Angry Latvians Pay to Smash Things
Letting out life's frustrations can be a challenge and sometimes can even have negative consequences. But in Latvia, an entrepreneur has found a "cost-effective" and entertaining way to relieve stress. The new service is a smash-hit.
Customers say it’s a good way of discharging their pent-up emotions.
“It was great, for all previous years which were not ok, for every year you just take an item and smash, hit and pour it out, and then you can go on in life with a light heart,” nursery school teacher Santa Stankevica said.
“I enjoyed it. For me to break things is a little unnatural, but the emotion in doing this is rather more positive than negative,” bank employee Raivis Gutmanis said.
“We can learn that this is the way to cope with emotions,” University of Latvia Psychology Professor Ieva Bite said. “And, I think, there is a lot of research on how by modeling aggressive behavior people become aggressive themselves, by observing that behavior in others…And moreover, if they regularly learn to use aggressive destructive behavior, then why should they not do it next time? Of course, the risk is that there is short-term relief.”
Visitors get a choice of various tools to smash with and only pay for the items they’ve destroyed with costs ranging from €2 for a plate or vase, €35 for a TV, to €200 for a piano.
“It would be worth coming here once a year and discharge your emotions, as at home it would be rather expensive to throw all the dishes in the air. I think it is very interesting,” academic rower Elza Gulbe said.
The Smash Room Riga’s owner said his initial idea was only to provide a place where people could have fun.
“Today for the first time here there are bachelorette parties, but actually the majority of visitors are couples, young people, who work daily at the computer. They come sober, come here by car, they are very punctual and organized. They come, do their thing, and – then it’s ‘thank you and so long,'” owner Kristaps Zalitis said.
Zalitis sayid that at the end, the customers are “relaxed, glad, and happy,” and that this is the main point.