trip, which we than decided on together.
On the spot, I only enjoy the experience when I can forget what we planned. A good example of how we enrich each other is the last evening. Alone, none of us would have gone to this great concert in the old and decayed villa. We had already resigned to the fact that we would not get to listen to any live music on this trip and were not that sad about it, after all, we were equally bored by what if's. One evening, when K was going through a postcard stand in front of an incredibly good restaurant, she pulled out a particularly pretty flyer. What looked like a waste of time to me, to her was part of her planning process. She discovered this one flyer, rather a postcard that announced a concert to be held on our last night in Riga. On the flyer, you could see the portrait of a young woman with wind-ruffled hair. The background was out of focus, the curved type (hand lettering) read "Alise Joste" and there was an address. K thought the typography particularly beautiful, me the photo. We had shot almost an identical picture just days ago on the beach. (In winter clothe.) The paper and presentation were top quality and familiar in style. We wouldn't have designed them differently ourselves. That was four days before the concert. After our road trip, a relatively stressful day, we could have gone to bed. Especially with the knowledge, that K would leave for the airport at half past seven, the next morning. However, the hurdles were so low that my "we are going to do this" was an easy push to make.
After a grand final meal, we walked through the dark streets of Riga. It rained. We went between police stations, isolated wine bars and cafes, multi-family and smaller wooden houses, to this villa built during the nouvelle vague. After a small search we found the door, in front of which a sturdy but not particularly impressive doorman stood. On our request he called the boss. She was young, pretty and hip. In Mainz she would not have been out of place. It was sold out, she let us in anyway and showed us two chairs at the door of the concert hall. There was no way we could fit inside. For the first time, we were the only non-Latvians in a fairly large hall. Everybody looked like hip people at home, only slightly taller (which of course had no effect on the distance of the chair rows, to comic affect). The applause was restrained, as if they didn't know whether this would be good or not (are the Latvians possibly even more reserved with their affection and enthusiasm than the Germans?). The musicians were dressed in discreet black. The stage was decorated with antique lamps and picture frames. Very hip. Very current. When they started to perform, the music was mostly in English. They performed wonderful multi-part music with a little local colour. K. and I enjoyed it very much. The absolute highlight came as an encore. The singer sat alone with her guitar on the stage and sang with an incredibly delicate and clear voice in Latvian. The sounds and forms of this unknown language in combination with this simple and well-schooled voice were lovely.