Few days ago I was sitting at a cafe writing. It's a small place in the centre of Tallinn with huge windows facing one of the most important ceremonial squares of Estonia.
It's not a fancy cafe, a cup of coffee (not served in paper cups) costs like one dollar, wifi works (as it does everywhere in the country) and I have a good place to work in peace and look at people coming and going. A salty slice of rye bread with herring and egg wakes me up.
It was an early morning, I was at the cafe all by myself, the waitress was doing her chores in the kitchen.
Suddenly she came to me and asked if I was going to stay at the cafe for 15 minutes or so. I said yes.
The waitress apologized and said that she needed to leave me alone for a second and lock the cafeteria door. She had to go outside to get some things.
Sure, fine for me, I said.
And there I sat, alone at the cafe with locked doors. It was a funny moment. In the very centre of the capital of this little country you can trust your client so much that you leave her alone in the cafe. I felt amused and honored.
I told this story to our Estonian babysitter. She started to laugh. She said that I've reached the point when I'm considered as part of the team. "Oh Silja, now you have lived long enough in Estonia", he said.
An expatriate usually always feels her/himself an outsider. In that sense I think this was a very good thing indeed.