Sunday, November 1, 2015

Estonia and Halloween

It's been a busy week! I am absolutely exhausted and am totally using this Sunday to be totally lazy; I've earned it, especially since next week will be a busy week as well!

So what have I been up to this week?

This is not from a fairytale. This is from Estonia.
I went to Estonia! Specifically, I went to Tallinn, which is the capital of Estonia. Now Estonia is a pretty cool place with some pretty awesome history. During my fine arts class freshman year, we watched a documentary called The Singing Revolution, which is  about how Estonia earned their independence from the Soviet Union. They used songs and their song festival to gain independence in a non-violent way! The Soviets forced them to speak Russian and sing only Russian patriotism songs, but the Estonian people refused. They sang their own anthem, they waved their own flag, and they, unarmed and peacefully, took on Soviet soldiers who rolled into their tiny nation in tanks with fully loaded guns. I cry literally every time I watch this documentary, so of course, the opportunity to actually visit Estonia wasn't something I was about to pass up.

My travel companion and I are so cute.
First of all, Tallinn is beautiful. It's very, very, very different from Stockholm. Almost everywhere you look, you can still see the mark the Soviets left on the country. Almost everything is written in both Estonian and Russian. Every church has services in both languages. But all of the old buildings and statues are marked in Russian. It is in these places that you really remember what Estonia was going through not even 25 years ago. Because I had the documentary on my mind, these moments ended up making me pretty emotional, but I'd say it was in a good way. I wasn't necessarily sad, yet I don't know how to describe what exactly I was feeling. Was I feeling happy for the Estonians who bravely and tirelessly fought to gain their freedom? Was I feeling proud of them for doing so? Whatever it was, it brought tears to my eyes. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

You do you, Estonia.
The friend that I went to Estonia with seemed equally in awe of its beautiful. I told her about their history, and she seemed to gain even more of an appreciation for the young nation after that. Even though it was exhausting, I'm glad we went.

Daredevil! Or burglar...
Right after we got back from Estonia, it was time to get spooky and celebrate Halloween! I kind of put together a costume last minute because I didn't realise others would be dressing up. So I decided to go as a genderbent Daredevil. The only problem with that? Not many Europeans are familiar with the TV show, and that caused a lot of confusion. Most of the conversations I had with people went something like this:

Other person: You look cute! What's your costume? A burglar?
Me: Well, uh, have you seen Daredevil? The TV show?
Other person: No... I've never heard of it.
Me: Okay, well let's just say I'm a burglar then.

Close enough, I guess.

What a beautiful drag queen!
Everyone else had really cool costumes, though, so it was fun to see them dressed up! We went to a club for a while, but a lot of people had partied last night and were tired so we left kind of early and hung out at McDonald's instead. All in all, it was a really fun night! I'm so happy I got to spend it with my friends here.

You wish you had a squad this cool.
Other than school, not much is going on next week, but I have to finish a final paper for the class I'm taking now, then my next course starts the next day. AND I have a meeting for the Stockholm Film Festival, which starts 11 November, and obviously I'm super excited for that! Have a great week, everyone!

Hüvasti! (That's Estonian for goodbye!)
- Lee

The times I'm having...