My first experience of living in an English-speaking country was America, 1993 until 1999. After surviving massive culture shock my brain unfroze after about 6 months there and in a few years I got hang of the American accent – new people I met after that never asked me “where are you from?” and when [...]Read more
I remember clearly the day when I was filling in university applications in 1994 in St.Louis, Missouri. I had no idea what I wanted to major in and was advised to just pick something I enjoyed because “you can always change it later on”.
I picked German.
But I didn’t change it later on. …Read more
Dear 22-year-old me,
congratulations on your graduation!
You’ve had great 4 years but now you’re keen to get out of Small Town, Missouri and start a grown-up life.
Funnily the one thing that worries you more than getting a job and being able to pay your bills is making friends now that school life is over… You just cannot imagine how you’ll ever make great friends again now that you’re no longer in an academic situations with all kinds of extracurricular activities. [...]Read more
In 1993 at the age of 16 I won a Rotary scholarship to go and study in America for a year.
I was one of two kids selected from the entire country of Estonia. When I got on the plane a mere 2 years after Estonia had gained its independence from the Soviet Union, I was totally terrified. I had never been outside of the “eastern block” before and America seemed so far away and so foreign.
America did turn out to be far away and foreign. I didn’t speak much in the first months, my brain was in total culture and language shock. In the beginning I tended to hang out with other exchange students mostly, it was easier that way.
However, by the end of that year, [...]Read more
13 girls and 7 boys came to our reunion. Most of us had studied together for 8 years so no one had trouble recognising each other. Except for that one girl who didn’t have flaming red hair anymore, she left a few people puzzled.
Amazingly our teacher, let’s call her Mrs S, didn’t recognize me. I know I was a bit ugly and awkward and had humongous glasses and big frizzy hair back then, but I didn’t think that I had turned into an unrecognizable stunner in the 20 years since :) [...]Read more
Last Friday I grabbed my backpack containing two dresses and nothing much else and hopped on the plane to Tallinn.
I was flying alone and almost read an entire book during the flight. Flying without kids is really so very nice.
My sister and brother in law picked me up from the airport and after a quick stopover at their place, we drove 100km south to Haapsalu to stay at my mom’s place for the weekend. [...]Read more
Well, the party’s going to be on Saturday actually – it’s been 20 years since I graduated from 9th grade and I’m flying to Estonia to catch up with a lot of people I haven’t seen for TWO DECADES!
If THAT doesn’t make me feel old, I don’t know what will :)
9th grade is sort of a big deal in Estonia, after that is high school for 3 years, but not everyone goes to high school or to the same high school or to the same class in the same high school. After 9th grade you therefore say good-bye to a lot of people you have been in the same class with since year 1. [...]Read more