Monday, June 05, 2006

Wrapping up Estonia

Ok i've landed in Latvia, but before I do let me finish up on Estonia before I get on to the next country. Overall I enjoyed Estonia, and got the only decent weather day, a beatiful sunny 20-22 degree day(Celsius peeps). While Tallinn, is not the party captial that either I had read about, or even FHM/Maxim magazine rave about, it is still a nice place. Already in Latvia I have seen 2 crazy british stag parties, and everyone I meet thinks i'm British, which is not viewed as a good thing here, I guess I wont have to lie about being Canadian just yet.

Some of the funnier moments in Estonia, while walking around I met a group of Estonia men on their stag party outing, when I asked him "Is Divorce common in Estonia, his respons was No, cause nobody gets married, i'm a fool" Also they were drinking outside enjoying the view from the top of a hill so I thought it was like Key West where drinking in the street is ok, he said No its illegal, but as long as you dont get caught it ok..

The cigarette boxes have some serious warning labels, no kidding. One of them says in good ole english "Smoking can Kill You", others that I saw that I had translated included Smoking Shortens your Life, Smoking Damanges People around You. Yet despite this all the bars allow smoking, so unlike NYC where the same shirt can last more than once before having to be washed, here its wear once, wash once. Have yet to do laundry, but I'll probably have to before I get to Germany.

Estonia is more of a Finnish influnce in language, so despite being occupied by Russia for so many years, they have kept a Finnish influence. In fact Russians are not viewed highly here. The main independance day they celebrate is not from the 1991 freedom, but from back in 1918 with Tzar Nicholas and his family getting overtaken.

For a country so small of only 1.3million people, I must say in the future I think they are on a path to good things. The internet/computer stuff is full force, pretty much the whole town in a WiFi hot spot. All the young people speak at least 3-4 languages, with Estonia, English and Finnish taught in school, and most people speak some Russian. Education is not free like socalist countries, but heavily reduced and vastly encourgaed for the young people. As long as they can stay educated, and with the Internet doing its thing, I can see Estonia being one of the wealthier countries in the E.U in a few years. In fact everyone you looked in the new town there was construction, cranes, roads being torn up.

Had an interesting conversation with a guy who is living in Kuwait doing construction work and he told me all about living overseas, taxes, and the such. So next post will be about how to be an ex-pat..

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