Vibrant colors flashed before my eyes as I spiraled out of control. The blues and reds had a contrasting effect of calm and blood. The greens had a sickening effect. The whites were blinding as I tumbled towards uncertainty.
It all began on our Friday morning trip to Tallinn, Estonia. We all boarded the Superstar ferry that was set to depart at 7:30 from Helsinki. The name Superstar makes me think of myself. I am resilient and can be quite impressive. As we settled into our seats down near the stage of my namesake and the boat retreated from Helsinki, the waters of the Gulf of Finland had a settling effect. Cards were being played and laughs could be heard from my compatriots. Eventually the aurora notification sounded on a nearby phone and we were informed that we had entered “Estonian Waters.” The water was no longer settling. The rough waves clashed with my churning stomach. To me, the silver lining though, was my ability to find protection nestled safely in my resting spot.
We had heard about a graffiti place (1) that could be interesting and when we saw graffiti covering the walls on top of a platform behind a large set of stairs, we decided to investigate. The structure looked like something out of the Cold War. Standing at the bottom of the stairs, I imagined being Estonian and being forced to listen to speeches by our Soviet oppressors. Graffiti covered walls, abandoned buildings, and disintegrating infrastructure mixed with the overcast day was slightly intimidating.
We ascended the stairs towards the top of the platform where we were able to see views of the Baltic Sea as well as the city from the other direction. The graffiti was so unique and almost picturesque that I wanted to get a closer look. I leaned over the side to get a better look and all of a sudden I lost my balance. Vibrant colors flashed before my eyes as I spiraled out of control. The blues and reds had a contrasting effect of calm and blood. The greens had a sickening effect. The whites were blinding as I tumbled towards uncertainty. My insides crashed and went topsy turvy. I was bruised, scratched, and embarrassed. I survived, but found myself stuck in an embankment.
I asked myself how I would be able to get out of the structure? Walls surrounded me on three sides and a larger drop on my final side. I contemplated jumping down to the next level as I saw an easy escape route from that platform. As I sat on the edge, preparing for another fall, I couldn’t muster up the courage. This drop must have been close to 15 feet and I was still shaken up from the 10-foot disaster. I walked to the opposite wall and saw that I could possibly use the rubble from the crumbling foundation as a support. I climbed and climbed and was able to make it to a safe spot where I eventually rejoined my crew.
You would think that at this point I would be coddled and cared for after my troubling experience, but no! I was stuffed inside a backpack, smashed between a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a pair of socks. Then to top it off, the group went to eat at Pegasus (2) and I wasn’t even thought of, which really irritated me as I am an integral part of lunch. Instead of even considering me, I heard the group in pure bliss as they ate their bread topped with pear, hemp seed, and pumpkin seed and were nourished by unique drinks such as cucumber water, glog, and kuldne eil beer. My envy made me boil with resentment as I longed for revenge.
After lunch, the group went on the walking tour (3) of Tallinn and I still wasn’t released from imprisonment. Through my muffled surroundings, I heard the energetic tour guide introduce herself as Katrina. The walking tour began in Harju Park, which Katrina told the group was built after the bombings of the Soviet Union. As the group continued walking towards the Estonian Independence Monument and the Kiek in de Kok (Look into the Kitchen) tower, I grew more and more flustered as the temperature increased and I felt sweat trying to escape my silver lining. I knew, however, that I would be released soon enough as my owner would require my services.
Finally, as we sat across from a park where the Baltic Chain ran through Tallinn, I was extracted from my cramped quarters and used for what I do best. I offered my now-room-temperature water to my owner and was once again rewarded for my services. During the rest of the afternoon in Tallinn, I was back in my resting spot, right on the outside pocket of my owner’s backpack. I saw views of Tallinn from Patkuli Vaateplats and even took a few pictures with a ghost monk in Old Town. It was a day that I don’t think I will forget.
(1) Linnahall was built in 1980 to be used as a sports venue for a sailing event during the Moscow Olympics. Linnahall was also used as a heliport and a place for docking ferries.
(2) Pegasus Restaurant has a literary pedigree, where writers often ate and still do today. Pegasus has books around each table and gives you a check inside a book. Excellent food and service as well!
(3) Free walking tour of Tallinn is two hours and gives an extensive history of the city; an excellent way to engage with this unique city.