The Latvian capital city of Riga is home to a lot of beautiful things, and I’m not just talking about their stunning blonde women.
Sadly, a lot of that beauty is being spoiled by British tourists who don’t understand how to behave when abroad. The mayor of Riga complains about large groups of drunk Brits screaming and taking over the local bars and strip clubs.
One local resident went on record to say “They are drunk by the time they get off the plane and they don’t sober up again until they go back home three days later”.
One British organization even offers full package deals of “strip clubs and shooting” where stag party revelers can get lap dances and then shoot a couple of rounds with an AK-47, all for just $260.
Apparently the extreme low cost of flying within Europe has brought out some of the worst the UK has to offer, forcing the mayor to take some drastic measures. Starting this week, a dedicated division of the Riga police will be on the lookout for British tourists who take their fun a little too far. One man has already spent 3 days in jail for peeing on the Latvian national monument, so they obviously are not joking around. Oh, and the phrase “English pigs”? That is how the Latvian interior minister referred to these tourists. Classy.
I had to laugh at a recent article regarding the grueling work of the British Embassy, helping tourists after misfortunes. With the recent glut of cheap flights to Prague, there’s been a rise in “beer tourism,” whereby punters come to Prague to enjoy gallons of excellent, but cheap, Czech beer. (Stag parties alone account for 10% of the 650,000+ British tourists to Prague.) This travel is not without its consequences, however.
According to the article, the two broad categories of light-night hazards for embassy staff are a) being woken up in the middle of the night to replace lost passports, and b) being woken up in the middle of the night to go meet tourists who can’t remember where they are staying and are seeking shelter at the embassy. As you might guess, both problems arise primarily from too much of the yellow nectar.
A recent example is indicative: a man came in after a pub crawl, “unable to recall anything about his hotel, even once he had sobered up later in the day” according to a spokesperson. Another “young man was arrested for dancing in a fountain naked” and had to be assisted by the Embassy. In seven months, incidents numbered 155.
So, the Embassy has responded. It is socking those folks with 84.50-pound charges for using these emergency services, and it’s spending 3,000 pounds on a poster, beer coaster, and leaflet campaign to try to reduce these incidents through education. But, I’m thinking, if you’re too drunk to remember anything about your hotel, I’m not sure you can read a beer coaster….