Photography task: Strangers
Location: Turku, Finland
Camera setting: Landscape, Dark landscape
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; life in Estonia is quite colourless and uneventful. Some people love that. I know a lot of my friends crave the kind of life circumstances that I have here, but for me this is not a way to live.
I need action, events, noise, things in everyday life that make me go “What the hell’s that?!”
There has been ONE such day in all of my time in this country: The Singing Day (Laulupidu), which is a huge event here. It happens every four years and basically it’s people from each county traveling to the capital, dressing up in their traditional outfits and marching through the city singing all day long.
This happened last year on an August Sunday. I was fast asleep, completely hungover from a party the previous night and I woke up to extremely loud PANGs. The PANGs were coming from the street in front of my house, which is the biggest road in the country and leads straight to Russia. So I jumped up almost pissing myself and screamed;
“THE RUSSIANS ARE COMIINNGG!!”
I live alone, so there was no-one to react to my screams. So, I got up and literally crawled from my bedroom to the living room and carefully climbed up the wall until I reached the window and peaked outside.
There was a shed-load of people out there! But they were not wearing army uniforms and there were no tanks. Instead they were all clad in colourful outfits and many of them were carrying drums, trumpets, guitars, violins, any instrument or a flag of some sort.
I stared at them from my hideout behind the curtain and when my hungovered mind finally judged the situation safe I realized that they were all singing their lungs out. I opened the window, made myself a cup of coffee and sat on the windowsill in my over-sized blue T-shirt with a picture of a giant panda on it watching the interesting proceedings.
The noise was incredible, but not in a bad way. The thing that astonished me was that this was Estonia; the country with the most shy and withdrawn population on the planet shouting and dancing in public all over the street (which had been shut down completely, of course). I LOVED IT!
Despite the throbbing headache and a slightly sick feeling I smiled like a crazy-idiot and waved at people all day and they waved back at me. For that one day me and Estonians were on the same page and got along sooo well!
I have very fond memories of that day, it was brilliant. I love music! It was in fact so brilliant that I decided to wash my windows since the people outside were providing the music. Like… what the hell, seriously :D
Since then it’s been quiet. Literally.
The most interesting thing that happened was this one day when I was going home from work. I was standing at the tram stop and the tram was approaching. Suddenly I noticed that people on the platform were backing away, hiding behind the glass stops. And then I realized that the electric thingamajig on the tram’s roof was “dislocated” and sparks were flying everywhere.
The tram stopped, opened its doors and what did we all do? Obviously in unison we all climbed into this vehicle that looked like it might explode any minute. Twats. Me included. So the journey started accompanied by really loud and menacing explosion sounds. We got as far as about 100 meters into a tunnel when there was a super loud POW! and the lights went out.
We were stuck (stuck has been the most descriptive word about my life in this country in every way). The doors couldn’t open because there was no electricity. We were in a tunnel in a vehicle that could blow up any moment. So, what did the driver do? Tried to turn on the engine, of course, and succeeded on the 6th try and started to drive on.
We went forwards for about 5 meters and the powers went off again. But I think somebody had pushed the door button during that 5-meter-journey so the doors sprung open. And we all flooded out and walked our way between these rock walls, some people to the next tram stop (what’s the point, I thought, if one tram’s stuck then nothing can move), others to a bus stop further on.
My patience is about as long as nonexistent so I walked to the nearest road and ordered a taxi. It was rush hour, so before my taxi arrived the tram had already been fixed and it glided past me.
So yeah, exciting shit this life of mine :D In any other country I might have been annoyed by this complication but here I welcome any event that differs in any tiny way from the colourless, odourless everyday life with open arms.
I guess it’s an improvement, though, this ability to enjoy such a complication, which would drive many others into the brink of losing their mental stability.
Gotta concentrate on the positives, right? ;)