Monday, November 13, 2006


Have a look at this picture, bearing in mind that the Latvian Lat is worth almost to the penny exactly the same as the pound sterling! Isn't this incredible? Things are cheaper in Latvia: public transport is amazingly cheap (20p for a half hour bus trip to the airport) but food and drink aren't wildly cheap - I mean a coffee you pay £2 in the UK would cost maybe £1-30 or you might pay £3 for a pasta dish that would cost £5 here. So the cigarette price is astonishing. As far as I know a pack is about a fiver in the UK, maybe more, I will check later when I am at the supermarket, but there you get them for 30 odd pence! Strangely restaurants, shopping malls and stations seem to be smokefree, though you practically have to swim through the group of smokers standing at the door in the freezing cold! It seems strange the Latvian government hasn't sussed quite how much tax they could make on the product - does this date back to the Soviet era, maybe? Anyway with the entire population of Latvia potentially 20 years away from extinction from lung cancer, maybe it is a good place to buy shares in anti-cancer drugs?

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