Friday, June 21, 2013


Midsummer is a big deal here in Estonia. That's why we originally planned the trip around this week to be here, now.

Today we walked around with Sandra doing slightly touristy activities. It was pretty hot and humid, so we got our vitamin D in, making up for three weeks of rain following us. And we went inside buildings a lot. I got a pin, and a postcard to send.

Estonia, and other Baltic countries like Latvia and Lithuania, are known for amber. You can find it in any souvenir shop, and in stands along the street. It's pretty cheap too. I got some earrings and a ring today, for under 10 euro together.

There are a number of malls in town, and we wandered in a lot of them, observing everything, and Sandra kept laughing at things we took pictures of. We went into a bookstore that was pretty much a B&N. I started eyeing all the foreign editions of my favorite hard to resist....and I couldn't. I just found a book by my favorite author, it was in Estonian, and normally 15 euro but was on sale for 3 euro!!! How could I pass that up!? Well I didn't. Not sure how it's coming home yet. And I don't know a lick of Estonian or anything related to it, but it looks so cool!

Another place we found in the mall was a small science centre place, which was very odd, and we lost about 12 years of maturity while looking at things inside.

Also a cheese store! A whole store just for cheeses. We got to sample one that was 7 years old, one that tasted like pizza, and the one that won the world championship last year. Yup. It was actually really good cheese, too. Juustupood. Cheese shop.

By now it was about 8pm and the sun was still full blast in the sky. We wandered toward the opening festivals and there was a band playing near the water, fireworks off some boat..pretty neat. The weird thing was, everyone, the whole crowd, was just quietly standing there. It was so odd. Sandra kept apologizing for the laziness and lameness of her people, but we thought it was amusing. A big name band was even playing and people just stood and watched them without even moving to the beat at all. If you YouTube this, you will find the band and song:

Põhja-Tallinn - Meil On Aega Veel (Official HD)   

It's been stuck in my head all day now, but I really like it! Notice though, how non-expressive everybody looks. They're like that in real life, too. Estonians are just super low key here.

While waiting for the bus to come take us back home, an old woman came up to us. She started talking to Sandra in Estonian, and then...she started to sing to us. Sing! It was so random and cool! After she left about five minutes later, Sandra translated for us, what she said and sang. Apparently she took one look at us and decided we were young enough not to have "found a man yet" and she said there's still one for us: Jesus! Sandra even explained we were both atheist, but she said it was fine, there was still time. And her song was about God loving you, and Jesus loving you, and just lots of love. It was hilarious. We had no idea the whole time, and she was about 86 years old. After, she shook our hands and walked away. Very strange ending to the day.

A couple other words I learned in Estonian:

Thank you: aitäh (eh-tah)
Water: vesi (veh-shee)

The population of Estonia is only 1.3 million, and about 20% of those are Russians. Estonian is dying out because only about one million people speak it. I think it's very pretty looking and sounding, even though I have no idea what people are saying.

And also, did you know pretty much the whole country has wifi? Like everywhere?  That's pretty cool.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoying your posts, Leah! I am learning so much! The amber jewelry you found is very pretty! Also got a kick out of Facebooking with you from my couch in Gilbert while you were on a beach on the Baltic Sea! Surreal! Laurie :)