Ch-ch-ch-changes.

This post was inspired by palmy’s return.

I’ll give a quick summary again, as it’s been nearly 2 months (what a surprise).

Emily and I broke up in July. It was a bit messy but now it’s done. She went to Germany with her dad and I went to Berlin the week before on my own. I had a great time there, actually. I met some guys that offered me jobs and was close to accepting them until Hugo offered me a pay rise and more stuff to do here.

Sure, I’d probably make more money in Berlin doing stuff but I still love my Tallinn. I was considering even getting a proper job here for some firm like HP or Skype or something. Hostel life is still more appealing at the moment though.

Anyway, yeah. Berlin was fantastic. One of my new favourite cities. I’m definitely heading back there some time… Maybe March next year for a month or two. It’s possible to rent apartments in the city for 115 euro/month. Tempting.

We had about 14 staff in the hostel in July. More than half left. We should be getting a few more soon, hopefully. It’s been fairly hectic on the farewell party scene of late, but fun.

I went to a folk music festival in Viljandi, a town in southern Estonia. The population of the place doubles for the four days of the festival, basically. It was really good fun. I camped out in the festival grounds in a shitty little tent and it only slightly flooded, so I was satisfied. The range of music was actually quite broad, and some other guys organised after-parties in a concert hall nearby each night. I really want to go again next year.

Oh, yeah, I finally went to Tartu, as well. Twice now. The first was for another one day festival that some of us hitchhiked to, then didn’t bother going into the place. We sat outside in a playground for most of the day instead. That was probably more fun, in the end. The second time was for a university party which was fairly tame… Partly because it wasn’t very big and partly because almost everyone spoke Estonian. Which is fair enough…

Speaking of speaking Estonian, I’m learning! Finally. It took me 10 months or so but I can now count and say numbers and also the days of the week. Basics, but basics I never actually had to use before. I’m getting a few more sentences and phrases ingrained as well. It’s fun. Too bad it’s almost impossible to replicate the vowel sounds, especially with an Australian accent. Ah well.

The hostel actually has a little bar now in the basement, too. Don’t tell anyone though. It’s a secret. We’re also owners of what used to be the second hand store and baby shop underneath now, so we can knock out some walls and connect the whole hostel together. We’ll move reception and the bar into there, too. I can’t wait, because it’s going to rock.

Last night I went to some multi-band concert called Polymer. There were about 10 bands playing throughout the night but I didn’t stay for them all. The venue was basically an abandoned factory out in the suburbs which is actually meant to be condemned. There were artworks and paintings and sculptures all over the place on display and all these funky little rooms. Reminded me so much of Tacheles in Berlin. Ahh, happy times.

Alright, enough crap for now. I’ve kind of stopped uploading photos onto my website because I use Facebook more and it’s faster than this host but perhaps I’ll slap up a few selections later on.

Galleries and CSS

I’ve spent the last 16 hours or so mucking around with my gallery‘s theme. I didn’t like the way the dev-testing theme looked which is fair enough since it’s designed for experimentation rather than aesthetics.

I think it looks rather spiffy at the moment. Nearly seamless, you might say. I’ve barely slept since I started hacking away at it last night. The individual picture pages haven’t been touched yet, so ignore their look for now.

On the hostel front, it looks like we’ll be living in the Viru rooms for at least the next 2 months. I had a feeling we’d end up in here for a while anyway so it came as no surprise when Hugo mentioned it. He’s going back to Holland on the 11th so then there’ll only be four of us looking after both these places now that Valerie’s back.  Well, Ben will be around too, I guess.

I haven’t been to the gym since Tuesday. We were meant to go today but it doesn’t look likely. Not with me feeling buggered from last night and Emily having been fast asleep on the bed for the last hour or two. Damn it, I really could use a shower and a good old scrub of the teeth. What a mess.

Today I caught up with Swedish Martin. He wanted me to see if there was any free WiFi signals that could be detected from his flat in the old town. The building is fantastic, a real Soviet style, scungy dump with dark, narrow hallways and toilets comparable to the one from Trainspotting. His room was freezing as well, I can only imagine how horrible it’d be inside during winter. He shares it with Tambet, an Estonian guy who works in Levist and plays in a relatively famous local rock band. Apparently Tambet has been living there for about seven years. Hardcore.

There were only secure wireless networks available so I was unable to help Martin out. Instead we had a beer and listened to some music while he told me some of his crazy stories. It would have been nice to kick back and relax for a few hours but I had to get back and clean the toilets.

This isn't winter

I don’t think it’s even hit -20°C here yet. Not without the wind at least and even then I’m not sure. I’m too lazy to check the weather websites to be certain.

Sure, we’re getting a bit of snow now and then. It might snow for about 2-3 days with temperatures in the negative teens but then the next day the sun comes out and everything warms up, turning all the snow into dirty brown slush that just makes everything wet.

I did, however, nearly freeze my toes off when I went out with some folks (including Hugo’s dad) to have a look at Paldiski. We didn’t get to check everything out but since I thought I was going to have to surgically remove my smaller toes I didn’t really mind.

It was a pretty interesting day. I took plenty of photos if anyone wants to take a peep. Unfortunately most of the ugly old buildings that the place is known for have been torn down now as its begun being redeveloped.

Emily got her hair cut quite short. Looks pretty cool. I think mine might even be longer now. Well, not quite. I still have nasty, skanky roots.

Happy birthday to me

Yep, 24. Thanks.

It’s good to be alive. I’m not sure about being older, though. Well, I guess 24 isn’t so bad. I’m approaching the age now where people start taking you more seriously and don’t consider you the bad kind of “young adult”. I hope.

There was no party. There never is. We did have cake, though. Pizza too. I went out with some kids from the hostel the night before and it turned into a quasi-birthday celebration after midnight, then Hugo came around on the Saturday for a beer and the aforementioned pizza and cake.

I’ve been plowing through my salad sandwiches with Emily these last two weeks. Quite nice. Especially with mayonnaise and mustard. We were planning on joining the local gym this week to really kick up our “healthy lifestyle” binge but we’ve been too lazy.

I have to admit, I really miss going to the gym. I really miss exercise, basically. True, I haven’t actually lifted any weights for about 7 years. Since high school, in fact. I enjoyed it a lot at the time though. Still, I’d give it all up for a new season and team of action ball.

Hostel life is continually surprising. Just when you think it’s a really boring period a weirdo will check in or something else will happen. It’s always got you on your toes. Emily’s enjoying it as well and she’s still doing some networking with the locals in an attempt to get work somewhere.

Snow’s still falling. Gradually. My fingers nearly freeze off every time I go outside because my gloves are crap so I don’t bother wearing them. It’s only a few more weeks of coldness though so I should be able to cope. I’ve gotten this far.

I have to think of a place to go for Valentine’s day, or for our anniversary. Choices, choices.