Clash of Cultures vol. 4
One evening the weather was just so nice I couldn’t stay indoors so I put my jacket on and went for a walk on the beach. There I found myself smiling without a reason, which tells me that I am happy here. But I must confess a disappointment about Tallinn; people. They are not the least bit interested in making new friends. They are helpful, for example, I got exceptionally wonderful help in finding a flat, which I appreciate enormously, but when the time came for me to take the person out for a drink or some food to say thank you, I was thanked kindly and never heard from them again. Even the Brit I know here is more interested in hanging out with his own friends than helping me find new friends by maybe introducing me to his friends. He has Estonialized in a very short time, and comparing to Brits I can’t say it’s for the better.
It’s not just Estonians, this is a very Nordic problem, extremely common with Finns as well. I've seen it even with my own friends in Finland (though years ago): sometimes if somebody who doesn’t know most of our “crew” has said they don’t have plans for the weekend they get an apology rather than an invite to join the crew. Go just a little bit South and things are completely different.
So, after three months here I do not know any Estonians outside work. And even outside work I know one Finn and one Brit here… This is ridiculous! My mum did warn me about this when we were packing up my flat in Slovakia, that even though I had such wonderful friendships there, it might not be the same here. And once again I must admit, mummy was right.
In Eurovision language, Estonia: un point. Never have I had to rely on the internet before to find friends. But even Facebook, the promised land of international events and expatriates everywhere, let me down. There are no Facebook-pages for expats in Tallinn… Even Slovakia had them! I guess it’s because they all get fed up and leave before they get involved with local social media. This is shocking since Estonia is supposedly the most virtually developed country in the world but it seems it’s gone a step too far and people don’t do face-to-face interaction anymore. This is sad!
Thankfully my colleague is a member on a site called InterNations which is a global hub of expats everywhere. Problem with that is that you have to be invited there. You can’t just join like you would Facebook. The benefit is I finally found a place where I can find out about events in Tallinn! Events mean people and people mean at least a slight chance of making new friends. All I ask is to find someone who would do after-works with me!! We'll see how this event turns out, stay tuned :D