Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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FEBRUARY 27, 2004

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Greetings all

Been here now 3 weeks, and quite settled in. This is the first weekend I've been away that I haven't had some form of sickness. It's a new experience to see Tallinn without the overwhelming urge to go the Ralph...

But less about my stomach movements.

Like I said, I'm more or less settled. Glen and I went to the Estonian Tourism Board yesterday to meet with our contact for our internship. As we expected, the whole place is in one big state of flux, with no real organisation per se. One of the first projects I'll be undertaking is a study on the souvenir shops of Tallinn. Riveting. They all sell the same stuff: Matrioshka dolls, Amber, and wooden spoons. Some have a wide selection, that includes: the above, plus knitted jumpers. What they don't sell: Tacky silver spoons, snow domes, tea towels and the usual assorted crap you find everywhere else in the world. I can hardly wait for that.

Although living here is generally quite cheap, going out drinking puts a bit of dent in the budget, as it tends to do everywhere, so I've limited myself when I go out. What's this, I hear you say, Rob's jumping on the wagon? Au contraire, purchasing booze from the local, aptly named "Alkoholikaplus" is VERY cheap. Hence, we usually meet somewhere before hand, down a few ales, then go out. Probably what I should do back home, but when you live 5 mins from the centre of the action, it's a lot easier...

The weather has been...odd. It's not uncommon to see swings of 10degrees or so overnight. Unfortunately, these swings operate between -10 and 0. At the moment, it's about 2 or 3 outside, which causes all the snow to melt. But, then tonight, when it drops below freezing, the water will freeze, causing masssive ice sheets. Not good. Fell over yesterday. When I was sober. When I was standing still!!!! Much to the amusement of the Estonians nearby. Good to see I'm still a source of visual humour.

I think I'll do something cultural now, like go to one of the gazillion museums in town, which include: Fire musuem, bank museum, muesum of occupation, maritime museum and so forth.

Hope all is well in your respective worlds, and will email when I have something of substance to say.


Rob Kelly is our Estonian correspondent.


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