Of being comfortable at home.
Happy Easter, everybody!
May you keep young and curious at all times 🙂
I guess Tallinn was really determined not to let me go as he really tried hard to keep me close.
On the day of departure from this beautiful city, it started to snow really heavily. I thought it was just another normal day in the North, but it seems that Tallinn brought the big guns to the game as he kept my plane to Frankfurt grounded for one hour and a half. The result? I missed my connection in Germany so I had to sleep at a hotel and continue my journey the next morning.
The new friends I made on board of the aircraft as we were waiting to take off were the only good thing about this tiring experience. Two little kids, Estonians aged 4 and 2 as I can guess, were in the seats in front of me. Obviously bored of waiting, they wanted very much to, well, play :). I got into the childish mood as my teddy was the attraction of the little ones. With the help of the fluffy bear and the few sentences of Estonian I knew, the kids adored me pretty soon.
When their mother decided they have bothered me enough, she gave them colored pencils and tried to keep them busy and still for a few moments. I thought they would want to sleep after. My surprise was that the elder of the kids, Uku, as he presented himself, tossed a drawing in my face when his mother was not looking. He drew a plane, a nice one even, so I had to say: Tubli!*
His mother explained he had done it as a gift for me.
Sweetest gesture ever. Aren’t kids simply adorable once you decide to go into their world? ♥
*Estonian for Well done, Bravo = Tubli!
I’m leaving Tallinn today. Who knows for how long.
Many good-byes and see yous were said between the people I have come to meet here in Erasmus time. Emotional. Touchy. However, it seems that the hardest one is yet to come. How can I part with this city I knew nothing about, had no expectations about, but which grew on me so dearly during the last 6 months?
Took some lonely walks. I was uselessly trying to keep a mental image of everything. It won’t work. Pictures? They’re good. They might help but if you don’t have a special bond with the sights, you might not feel with the same intensity the connection of warm nestling in one dear, dear place, no matter how icy and cold it might be.
Said good bye to the swans by the frozen sea shore the other day, such sweet creatures. Still friendly despite the cold. Oh, Tallinn, how i will miss you! The butterflies in my stomach are beginning to sing a chaotically broken song. How I hate this almost bitter-salty taste of growing sadness that petrifies your speech and thoughts. I must go, now.
Stay impressive, lovable and joyful, wild but dignifying as I know you. Keep on growing on other people coming into your life. After all, this is your job. Ah, it hurts to know I was only one of your many and that you will go on. But that is life.
Well, I should be going home now, dear. Whatever that might still mean.
See you! See you soon!
Gifts were opened this morning and joyful smiles were put on by everyone.
I’m very grateful to be home, close to my family and happily celebrating Christmas in the traditional Romanian way: sharing memories, presents and a comfortably peaceful diner.
Oh, the joy of sisterly embrace! Such a magical moment. 🙂
Alexe sisters are reunited again!
Also, I am very happy to have met some of my friends from home. Although distance kept us apart, thank you for keeping me close to your heart. Updating now begins. Let the funny stories flow.
I just got back to the Academic Hostel in Tallinn from an exciting 3 day trip to the islands of Saaremaa, Muhu and the north coast of Estonia and realised that although it hasn’t even been a week since I first got here, I feel that I belong to this place. The Erasmus students that I am traveling and bonding with are certainly an important part of the deal. Thank you, guys!
Saarema is the largest island of Estonia where we were glad to experience wild nature and the warm reddish sanded sea of north. Besides all of Mother Nature’s beauty we went to visit a medieval castle, Kuressaare Castle, that has survived many battles. The people of Saaremaa have been ruled over by Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Russia.
The Kogu village was the place we spent the night at. The owner greeted us with the Estonian: Tervist! and then welcomed us to his wonderful place. I enjoyed the sun while the boys found a ball to play football with.
Swimming time was next. We quickly changed and went for a dive in the sea. Majestically peaceful I would say. Very calm waves, clear water, lovely soft sand and a perfect sunset. I took as many pictures as I could in the short time we visited the sea.
Finnish sauna was awaiting back at the traditional house of Mr. Zen, our host. After that cold dive, all we needed was to eat a little and go to the hot sauna. Lovely chat and recap of Estonian language learning at the dinner. Our tutors are very happy whenever we start singing a kids’ song we learned during the Language and Culture classes.
“üks kaks kolm neli viis kuus seitse…“.
Another interesting thing Estonians have is the smoke sauna. It can only be found in a few places and it is kept just the way the ancestors had it: dark and smoky. Only little candles light the room and the smell is rather woody. To the showers, yey!
Ema Yug or Mother River was a hit among us on the dancing floor. Mari and Maal, our coordinator and our Estonian teacher were joining us “super students” (valis üliõpilane) in the dance as well. As the host was playing the violin, we found out that Saaremaa was known in the old days for its vikings that were feared in the Baltic Sea area. Some of the songs played were very piratish and entertaining 🙂
Coming back from this long journey, i realised that this is the first time I’ve called Tallinn HOME.