Years ago, when I used to “blog” into a small, black diary much like we do nowadays over the internet, I usually ended my travel with a closure-type text where I would moan about having to go back home, back to the normal life. You know that post-holiday blues.
I believe that that feeling still washes over me almost every time I return back home and back to the normal, everyday life. And this time hasn’t been any different.
When we used to live in Estonia, years ago, some of our acquaintances claimed that we were so lucky to have lived in Finland, instead of Estonia. According to them, the people in Tallinn were ogling a lot, especially if you don’t conform to the cultural norm of the place. I passed this as something that the older generations tend to do, as I hadn’t really encountered anything like that during our stay.
Maybe because I am caucasian, tall, dress in normative clothes, and can pass as a straight guy (at least most of the time).
But this time around, I couldn’t escape the notion that maybe they were right. It is 2019 and a gay couple, where one wears a bit more makeup than the other, seems still to be something exotic and worthy of ogling. And the oglers were not old, they were young, and those of our age.
In that sense, I am not sure if Tallinn would be a top travel spot of the year for extremely out gay couples. But having said that, I also think that it is important for any community in the European Union that wants to look towards the future to see and embrace all aspects of humanity, not just the heteronormative ones. We do, after all, come in all the colours of the rainbow.
Popping by a local market, Rimi, in the Old Town, it was like a slap on my face – there are actually people who are working in customer service and have no knack for it, whatsoever!
But this seems to be happening a lot in Estonia, especially by those of Russian origins. Estonians themselves are usually very obliging, very nice to deal with, but don’t be alarmed if you see someone who is clearly having a bad day and doesn’t want to deal with your custom.
I still love Tallinn! Especially during the summer months the city is fabulous. The Old Town has history, there are events to suit every taste, the food is good… All in all, Tallinn is definitely a place to see and experience.
In many ways Estonia has surpassed Finland, and as soon as they embrace same sex unions, fully, they will be so much further ahead.