Its an overcast day in Tallinn and there isnt much to do today but work on my set. We had a great show at Varblane terrace on Sunday where it rained but the show went on, we had our headliner, Tomi Walamies, performing under am umbrella to audience huddled around the terrace. Still this guy managed to kill us for 30 minutes straight, it was real adventure comedy. This Wednesday we have a show at Drink Baar in Tallinn, Thursday is Manala English Comedy Club in Helsinki and next Sunday is Varblane again.
Hanging out in Tallinn for a few days I was thinking about language. You all know I am not a linguistic genius but I get by, my Swedish reading is passable and there was my Estonian study and my big 2 days of Finnish study. With a mix of these basics rolling around in my head Im like a child who grows up in a quad-lingual family, for a while all the languages mix together. I am fascinated by mixing of languages, when I was bar tending the other night in Prive a tall Viking looking guy came up to me and said "uks öl", the "uks" is "1" in Estonian and the the "öl" is beer in swedish/danish/norwegian. Still I got to him and replied "ei problem" in kind.
Tallinn old town is full of tourists from all over the world and they do like to have ago, Eric and I got stopped by some tourists wanting directions and when they spoke to us, I had the most surreal moment of understanding what they said, but not realising what language it was said in. They wanted to know how to get to Hotel Viru and I replied in English and they laughed and went on their way and after the fact Eric had to fill me in they were Fins trying to speak Estonian, Eric understanding Estonian far better than I can ever hope to.
It was only 30 seconds but it stuck with me. Everyone is concerned about preserving their language which I am very much in support of, however as an Australian and a native English speaker, maybe I am more accustomed to the power that diversity can bring, both in the people in my country and the wonderful way English is this amazing mash up of a bunch of other languages. I want everyone to preserve their language but playing with words is really a lot of fun.
He was the co-founder of Comedy Estonia, Comedy Finland and Comedy Latvia. Louis writes, does gigs and performs at private events through the Baltics and Finland