Sunday, August 21, 2011

Carmen and My Hood

Saturday was the 20th anniversary of Estonia's regaining its independence.

Happy re-independence day Estonia!

I wandered around the neighborhood a bit more Saturday. I took Noostie to the dog park, this time with ipad in tow in the hopes that there would be wifi. No luck, though the cafe across from it did. But since I had Noostie with me, I opted to go home.

At lunchtime, I decided to try out the sushi place across from the apartment. The sushi wasn't bad, and as a bonus, they had wifi. So I ate lunch and checked my mail. From there I headed to Stockmann's with the intent of buying an alarm clock and a trash can for the bathroom. I failed on both accounts, the alarm clock because there were none and the trash can because I am not paying 175 euros for one...must have been gold lined.

I did succeed in getting a Stockmann's card so I can save on my groceries. Like in the U.S., customer cards are ubiquitous. I was pleased with myself because the folks I asked where to go for the card spoke no English. My Estonian feels rusty after a month and a half off, but I am making due. And people aren't switching to English for me...some of that may have to do with my neighborhood. While there are some major hotels here, it isn't really a tourist area like the Old City.

I came home and napped so I could stay awake for the opera. Then I got up to take a shower....the space tube is growing one me. I kind of like having a radio in there to jam to while I shower!

For dinner, I hit the Italian place across the street. Excellent pizza! And wifi too! The pizza was pretty cheap for a ginourmous one, so I have lunch and dinner for a couple days!

The opera was held in the (14 century?) ruins of St. Bridget's convent and was an interesting take on Carmen...they were kind of punk or something. The opera was in French, with Estonian and English subtitles (that didn't match each other all that idea which was more accurate since my high school French is definitely the worst of my languages. It happened to me again there that people spoke to me in Estonian. Some colleagues were nice enough to give me a ride out there and we were in line behind some Russian speakers. The attendant giving directions spoke to them in English (I guess she didn't speak Russian) and then spoke to me in Estonian.

I used the subtitles as an opportunity to read Estonian and then check my understanding. I felt pretty good about it...I feel more confident now that the rust will come off.

By going to the opera, I missed the festival at the singing much for seeing Sinead O'Connor! She was supposed to go onstage at 11:30, but it was nearly midnight by the time we got home. I was able to watch the fireworks from my window though.

No comments: