All right, it’s almost time to go. I am leaving Estonia on Friday, so it’s still three days, but that is nothing comparing to 7 months I stayed here. These were both hard and satisfying 7 months, the longest I stayed abroad in my life. There are things I would surely miss about Estonia, but there are things I am leaving without any sadness. Here they are!
I will start with some positives. I am particularly impressed how much you can do via email! Yes, you can contact almost everyone by email and in almost every case you will get a proper answer. No calling, no personal visits, nothing! This way I arranged a meeting with my TV and internet provider, I turned on roaming when I forgot to switch it on before leaving to Poland for Christmas, I sent my registration documents to tax office, I contacted my bank several times etc. Why would I miss it? Well… recently I tried to get some information about my Polish account by sending a question from the contact form that is available after logging in to my bank account. I obviously had to give my username and password for that. I was refused the information. When I called a bank I was questioned like on the police department for like 5 minutes. They asked about everything in regards to my person, sadly they did not ask for a shoe size (I wear 45-46 ;) ).
I am also impressed about the level of English amongst people of all ages. I know this would be a bit exaggerated, but I have a feeling that most of the people in Tallinn speak 2 languages. Those who speak Estonian seem to speak English as well. Those who speak Russian, also speak some Estonian. And there are some who speak 3 languages fluently. Fluent English and basic Russian saves life here ;)
Another thing – of course you know I am a bit crazy about trams and I love going with them to work. But I really love how green and great are tram routes in summer and how “winter-wonderlandish” they are in winter. I took a picture today, judge yourself :))
Trams in Poland rarely go through such picturesque routes, but of course sometimes they do :)
I will absolutely miss any of the things produces by the company called Kalev. I love Kalev sweets, candy bars and chocolates. Surprisingly I will also miss the Lithuanian mineral water which is very cheap in Estonia and horribly expensive in Poland. From the grocery stores – I will miss Prisma (yes, it’s Finnish, but it was my top favourite supermarket).
One more? Ok. I loved that people seem to respect your privacy. I have not seen the owner of my flat at all, he did not visit, did not call, did not ask. I wish it was like that in Poland!
So what are the negative things? First thing first – weather! Estonia is an amazing country when it comes to many things, but it is not when it comes to the weather. Sometimes the weather is nice for a few days, but there are moments when it changes rapidly. So rapidly that if your general feeling depends on the weather changes, you will not enjoy it. Unfortunately I am such person so I suffer a lot, and in such case I am very happy that I am leaving the country. Below you can find a typical, Tallinn’s weather change ;) It was sunny 10 minutes before and the cloud was not there.
PS. I am kind of aware now that living by the sea (unless it’s a southern part of Europe) is not for me ;)
When it comes to the weather, it is also quite important that winter is super depressive. The days are short, but there is something that is different comparing to Poland. In Poland the sky in winter is dark, but more dark-gray. In Tallinn the sky is extremely dark. If you are in Estonia during winter – take Vitamin D, fortunately you can buy it everywhere ;)
I can also say that coming to Estonia might be a big cultural shock for most of the Europeans. If you are from the country where people are talkative or social or at least show quite a lot of emotions – this might not be an ideal country for you. I can clearly say that 7 months of being here was not enough for getting used to that. I am very happy I am coming back to Poland in this case!
Are there any more bad things? Well… not for me. I won’t be searching for them just to search for something :)
In general, I like Estonia, I won’t cry when leaving, but I would also come back once in a while with a great pleasure!
So now I am back to packing and you – enjoy the rest of the week. And next week I should post something – already from Warsaw.