keskiviikko 2. toukokuuta 2012

Blogathon, Day 2: Five Reasons to Come to Estonia

During Blogathon I may get new readers who have never even heard about weird little lands like Estonia or Finland.

Yep, EST and FIN are somewhere there up in the north. But just to make it clear: no, they most definitely not are part of Russia and no, there are no polar bears in either of them.

As a Finn living in Estonia I just must use the opportunity to write a few words about my new home country. One could ask why do I want to live in a former Soviet republic with 1,3 million people and terrible climate. But I guess me and my family sort of like it here.

Here are my 5 reasons, why you should come and visit Estonia, the land of warm people and appalling customer service.

- See the layers of history in Tallinn. One thing I missed when living in Silicon Valley was the history. In the Valley you'll be positively surprised if you find something older than 40 years. In Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, you have everything. There's the beautiful medieval old town, horrible-looking ghettos of Soviet era, skyscrapers of the 21st century and everything in between. It's sometimes a terrible mess but it still is way better than no history at all. The feeling of the town gives you roots. It helps you understand that you are not the first one on these streets.

- The size of the country. Estonia is tiny. It's great, it's practical. In 4 - 5 hours by car you are already in the neighbor country Latvia. Jump on the boat and take a two-hour cruise to Finland. One-hour flight to Stockholm, two hours to London. Not a big deal. Life is just too short to be spent in traffic jams.

- Wifi. It's everywhere. I mean e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Estonians live in internet and you get used to it. I was shocked in Silicon Valley when I understood how ridiculously poor wifi connections they had there. Man, it's the Valley!

- Get a cultural shock of rude behavior. Just forget all your attempts to have small talk. They won't speak to you, those stone-faced, little-smiling Estonians. There's a total silence in a bus or a tram. They won't apologize if they bump onto you on a street. If you are lucky the cashier may greet you in a store but don't wait for good day's wishes. After you've spent here a few years you'll find the dry humor and remarkable friendship and hospitality Estonians have in them. It just takes time.

- Shoes. Ladies. I've got one word for you. Or actually three. When in Estonia -  go shop shoes.

3 kommenttia:

  1. Ha! Everyone thinks there are polar bears in Poland, too. (Well, my nieces do, which is one reason they seem reluctant to visit.) It's nice to "meet" you, courtesy of the blogathon.

  2. I've been to Estonia! We visited a kayak manufacturer there when we were in that business. They took us on a weekend retreat to the countryside where we stayed at some old Russian officer barracks. Also toured historic Tallin for a day and were struck by the tailings of post-Russian rule (the ghettos). From Estonia, we took the ferry to Stockholm (beautiful!) and then back to Finland where we caught our flight. That week was our all-time favorite trip. Only downside in Estonia--bad, beige food. I wish I'd known about the shopping for shoes tip.

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Sheila, oh my God, how far south you need to go before people stop asking about polar bears :) I thought it the same in all the Scandinavian countries but even in Poland...

    Carrie Anne, what a trip you've had and glad to hear that you enjoyed! "Beige food" is unfortunately a good description. Estonia is not exactly like San Joaquin Valleyi California. But if you would be able to visit a market place in Estonia in, say, August, you would see some colors. We have plenty of different berries and mushroom in our forests. They bring some color on our plates.


Sano sananen! Ole samaa mieltä, eri mieltä, haasta, korjaa virhe, ihmettele, anna lisätietoa, mitä tahansa, omalla nimelläsi tai nimimerkillä, mutta pysy asiallisuuksissa.