There are many ways in which I am a typical American, but one is certainly how much I love my car.
(Yeah, yeah M, YOUR car. Possession is 9/10th...come to Estonia if you want it back! :) )
So I jumped at the chance to speak at the European Youth Parliament Sunday. The topic was one near and dear to my heart (LGBT issues), and it meant a chance to get outside of Tallinn on my own.
Several folks were surprised that I was willing to drive 2.5 hours each way to speak at this event, but given how little I have gotten to drive lately and that M is not here to spend my spare time with, I figured it was a great chance to really test out the European maps on the GPS my dad got me (verdict: Not bad...though it was convinced on a new portion of the road that I was driving in the fields NEXT TO the road). And I just love getting out driving alone. For someone who is pretty extroverted, I really value a chance to be alone on the road, just me, my thoughts, and a blasting ipod.
An added bonus was that I enjoyed speaking at the Parliament. If these are the future leaders of the EU, Europe is in good shape. They were smart, asked thoughtful questions, and were thoroughly prepared. I was impressed.
And on the way to the Parliament, I spotted some local farmers selling their goods on the side of the road. I managed to procure myself a pumpkin despite not having the amount it costed in small change (it was 2 euros and something, I had one euro and something and a 20 euro bill). He decided to let me have it for the change I had, and I promised to come back and give him the other euro later.
And I did...I got back before all the other vendors had left, and one older lady said she would give him the euro. So I bought a kilo of apples from her.
All of this was in Estonian...the folks in the country clearly do not speak English...I felt pretty good about my skillz...
(until I got home and could not understand the metro cop who was trying to be friendly and I gather was telling me I should take my dog out to the woods to potty instead of on the rocks. I got the words dog, forest and stones out of it, and asked him what he said. He repeated it, I still didn't understand (men are hard to understand anyway, plus I understood the words but not the meaning at first), and he asked if I spoke Russian. I said no. He said, oh, you don't speak Estonian or Russian. I said no, I speak Estonian a little. So he repeated to me what he had said and I finally understood that he was suggesting I take Noostie to the woods rather than let her potty on the rocks.
Which she was doing at that moment.
BECAUSE he had stopped me...I normally take her to a grassy area.
Language skillz fail.
And finally, I snapped a shot of this, that I hope you find as funny as I did...driving along and I look up and WTH? It is the Hollywood sign! In Estonia. I pulled in to take this picture and spotted the little restaurant that I'd have otherwise passed before I saw it because of the way it is situated. I definitely will stop to eat there next time.
So advertising win, little restaurant!