The winds coming off of the Baltic are killer and as I begin my long day of walking old cobblestone streets I wonder how the hell anyone lives here? The wind is stinging my face, I shove my hands in my pockets to keep them warm and do my best to stay on the sunny side of the streets. No, that is an understatement, I cling to the sunny side like a life raft. I hate the fucking cold, it hurts, and somehow that reminds me I must be getting old, how appropriate in a place called “Old” Tallin.
Old Tallin is beautiful, buildings centuries old, constructed before our great great great grandfathers figured out how to hate one another. A little sea side fortress complete with gates, it stands a relic in an area of the world where many of those relics have been traded in for shiny steel and glass progress. Immediately it stood out to me how clean and quiet it was. Strangely so. You may confuse it for new if you glanced too quickly.
Europe is not what I had expected. It is too orderly, too focused, too many people walking in the crosswalks. I felt the same thing for the few hours I was in Paris. There is a vibe here that is very much distinctly not American though. People seem to be in a hurry yet completely unconcerned at the same time. It is unsettling to me, off-putting. Too clean and disconnected.
Much like in American cities they walk fast, hurried, places to go, things to do, no one says hello. Girls spend far too much money on shoes and handbags while their clothes look outdated and a 8 year old may have attacked their face with various shades of liners. The worst of the Kardashians seem to have made it over here.
I am curious to see if it will be a different vibration staying in the countryside in Czech. Has the relic of “hello” and a smile survived there amongst the sheep herds? I do hope so. It seems sad that it has been lost to a place so old as Tallin whilst it’s fortress’s stood strong. I’d have gladly traded in the fancy coffee houses for good conversation.