Monday, September 20, 2010

What a weekend!

My weekend started pretty early, on Friday morning. All 6 of the exchange students were told to come to Tallinn with our YEO's to a YEO (Youth Exchange Officer.. basically our support people in our Rotary clubs) Training Day. Well 5 of us showed up, at least. We were to meet at the Kalev Spa and Hotell at noon. Well, my host parents could only take me to the train station at 8am. So I was wandering through Tallinn, alone, yet again. That seems to be a common occurence here, being rained on, alone, lost in Tallinn. Ugh. Hahaha. Eventually, after a whole 20min of walking.. yeah, I tend to find things rather quickly here... I found the spa, but I was 2 hours early. So I walked to a Kiosk and bought some snacks and a magazine and looked around in the stores that just opened for the day. Then I meandered my way back to the Spa lobby to wait. I saw many characters walk into the spa.. like 12 soldiers. That was a bit odd.
About 1/2 hour before noon, the other American exchange student, Halie, showed up.. We got to talking, then realized "Where is everybody? WHERE is Heino (the coordinator of all exchange students in all of Estonia)" So we went outside, called another exchange student and found out that they were on the Hotell side, not the Spa side. And that Heino is the most vague person... and has very confusing speech. After our 2 hour meeting he basically told me that I can't be with any boys with open eyes. I have to keep my eyes closed when I'm with guys here apparently? I don't know. I really have no idea...
After the meeting we had the option of swimming, but Halie and I said "nay" we went to Coca-Cola Plaza, instead to see Going The Distance. Coca-Cola Plaza really surprised me. There were NO swipers for cards (Estonian or American debit cards!) Everything was cash only. Thankfully, I still had American dollars with me and there was a money transfer around the corner, right next to a second-hand store. :) So we got to see the movie after all and buy some candy at the candy store.. But we were there too early, so we went around the corner to the second-hand shop. I didn't have a jacket until then. I haven't been out shopping to get one, so I jumped on my chance. because I really doubt a fleece will suffice now and during the winter. I need a hood. It rains all the time, especially in Tallinn and Haapsalu, since they are coastal cities. Weeell. I got my jacket. It was pretty cheap, everything was pretty cheap there. I liked it. After that we saw our movie. It was...memorable. haha. Russians do NOT shut up when movies come on! They just keep talking and talking, making random noises, and cannot stay still. They're like little kids. And of course, I was stuck right next to some.
After the movie, Halie and I split our ways and said good-bye. She went back to Haapsalu, I went back to Rapla..almost. I was dropped off at the train station, just 5min after my train left. UGH! So I had to wait around a couple more hours, completely alone, at 10pm, in a dark creepy train station.. no workers around. And did I mention the creepy people!? haha. I was standing near a bench and there was a Russian man passed out with a 1/2 empty beer bottle beside him. He stayed there a long time, then the police showed up.. wow, believe me that was really awkward for me. haha. The police were talking to him, set his beer bottle on the ground by his feet, then helped him up. The Police..van came. The guy was sitting back down by then and was feeling around where his beer bottle was, then tried to make a break for it, but he didn't realize just how intoxicated he was, so he was ridiculously slow. One of the officers just jerked him to the van and threw him in there. :D haha. When the van left, I could see an older man rummaging around in the bushes not far away. He quickly started walking toward me. I got scared, but stayed where I was. He trotted over the beer bottle, emptied it, then put the bottle in his bag. This night was one of the weirdest I've had here.. Then to top it off, almost every person in the country, it seemed, started talking to me. Which is really weird, because everyone here is very reserved and quiet.
FINALLY! I made back to Rapla around 11.30pm. But, there were a couple of girls around my age that sat near me on the train. They were going to Rapla also. When I found my host mom in the parking lot, I got in the car, but before I could close the door the girls were there! And they asked for a ride to the pub, because there was a big party there. (did I ever mention that hitch-hiking is very common here?)
I was so happy to be back home. I had quite the adventure that day and was exhausted. So I went to bed, but didn't let myself sleep in too late. I had to figure out my bus-route to Haapsalu because I was going to visit Halie. So I rode the bus from Rapla-Tallinn-Haapsalu all by myself AND I never missed a bus. I handled myself quite nicely, if I do say so myself :)
So I got to Haapsalu, turns out Halie's host-sisters are very outgoing and very social. They were going to a party, and Halie and I went to. It was so fun. In Rapla, since I live in the countryside and my host-family is very... introverted, I don't see that many people during the day, other than at school. But after school, it's a different story. So it was a nice change! Being around people! :DD Before the party really started, Halie and I walked to Konsum (a popular branch of grocery stores in Estonia) and bought a loaf of bread each. Believe me, Americans get more obnoxious by the numbers! Halie and I were walking around the store, giggling, trying to figure out what bread to get, squeezing the bread, noticing how much softer it is here! Wow. I think back now.. we must have been the craziest people they have ever seen in their lives. I'm sorry people at the store. So on our walk to the party, we were pinching off pieces of our bread. No joke, we each ate about half of our loaves. hahaha. Fat americans!
We stayed out until early morning hours, talking with people and hanging out.. we went home, went to sleep. When we woke up, we went on a mad search for It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia episodes. Sadly, Netflix and Hulu do not work outside the USA. So we had to go to some unknown website and died laughing. Then we shared the best Sci-Fi films. We both like to heckle them. :D
One of her host sisters is a student at Tartu University. She and a couple of guys were driving back to Tartu that day and going to pass through Rapla, so they drove me back. It was so sweet of them. So I got back to Rapla at a descent hour this time :)
Such an exhausting weekend, but the most fun and busy weekend of my exchang so far! :D


Hanna said...

I live in Haapsalu too :D

greete said...

Poor you, you missed your train. I think that one time when Vika & I were in Tallinn we missed our train too. Well you had one heck of a weekend :D:D