If I were back in Estonia

Some things may have changed (and probably have!) since I moved to New Zealand five years ago, but if Estonia were the same now as it was back then, and I moved, I would probably...

...feel alarmed at the lack of peanut butter which I have now grown so accustomed to. And Vegemite! If peanut butter I could probably get from well-stocked or specialty shops, Vegemite I doubt even a foreign stall at a food festival carries.

For the first few days I would probably survive on salted herring and dark rye bread alone.

I would eat a variety of porridges for breakfast and enjoy buying buckwheat in the "cheap" section of a grocery store, rather than having to pay through the nose for buying it at a specialty shop. (Most grocery shops here don't even carry it.)

I would leap at the opportunity of rollerskating down long stretches of bike-friendly tracks! (Especially Kakumäe.) Oh, and I would love cycling amongst traffic without feeling like I am about to die. New Zealand is "good" like that.

I would eat a variety, variety! of cheeses, rather than a repetition of Colby-Mild-Edam. (And I would pick those cheeses from the general dairy section of the shop, rather than a specialty shelf ;).)

Talking of dairy: I would unashamedly buy single-serve ice creams over and over again, and they would probably taste of a little more than just general sugar.

I would build snowmen, and go skiing, and skating in winter. I would "swish" through fresh powdery snow when temperatures hit -10 C and "slosh" through puddles when the stuff melts in spring.

I would bag my own groceries and relish the feeling of being actually useful during check-out. Here, whenever I try to at least help with that, I get told, "I've got it." (In Estonia, I don't even remember "baggers" outside of busy Christmas season when they try to get people in and out of stores quickly.)

I would ride in public transport - again and again and again. I would take a tram to Kopli, a trolleybus to Mustamäe, a train to Tartu and a bus to Kohtla-Järve. And then I'd do it all over again.

I would travel across the country in a car in 3 hours max. (Here? In a car I'd say two days at least. Flying's easier.)

I would put up tall book cases without having to first bolt them to the wall as an earthquake precaution.

I would sing praises to central heating.

I would go picking mushrooms in autumn. But first! I would approach someone who actually remembers which mushrooms are edible and which aren't, because after several years of "no mushroomin'" the best I can do, I think, is to stay off those bright red ones with white dots and everything else has sort of become... yeah.

I'm done having children, but if I weren't, I would totally miss Plunket. Totally!

Can't remember anything else for now. Maybe will do a second instalment sometime in the future!


  1. Tinker8.11.14

    Actually you can buy Vegemite in Estonia now :) In Tallinn there is a store called Nop.

  2. Berit8.11.14

    I think even Prisma sells a variety of peanutbutter. And we have free WIFI in cafes, supermarkets, trains, buses, public places etc.
    In Estonia you would probably have family or relatives or friends who could help you with babysitting.
    But, on the other hand, you have stunningly beautiful nature, mountains, lakes that are azure blue and friendly people who smile on the street. We don't.

  3. Anonymous8.11.14

    M&S Stores sell peanut butter and possibly also Vegemite! And we have Juustukuningad now, a specialty cheese shop in addition to all the cheeses you can get from the regular stores.

    1. Kristina11.11.14

      M&S sells Marmite that should be similar to Vegemite. Haven't tried it. Don't think it's a sales hit here though :D

  4. Tinker8.11.14

    We have Vegemite and cheese and snow and lots and lots of good stuff, but one of our neighbors is going bit mad at the moment, so if I were you, I would stay there. And I really hope things will get better. I really do.