A Night of Reminders

April 12, 2011

Our friend Evelin invited me and Jaime to a benefit concert (supporting diabetic children) held at the Wilde Cafe, not too far from our apartment (‘most everything is not too far from our apartment). We walked past the sculpture of the Wildes (Oscar & Eduard), found the upstairs cafe with only a little trouble, and settled into a table pretty close to the stage.

That’s when everybody started reminding me of someone else I knew. Always somebody I already liked, so it was fun! Just odd.

Kerli Puusepp performed first, just a girl and her guitar. She was easygoing and funny, and I could listen to her sing all day. She had ‘armasta’ written in a scrolling script on the back of her neck, almost hidden beneath stray wisps of red hair. Means ‘I love.’

She reminded me of Iiris- something about how her face was made for smiling.

Then we had a change of pace- from one young woman with a guitar to four guys with guitars and a bass and a drumbox! Drumboxes are awesome. I have no idea if that’s what this thing is actually called, but the drummer could sit on it while he played and looked like he was having an absolute ball. Their band was called ‘Kruuv’, and it turns out that three of the four present were sick, and their other band member had gone to study Rastafarian opera (who knew that was a thing?), and they still just seemed to figure that they were there, they were supporting diabetic children, and they might as well have a great time.

Here’s a video to give you some idea of the vibe they had (sans Rastafarian opera dude):

The drummer and bassist reminded me of relatives, frontman reminded me of my favorite Deer Run camper of all time, and the guitar player reminded me of my best friend growing up. Creepily so.

There were surprisingly few people there that night, but instead of being dishearted, the lead singer just started dedicating songs to everyone:

“Who in here likes country?”

“Here’s to the volunteers!”

“This one is for the staff.”

And so on– all in Estonian, of course. I caught words here and there, Jaime translated occasionally, and I picked up a few new things. Like ‘mu hing’ means ‘my soul’ and is not what cows do. Not in Estonia. πŸ˜€

When the concert was over, Jaime struck up a conversation with the band (asking about the drumbox and who knows what else) while I sat back contentedly and reflected on how glad I was that I had come.

The Highlands

April 6, 2011

The Highlands

It’s a grey, misty day here in Tartu; the kind of day that screams “Spring!!” but by the time it gets through the fog to you, you just hear a muffled sound of some kind.

I actually love days like this. Estonia does them really well! Brisk, but not overt. Cloudy, but not dreary.

Scotland does them well, too. On our second day in Scotland, we got up early and put together whatever we were going to need for the day, the essentials. For Jaime, that meant a camera and a smile. For me, that meant smooth dark chocolate and an aren’t-you-proud-of-me-for-being-awake face.

 

 

 

 

 

Our tour guide’s name was Chris, and he was just… awesome. Jaime postulated that there must be a gene you have to have to make a good tour guide. Cheerful, dry, punny, and full of mischievous bonhomie. He was also a great reminder that short people often have the biggest personalities. πŸ˜€

He taught us… actually, he taught us a lot of things. Like Scottish songs, and the correct pronunciation of ‘loch’ (which doesn’t actually mean ‘lake’, as I’d always thought). He also taught us that they don’t have rain, only liquid sunshine, and there are only three kinds of weather in Scotland: glorious, atmospheric, and dramatic.

‘Glorious’ is any kind of dry weather, especially with sun! ‘Atmospheric’ is misty and maybe lightly raining, a sort of mystically beautiful weather that Scotland does better than any place in the world I’ve visited yet. And ‘dramatic’ is when the liquid sunshine is falling in torrents from the sky and whipping into your face. πŸ˜€

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I’ve been trying to get outside my comfort zone more, so walking a snow-fed, possibly monster-containing loch– in early spring– fit the bill nicely. I stepped into Loch Ness and walked around a little bit, pleased that it wasn’t as cold as I’d thought it would be.

Then I realized… my feet had gone numb as soon as they hit the water. πŸ˜€ I kept a pebble that I selected from under the waves, and I call it my Loch Rock.

When we got back to Edinburgh and popped into a Starbucks, they were changing out mugs (or something). They didn’t have tall-sized cups, so we all got upgraded- free- to venti, and I have to say: O.o

How does anybody drink venti anything?

My hat is off to you. And so is my belt.

A few other notes of note…

Highland Tickle: driving over an extremely bumpy road (+ free bum massage if you put your hands in the air like you don’t care)!

Ways to spot a witch: Are you OCD? You might be a witch. Are you left-handed? You might be a witch. Are you a vegetarian? You are most certainly a witch. In Scotland, salad is what food eats.

Rob Roy was a red-haired genius. We wouldn’t have our word ‘blackmail’ if it weren’t for him, or so our guide said.

The Scottish invented everything. Absolutely everything. The Chinese claim to have invented some stuff, sure, but see… the Scottish invented the Chinese.

Better Late…

March 23, 2011

The legendary frugality of the Scots runs as strongly in my family as the Force through the Skywalkers. It’s not that we hate spending money…

…it’s not only that we hate spending money…

…it’s that we like saving it. A penny saved is a penny earned, but why save a penny when you could save a whole dollar?

Anyway, I find it very appropriate that this theme of Scottish frugality extended through one of the greatest adventures of my young life- a half-week trip to Scotland.

Scotland!

Scotland!!

(And as a quick aside, if anyone is thinking I’m making up the whole “oh, Scottish people don’t like spending money!”, Google ‘Scottish frugality,’ or some variation of that. This is real.)

I’m posting another slideshow. Just to warn you, several of these are out of order. For example, Forsyth’s Tearoom and The Great Mustache Party were on Sunday, but I’m pretty much desperate to get some pictures up.

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Here’s the story: we took the bus into Tallinn and then flew to Edinburgh late Thursday night. Jaime established gummy bears as our official travel food. Took a double-decker bus (they make me so happy!) to the center, and met up with my awesome, awesome cousin, Kira! She’s studying at the Edinburgh University, and let us stay with her.

The next day we got up and explored the Royal Mile. So many things to see! It’s a total tourist trap, of course, but it’s an awesome tourist trap. Plaid, plaid everywhere! Advertisements for your own kilt (made to order); tempting smells from well-placed eateries; racks of vibrant postcards; and underfoot, the solidly patient cobblestone.Β  I remember watching the tourists in Tallinn scurrying over the cobblestone, either glancing about with a traveler’s cynicism or pounding jovially along, shrugging their backpacks higher and almost tripping over themselves.

It was good for me to have the shoe on the other foot. I played it up a little bit, but the truth was that I wanted to just breathe in Edinburgh. Cobblestone under my feet and the tall buildings of central Edinburgh rising above. They’re like gentry, standing to their full height and looking at a spot that’s just over your head. Maybe it’s just if you’re a tourist. I wonder what it would feel like to live there long enough to have Edinburgh look you in the eye… the closest I came to that feeling was probably in the wild wind atop Arthur’s Seat.

After a while we followed the road, ever upwards, to Edinburgh Castle. Built in the 7th century, it was! I had forgotten my castle ticket, as it happened, but Kira and I walk fast so that turned out all right. We made it back to the castle in plenty of time to look around, meet up with Jaime and Steph, and jump out of our skin when they shot off the cannon! (Not Mons Meg, that would just be crazy.

…I had kind of gotten my hopes up that they would.)

We explored the nooks and crannies (or winding stairways and vaulted ceilings) of the castle, and learned some Scottish history. A lot of Scottish history. They are a fighting race, and take their heritage as such very seriously, and proudly.

After a while we headed back toward town, under the entrance with the coat of arms and motto of the Royal Regiment of Scotland: “Nemo Me Impune Lacessit.” We went to one of Kira’s favorite coffee shops, the Black Medicine Coffee Co., to warm up a little.

I’m figuring out that living frugally never has to mean living cheap.

One of the lessons I have really struggled to learn is knowing when to just spend money. When is it worth it? How do you know if you’re just indulging, or investing? Money well spent, I have found, enriches you. Regardless of whether you spend it specifically on yourself. Money I spent buying cups of coffee, in eclectic cubby-hole cafes or European Starbucks (Starbuckses? Starbucksi?) became an investment in a memory. Some of the best fun we’ve had involves no money at all (see Mustache Party, or Arthur’s Seat pictures, coming soon…).

Guys, there’s so much to tell. And I’m about to run off to Book Club and I’ve no time to tell it at the moment. But I’ll go on organizing pictures (in more order, next time) and there will be scads more stories told (in much greater detail!) when I have time to overheat my laptop with some serious blogging. Expect another post in the next day or two.

Cheers,
Kaci!

P.S. About Forsyth’s Tearoom: the lovely woman who runs the shop stopped and chatted with us for quite a bit, and in the course of the conversation informed us that there were even videos posted about the Tearoom on YouTube. Indeed there are! I picked the one I liked best to show you.

Appearing with Permission

March 12, 2011

See, in the beginning, there was the Game Night (actually the second one in so many days, but the other one was a fairly laid-back affair). Stephany organized it, put a lot of work into planning, and we all had an awesome time. Well, there was a near-fiasco involving a jar of Geisha that Jaime won, but then Jaime shared. Crisis averted.

There, isn’t that fun? But that’s not all, peoples!

Exploration Day in Tartu…

It’s a long (long, long…) story, but I needed to run away for a while and I wanted to see more of Tartu, so Jaime and Stephany obliged. I asked them to show me some of their favorite places in and around town (always a good way to have an adventure, and gain a little insight into people that you already think are interesting). Merlin had some rare free time, and decided to spend it with us. She rounded out our little party perfectly. πŸ™‚

Jaime was our tour guide, and the stories started as soon as we left the apartment. She told us about the city, and the history of things we didn’t even know had history. There were epic legends that I had never before encountered, like the moving tale of Kalev rescuing the beautiful Aztec princess LinDAH from being made into a human sacrifice. Serious stuff, guys. If you know your Estonian history and culture, you know how important this day was for me.

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About the Wilde Girls photo, here’s a little explanation: “The work depicts two men in polite conversation, Oscar Wilde the Irish poet and Eduard Vilde the 19th century Estonian writer and journalist. Both are seated on a slab of granite. The sculptor and artist Tiiu Kirsipuu depicted the two men in an imaginary conversation taking place in 1892. In fact, they never met. The work was completed in 1999 and the original stands outside the Cafe Wilde in the town of Tartu in south-eastern Estonia. A copy was presented to Galway in 2004 and stands in William Street.”

-from an article by Jan Toms

As a quick aside, you know when you do something that instantly reclaims your childhood? For me, that’s getting pick-up hugs, eating the cheap cherry multi-colored candy canes from Wal-Mart (my favorite!), and being unable to get all the snow off my backside.

In Russia, Mom would put warm snow-pants on us if we were going out to play, and other than not being able to walk without waddling, they were great. I’m realizing now that the cold booty is totally worth playing in the snow, and taking back playtime.

More to come… later. I just realized that I wore my turtleneck backwards the whole day, I’m that tired! Love to all, cheers.

Hoooo, boy….

March 3, 2011

The last week has been pictureful, and timeless. By which I mean I’ve been running around and haven’t MADE time to share my adventures. And sharing is good, my Mom taught me that.

(Note: If, in the future, I use a word that isn’t a word, like ‘pictureful,’ just go with it. I promise I know it’s not a word… but it works.)

So here’s the deal: the post I’m working on is the biggest post I’ve ever attempted. It doesn’t involve anything too extreme (like cliff-diving or cooking or snowboarding), it’s just a LOT of pictures, and videos. And I’m about to run out the door to travel for the next almost-a-week, to rack up even more adventures.

My head is spinning a little bit.

So I’m going to be really blog-silent for much longer than I feel good about, and then hopefully explode back onto the scene in a redemptive fashion when I have access to my computer again. Fair?

No, it’s NOT fair– unless I get ragged on for my absence and praised for my presence. I’m in this for the cookies, people. πŸ˜€

Cheers, Kaci

Now With Moving Pictures!

February 22, 2011

Man, writing this post was like pulling teeth. Except that I always really enjoyed the process of pulling teeth… wonder what that says about me.

I was THIS CLOSE to the stage for a gorgeous performance of “Giselle”! A big, big thanks to Stephany, whose connections made this possible. Obviously no pictures of the production were allowed, but as long as the curtain was closed…

For anyone unfamiliar with Giselle (I had never heard of it, but apparently it’s a well-established ballet and the title role is very coveted), it has a fair maiden, a smarmy player who is somehow the hero (and the villain, I think), a dashing woodsman (can you tell I liked this other guy better?), a slew of arrogant aristocracy and a troupe of undead brides. Must say, the visuals of this production were just stunning, a real pleasure to sit through. I can watch all kinds of tragedy if it’s presented in a ballet, because live or die or come-back-sort-of-alive… it’s beautiful.

We went with other ladies (some of whom Stephany reads with), and had interesting discussions about the ballet before, at intermission, and afterwards. It was just lovely, the whole experience.

Close enough to make awkward eye contact with the cellist!

Coldest picture ever! But we were determined to get a commemorative shot of us and the theater.

I love that when we did get a good angle, "Don Juan" happened to be on the screen behind us.

For SAD, Anna came down from Tallinn and celebrated with us. We traipsed merrily about town and had a photography hunt. I started losing feeling in my extremities after a while, so Anna shared her handwarmers (they’re like legwarmers… but… yeah). Once the game was over, and everybody was feeling Jack Frost nipping at anything that had only one or two layers over it, we headed to Cafe Werner (said with a V, German-style. Ja!). Werner has everything- the best kakao in town, the best chai lattes, the best cakes and pastries, the best-sized mugs, and the best friends! (If you bring them with you. Accessories sold separately.)

Just... yum!

And I think quessadillas are being established as the food of friendship. Take note, my dear friends! πŸ˜€

Brownish gold like Simba!

Aaaaaand a game of Nertz. I love Nertz- I remember when I was little was younger, and my family would have a dozen young people over and we would have tables of cards set up. I’ve had it confirmed recently that I’m pretty competitive (like most of the Bankses are), so Nertz just has this fast-paced, general appeal.

I got my butt kicked, actually. But I’m going to say that it’s because I was keeping score. Oh! And my cards had pretty pictures of Tartu on them. Decidedly distracting, that.

Ooh! Intense game! Gotta love the football/soccer/rugby field-esque afghan background. (Did that make sense?)

One of the biggest things we did this past week was have our first Book Club meeting, and it was fantastic! Mihkel came, too, but he had to leave before we took this picture. This is after leaving Armastus, on our way to the Center, to either catch buses or (in our case) head across the street to our apartment. I’m extremely grateful to have ended up living where I do in this lovely city.

Cool people! And shiny Merlin. πŸ˜€

Jaime is reading Kevin Hall’s Aspire to us, and it is one of the best books I’ve come across in a long time. For anyone interested in travel, orΒ  understanding words, or just fond of learning awesome concepts, I highly recommend. It’s fun, because once you’ve made it through a few chapters you start to feel like you’re viewing the world with just a few more pieces to the puzzle than you had before. Like a cheat code you can actually feel good about. πŸ™‚

We all settled into a corner of Armastus and Jaime ordered a couple pots of tea. Some of the best tea I’ve ever had, I think. Jaime read us the first chapter, and we learned about genshai (some of the words in Aspire are English, some are from other languages. The concepts are universal). We had a lot of discussion afterwards, and it was a very fun learning experience. I’m really looking forward to doing it again.

For the record, now that I think about it, Mom never had to tell me to use my words. If I’m not writing, I’m talking. Communication is ze baest. πŸ˜€ Cheers, everybody!

Mostly Pictures II

February 14, 2011

This will be the third time I have tried to post this, so my inclination to write has gone the way of my patience. This will be a quick post, then.

I’d be very curious to know what certain people’s baseline is for an ‘outing’ to qualify as an ‘adventure.’ Do there have to be monkeys? Terrifying space monkeys? Or does the temperature have to be doing weird things? If you lose feeling in your extremities, does that turn a walk into an experience? (Kind of a lack-thereof, actually… heh.)

Some of my Tartu adventures this last week:

There’s a lovely section of literature in English in the Tasku bookstore, so I paired M is for Magic with a new kind of Geisha and camped out for a couple hours.

My second choice was War & Peace

Anyone care to sit?

These are so cool! There’s a ring of wooden walls placed at angles that create human outlines when viewed the right way. Check it out:

There were kids playing in this. Little kids, so the snow was about hip-high! They aren’t in this picture because I, frankly,Β  didn’t want to look like a creeper.

Anyone seen Bobby?

ο»Ώο»Ώ

Found a cleared path and headed for the Square

So, Tartu has these swing-benches… they are scattered through the parks, by the river, and apparently in other places throughout the city. I think they’re super cool. They take the front-porch feeling and go traveling with it.

Cold seat, warm heart!

I love the lamps here! They're cheery, like the red roofs.

I’ve been to at least three different Kalev stores since coming to Estonia. Definitely some of the best places in the world. πŸ˜€ Here’s the one near the Square in Tartu:

They're having a sale right now. Just fyi.

In the Square is a big ice sculpture of a rabbit with a Euro engraved on it, and liberally besprinkled with coins. It kind of freaks me out, to be honest. I just stare at the teeth. Jaime calls it…

The Money Bunny!

Stephany recommended the Armastus cafe, and I found it without any trouble one day when I started losing the feeling in my fingers and face. “Armastus” means “love.”

Cameo Appearance: Hat

Talking with frozen lips is very, very hard, but I managed to order a cup of their hot kakao (don’t order hot chocolate or cocoa. Cut straight to the chase and say ‘kakao’).

Love kakao!

The cafe proved a good place to write and plan and warm up…

Back out in the streets of Tartu…

Old and New

Oh! One of the things about using Euros is that you end up with a lot of coins. I’m in the process of designing a coin purse that is functional and artistically satisfying (which, for me, means ‘involves a technique or style I’ve never tried before’…). So I went in search of ribbons to add a touch of contrast to whatever I crocheted. Here’s the Abakhan Fabrics by Gildi street:

Abakhan Fabrics by Gildi Street

Mecca!

Yeah. Found my ribbons. And if anybody wants to know what to do when you’ve been walking around in the cold and it’s late and you’re hungry… go to the Kaubamaja deli! They had hot cheesebread coming out of the ovens and the chicken pizza was going cheap.

Juustusai and kanapitsa!

The only thing I don’t like about exploring is going by myself. It’s fun, I’m not going to lie. And I doubt anybody would sit in the bookstore with me for an hour and a half while I blitz through a book. But as much fun as I’ve had, there tends to be a little nagging thought in the background that says, “My friends need to come exploring with me.” And it’s true.

Spoiler: Lots of Snow

February 7, 2011

Jaime and I made it to Tartu late. We each had a bag of some kind, and carried an actionpacker between us. No picture here, but you can just imagine… We left fairly deep boot prints in the snow. I am always grateful that buses exist, and that Estonia is nowhere near as cold as Siberia, but by the time we made it up the stairs, the world seemed a very cold, tiring (…and heavy…) place. Jaime opened the outer door of the apartment, and then the inner door… and there was warmth and light and Stephany waiting for us! She had rushed home to make sure we didn’t arrive at a dark and empty apartment.

That was when I felt like I had really arrived, and done it right.

Anyway, it’s cold in Tartu! Not unbearably so, but enough to make you really appreciate the fuzzy things in life.

Like sugar frosting... but a lot colder.

My natural instinct, on exposure to elements like this, is to find a corner and a blanket and enter a somnolent state. Basically, human hibernation. Jaime isn’t the hibernating type, though, which is probably a really good thing for me.

Plaid scarves are ze BAEST

Plaid scarves are ze BAEST

I’ve had some interesting pedestrian adventures with her and Stephany. Tartu Square has one of my favorite sculpture-fountains, called the Kissing Students, and it’s covered in snow behind us.

Snowbombs!

Snowbombs!

Because of how entwined this sculpture naturally is, it’s difficult to find a perfect shot of it– you really do have to walk around it several times. But here’s a summer shot that I, yes, borrowed from somebody else. πŸ™‚

...ella, ella, eh! eh! eh!

Tartu is arguably the cultural and intellectual center of Estonia, so there’s a lot of great architecture (old and new). The most impressive thing about the next picture, though, is the shadows. Because shadows mean…

Sun!

If you want to take the long way around, you can cross this bridge to get to the Tasku center, and Rimi, where we do most of our grocery shopping. I am no longer keeping track of how many kohuke I’ve bought.

Yay bridges and Stephany! About a hundred ducks are camped out on the ice right now, too.

I got to share a meal and a run-about-town with Mare, Margit & Mai Soonik, and Ave Sepp and Iiris. Iiris is as Kohv-y as ever… she teased me almost as badly as Siim did, and it made me pretty happy. We wound up at the Kaubamaja, which is one of my favorite places in Tartu now. (3rd floor- they have a thread/yarn/awesomeness store.)

From the left: Mare, Steph, Iiris, me, Mai, Ave, and Margit!

Another evening, one of Stephany’s readers came. Her name is Mariliis, and she is awesome! We talked for a long time about career choices and changing locations (she moved from a smaller town of about 10,000 to Tartu, which has a population of ten times that), and how much we both love history. Art history, too, even! She is currently an accountant, but not planning to be one forever. While we were chatting up a storm in the livingroom (uncharacteristic for both of us, apparently!), Jaime and Steph were making masterpiece quesadillas. I had never tried baked quesadillas, and Mariliis had never heard of quesadillas to begin with…

Voila!

Mexican-Estonian Art

We topped off the evening with Maya chocolate (dark with chilis), and the ’93 classic Groundhog Day. Oh yeah.

Cameo appearance by my Kinder egg flying contraption: wedged artistically below the lampshade.

These are, of course, just the adventures that I have pictures of. I will add that I finally have usable Euros, that I have yet to face-plant on the ice, and I open the blinds every night before I go to sleep so I can see the lights of the Tasku center. And that Jaime has had to remind me of some of my old snow-safety lessons.

Join me!

January 28, 2011

With our powers COMBINED… I finished packing the morning of and went to the airport! We all kind of smile alike… and a lot. I think I actually hit a zen state of stress where I knew that we’d manage everything, and anything we forgot we’d just do without or replace. Well, anything I forgot. While it’s not exactly my first rodeo, Jaime… Jaime is a matador.

Who doesn't love airports?

Who doesn't love airports?

Mom went with us all the way up to the security entrance, as is her wont, and waved goodbye. We were headed to Chicago!

Little planes are just so cute. I dubbed ours the Chibiplane, and looked out the window at Arkansas getting smaller and smaller. We flew up into sunlight, the first sun I’d seen a few days.

Jaime and I had a 6-hour layover in Chicago, so we played cards (that didn’t last long- Old Maid doesn’t work with two people. It just doesn’t.) and chilled.

Cards!! I like this because you can see my cool camo band-aid... it makes injuries disappear!

I asked for this particular picture to be taken, and Jaime obliged:

40-League Socks

40-League Socks

Heh, I matched my fuzzy warm socks to my fuzzy warm boots! I also ran off and walked the wrong way on a moving sidewalk (several times), but Jaime doesn’t know that. She says I’m old enough to handle myself. πŸ˜€

I made my last phone calls on my little red phone before boarding this plane for Copenhagen:

Classy Outside, Cushy Inside

Scandanavian Air. It’s extra Avian. We got bottles of water and personal TVs- who could ask for more? The guy I was initially sitting next to smiled and told me that being easily delighted is a good thing. He probably thought I had never flown before, but I didn’t mind. The seat next to Jaime remained empty, so I moved up next to her.

I love takeoffs. I think they may be the best part of the air travel process, because you’re going somewhere. And they really know how to lead up to it, with the engines revving and the slow, subtle shift of the taxiing airplane. It’s like the warm-up in a techno song. And then you go faster and faster until you accomplish the impossible- man, flying. Or 22-year-old girl. I like see the world from a few thousand feet up, just to get a new perspective (or review an old one). For me, it doesn’t make the world seem less important- it’s a reminder of how big it really is.

From Chicago to Copenhagen, Copenhagen to Tallinn. Since we were arriving, not welcoming, I don’t have any pictures of that, but we walked out into a flurry of snow. Nikolai and Anna met us and took us back to their home. I was much more excited about the snow than they were, and understandably so… about the time I stared up at 6-foot snowpiles alongside the road, even I thought this is a bit much.

Jaime and I had one day in Tallinn, so she asked what I wanted to do. Here’s my list:

have kakao at the Bestseller cafΓ© in the Viru Keskus

walk through a wintry Old Town Square again

say hello to Kehrwieder!

Anything else was gravy. As is obvious from the picture in the Square, a now quite-tall Siim Kohv came to spend the day with me and Jaime, and that was definitely cool! He was even gracious enough to be shorter than me for a moment. Ah, memories.

He and Jaime showed me a few places in town that were new (ish. I’ve been gone too, too long!), like the Solaris center. It contains many awesome shops (and the wonderful Lido restaurant!), and a movie theater as well.

The shop where you can use your imagination!

Jaime, channeling her inner... wanted poster?

I also got to see the Rottermanni Keskus. I asked Siim if these were done in oil pastels… he gave me a very Kohv look and said, “Sure.”

Manni Much Fruit!

The Viru Gate McDonald’s was our next stop, and somewhere between discussing reggae/rap music videos, watching the Tujurikkuja Sniper video, and Siim translating the tray paper advertisement for me, Jaime snapped this shot:

Siim came back to Anna’s for some pizza and a game of Imagine If… (in Russian. Anna translated for us, and Jaime translated for herself, which I thought was pretty cool), which Jaime thoroughly won.

I’m not sure my Tallinn day could have been better.