I've been meaning to write this post for a while now, but it was like my kimono presentation for History: just not happening. So now I am sitting on a bus to Tallinn to meet up for the St. Petersburg trip and I figured that I had three hours to kill so I really should get this done. The bus is pretty empty, given that it is a 1:30 bus on Wendsday, so I am really not all that surprised. Brittney took the bus that leaves a half hour earlier, so I am making the trip alone. Being alone makes me feel very grown up and independent, especially because I'll have to take a taxi to the ferry terminal from the bus station in Tallinn.
In older news, I changed families last week. I now live with Aime, Valter, and Karl Keis. They also have two dogs: a Shitzu named Trago and some sort of mastiff named Hera. Hera doesn't like strangers so she barks at me a lot and the first time I walked out of the house she tried to bite me, luckily I was wearing my ski gloves so it didn't hurt. She likes me now though. Trago on the other hand is very friendly and soft. He loves being picked up and cuddled with, which is great because I do that a lot.
Karl is eleven years old and we get along really well, almost like genuine siblings. I get a great vibe from this family and they all like having me. My host father stopped by the house today just to make sure that I was picked up as Eve had promised I would be.
Yesterday I went out with Brittney for pizza at Runni Pizza, which is a favorite for students because of the good quality food and low prices, and when we were walking back across Raekoja Plats, we saw a group of people demonstrating in front of the fountain. Several of them were handing out candy and one girl approached us and told us about what was going on once we had gotten a candy. Apparently they were from Belaurus where it was Indepence Day and also the last dictatorship in Europe. The pictures taped to the edge of the fountain were political prisoners being held in Belaurus.
In Kesklinn, the city center, across from Kabumaja, the old Kabumaja has been torn down over the last couple of weeks. The first day I noticed the deconstruction, I stood and watched for a little while and took some pictures. The machine that was being used to tear it down looked like a gigantic iron snake reaching out to tear out large chunks of concrete with its powerful jaws. As I watched the iron snake became a dog retrieving steel meshed concrete bones to drag over the ground to a pile of similar prizes. Stone dust blew through the air and the smell of it in the air reminded me of the Stone Bench Workshop I attended two years prior. I stayed to watch mesmerized until I could bear the choking dust no longer, and left.
School is going great and I haven't been homesick very much at all, especially since I learned exactly what my parents were stalking the fridge with back home.
I had a week off school last week, and I talked with Leann Friday night. It had been such a long time since I had seen or talked to her that I was very excited. During the holiday I also discovered a rather fun pastime: staying up all night and not going to sleep until the next night. I did it twice during the holiday, but the neither time was on purpose. I just wasn't very tired.
As I travel towards Tallinn today, I occasionally look around at the landscape surrounding us. Estonia is really very flat. The ground goes on for miles all around and it gives me the feeling that I'm standing on a paper landscape, one that could drift away beneath me at any moment. The feeling gives the landscape just a hint of subtle fabrication, just a small element of disbelief in its existence.