Cosmo December 2013 – Meeting Guys at Christmas Parties

Cripes I am a bit behind on posting these. Although I kind of like leaving them for a few months, when I think I’m a shitty writer I go back and read these and remember they aren’t so bad.
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Gosh we had some fun at the Cosmo 9th Birthday party! Nice speeches, tasty cocktails and some idiot doing Stand Up. We had a another comedy gig earlier that evening and we came with our guest comedians who were single and oh so ready to mingle. It should have been heaven: girls, drinks, free condoms but we experienced something we didn’t expect to. Intimidation.

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haha OMG that foreign guy bag TOTALLY just tried to come and talk to us. Whatever, doesn’t he know we are busy here talking about how there are no nice guys around?

Lets take one of our guests, Darius Davies from England. Funny, confident, good looking, more charisma than Bill Clinton crossed with another Bill Clinton and with the same enthusiasm for the ladies. I thought it would be the night of their lives but instead I found Darius at the back of the room.

“I can’t talk to any of these women”
“Why not dude?”
“Look at them, dressed up like models, hair styles which looks like modern works of art, talking in small groups. They know they are hot, they don’t have any time for me”
“Did you try talking to them? Come on man, you just gotta get in the game baby!”
“Yeah I asked one girl what her name was, she replied ‘goodbye’. Do they do shots at this place?”

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This was us! Except we are men. Do you see how the tables have turned ladies???

I watched Darius as he made his way to the bar, he was like a little baby lion who had been placed in a room full of confident adult gazelles. Every instinct in him was screaming to go on the hunt but the “pray” barely noticed him nipping at their heels. The king of the jungle he was not. In one moment it seemed a young lady was checking him out but then it became clear she had knocked back one too many bubbly drinks as she “seductively” ran her tongue down a piece of that cake… note: that trick doesn’t quite work. Not even on English comedians and that’s saying something. Darius looked horrified but at least I was tremendously amused.

You see, society is telling us guys that we are supposed to be self assured, that we should be the ones to approach women, but then it barely gives us any more advice for how we arrive at destination “confidence” when currently we are in transit lounge “shit scared and crying in the corner”. Where do guys turn for this life wisdom? The Bill Clinton autobiography?

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When I was 14 and I had a crush on a girl, I would be so scared of calling her and sounding like an idiot that I would write down a list of conversation topics on a bit of paper and refer to it when I ran out of things to say. I would get so nervous! That anxious boy making lists is still inside me, just these days I don’t need the bit of paper to remember them. I write them on the back of my hand.

My point is that even a group of confident, talented guys were intimated by a big group of beautiful, fancy girls. They could make the movie “Mission Impossible 5: Cosmo Party” but it would be too unrealistic, Tom Cruise may break into the CIA but he will never break into a group of chatty tipsy girls. If your sitting around talking about how you can’t find a nice guy, it might be because you are siting around talking about how you can’t find a nice guy. I’m not saying put up a big sign inviting guys over but don’t make it too hard either. You know there is a correlation between guys who are hyper confident and guys who are hyper douche bags? If you make the test too hard, only Slimey McSleezebag is going to give it a shot.

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The only man left who will come and talk to you. Maybe my whole problem is I spent a good part of my childhood playing Leisure Suit Larry.

When you are at a Christmas party this month, don’t just huddle up like a basketball team protecting their strategy from the opposition. When we come to talk to you, rethink that look on your face like we just mistreated your pet hamster, give us a smile and start talking, it will show more of your natural beauty than those fake lashes ever will.

Oh but whatever you do, don’t try and seduce a guy with cake. Ever.

Cosmo November 2013 – “The” First Time

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Apparently loads of you want to know what guys think about the first time having sex. I’m not talking about your FIRST time, thats a strange, confusing, awkward and messy experience, nor am I talking about some random one night stand. I’m talking about that guy you had a lovely first impression with and that guy who took you on a first date and you liked him so much you though “oh i really want to go to bed with him but I dont want him to think I’m easy”. Wait, you genuinely did want to wait? Oh too confusing, lets move on.

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After a while everything falls into line, you like him, he seems to like you (seems so..), you had a good time on that last date and given just the right amount of white wine next time you are pretty sure your dress will fall off faster than Anu Saagim’s when a tabloid photographer is around. Women may be worried about all sorts of things: will he like my boobs? (hint: yup). will his “downstairs” be kept tidy or look like some amazon rainforest? should I bust out my twerking movies upon entering the bedroom? Will he remember to take off his socks when we do it? (note: clearly I have no idea about what women think about)

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Ernie and Bert explore their Amazon together

What guys are thinking about is so typically male you will slap yourself. We are thinking about… ourselves. Surprise of all surprises! It basically comes down to: will I be able to rock her world and be her big amazing jungle man. Do you get what I mean? Will I be good enough in bed? Will I make her reach the “Big O”? Will she get off the train at “Grand Central Orgasm”? Afterwards, will she consider me Tarzan to her Jane, Mr Big to her Carrie, Toomas to her Evelin. For the love of god we just want to please you. We have a fear of being an inadequate sexual partner because our monkey brains associate sexual prowess with pretty much being king of the universe and everything in it. That’s why guys don’t compare penis size, if I have a bigger penis then it is the highest high, like winning the sausage lottery. The other guy could drive a Ferrari but I’ll still be satisfied knowing that I’m hung like that horse prancing on his car’s logo. However…. if he has the bigger penis then its the ultimate shame, the lowest low, time for some of that Japanese ritual suicide where one dies by ones’ own sword (pun intended). In the end, it’s just not worth the risk, so we keep our eyes front and center at the urinal.

 322333t81h240fGentlemen, it’s your job to be THIS manly

We desperately want to do is satisfy you so you will consider us a good mate, it is a super primitive part of us. I know you were doing all the right sexy things and showing how much you liked it but if you really want to make him happy, tell him he did a good job. Simple as that. Who says for men it is all about the physical? You really want to ensure he makes you breakfast in bed the next morning? Tell him he has a “nice” penis. No need to go crazy, you don’t need to say “huge” or “amazing” or “larger than a dwarf’s arm holding an apple” (i mean… if you like…). Simply complimenting “it” will get the same reaction you have when someone compliments your new pair of shoes. He will go stand in front of the mirror and admire his “pride” while feeling good about himself. All before he brings you those eggs in the morning.

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SHE SAID I HAD A NICE PENIS! YEEEEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!!

Does it sound like these are very basic primate actions from us? Yup! However it’s harder to have a more basic and instinctual action than making love to the women you care for. Just relax, he is going to like your body and he is going to like you. But did you really hold off having sex until the third date just because you felt like it? Who would give you such weird advice?

I Did a Video: Feel The Difference – Scheckmann

A few weeks ago I did the acting and voice over for my friends hand made shoe company “Scheckmann”. The shoes are brilliant, totally custom made, I can’t wait for my pair. She also made me a sweet wallet too. I am totally Scheckmann and oh boy do I feel the difference.

Scheckmann “Feel The Difference” commercial video from Scheckmann on Vimeo.

Cosmo October 2014 – Who Pays?

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Knowing who should pay on the first date is a minefield. I like to pay, I feel its the gentlemanly thing to do but there is always the risk, what if she thinks we should go halves? I am infringing on her feministic rights and taking away her “she-energy”? Am I a condescending jerk for saying that? Am I a condescending jerk for not offering to pay? Am I just a condescending jerk? (send your answers to louisisajerk@cosmopolitan.ee to win a signed picture of me having a drink thrown in my face)

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Can a guy throw a drink in a girls face though? I thought not but this guy has a pretty water tight excuse. pun intended.

It’s bloody hard for the guy to know which one he should do. My friend in Australia who is one of the countries’ top young playwrights thinks it should be equal to “get away from the analogy that women are sex vending machines that only respond to coins of romance being put in”. Wow, intense. Let me see if I have any spare change.

I don’t understand the idea that going halves makes you an independent woman. What of the opposite: Is that all it takes, a meal, to take away your independence? (On a side note: President Ilves should never accept a meal from Putin, you never know). Eating this meal won’t send you back to the typing pool in Mad Men, it’s just a nice thing to do.

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On their first date, Toomas was more than apprehensive

Think of it from another angle. Years ago as a young backpacker in Berlin I met a girl in the hostel and after many beers we decided to sneak into her dorm room. However, there was only one problem, a Korean guy, laying there, in the dark and very awake. Not to be defeated I came up with a brilliant plan. I went over to my new Koran BFF, explained the situation, asked if he could go downstairs to the bar for half an hour and if so, it would be my pleasure to provide him with 20 euros to buy himself a few drinks. I know right, another genius Louis Zezeran masterplan!

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20 euros is a fucking fortune to a backpacker, I meant business

When my female friends back in Australia heard this they were aghast!”Louis you were paying for sex! How could you?”. Sure money was changing hands but it wasn’t going to her, it was going to “Kim Jong Pimp” laying there. AND he’s not a pimp. Well maybe he’s a pimp back in Korea but he’s not a pimp here. How is this any different from paying a restaurant to create a nice atmosphere and provide drinks all night to lubricate the… err.. conversation?

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If this was the Korean involved it would have been all like “Oh Denis, we helped Louis get laid, give me a hug”

As it turns out, rather than Gangnam style, my Korean friend was more interested in “Going-nap” style. Despite my repeated pleas he refused my monetary offer and as I sulked away I saw I’d been away so long my female friend had fallen asleep. Strike two for the evening. Defeated, I went downstairs to the bar and used that 20€ to instead buy drinks for myself. At the end of this night, it was still the bartender who got paid.

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Surely I can not have been the only backpacker to sit in the bar of this place and gently sob.

The point is just do whatever you want to do and screw what society or your friends think. If you like paying, just go for it. If you like the guy to pay up, all power to you sister. Just let the guy know somehow. You will gain more kick ass chick points by just being straight with him and not acting all weird at payment time. Unless you date a Korean guy, then you are on your own.

Comedy Estonia Live! on TV3Play

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Last month we filmed our first comedy special called “Comedy Estonia Live!” and the clips are being put up on TV3Play. We are super excited about this, makes us seem all legitimate and stuff. We have all worked really hard to get this going, so super proud of everything. 2014 can only be bigger for Comedy Estonia!

Watch my first clip from Comedy Estonia Live! on TV3Play

Cosmo September 2013 – Sexual History

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Guys try to act cool about the past. We want to be as slick as Tom Cruise in Top Gun and open and caring about your feelings as all those Tumblr GIFs make Ryan Gosling out to be. However in reality we are absolutely nothing of the sort. If at any stage the talk turns to your sexual history there is only one thing you can do. You must lie. Lie like you have never lied before. Lie like you are Bill Clinton when asked if he had slept with Monica. Lie like you are a British guy at 3am the club telling a Estonian girl that you surely will visit her in Tallinn again soon. Like you are a stand up comedian telling the audience “so this hilarious thing happened to me just yesterday”… If you have to say something, tell him you had sex with Mr Ex (it is a “he” right? may god have mercy on his fragile soul if it is not) only a few times through a hole in the sheet, you didn’t like it much and that he definitely had a small penis. Emphasize this fact.

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Let me make this very clear ladies. Under no circumstances can an ex boyfriend have a bigger penis than us. We are the mighty swordsman and nothing can be allowed to crack that image. Keep on lying. We know you are lying but that’s ok, the male brain has a whole part devoted to the filtering of obvious lies about our sexual prowess which it then passes onto the rest of the brain as absolute truth. If our brains are Fox News, then there is a little Bill O’Reilly in there, twisting and turning the truth until it is acceptable by the rather simplistic audience which lays within.

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What should you tell your boyfriend about your sexual history? How good of a fiction writer are you? Our girlfriends sexual history is like a big lotto wheel in our heads and each little ball is one little “story” you have once accidentally told us. These lucky numbers can come out at any moment “and today’s supplementary number is…. she once slept with a black guy!” Guess how nervous your bf will be next time you want to go to reggae night at the club. Not that there is anything wrong with sleeping with a black guy, but lets just say from then on when ever we “make you dinner” the dish always feels like a serving of viinerid friikartulitega, if you know what I mean.

the-10-most-ridiculous-things-to-come-out-of-the-anthony-weiner-sexting-scandalNo one wants to be a weiner, not even this guy

Or how about finding out that a few years ago while drunk in Prague her and her best friend had a threesome with a dude they met in the hostel. Oh that’s a fun trip down memory lane! So darling tell me, when is your best friend coming over for dinner again? No no, I’ll buy the wine that night, it would be my pleasure. Literally. Oh that was just a crazy phase and you are far more mature and over that now?. Oh yes, I certainly am glad I met you now my dear. Heaven forbid if I find out where the dude was from. For 6 months after this I refused to eat pasta after finding out it an was Italian. At the time I hoped she hadn’t dated too many more guys or my eating choices will become sorely limited.

6a00d8341c6e9653ef0120a537ea1a970b-320wiI fucked your girlfriend buddy!

Now I get the double standard here. We guys have our own sexual history, we have had girlfriends and partners and done god knows what other unspeakable acts that are certainly only legal in Germany. However, remembering our sexual past and then having the shock of realising that your past is probably not so different, is so great… that we regress into a state of thinking of you as our special little girls who left a lifetime in a convent and marched straight into Shooters whereby you downed 10 shots in a row and then we met on the dancefloor. Just don’t underestimate the male brains ability for self delusion ok? Oh and when is your best friend coming over for dinner again? I’ll buy the drinks

Cosmo August 2013 – Dealing With Your Boyfriend’s Ex

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I have a fool proof plan for dealing with your ex and it is genius. You are going to say “Louis you are a genius”. Ok here goes. Move to another country. Genius! Thank you, I know I am. With no hard reminders of place, events and friends you had together my plan is flawless. What’s that? You are part of the 2% of young Estonia’s who don’t want to move to another country. Weird but ok. If you think this is all a bit difficult, spare a thought for a situation I was in 4 years ago. I was living in Sweden with my then girlfriend on a “living together visa” (yes they have these in Sweden, god bless their socialist hearts) but after the break up I asked if she could not tell the migration department for a month or two. Being the caring type she agreed however I admit to feeling some shock a week later to receive a call telling me she had a change of heart and had told the feds because she “needed closure”. That is certainly one way to achieve it, if nothing else I was impressed with the efficiency of the Swedish people. In retrospect, it gave me the kick my sorry ass needed and I ended up moving to a country very happy to accept someone not good enough for Sweden. Finland.

9uhktThe Finnish Passport control was more than happy to greet me

Dealing with your new boyfriends ex can be much harder though. Try as you might, you may not be able to use the same deportation strategy on her. The migration department will just drone on about “she is an Estonian citizen we can’t deport her” blah blah “maybe you should get some counseling instead” blah blah “madam please don’t threaten me with that stiletto, the police are on their way” blah blah. It’s always the same story from these government types.

How do you deal with your boyfriends ex? You mean the “crazy ass skank ho woman”? Because that’s what she is right? Cause you are not crazy. She is. And now he’s with you. The not crazy one. Case solved. However they are still in contact and you are trying to be cool but it’s hard. They still work / study / do yoga together and it is all very innocent. However it’s hard to keep your cool when she’s calling at 11:30 at night to discuss yoga, you feel like giving her a kick right in the “lotus position”.

couple-yoga-horizConfucius say: Wise is the man who stays at the back of the yoga class

However you know, last time I checked, phone calls generally rely on the someone to answer the phone. She wouldn’t make contact if he had sat her down and told her straight. There is always another yoga class she can go to (seriously, your guy does yoga?). If he keeps on letting her call, then he is disrespecting you, no matter how needy this girl might seem. I am surprised how few guys understand this, I’m pretty sure Dr Phil covered it all in season 1 alone (note: please don’t watch Dr Phil season 1, you will find out where I get all my advice)

So I am saying, it is his fault. Hooray ladies! This one’s not down to you!

I know you don’t want to be pushy though, it can be thin line between reasonably pointing out the truth and looking like a contestant on Jerry Springer. Ok here is my plan: try making him jealous. Not a lot. Just a little. Don’t do anything bad, but just… talk about your guy friends a bit more. Seriously, we are that shallow. God, I cry a little every time I think how I sell out my gender in this column but it is true, we are nothing but little manboys waiting for you to manipulate us.

leg_0God, if I had a dollar for every prosthetic leg a ex has stolen from me

However, eventually it is going to be you or her and if he can’t make a decision, then the time will come to show him the door. As Estonian women, I assume you are used to having to show the balls in a relationship. It is a curse I know.

Oh but if he’s a foreigner, don’t tell the migration department just yet ok? At least wait the 2 months.

Cosmo July 2013 – After The First Date

Article number three for Estonian Cosmopolitan magazine, July 2013 and this time it is about what to do after the first date…

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After 2 months of writing this column I have determined that there are exactly zero men who read this. I needed the time to get the “bro maffia” off my tail, because if any guy found out about this month’s advice I would be out of the “Bro Club” and off the “Bro Christmas card list”. Ladies…. don’t sleep with him on the first date. AH I can’t believe I am writing this! He is going to tell you he just wants to come back and cuddle but really its something else he wants you to lovingly put your hands on. Save it for the second date, MAXIMUM third. If after the third date you are still making him wait then I think you need to drastically reassess the pool of applicants that are available to you honey. If on the third date you can still stand his bad dress sense, stupid profile picture and impressive lack of emotions which make Dr Spock look like a drama queen, you are on a winner.

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The logical course of action is to not sleep with him on the first date. Advice from Captain Kirk may differ.

So you went on the first date and you didn’t sleep with him! Good on you for keeping your knickers on darling! You had a lovely time: dinner, movie, a few drinks. He only stared at your boobs when he thought you were not looking and only tried to get you to come home with him 2 or 3 times. An all around perfect evening. You wake the next day with a warm glow and an extra spring in your step. You don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself (there will be plenty of time to pick baby names later) but you have a good feeling about this one. You look down at your phone. No sms from him. Oh well, I am sure he is sleeping late and has a busy day. Check Facebook. No messages. Not even a poke. Oh that’s cool, we are taking it easy, he is a pretty relaxed guy. Or at least that’s what I think considering he barely smiled during the evening. Lunchtime: no contact. Mid-afternoon: no contact. Late-mid-afternoon: still no contact. OH NO, THE DATE WAS A DISASTER!!

He-Says-He-Me-Why-Hasnt-He-CalledKate spent the whole afternoon sitting there, staring “why the fuck do I still have this old Nokia and not an iPhone? I bet me is trying to Facetime me right now”. Little did Kate know, Henry had another kind of “Facetime” on his mind…

Relax honey, he will contact you and it’s a bonus if he does it sober. If you are worried, start some light Facebook conversation. But talk to him. No pokes, no passive aggressive “like” of “Photo 181 of 190″ in his Facebook album. Just speak normally to him. Just as girls have endless advice given to them on how relationships should be (however mine is the ONLY advice you should listen to), guys have been told they need to wait to reply and play a little hard to get. Right now he is probably looking through a men’s magazine feeling bad he doesn’t have 6 pack abs and a Aston Martin when instead all he has a 6 pack of beer and a buddy called Martin. Yup, now media has made us feel bad about ourselves too, so it’s equal ladies. I do agree the guy should be the guy but this isn’t a Mexican stand-off at 20 paces to see who texts first. Prove you are a kick ass chick of the year 2013 and just talk to him.

darryn-lyons-image-2-744411117-924812Oh this one is a keeper

However at this stage ladies, it’s all about decisiveness. These days everyone is “hanging out” and if you are not sure about him, you just hang out some more and think maybe something could grow… but what happens is rarely a wacky, charming, offbeat tale like a Zac Braff movie and instead it ends up as something Alfred Hitchcock would have written. I think next time you meet a guy who generally fits your basic womanly needs, you need to decide yes or no. If it is a “no” then it’s off. I don’t care if he is super good looking, buy a magazine if you want to look at a model. No hanging around, no endless online chats and definitely no hooking up randomly at 3am at Shooters. The problem is indecisiveness. “Maybe” pretty much always means no. If you don’t feel it for the guy after the first date, move on. Don’t drag it out because you know it will turn into torture which would make Guantanamo Bay look like a pleasure resort.

ku-mediumAt the end of the day, at least Ahmed still had his good looks

If you are not feeling the chemistry with him, instead enjoy the chemistry of a vodka martini. It will give you more enduring satisfaction and anyway, that bar tender is kind of cute. Oh and ladies if you are feeling the chemistry go for it. Just don’t update your Facebook status to “in a relationship” just yet. Wait until the second date for that one.

Cosmo June 2013 – First Dates

Now 2 months has passed I can put up my second Estonian Cosmopolitan article, this time about first dates!

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Louis Zezeran on… First Dates

First dates are hard. It’s like the first impression was a slick sales pitch and now you have to actually come though with the goods. Most of the time I feel like a used car salesman. Sure, what I am selling looked ok in the car yard, a foreign brand with a good reputation. However, now she has taken it for a test drive and it’s belching gas out the back and needs a good amount of alcohol in the tank to run properly. How can I keep this going long enough to impress her with my meager achievements so that when my faults come to the surface they won’t seem so bad? Does such an amount of time exist in the universe? What if she sees right through me? “So by ‘love to cook’ you mean you are great at boiling the water for kiirnuudlid and by ‘I donate to the Kasside Turvakodu’ you mean ‘I once saw a cat picture on the Internet’”. In the first date game of “Battleship” you just sunk my aircraft carrier.

-1Me on an average first date. Note by now I am crying under the mask

How about the time I sat through 4 hours of Shakespeare not understanding a word of it because I had a public school education? Or another time after a meal and some cuddling I walked the girl home and smoothly suggested I could come up for a coffee when she replied “oh you can’t because my boyfriend, whom I live with, is at home”. Oh. Or when over dinner another girl said “I’ve never had a boyfriend before… only girlfriends”. To which I rather smoothly replied “so that means you have never had sex before?”. Nice work Romeo. “No idiot, I’ve had sex with women.” Then in an apparent attempt to defuse the situation she threw a bit of food at me. I guess she figured the only way to reply to my utter childishness was to reply with similar utter childishness. It worked and as I wiped away the cabbage from the side of my face, I knew I had to see this girl again.

hamletRemember how this came out in a 2 hour and a 4 hour version? I agreed to sit through the 4 hour version and I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND A FUCKING WORD. Hamlet wasn’t exactly required reading at Nelson Bay High School

Once I met a nice girl at a party at a party and we chatted all night. She was unique but I couldn’t quite pinpoint why and we agreed to meet up for lunch and a walk around the harbor. The next day I told my friend I had met this nice girl and she said “ummmm you mean the one with the Adam’s apple?” Oh. Yes. That one. The one I had driven home and given a kiss on the cheek to. Being slightly freaked out but still trying to be an open thinking guy I felt I only had one choice. Go on the date and just say “hey you are cool but I am not into you”, never mentioning “the situation” for fear I would be instantly labeled a massive homophobe and chased down the street by an angry mob. Or so stupid 21 year old brain thought. This was Sydney, home of the Gay Mardi Gras, this sort of thing was situation normal in this town, how had I not seen it? I think I went for no other reason than to convince myself that her “look” was really well done and any red blooded man would not be able to tell. It got awkward. I remember I drank a lot of coffee. Everything went fine, the food was nice (none was thrown) and as I walked her back to her ferry I felt like I had done the right thing. Yeah, waste her time on a Sunday afternoon and act super strange for several hours, good move champion. In 12 years I have not told anyone that story, so what better way to redeem my soul than to write it in a national magazine?

BECOME_A_MEMBER-725x408This is a photo of an average Monday morning as everyone goes to work in Sydney, how did I not see this coming??

The question you want to know… are guys just looking for a way to get into your pants? Kind of. But we do genuinely like you too, it’s just that you look really pretty and we have a million years of evolution pounding inside our errr… heads. Look, first dates are always going to be weird. You will be lucky if the guy a) doesn’t have a girlfriend b) won’t drag you to the new Ironman movie and c) will actually be a guy. However, if you are stuck in a tricky situation I highly recommend the throwing of food at your date. He will never see it coming and if he sticks around, you know you have a keeper.

Source: Estonian Cosmopoltian June 2013

Cultural Learnings of… The Small Things About Estonia

I come from a big island. We have a big ass rock in the middle of it, big beaches, big deserts, big forests, big rivers, big spiders, big numbers of fairy penguins who come up the beach each night, big beer guts, big personalities, we even have a big banana. Mate, if you want me to come and check out your tourist attraction, it better be big and impressive or I’m going to see one of the 20 other amazing natural wonders I can see within a 5 minute walk.

Big_bananaThis is a thing in Australia. It is so big you can walk through it and learn banana related facts. Yes everyone takes a photo from a distance pretending it is either going into their mouth or out of their crotch.

Estonia is not big. It is a small country with a small population and a small mountain in the south. Today I am on the island of Muhu and it is not even the smallest habitable island but I just lapped it in the Volvo in about 45 minutes.

At first the attractions of Estonia seem kind of quaint. Today I saw some limestone bluffs. It was marked on the map but it was really just a few rocks sort of, but not really, close to the water. On a sunny spring Sunday my friend and I visited the “Witch’s Well”. This amazing tourist magnet consists of some water flowing out of an old well fed by an underground river. Yup. It’s just water coming up out of the ground. Makes a sort of muddy brown pond. No golden sands, no crystal blue lake. The two of us and scores of families all gathered around to witness the spectacle and afterwards walk through some traditional Estonian habitat, otherwise known as a “bog”. Estonia does great bogs.

witcheswellThis is the Witches’ Well. Bring the family! The river is a bit of a hipster though. It is underground.

It seems everyone has a countryside place in Estonia. As a rule, all Estonian grandparents live somewhere south of Võru. In the city we go to grill parties and eat supermarket potato salad while everyone swears their grandma has a much better recipe. It is like there is a hidden army of elderly 5 star potato salad chefs scattered across Estonia, to none of which it has ever occured to pass the time by getting a part time job at the local Rimi Supermarket.

kartuliMayonaise AND sour cream?? A bargain at twice the price!!

The countryside place is typically a humble affair. A wooden house which is older than Stalin and used to house farm workers in the old days. Maybe the roof is higher in the center because the grain used to be stored and dried in the rafters. There probably a vegetable patch out the back (note: this may be the secret to grandma’s potato salad), flowers growing, a dog running around, maybe grandpa has a few bees and makes honey for the whole family. I think this is where Estonia is at. It’s not a flashy place, it’s not a beach house looking over golden sands with a million dollar view. It is a small wooden house, some green grass and something for the kids to argue over when the old buggers falls off the perch.

Estonia is not the biggest, most impressive country on earth. I mean seriously, they like their fucken bogs?? However once you are there, hearing the way Estonians speak of that muddy mess with the small river which has less water flow than the average Australian shower faucet, it starts to hit you that this isn’t so bad. The way we all gather around a defective well which confused locals hundreds of years ago and went down in folklore is quite captivating. The bluffs may only be 14 meters above sea level but dammit, these are our bluffs and we will force tourists to come see it. Even if it only one Australian and two old Russian ladies made it there, I am sure they still got a grant from Enterprise Estonia.

bluffThe Üügu Bluff on Muhu. I believe named after an infamous poker game held here.

The other day my girlfriend made honey. Like from scratch. Like smacked the shit out of some bees or something (note: I have no idea how honey is made), got it out of the bee keeping thing, strained it and delivered to me two large jars of all natural honey which each morning I put on top of some fake-Greek-also-made-in-Estonia yoghurt. The honey is all part of a day in the Estonian countryside. I think I like it.

Oh and grandma’s potato salad is amazing.