I woke up at 3 AM to catch my bus to Stansted airport. One bus arrived about 10 minutes early and gave me a proper scare when the driver said he’s not going to Stansted and the next one was due for 5:25 AM. My flight’s boarding gate closes at 6:05 AM.
Luckily that bus driver turned out to be an idiot and 10 minutes later another bus came in which took me to the airport. I also bought a return ticket to the airport and back – saved £5 (the ticket is valid for 1 month) and was particularly pleased with my financial planning skills during that bus trip. Looks like the past 6 months in a financial advice office is finally starting to pay off.
I reached the airport only 25 minutes before the gate closure. Unfortunately it was very crowded – huge lines before the security checks. I remember I became religious during the 20 minutes it took me to go through the beeping gates. I prayed for a miracle and promised to never do anything bad ever again if I didn’t miss my plane. I’ve been an angel ever since. 🙂
Once I was on the other side the amazing race began. I had to run and zig-zag past all the slow people with their carry-on luggage. Luckily I made it to the boarding gate in time and had at least 10-20 minutes to cool down in the queue before boarding the plane. All this panic for nothing!
My previous trip to Estonia taught me that I will need some reading material for the flight. Since I’m studying for my next exam I took my study stuff with me – once a nerd, always a nerd. I was impressed how productive I was.
Very beautiful weather greeted me in Estonia. I took the bus from Tallinn to Tartu and continued my studies. This is commitment to my craft… Watch out, soon a new financial advisor will ravish the streets of London.
I still needed to buy a wedding gift for my sister and after about 2 hours of windowshopping in various malls it suddenly hit me – the perfect wedding gift. Or at least it made perfect sense as a gift. I thought that a wedding day is probably one of your life’s luckiest and happiest days, I should buy the bride and groom a big bunch of lottery tickets. The way I see it (by completely ignoring everything taught during my statistics studies) one’s probability of winning the jackpot is maximized on that person’s wedding day. Foolproof logic!
I had one day until the wedding and scheduled a meet-up with my homies Pete and Siim. It was a great success. We had lots of fun catching up, had a few drinks and did a bit of grilling. One of the night’s highlights was when I tried opening a wine bottle with my shoe. Well… uhm… I saw it once on YouTube but wasn’t able to replicate the method. Basically all you need to do is put the wine bottle into the shoe and tap the shoe on a hard surface so that the pressure and the wine’s momentum will push the cork outwards. Just 3 wonderful seconds after my brilliant idea and a few knocks the wine bottle cracked into a million tiny pieces. YouTube owes me a bottle of wine. Sergey Brin, I’m talking to you!
I put on my best clothes and a tie. I think I looked a lot like a bank employee. That suspicion became certainty after two random strangers in different locations asked me “is Swedbank still open today” and “where’s the closest ATM”.
It wasn’t a huge wedding – about 30 people with family and friends. My old history teacher was the one who held the wedding ceremony. She read a long poem and shortly after that announced my little sister and her fiancé as husband and wife. A lot of congratulating and photographing followed. It was very sweet.
Lots of photographs later we went to the wedding party. Everybody was fairly shy in the beginning – we had a lot of people who didn’t know each other – I didn’t know the majority of people. Things changed after consuming alcohol for an hour or two – people loosened up and started mingling. At least that’s what I did. So in that sense it was a truly Estonian wedding.
I “danced” with almost every girl that night and had a little chat with them. They all seemed very nice and friendly. None of them could dance and I hope I didn’t make them feel too bad about it. I feel quite incompetent when I dance with advanced girls in my classes, so I can relate to what it was like. Sorry ladies.
I left the party before midnight because people were getting a bit too drunk and I hadn’t really found my place in the crowd. I’m sure my sister had a good night and that’s all that matters to me.
The next day I planned to meet up with a few friends. My planning and communication wasn’t too good and I wasn’t able to see all the people I originally planned to meet. Oh well, maybe next time.
It was good to see Michael again after 4 or 5 years. I had lunch with him and his 20 friends. Mike doesn’t travel alone you see. He seemed quite energetic compared to the last time I saw him. I also learned that I always need to specify what vegan means when ordering food because my dish had cheese on it and even a piece of bacon. I didn’t want to make a scene because I’m no diva, especially in front of 20 people. I removed the vast majority of cheese with my spoon to the side of my plate and ate my risotto like a little bitch. Om-nom-nom. Not!
I was lucky to catch a ride back to Tallinn with Marget. I think I was quite tired and not too chatty in the car. I’m sorry. Maybe we talked about everything the last time we saw each other and not much has really happened in the last 2 months. Oh well, was good to see her… she always reminds me of Australia. And I love Australia.
I organized a quick meet with Erik and Reet too, just before leaving for the airport. We studied statistics at uni back in the day. One hour was not enough. I’m looking forward to seeing you guys again.
To be honest, I was quite happy to leave Estonia. Just two days before my arrival, Obama visited as well. He gave a speech and said that the USA and NATO will back the Baltic States if Russia decided to do something similar here as it did in Ukraine. A part of me didn’t feel safe in Estonia anymore.
Ivar the Wedding Crasher