Some people still remember the promotional video once shown on CNN, where a Tibetan monk was shown meditating in a Latvian forest. I do believe that while for most of us it is less surprising when well-to-do Latvians go to the centres of eastern spiriuality in India or Nepal in search of enlightenment, a Tibetan monk theoretically could find his own spiritual bliss in a Latvian forest.
I thought of that last week, when, after having observed the ugliness of xenophobic debates and corruption scandals here in Latvia, I went to seek my inner peace in another country ridden by xenophobia and corruption.
Last Wednesday, I left Latvia for Italy, where, like so many others, I strolled around the streets of Venice in a mask and even went to cafes in costume. Without any effort, I have honestly forgotten the intolerance of major media and some politicians back at home, the uselessness of institutions responsible for our education policy, the bureaucratic shallowness of our integration and immigration debate. I was reminded of all that today, reading the Government’s brand new Action Plan. My temporary happiness (which is no more) can be amply illustrated by the idiotic smile here.