I don’t like Estonia – My review of our trip to Saaremaa
Last week the company went out for a small kickback session to Saaremaa, which is an island north of the Estonian coast. “Small” is a bit of a misnomer, because we were away for three days. As with any trip with Finns, the trip involved copious amounts of alcohol and shenanigans.
So a short background blurb here: The last time i was in Estonia was .. 10 or more years ago. And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
The trip started on Wednesday morning with me waking up at seven, returning the keys to the old apartment, then rushing back home to leave the car at the parking lot, then taking the train downtown, then the bus to the terminal. Luckily i made it with time to spare. Board the ship, which left at.. 10? Anyway. The trip’s to Tallinn have been getting shorter and shorter, but none the less, the ride felt agonizingly extended. We were seated in the Business Lounge, which is *barely* ..bearable. With bears. The ship was a Superstar by Tallink. A fairly decent sized boat for such a short trip. The Business Lounge consisted of rather comfortable booths, Satellite Internet-access (which resulted in a funny message that was like from a movie. get to that later), and an open bar + buffet (with a decent selection of spirits, i might add!). So if you do find yourself traveling to Tallinn (too bad for you), at least book in the Business Lounge. It’s not that much more expensive and worth the money.
The shitty part about traveling by ship to Tallinn, is that you have to sit in line and deal with the drunk schmucks that make up most of the traveling populace. See, in Finland, alcohol is by alcoholic-standards rather expensive. If you were to work a regular job, and not spend all your money on drugs, alcohol and tobacco, you could maybe afford to buy your drinks here. “Booze-tourism” is what drives the Helsinki-Estonia “tourism”, for the most part. The other part is, i guess, business men of all sorts and your occasional recreational (*cough* whores *cough* ) traveler. These people are in addition to drunk, rude, inconsiderate and in my fucking way. They act like traditional Finnish travelers in that they block all corridors, talk loudly and act like a general nuisance to the rest of us. And if you have the audacity to question or oppose them, you will get your head smashed in or a knife in your neck.
Once in Tallinn, we had a chartered bus take us to Saaremaa; a four hour drive. We arrived at a very nice looking manor in a rural area. Cows and sheep in the backyard, all very nice and calming. The following days included lots of drinking, some recreational games, lots of drinking and a 8 km walk to the coast where we had some salmon soup on the beach.
The way back felt even longer. I slept part of it on the bus floor. We got back and hit a spa to chill until the ship leaved. This was probably the best part of the trip. There was a bar that served drinks straight to the jacuzzi. This was pure win, and it cost next to nothing. The best part of Tallinn seems to be that the prices are consistently cheap (although rising all the time, since Estonia joined the EU).
Back at the terminal i am once again confronted with typical Finnish stupidity. The boat leaves in over an hour, and there are 200 idiots standing in line. THE BOAT IS NOT LEAVING WITHOUT YOU UNLESS YOU ARE CONSIDERABLY LATE!
This same fucking phenomena repeats at airports as well. As soon as there is even a whiff of a plane closing in on the terminal (even if it’s still two hours away), these stupid fucks will line up even when they have a numbered seat and a guarantee that the plane is not leaving without them.
While this kind of behavior is nothing unexpected from this idiot population who votes for a populist right-wing POS party, i’m still annoyed. I mean.. i can understand if you have a train or something to catch. But half the boat can’t be late for public transport. And on top of that, who among these has anywhere important to be anyway. Oh yeah, i guess they have to sample the forty gallons of booze they are carting home. Time is of the essence!
I bloody overheard conversations of how to get the maximum amount to fit in a certain model of car, or how many cents they could save by getting this brand as opposed to that brand of some liquor. Two hints: Cut your hair, and get a god damn job.
Ok so rant mode is almost over. There are a few essential details which annoy me (tongue-in-cheek):
1) The country is still a disorganized mess, trying to find some direction to go to. They now have the Euro, which is nice and all, but it is not a saving argument. The general attitude is “eh, let things roll and don’t bother with details”. While this may suit some people, it doesn’t suit me.
2) The language is an incomprehensible mess (like Finnish), and i’m not sure who copies who, since the two languages are very close
3) They have the same national anthem as we do (why?)
4) Finnish people go there en massé to get booze, which annoys me to no end, and makes me not want to go there
So in conclusion, i don’t like Estonia, and i won’t be going there any time soon again.