Welcome to the Latvia Hotel, Riga’s only high-rise and the pinnacle of three-star luxury in this Baltic republic. The year is 1982, and here young Canadian traveler Curtis Jansons discovers that even a small serving of Soviet hospitality comes with a heaping side order of bureaucracy. But this time, that side order is served by Galina, a young, pretty Intourist officer—and when he asks her for a date, she gives him a chance to glimpse more deeply life behind the Iron Curtain.
By turns funny and moving, A Tourist Visa blends autobiography with artful storytelling, and reminds us that we’re all travelers, looking for both love and meaning. And as we strive against forces larger than ourselves, we discover that our ultimate journey is a solitary one.