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.

Animal testing is hilarious

I mean, have a look at this fella:

The horror.

Poor guy. Actually he doesn’t look too bad. Won’t be long now until we can all be cyborgs or have behavioural implants! Read about it here.

Apart from that. Not a lot to report. Viru’s rooms just got a major clean out yesterday so now we’re feeling rather dominant over the whole building. Well, this part of it at least. We even got to design the colour schemes for each room so that they look pretty. Aw.

I’ve been feeling pretty tired lately. Not sure why. Maybe I’m just lazy. Not as lazy as palmy, but still. I can’t even be motivated to cut my fingernails, for example.

I think I’ll watch Labyrinth tonight.

Still in Funland

Emily and I are still here in Finland. Still in Lahti, in fact. Unsurprisingly, palmy and Dylan came back for New Years and have been staying mainly at Heli’s, although they were meant to stay with Krista’s parents.

It’s been fun having all these little bastards around. The party on the 31st was good. It was some dress up party so I went as a genie again. Inspiring, I know.

The party was some weird old house on the side of a railroad. I had no idea where we were but it seemed pretty cool. I can’t remember much from the night apart from running around being silly and dancing for a couple of hours. There was even a band playing earlier in the night but I was too lazy to check them out properly.

When we got back home, palmy and I tried to stay up all night. We ended up getting bored around 7:30am or something and crashed. I woke up with a hangover and with 3 other people in my bed. Too bad that doesn’t happen more often.

Yesterday was Emily’s birthday, the big 19. What started as a quiet affair ended up reasonably well. Heli’s folks made a nice big meal the day before for her even though it was Seija’s birthday, then Em spoilt us all by taking everyone out to dinner the following night.

After din-dins we had a mini round of King Cup and then hit up Rock and Molly Malone’s. Em needed a bit of convincing to come out as she wasn’t feeling 100% but I think the cold air did her good.

The other bastards went off to Onnelas later on but didn’t get in, so the night was effectively over, for me at least, by 4am.

Tomorrow we’re all leaving Lahti, bound for Helsinki and Tallinn. I’m going to stay at Suski’s and try to get my Eesti visa. Hope it doesn’t take too long.

Sup, Suomi?

It’s good to be back in Finland. I forgot how expensive it was. I always feel like a real tightarse wherever I’m paying Euros.

So, I caught up with palmy and Dylan again and they even brought Heli down to Tallinn with them. That was fun.

Emily’s been having a good time in the hostel, too. She even does a little bit of work, thank goodness. She likes Finland, too. I think.

Back to the present, though. We tried to get the working holiday visa in Helsinki but the silly bitch at the embassy didn’t even know what I was talking about. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a real hassle to get back into the country if I want to stay for a long time legally.

It even seems mandatory to get travel insurance, for God’s sake. Bah. Either way, I have to get back in there because all my possessions are there and I’m meant to have more mail arriving from Benecke, too. I hope it fucking shows up.

For now though, I’m just going to try and enjoy Christmas and probably New Years now, as we’ll be kind of stuck unless I just go back to Estonia like a ferry ninja and overstay my 90 days. I could probably get away with it but I’d prefer to be legal. We’ll see.

Yes, I'm still alive (and dancing)

Ok, so I haven’t really been using this thing much and I know no one really reads it anyway, regardless I’m going to write a bit.

What have I been up to? Well, the run down is something like this:

  • Left Finland at the end of September
  • Loved Tallinn (Estonia) as soon as I arrived
  • Visited Riga (Latvia) with some kids I met in the hostel
  • Came back to Tallinn and started working in the same hostel
  • Visited London for 15 hours a month later on a stopover for Amsterdam
  • Complete inability to recall my time in Amsterdam apart from knowing it was fun
  • Visited Vilnius (Lithuania) to take a photo of the Frank Zappa statue
  • Bussed back to Tallinn for another few weeks
  • Went back to London for 5 nights to visit palmy and Dilly and some other buddies
  • Came back to Tallinn and kept working

Of course, there’s plenty more to it than that, but they’re the kind of stories where you really had to be there to appreciate them anyway, so bugger that.

One thing I should mention is how cool the hostel is. Well, I think so. Unfortunately the website doesn’t seem to display properly in Firefox but it’s fine in IE, Tallinn Backpackers.

I never want to leave Estonia! It’s scary. I really dig it here.

Another thing I dig is listening to music off the Internet because I’m too lazy to keep pulling out my iPod. I started out on BlogMusik but I prefer Radio Blog Club. Enjoy it.

Korean layover

So, I made it to South Korea even though the pilot made a bumpy mess of the landing. The pricks played “Failure to Launch” as one of the in-flight movies. What a smart choice.

I wasn’t sure if I was meant to collect my bag or not seein as I didn’t really understand what the lady said when I checked in at Sydney. I wasted about 40 minutes at the carousel just to find out it indeed had gone through into a waiting area to fly out to Paris the next afternoon.

I had to declare the jerky palmy bought me when I went through customs. I got it through without too much trouble but the official had to run around double checking that dried emu meat was permissible (it tastes horrible, by the way).

Working out how to get to the hotel was a bitch at first but I eventually made it onto the shuttle and queued for a while to check in. Boy was my showering refreshing. Unfortunately, I was too far away from town to explore (seeing as I was in a hotel next to the airport) so I read my books and wrote in my journal after eating my complimentary dinner.

This entry is backdated, by the way. I managed to get online at an Internet kiosk at the airport again before I flew to Paris but didn’t have time to write much up.

Incheon airport is massive. 3 stories with 50 gates and a lot of football advertising hanging off the walls and ceilings. They’re soccer-mad there and are undoubtedly hoping to reach the semi-finals of the world cup or better for the second time in a row.

Take off!

Off I go to Europe, first stop Incheon, Korea!

Mum, dad, palmy, Ross, Becky and Emily all braved the early morning and airport parking fees to see me off. Thanks kids, I’ll miss you all.

P.S. thanks for the presents.

Near.

Less than two days to go. I got my visa on the Thursday night but I wasn’t home, so technically I could have left on the Friday like I’d originally planned. It worked out better that I’m leaving on the 7th instead, though. I’ve had a bit more time to spend money on coffee and run around doing stuff and seeing people.

The fact that I’m going to be leaving almost everything I know behind for a while is gradually sinking in. I’m not so much scared or worried but I guess just a little upset that this phase of my life (I guess you’d call it) is rolling to a close. I’m going to miss plenty of stuff: the blandness of having nothing to do at times but still feeling at home; Newtown; seeing my parents and putting up with their nagging; seeing Salesi; my mumcar; work; pissing off palmy; spending time with Em; idling on IRC; having Internet access 24/7; pirating shit off the web because I’m bored; procrastinating by flipping through everyone’s journals. Everything.

Yeah, I know… I’ll be having an amazing time overseas and all that. That hasn’t hit me yet because I’m not there doing it. Things will be different by the end of the week but for now, well, I’m just reflecting.

Aww.

Tick.

It’s almost time.

Almost.

Fucking Visas. Fucking UK faggot fucks. Bah.

I have a strong coffee here. Mmm.

I finished working at SDS! How dramatic. On my Wednesday night shift we had some cake and I got a card along with a Lonely Planet city guide to London and a travel journal about some guy’s journey from Bombay to Beijing by bicycle. An odd choice considering my destination but an interesting read nonetheless, I’m sure.

On the Friday I got another little card from the people that I didn’t see on Wednesday and a packet of Big Red chewing gum. I’ve got a hankering for some right now, in fact.

Em and I went to see X-Men 3 last Thursday. The critic’s consensus on Rotten Tomatoes is 53%. That’s probably a little lower than I’d give it. It’s certainly more shallow in regards to plot and character development than the previous two films. It seems like they’ve used the last film as an excuse to slap in as many characters as they can without making them interesting at all. Anyway, read the site if you give more than 3 sentences worth of a shit.

My folks had a going away party for me on the weekend, too. How nice. I ate a lot of food and enjoyed a tasty banana cake. I also took a lot of photos with my new camera.

My new phone has also arrived, I’m going to transfer the data across from the one I’m using now. They’re the same model but the one palmy gave me drains the battery in under 24 hours from virtually no usage. Oh well.

I’ve bought an exercise book to write in while I’m away. I’ll publish the good bits online along with the other crap I get up to. Whee.

Coughing.

TOFU GOT DRUNK LAST NIGHT.

I just had to make that official. Boy is he a cutie. The little darling just wanted to hug and squeeze us all evening. He’s still curled up on the couch feeling sorry for himself. I’m playing music to be a prick.

He actually slammed through quite a lot of vodka shots. Probably 9 or 10 along with a little KB, butterscotch schnapps and goon. No vomit. Hurrah!

palmy’s going to give me some videos and photos he took, so you can all spread the news over the intarweb.

I’m planning on going off to get my backpack today. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the MLC centre and pick up a sexy travel adapter because I want it.

Strangely enough, I’ve started to use the to-do list on my mobile phone as a reminder of the other odds and ends I want to get through before I leave in … 15 days! :O Fuck.

This phone burns through fucking batteries. I bought a new one off eBay and it still dies after about 15 hours of moderate use. What the hell’s with that? Maybe I’ll be able to nab another one O/S or just before I leave. Lucky I have a spare battery, but Jesus.

I found out that palmy was planning a surprise going away party for me. Unfortunately I fucked it up by accident as he didn’t realise I had other plans for that day. That’s the risk of surprise parties, I guess. I probably won’t have a chance to see as many people now, but meh.

I have fuzzy hair growing from my head hair down the sides of my neck and it’s quite long and it shits me. I need to tidy up the back of my hair a bit. Fascinating, I know.

Last night we saw an X-box with a controller in a pawn shop for $150. If I gave a shit/wasn’t leaving I’d be tempted to buy it for that kind of price. Tempted.

My hair’s long. I look like a wild man. Maybe it’s the beard assisting. Bushy. Brr. I’m impersonating Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3 but without the vampire slaying. I still have the weapons.

I really should use a dictionary. God damn it.