Exploring Harjumaa- 2018 edition

There is more to Harjumaa than Tallinn old town, no matter what the travel guide tells you. So follow my lead, open up Google Maps, check when the local bus leaves the station next to the railway station Balti jaam, hop on and explore!

Featured below are some highlights, including: Viru raba (bog) õpperada, Ellandvahe kivi, Linnamäe hüdroelektrijaam, Muuga kabelikivi, Peetri tuulik, Põhjakonna trepp, Maardu, Rohuneeme Kabel (chapel).

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Exploring Tartumaa- 2018 edition

So you made it to the second biggest town in Estonia and all the student bars are closed? It must be 10am. But no worries, the bars will re-open in a couple of hours. In the meantime, why not follow my lead and make the most out of the free local transport in the county. Some off the beaten path suggestions I had the pleasure to visit this year are:


So yeah I don’t bird watch but I like a good view. While not one of the tallest, Lähte vaatetorn (watch tower) is only 15km outside of Tartu and easily reached by bus. Charming woods, pond and wooden swing included.


Tartu Kutsehariduskeskus (vocational school) has great windows, cheap food and hairdressers, enough said.


Luunja hobune (horse) is a statue about 12km outside of Tartu. It was randomly erected in 1990 but in 2017, someone dyed this guy purple overnight. While they tried to clean it, it proved fruitless and/or too expensive in the long run so now we have this wonderful purple horse statue!


Total cheat but since it is not located in the centre, I added ERM aka Estonian National Museum. You will find much better descriptions on what a 14 EUR ticket can buy you indoors. But even the outdoor area is quite wonderful with a pond, park and again, a wooden swing.

Exploring Tallinn-2018 edition

Some might say it is too early to recap the year. But considering it is dark, wet and cold outside, who knows how much more exploration I will get done this year (outside of my bed), so here goes nothing but the best of the capital of Estonia.

Included are trips to the Old town, Estonian Open Air Museum, Tallinn Synagogue, the film museum in Maarjamäe, Kadriorg, Paljassaare, Stroomi beach, Telliskivi Creative City, Tõnismägi and Pae park in Lasnamägi.

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Top Things That Struck Me When I Moved To Israel

  1. Where are the pidgeons? Tel Aviv has actual pidgeons but the closest thing Jerusalem has are much smaller, with a long tail feather and a light purple tint. Maybe it is the same as with brown and grey squirrels?
  2. The bank system is insane, in order to make a transaction, it is not enough to know the name and account number (or IBAN) of the person. You have to go either to the exact branch they opened their account at (not the same bank, the very same branch). Or know their ID number.
  3. Honking horns is a sport.
  4. Cleaning floors is done by completely flooding them, then pushing the water outside (or onto the balcony).
  5. It is easier to win the lottery than get a Rav kav but life is awesome after you do.
  6. People are yelling a lot, still not as bad as in the Balkans but combined with the local impatience, it makes me anxious.
  7. Adjusting yourself in public is not an issue for either gender.
  8. Humming or whistling in public is widely common and creepy but hey, people feel free, I guess.
  9. Riding the bus is tough. The earlier mentioned impatience combined with bad traffic means the driver will use any inch he has in front of him, go really fast and then hit the brakes. This regularly results in me taking flight in buses. Locals seem very used to it though.
  10. The only types of pizza available at supermarkets is cheese or olive pizza. Generally, selections for frozen foods are not large and it is unreasonably expensive.

(I wrote this after a few weeks in Israel and rediscovered it 3 years later. I apologize for the generalisations but I liked the naive and excited nature of the draft and decided to post it.)

Just a usual Friday night?

I finish work fairly late at the office on Fridays, afterwards I met with my editor and had a quick chat. Then, all I wanted was to get home and watch some stupid TV show. The following happened between 9pm and 9.30pm on a Friday night.
I get into the train home, wearing my usual tshirt, skirt, sneakers, backpack combo and listening to music on my pink phone. Two men in their 30s sit opposite me and start talking to me, asking me private questions (like if I have a boyfriend etc) right away. I politely say “I would just like to listen to my music, sorry”- they call me a “disgusting bitch” and go sit somewhere else.
On my way out of the train I have to walk through a short underpass, there were not many people there. A group of guys in their 20s pass me by and talk among themselves saying “oh look at that hot slut (loses a bit in translation)” and then discuss briefly but in detail how I would be in the sack.
When leaving the train station, I walk towards the busstop to catch the bus home. I hear a guy behind me say “hey baby” multiple times, I hoped he was on the phone but nah. I sit down, he sits very close to me and also starts telling me “baby, you are so beautiful, I know you from somewhere, I need a girlfriend, do you live close by baby” and whatever else. This went on for a bit longer as I could not really go anywhere.
Long story short. This is not OK!!! At first, I thought to myself that this was the reason I don’t like to go out, as the intelligence-level of these conversations does not get higher after a few drinks. But now, thinking back, this shit happens anyway.
It is not OK that it is socially unacceptable for me as a woman to do anything else than put my headphones on and walk away, otherwise I have to fear what you asshole might do to me or best case scenario, you would just yell more abuse at me.
It is also not OK that I felt the need to describe my clothing or the time of day at the beginning of this post, as if that shit would be OK anywhere at any time.
It is not OK that while I try to build my character and educate myself to become a strong and good person, you talk about me as if I was not even a person. Suddenly, my ability to get home from work in peace, to occupy space and just …be, depends on your whim of showing off to your friends what kind of a man you are (or why ever these things happen).
And it is not OK that you don’t show me the same respect every single human being deserves!
Most of the time I just try to forget whenever something like this happens because…well..it is nothing special, most people, especially women, experience this soooo often. BUT these are not compliments or insults, what these guys said and did tonight, even if I repeat myself a thousand times, was just not OK.

Looking for TV shows to binge watch this week?

State of Affairs– I like to think of Katherine Heigl as the chick from Roswell rather than the woman from Grey’s Anatomy. I saw the teaser for State of Affairs on Youtube a few months ago and it looked God awful. However…this is rather exciting, it is The West Wing meets Homeland meets some sexy CW show I cannot think of. Heigl is the briefer/adviser to the president. Give it 3 episodes and a central, somewhat worthy villain for the season will emerge. The critics hate it, I say it is very binge watchable and features many ideas on security and sacrifices that are at least intriguing though not fully fledged. It seems to be almost cancelled so you won’t have to spend too much time on it.tumblr_static_ar36xs4ezvkg0o8kksgkkwcgc

Community– if you want good comedy, for the love of God, watch Community. This quirky 30 Rock-esque story about a group of misfits at a community college has little to do with formal education. Jeff is the cutest antihero with his love for booze, boobs and all the fine things in life. All of us have an Abed in us. Troy and Abed are like a shoe and a sock. Before season 6 starts in March, make sure to at least check out seasons 1-3. There is some serious magic in there. The Christmas clay-episode made me cry, so did Jeff’s confession about cutting his stomach for sympathy (you will get it if you see the episode). Oh and team Jeff&Annie.


Suits– I think the show is about lawyers or something but who cares, everyone on this show is so cool, wears great clothes and is just so enviable. Harvey is smart and hot, imagine a male version of Olivia Pope (but smooth and with no emotions). Donna is the secretary we all wish we could be, sassier than anyone on Sex and the City. Jessica has the best clothes on TV. Yes, some secondary characters are annoying and the stakes don’t seem as high as the show makes it out to be but it is thrilling beyond words.

Harper’s Island– is a 13episode miniseries from 2009. A bunch of people go to an island for a wedding and …get killed off one by one, a modern whodunnit with actors whose names you don’t know but “they played that other guy on that other TV show”. I recently rewatched it, as first time around I did not guess the killer until 2 episodes before the end, so now I was looking for clues. Don’t expect Meryl Streep-esque acting and you will be pleasantly surprised.


Empire– Wendy Williams spoke about this on her show and she was right, it is (by far) the best new show on TV. Cookie, played by the amazing Taraji P Henson gets out of prison after almost 20 years. In the meantime, her ex-husband who she helped to get a start as a rapper, has become a billionaire music mogul. Their 3 sons are all grown up and don’t know her. And she is having none of it. There are twists and turns in every episode and they are somehow still believable? Weird. Anyway, watch it, only 6 episodes in and it got already renewed for another season! Behind every great man is an amazing woman, Cookie is flawed, maybe a bit of a caricature but a better rolemodel for women than anyone on Pretty Little Liars.


I do not own any of the pictures.

Who is your career idol and why?

“An idol-a person or thing regarded with admiration.” I do not think I have ever idolized anyone really, even as a teenager (though I can name all 5 Backstreet Boys).

As a quarter life crisis-plagued, arts graduate student with unclear job prospects, I often Google “how to figure out the necessary steps towards achieving the career I wish for”…or more condensed versions of the likes. Linkedin keeps telling me to stalk my idols, people who inspire me and see how they “made it”. Since I love a good list, I tried to compile 5 living people who I admire. While looking at the names and researching their careers, I realized, it is not so much about me emulating their exact job history but more about what qualities each of them represent and how I could incorporate those into my future choices.


#5 Betty White

What is there not to love about Betty White, she has been in the business before TV was a thing! I admire the longevity (I can never say that word, I always want to say longetivity…) of her career, in one form or the other, she has rolled with the punches and molded her personality into the current times. Plus, White represents a woman who is nice, smiley, everyone loves her (besides the late Bea Arthur), yet at the same time she is far from boring, even in her 90s she is kinky and funny and gets away with it. The best of both worlds.

#4 Buzz Aldrin

I must admit, I do not know too much about the man other than him strolling around on the Moon. So in case he is crazy or controversial in some way, tell me in the comments. I was and am a huge Trekkie, the monologue in the beginning about space being the final frontier and boldly going where no one has gone before, is the most inspiring piece of writing from my childhood. There are no limits, other than those you set yourself. These days, a robot lands on Mars and we’re like “nah, gotta go play Grand Theft Auto V”. But back in the day, Aldrin was part of blowing peoples minds as to what is possible and achievable. I do want to inspire others but mostly, I want to let my own mind expand on the ideas of what my career could be, because as Buzz proved, the sky is not even the limit.


#3 Tom Hanks

I was never obsessed with the box of chocolates quotation but come to think of it, Hanks’ career fits that metaphor pretty well. He has done a huge variety of good guy characters in some of the most entertaining films of the last 25 years. Hanks might not be a good villain  but neither am I. Instead, he is an astronaut, a single dad, a sheriff and a cast away, the everyman that shows us life’s different facets in 120 minutes. I would love to create that much variety in my future career. Obviously, being admired by ones peers but be beneficial too but read the thing with him, Chris Hardwick and the type writer. Hanks might be filthy rich but he is nice and nice is relatable.

#2 Karen Gillan

Speaking of relatable, Gillan probably seems like the odd one out on this list. But she has something, most seasoned and successful people do not have anymore, she is very relatable. I might not be a tall, Scottish redhead who talks really fast and is making geek hearts happy around the world but she makes me aspire to be myself in every situation. Sometimes I think I should be tough to be taken seriously or cute and vulnerable to get people to help me BUT successful people like Gillan make me realize that it is OK to be either, both or just gangly, insecure and weird.


#1 Jon Stewart

Stewart was an actor, a host on MTV but is more widely known as the anchor of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. A fake news show on a cable channel that has more credibility and informs more young viewers about current politics than the real news shows. On the show, Stewart is hilarious, silly, self-deprecating while offering the audience an intelligent conversation with presidents and Twilight actors, alike. What a great combination, I would love, in the future, to be able to do work concerning serious issues but in a way, that makes people care about them. Sounds naive but there is an art behind breaking down information without making the viewers feel like you think they are dumb or are shoving your views down their throats. All while making people laugh.


Many cool magazines have photoshopped pictures every year of the perfect man or woman, Angelina’s lips, Jen’s hair, Brad’s smile and so on. I have created the perfect future career direction for myself: as inspired (and inspiring) as Aldrin’s, with a positive yet cheeky personality like White’s, dealing with important issues in a lighthearted and entertaining way like Stewart, while staying genuine like Gillan, and varied like Hanks’ career.

I do not own any of the pictures.