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Balls To The Baltic - Latvia or Bust



The Bride of Jug-u-lar

I didn’t really know much about what to expect this evening. All I knew was that the show was called, ‘Underground’. As we drove up the scene was set perfectly.  There stood Katriina, dressed in long flowing robes in amongst a white frosted landscape. There were a couple of other people too, who I guessed were additional audience, and I recognised Chris, Katriina’s brother who was also along as a spectator.

“Hi Katriina” we greeted, as we climbed out of the van into the snowy scene.

“Who iz zis Katriina of vich you zpeak?” came back the reply in a strong Transylvanian accent.

“Oh, it’s like that is it?”

She then proceeded to tell us that what we were about to do was exceptionally dangerous, and ask us a series of questions, along the lines of “do eni off you haf planz for ztomorrow?  …. Yez ? …. ..Oh ….. Vell you might vant to canzcel zem…”

This probably wasn’t helped by us passing back comments along the lines of “heh, you’ve got a better idea what we’re doing tomorrow than we have”, and “what are we doing for lunch?” She ignored us admirably. 

We were led down a long snowy path, down the side of a river. Someone asked what river it was. “That is not a river” Katrinna answered, so getting into the spirit of things I added “It’s the tears of a thousand lost souls”. “Donet be zo zentimentaaal” she instantly quipped back in perfect Transilvanian, leaving me and Jonathan in stitches. For the rest of the walk there, not to mention at every opportunity over the next week we could be heard mimicking “donet be zo zentimentaaaaal”.

…and then, up ahead in the distance, between the windblown flakes of candy floss snow (it was fluffy, not pink) there was a billowing … presence. It must be said in the review for this show that the weather really was putting in a fantastic performance. It could have been merely my eyes playing tricks … it could have been one of the aforementioned lost souls … of course if I wasn’t being so zentimental it could have been a person dressed in white running around in the snow waving a sheet, but I’m sticking with zentimental for now …. As we drew closer, and could just about make out the form … in an instant, it vanished into the hillside.

We fumbled through the snow to where the form had vanished, and Katriina’s Transylvanian doppelganger once again warned us of the horrific dangers that lay inside. Then the huge iron door that led into the hillside was swung open and one by one, we were drawn inside.

There were stalactites hanging from the ceiling and it was … Dark. Torches were produced (some of them even worked) and we were led down a long tunnel into a series of rooms, where …. ‘Things’ happened. Strange and twisted things. I’m not going to give the complete game away, because heh, if you want to know the show you should go and see it, but I do have to mention one piece of it, because it ties in with something I mentioned earlier…

…It turns out that back in the day it was the habit of the local inhabitants, when building buildings, to leave sacrifices in the walls to appease the gods. What a god is going to with a sacrifice in a wall, god only knows, but there you go. Apparently the wailing we could now here were the wailings of a young virgin who was left in the walls as a sacrifice some time ago, and she was in need of some assistance to escape. “Was there a hero in the room who could help her?” It all went quite …. Well, the wailing continued, but there was a distinct lack of volunteers. I was at the front of the room, and although having limited experience in the virgin rescuing business, I decided I might apply for the job (so many jokes, so little time). So there I am digging through holes in the walls when I happen upon Gunita. I should have guessed that the contortionist would be the one trussed up in the hole, so with much effort because no one could say she was going to be easy, I pulled, lifted and squeezed her back out to freedom.

“OK, now zat you haf rescue-ed her, zis meanz zat she iz your vife”

My vife? Oh, my wife! …right ….fair enough I’m thinking, I could do a lot worse,

“But zyou must virzt zeal ze marriage viz a kizz”.

Again, I don’t see any problem with this, and puckering up, the deal was done. My days as a bachelor are put to one side for the simple pleasures of matrimony.

 “and zen you must leave anozer virgin to replaze her” ……….

….. oh

……oh that was more of a problem ….. that was more of a problem …


“Jonathan, get in the hole!”

I didn’t need to tell them he had offspring back in the UK.

And that’s how I managed to acquire my Latvian Bride. I’m not sure it would pass in the strictly legal sense, but I must say that personally I have always been fonder of the less formal ceremonies.



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