sveiki yet & again!
in this week’s issue:
-the siggimus commute
-the new siggimus timepiece
-the world’s latest media mogul
the siggimus strikes again, this time with his left hand
-mostly stopped scratching. annihilated, exterminated, wiped out, committed large scale insecticide, nuked the little buggers
-ran out of water in the middle of a cold shower. fortunate enough to have some drinking water to rinse the shampoo out of hair
-huge film festival started. siggimus has, by process of elimination, gone from planning to see 350 films to only ca. 100. see, there ain’t always english, you see? will see dancer in the dark on monday (nananananananananan!!!) and angels of the universe on friday siggimus believes, director will be present 🙂
-gvido says hi!
well, enough chit chat! let’s get to it
the siggimus commute
now that siggimus lives uncomfortably close to a huge sign saying riga, (& reassuringly close to places where people have cows), lengthy travels have become a part of one of his realities: bumping around in public transport for 15 mins twice daily. but as with everything else siggimus, this is one joyride after another. for example, speculating on what kind of vehicle will do the honours this time around is an endless source of fun
will it be an autobuss?
-these are yellow rustbuckets of the ikarus kind, often split in two with an accordion
will it fall apart this time?
-highly unlikely, actually. them is stubborn buggers
will it be no. 7, 8, or, god willing, 8 ekspresis?
-the only difference, as far as siggimus can gather, is that 8 ekspresis has an impressive sign in the window, saying ‘ekspresis’ & costs 25% more than the others. siggimus takes it the sign is there for esthetic purposes, as the rest of the autobus does not behave in any way differently from an 8 without such a sign. pretty good sign, though
when will the next one come?
-rather than post erroneous timetables that only serve to disgruntle prospective customers, as is common practice in so many corners of the world, they invite those curious enough to really want to know to call information & ask. siggimus has never tried his luck. has no desire to be disgruntled
will it be a taksobuss?
-taksobusses are small, private buses that follow the same route as the big busses, but have totally different & apparently completely random numbers. they have the route posted on wee signs in the front window. signs that can be tricky to read when a taksobuss comes speeding down the street in the dark. the most daring locals stop all those they see & simply ask
what kind of taksobuss will it be?
-they come in all shapes & sizes. some big & busy, like no. 133, others small & vany, like 2052. see, usually they take small vans, refurbish them with paneling, drapes & as many seats as they can bolt to the floor
will there be room for siggimus?
-not necessarily, but that’s no reason to leave a paying customer behind. just the other day, siggimus was the 17th passenger sharing 13 seats. crouched into an f, trying not to fall to the floor or on top of other passengers. many locals favour taksobusses, as they are not as fallingaparty & what’s more, they’re not as hung up on minor details like bus stops. just wave them down, squeeze in if you can & grunt loudly when you want off. most prima, once you get the hang of it
sometimes when siggimus starts missing the tramvajs he stays out ’till the wee hours, when the only option to taking a taksi is tramvajs no. 2. this also offers a great opportunity to exercise the siggimus patience, & we all know how siggimus loves doing two things at once. so siggimus exercises his patience for some 5-75 mins, rides on a tramvajs for a bit & then walks for 20 mins or so
unfortunately, life doesn’t offer siggimus too many chances to peruse the beloved trollejbus, a fascinating hybrid between a bus & a trolley (go figure!), a trackless tram! see, they’re powered by electricity, so these buggers pollute less than normal autobusses
at least in theory
for siggimus, this is the equivalent of an amusement park ride
siggimus can’t write about public transport in riga without tipping an imaginary hat in the general direction of the conductresses. usually female, aged between 38-138, although most of them look 68, these chicks have turned not falling down into an artform. with both hands busy receiving your fare & digging out change & a ticket, they probably wouldn’t notice if the bus rolled around three times & then got hit by an earthquake
the new siggimus timepiece
during a recent visit to centralais tirgus, reputedly the largest market in europe, siggimus decided to fill the physical & emotional gap left by the theft of his beloved watch, received along with a subscription to a colourful magazine
after careful consideration & lots of windowshopping, he decides to go for a sharp quartz alarm chronograph, which he has subsequently come to know & love by the traditional latvian name gvido
gvido looks like a million bucks; big & impressive, with a state of the art digital timepiece underneath an oldfashioned dial one. distinctly modern, yet with firm roots in tradition. gilt all over the place, digits & hands, although the second hand is just red
gvido’s digital bit is what siggimus calls impressive! not only does it tell the time, but if you prod it in the correct manner, you can also get information about a date. & as if this wasn’t quite plenty, there is also a stopwatch & an alarm!!
the golden knobs are extremely sensitive to siggimus’ touch (one-touch, it is usually called in the literature). this adds a lot of thrill & excitement to the relationship, as siggimus never knows what he’s gonna get:
-will it be a date?
-or maybe the stopwatch?
-will the stopwatch be stopped at 3:18:06?!? or will it maybe still be going at it, in a fitful race with time itself?
-will the alarm & the hourly peep be on or off? (the artists who created gvido must have decided against seperating these siamese twins at birth; siggimus has yet to get one without the other). siggimus tries to keep it off, as the display will sometimes, or rather usually, go a little bit blank during the alarming peep, & sometimes even the hourly peep fades out into oblivion, but gvido obviously has other plans. when the display returns, the alarm & peep indicator is usually on, & the hi-tech chronograph will show incorrect time. sometimes gvido tries to trick siggimus by displaying the stopwatch saying something that looks like a watch 23 mins late, but then turns out to be the stopwatch trying to trick siggimus
but siggimus isn’t tricked quite that easily, & checks the actual watch, finding it almost 9 hours off. should siggimus at this point try & set the watch to a correct time, gvido gets defensive & the display goes blank, only to return 4 hours later, 7 minutes late, but the date is february 29
at this, siggimus chuckles heartily, & says “oh, that gvido! it’s some prankster watch!”
some might conjecture that paying $10 for gvido is armed robbery, & someone else might call it a steal. siggimus says that it was an enormously prudent investment. the gilt digits & hands & the red second hand constitute a fully functional timepiece (going on three weeks now!), while the hi-tech bit provides for endless joy & entertainment
there is never a dull moment for siggimus & gvido
siggimus the media mogul
recently siggimus noticed that the world’s free press seemed to be having a rough time of it. this will not do, so in the name of democracy, freedom of speech, the global economy, world peace & all that is holy, siggimus decided to lend it a helping hand
in a historic event in late august 2000, siggimus & media giant the baltic times joined hands to combat poverty, oppression, disease, hunger & foul smells the world over
at a press conference announcing this biggest event in media history since the headline, media mogul lars ibsen, owner of the baltic times, said, “poverty, oppression, disease, hunger & foul smells better watch out!”
asked whether the paper would be renamed ‘the siggimus times’ or, as the experts have been betting on lately, just plain ‘siggimus,’ siggimus said, “nah,” adding nonchalantly, “this isn’t about siggimus. this is about justice & world peace”
currently, siggimus holds the title of ‘copy editor,’ but in media jargon, ‘copy’ means ‘thing written by journalist for a paper.’ what this means in fact is that siggimus edits all the stuff in the paper, except of course the ads: “siggimus leaves the ads entirely up to the pharisees & moneylenders
siggimus just edits the important stuff,” siggimus managed to say in between edits
busy man. & a great intellect
to quote this ibsen person again: “the world can rest in peace. siggimus is on the case”
just before the gazette went to the printers, rumours of siggimus’ moving up in the world abounded. apparently, siggimus now has also taken to writing the paper, before he edits it
but whilst you wait, feel free to check out www.baltictimes.com
sps: coming soon to a finland near you?