Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Day 17: Home at last

Uh, it's done. Back at home. The end of the trip went relatively smoothly. The only aggravations were the fact that the flight to Tallinn was 40 minutes late (hm, why did Estonian Air made as much loss last year as they had made profit a year earlier?) and that for some reason none of the lounges at Gatwick granted admittance based on my Eurobonus gold and economy ticket to Tallinn with EA. I have always been there and it has been one of the main reasons to get my gold card at all and till now I have not had any trouble on any airport with a Star Alliance flight to board. Strange, shall investigate.

Ah, home sweet home. Boarded my flight home and the first sign was there. During all my flights with all those various airplanes and all those different people for the first time my personal space was invaded mercilessly. That was not done by a 200 kg British bachelor with a couple of pints under the tie (which I would have at least understood) but by a normal-sized Estonian girl in late teens. She quite obviously _needed_ to open that newspaper as wide as possible and obviously needed to have her elbows reaching exactly as far as she found comfortable. Not in a condition to pick a fight I drew to a corner and tried to sleep.

Second thing about home were the newspapers. The main articles of "Eesti Päevaleht" were about a bear cub growing up in a refuge, an essay about history of parliament in Estonia (inspired by a three-week old incident where a member of coalition was given a beating for targeting a question towards the member of government) and endless ravings about Pronkssõdur (a bronze statue of a Red Army soldier that represents the glorious victory of Soviet Union over fascism that has been turned into a pilgrimage site and a source of international turmoil by reckless actions of the government). Oh, there were also a couple of paragraphs on elections in Nigeria and France, but that was about it. How come there are thick interesting newspapers produced every single day all over the world but the ones in Estonia are full of week-old crap plus selected international news.

After arriving in Tallinn, I was greeted by a huge passport check queue. You see, only one officer was there to do the work. And so, my arrival to Estonia took longer than my admittance to the US of A. Brilliant, welcome to Elbonia!

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