Estonia: Maria & Jaan
Andreas Moe - Ocean
It was so great to see Maria again after six years! Maria and I met when we were both studying abroad in Shanghai. Maria and her boyfriend, Jaan, are Estonian. There are 1.3 million people living in Estonia, and about 1/4 of the population is Russian. That means there are only about 1 million Estonians in Estonia. Do you have an Estonian friend? Ha! I do. Now I have Estonian friends plural. Get your own Estonian friends.
Estonia has made its way to become, hands down, one of my favorite countries. Estonians seem to have they same humor as me! Also note I shattered my camera lens the day before I arrived in Tallinn, so my mood was very somber to begin with. And still Tallinn was amazing! Let me try to explain!
Tallinn was the first city I’ve been to where I fell in love with the tourists. We shared laughs together after ascending the stairs of St. Olaf’s church (it was so brutal). Everyone is so friendly, both the locals and the tourists! Also, the tourists in Tallinn are short and stubby. I feel like I’m in a cartoon I’ve drawn myself.
They have a tower called Fat Catherine.
I cut off a middle-aged woman when walking and she merely went, “Mmmm,” and tried to walk around me.
Then there was the ‘Pen Incident’ at the Tallinn Town Wall. I was signing my name in the guestbook and I accidentally dropped the pen through a crack in the table. I asked the worker to help me retrieve it. He mumbled and descended a dark staircase and grabbed another pen that wasn’t the one I was using. Turns out people keep dropping pens into that crack and no one’s bothered to fix it! The guy must be used to people dropping pens and having to descending into the dark staircase to fetch them. Also, when paying my entrance fee, I told him I might have exact change (instead of giving him a large bill), to which he danced around in his chair. Turns out I didn’t, and he mumbled something and then gave me change for the large bill.
When I was at BocaPott Cafe, the server asked me if I play the piano and I told her I played for eleven years. She said she knew it because I had beautiful hands! First time I got complimented on my hands; usually people say I have alien hands.
Lastly, every restaurant and shop I visited seems to be playing jazz, which I love!
In any case, none of the photos below are of Tallinn. Surprisingly I have very few photos of what I’d now consider to be one of my favorite cities. Instead, the photos below are of other parts of Estonia, mostly Tartu and Lake Peipus. I’ll guide you through them, because there are so many. Let’s go!
Maria and Jaan took me to some cool castle where this woman wore these really epic traditional clothes. I do not have photos of her, but she was cool.
A BBQ with more Estonians! Half the population of Estonia is here. There are more photos of a second BBQ here.
Okay thanks for following me through my travels in Estonia. And a HUGE thanks to Maria and Jaan for hosting me and taking good care of me. I had some of my best traveling experiences with you guys! Bye!