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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Simple Contemplations at 1:00 AM

For me Tallinn is a unique place on Earth. After spending half a year in France and UK, difference between living in Estonia and living somewhere in Western Europe is huge. For me, Estonia is the safest place in the world. I think I have some legitimacy here. It is a place where no one is going to harass you without a reason (or with a reason)... Maybe unless you meet a drunk on one of the streets of Old Town... People are quiet, there's not a lot of them either - outflow of population is still a problem. With time, you get bored and depressed in winter. The place is perfect for writing a book on philosophy.

It is difficult for me to adapt to different mentalities of people: in UK I thought everyone was so noisy, I wanted to hide myself somewhere in a cave. In Estonia everyone is so quiet (when sober) most of the time that over time you become restrained and speechless yourself and start trying to figure out what has happened to you. It has something to do with Soviet times, when you had to be quiet and not raise your voice against authority, otherwise you'd have problems.

I mentioned about lack of protest against stupid government decisions here in Eastern Europe before, and well, it is all connected with each other. As a result, social responsibility is not something that flourishes here, like let's say, in the rest of Europe. On a positive note, Estonia has something that Western Europe doesn't - there is a lot of room for progress. For example, my friend says that 60's never happened here. Obviously because of the iron curtain that divided Europe until 1991. That is why little groups of people, often with a very naive view of the world, try to imitate social behavior/trends that were happening in Europe before, and the outcome usually is, let's say, intredasting.

Finishing on a more positive note, if you think you have seen everything and travelled everywhere, come to Estonia, have a coffee in one of the cafes in Old Town, and observe. Just observe and listen. Spend a month here. You will be amazed - of your own thoughts and the way you perceive reality. But if you are simply a sex tourist who wants to have a stag party, please visit Riga in Latvia.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Estonian Winter + Books

Some photos of winter in Estonia:

Park in Tallinn

Doors freeze from inside at minus 25 Celsius

Macedonian flag brings a bit of sunshine to Tallinn

Trees apparently

Slowly freezing sea

Keila Waterfall in Winter

Frozen river

Forest in winter from helicopter

Official opening of an English language bookshop in old town in Tallinn. Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves on the right, me in a scarf on the left. Too much wine on empty stomach - eyes staring somewhere.
Picture taken by Scott Abel

Bookstore 2