Last week I spent an evening talking to some locals at a pub in London. When we got to the ‘Where are you from?’ question, my conversation partner insisted on guessing the capital of my country. ‘Well, go on’, I figured. Not even after the hints of T-A-L-L and ‘next to Russia’,’close to Finland’ it remained a puzzle and he could only get as close as Riga.
I think it’s such a shame that Tallinn, the capital of my home country, has not managed to gather enough credit, as I am often bedazzled of the beauty of its Old Town and the seaside nearby. In my eyes, Tallinn also deserves a massive credit for the existence of cafes, that offer fair trade and organic freshly roasted coffees .. after midnight (if you know a place that does that in London, do let me know!). We managed to find one simply by chance off the main square.
I learnt that they buy green coffee beans and roast them there. Their focus is nice and good quality coffee, however they do have fair trade and organic ones, but apparently it’s expensive for small traders to use the ‘Fairtrade’ sign so it has not been made explicit. It also came as a surprise to me to learn that in Tallinn the tourists often do pay more than the locals and it’s quite a common practice. So I guess that this also means that bargaining is ‘in’ in Estonia? I have always despised when salesmen tried to trick me in Palermo often asking me to pay more. Eventually it made me so paranoid that I questioned every single price and once even so badly that I ended up paying less than the locals for a sandwich. I wasn’t aware that such strong ‘tourist’ and ‘local’ distinctions are being made here (aside from the taxi drivers being extremely cheeky) and I actually think such approach is not quite right.
Nevertheless, I am delighted to celebrate the shortest night of the year with a long cup of Nicaraguan coffee that has resulted in no sleep. Cheers!