Tag Archives: Eesti

Maraton on Punkus!

An advertisement I saw while wandering the streets of Tartu, Estonia.


After using the visual cues in lieu of translation, I am pretty sure it is not necessary to be a flight attendant or pilot to participate. I do think rollerblades are required. Also, duly noted that gender stereotypes are consistent between Estonia and the rest of the EU and the US. I really hate that.

Tartu, Estonia
August 2012


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Kissing in Estonia

Ciao bella!

How are you this fine Thursday? What’s that? You’re full of energy and love your job? Ha ha, yea, right, then what, oh what, are you doing on this blog?

If you answered that you are on this blog to scratch the Estonia itch that I started in your mind, well, you have definitely tuned in at the right time. If you answered that you are here for the lovely, though technically oblivious photos, you are in the right place. If you just like to be in touch with me from afar, well then Congratulations! – you’re a winner. So many reasons exist for this to be the right blogpost at the right time for you. Enjoy.

Kissing Students statue and fountain, located in front of Tartu Town Hall
Tartu, Estonia
August 2012

Estonia’s language persevered over the years largely through oral tradition, and is still being preserved and promoted through song, prose and poetry. The romantic inspiration for students to rebel with kisses instead of violence goes hand in hand with such a creative emphasis in the culture. The statue was erected to honor the kissing student legend.

We’re letting the effervescent bubbles kiss our faces at this outdoor patio. I’m surrounded by Daves, my husband on my right and our PhD friend on my left. Uncharacteristically, I drank cider while in Estonia. It was quite popular there, so I dipped my toe in the cider pool…and quickly jumped in fully clothed. The cider was refreshing without being overly sweet. Teresexim! (my butchered version of the Estonia equivalent of “cheers!”)

The Estonia word for Thursday translates pretty much to “fourth day” – so I’m including a fourth picture for your enjoyment. This is me waiting for Estonian ice cream. Mmmmmmm. Yes, you want to have some, I recommend the plum variety! This establishment offered homemade waffle cones; to one side, the clerk had a waffle iron going. Hint, hint, ice-cream makers out there!

That’s all for this edition of living large in Estonia. I hope you had a good time and look forward to the next adventure recall. Paper and Printing museums yet to come, along with remembering a Georgian restaurant (no, not that Georgia; this Georgia).

Ciao ciao,

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Tartu Town Hall Window Box


Tartu Town Hall, Tartu, Estonia
August 2012

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This Guy – Estonia Edition

This guy:


Lives above this cafe:


Where this mural is on the wall:


In Tartu, Estonia.

That’s our friend Dave, the impetus for our trip to Estonia (Eesti). He is studying the Estonian language at the University of Tartu, an institution that has weathered several rulers, occupations, and semesters of rowdy students. Founded in 1632, University of Tartu is one of Estonia’s great prides.

Dave is studying Estonian as a piece of his dissertation toward his PhD. He is already studying Russian. His dissertation focuses on citizenship issues emerging from borders between nations and cultures. (my synopsis, not sure I got it right). Estonia borders Russia and still sports about a 13% Russian population.

In order for those folks to become Estonian, and be full citizens of the country where they reside, they must first give up their Russian citizenship. The rule applies to any person wanting citizenship; I would have to give up my US citizenship to become Estonian. There is no dual citizenship for Estonians.

If a Russian gives up her Russian citizenship, she gives up any current benefits she receives (perhaps pension or unemployment), and she gives up the ability to easily cross the border into Russia, where many of her relatives still live. And, more practically, where she may be able to make a little extra cash by smuggling goods or legitimately assisting Russian businesspeople to make commercial connections in Estonia. Estonia is a European Union (EU) member, thus a desirable place to make business connections and inroads.

Thus, many Russians on the border and in the capital city, Tallinn, maintain Russian citizenship and embrace Russian culture. Just a snippet of the interesting work Dave is exploring.

He was a wonderful host who showed us much of what Tartu has to offer, while making some new discoveries along the way. Oh yea, I really dig the mural, too.


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