Published February 23, 2022
The plane dropped below the clouds and into a new world. This world was one beyond the wardrobe, the other side of some wormhole somewhere, a sealed off enchantment of those in the know. Basically, it had a FUCK load of snow.
It had been a long time since I had seen this
On the ground all the arrivals seemed exhalted by the wonderland outside.
Several english speakers testified to the airport terminal that they had, "Never seen this much snow before in Estonia."
I jumped on the tram and made it to downtown. I kind of wanted to get lost in the snow on the way to my hotel, but once I stepped off the tram the hotel was a very easy find. So I checked in instead, all the while thinking of the snow fun I would be having that night and the next day and the day after that.
I went up to my room and headed straight for the wall of windows at the end of it. I tore the curtains open to a perfect view of Tallinn, snow-consumed Tallinn. I already loved it. I loved Tallinn, I loved Estonia.
By the time I went back outside the sky had blackened and the aesthetic floor of snow had been added to by the lights of buildings and street lights.
I realised that snow actually made me happy. Thinking about it now, certain weather does have that ability. All kinds of extreme weather brings out the child inside. When I'm in the tropics I always have another element of me there, when I'm in the real cold, same thing. Perhaps I just don't like boring weather; in fewer words - I can't wait for some real climate change.
I was hungry, I walked to Hesburger, I was glad to see the tablet order machine when I opened the door from the snow, I'm always happier to deal with machines than the annoyance of humans. I swiped around a bit and then decided I'd go for the classic with a hot chocolate.
The burger was a delicacy, it didn't taste like the cheap meat of McDonald's or the even cheaper meat I had experienced at the ripoff McDonald's - Supermac's in Ireland a month earlier. This meat was delicious, the bun, the sauce, the vegetables, it was a winner, a winner tucked away in Northern Europe. As I sat and drank my hot chocolate and stared across the restuarant through the windows at the snow coming down outside, I was excited, I was happy.
I had one full day in Estonia and was determined to use all of it. I woke up early and planned the day, the morning would be spent hitting everything I wanted to see with a strong focus on the old town, lunch/dinner would be a food truck burger behind a petrol station that had great hype and looked delicious and the rest of the day would be spent wandering the frozen cityscape until I was satisfied and finishing up with some hotel room snacking on Estonian supermarket food.
The capital was the perfect balance of people around, but distance between everyone. It didn't feel like a capital city, no rush, no clamoring street folk. Peace in snow.
The old town was beautiful, I spent longer than I usual admiring the architecture.
Alll the while a steady sifting of powder snow fell across the cityscape.
'Back to the hotel for a piss or to the food truck.' I contemplated the decison. My need for a piss won out.
Back in the room I took a long piss and then laid down on the bed. Something didn't feel right. My skin hurt. It wasn't cold, it hurt. I removed my clothes and rubbed my sore, red skin. I jumped up and straight into the shower.
I stood there as the hot water hit me for thirty minutes, turning my body and reversing the pain of the ice water that been soaking into me for several hours.
I left the shower feeling better. No more pain, no more worry. Time for burger.
I marched through the snow towards the truck.
Petrol station, red truck, wheels buried into mounds of snow, not going anytime soon. Snowpiercer weather. I was in the right place.
I ordered the 'grill burger' and fries from a Blonde Baltic Angel beyond the truck's little window, and kicked the powdery snow beneath my feet for the ten minutes it took the two figures behind the darkened glass to cook my meal.
"Grill burger and fries." came a voice.
As I took the brown paper bag from BBA's hands, our eyes locked together in some kind of weird frozen romantic Baltic moment. She was beautiful, a 9.9/10. Depite the moment and the beauty, 79% of my entire being was still focused on the hot fucking meat now in my hand. BURGER. BIG BIG BIG BURGER.
I took the brown paper bag back to my warm hotel room and admired the food before me for a moment, taking a video before committing burger to mouth, "Estonia is now a top ten country." I said before taking a giant bite of the beastly burg, "TOP TEN!" I said, mouthful of meat.
In the morning as my ears froze I did an extremely rare thing for me, I ran for a form of transportation.
This tram stop for some reason had two seperate stops spread out about 20 meters apart. As the tram screamed on to the stop further down, I decided 'FUCK IT!' my ears were frozen and I was hungry, so I ran for the tram. I got aboard, rubbed my ears and off we went to the airport.
This was country thirty, THIRTY. 30/195 of my SPECIAL MISSION of visiting EVERY country in the world.
And definitely a top ten.
Estonia, well done. Great country. I'll be back.