Continued nyõnks

It’s been a week since I last wrote. Some more little bits and pieces.

The DPDR/dissociation has become even bit worse; somehow still keeping it together. Watching The Princess Bride with Annie last night helped.


  • Presented to the Police and Border Guard Board office to renew my ID card. Sat down in front of the worker once my number was called and asked, “kas te räägite inglise keelt?” (do you speak English?). With almost a tinge of pride, she replied, “ei!” (no!). It took everything in me not to burst out laughing.

    • There’s an oddity in that I can pronounce Estonian very well, despite not really knowing much of it (i.e. reading out text, like from a menu or Google Translate or whatever, I sound semi-native, but actually producing that text myself I’m nowhere near yet). This makes for fun situations.
  • We have a new home :) An r/eesti comment mentioned someone once found an apartment in Tallinn on day 5 and was moved in by day 7. That was encouraging, if a little unrealistic-seeming. But nope: we inspected ours on day 4 (!), and moved in on day 8. Now we can ship our boxes from Australia.

  • Food’s so nice here.

  • Sure it’s 2° outside, that’s no problem, but then you walk into any building and it’s 22° and you’re shedding layers as fast as you can. Other people just seem not to?! I don’t get it.

    • The worst part for me is that, even with all our apartment floor-heating turned “off” (or as off as you can, which is to say, the set point is set lower than the actual point), we’re on the top of the building, so it’s over 20° regardless. This is troublesome at night, and the street noise might be a bit much to open the windows, but using the aircon when it’s below zero outside feels a bit …

    • Also, sharing a bedroom for the first time in so many years is a strange experience, like I’m cosplaying being a different kind of adult.

  • Public transport’s so nice here — it’s already happened that we’ve taken train+bus+tram all in the one day just out of convenience.

    • Not that I’ve worked out how to get the free transit for locally-registered residents working on my Ühiskaart yet.

      • Is it only on TLT-operated busses? Is that it?? The information’s all very vague.

        • DISREGARD THAT I S—eem to have gotten it on a further attempt with the card reader.
  • It just started snowing!?!!?

  • Without cheese or with justice? (juust)

Early nyõnks

We’ve been in the country a little over two days now. It’s been one of the most serene times of my life, and even the flights from Australia seemed to pass in an instant.

This is in some part due to intense derealisation, but as uncanny as life has seemed for months now, I can’t say I hate it — I’ve been able to do so many things without crushing anxiety killing it, whether due to COVID or whatever else. (Not that the skin on my face is recovered yet from the 30 hours of wearing an elastomeric respirator.)

Some fun moments and things I don’t want to forget:

  • We had 6 hours to kill between getting out of Tallinn airport and our temporary accommodation becoming available to us. We walked around the Old Town after storing our bags, still wearing the clothes from our flights. I had on a plain blue dress and black knee-high compression socks, and didn’t realise quite how I looked until we spotted two men, bottles in hand and visibly drunk, who spotted us in turn and called out to me, “Гермааааания! Айайайайяаа!”, and all four of us were laughing.

  • This guy.

  • This girl.

  • Beer and cider at 3pm in an upstairs nook of a café with no-one in it but us (still waiting for our accommodation to become available). The owner came up and gave us some cake that was left-over from a birthday party.

  • Walking to the Rimi express on my own first thing in the morning to get cereal and milk oat drink. I feel so calm here.

  • Bike riding to Rocca al Mare :) We took panniers and had probably the nicest and most “successful” shopping experience of my life. (warm clothes for the new climate!)

  • Vapiano vegan chicken pastaaaaaaaaa, next time I will take much more bread

  • Going from straight-up pre-emptive “Inglise keel?” at the beginning of exchanges with service staff to full Estonian in the course of a day, and just hoping I was guessing the questions right when I didn’t know the operative words. (usually assuming it’s “do you have a membership with us?”, since “ei ole” seems to get me through …)

  • We were having a sit in the square after exploring the new town today, people-watching, when we noticed a group of younger Russian girls having fun, chasing pigeons, etc. After a while, I began to notice the most adventurous one tracing out a circuitous path from their spot under the town hall over to us, inverted phone in hand, ready to record an exchange.

    Without much ado, she finally came over and sat down right next to me, holding her phone up and asking something in somewhat-shy-and-therefore-mumbled Russian. I just said “Что?”, and even more embarrassed she repeated her question. I got the gist of it and first said “Я не знаю русский.. English?” She haltingly replied, “m-maybe?”, and so I finally answered her question and said “Half-half”, using a gesture to reinforce the meaning.

    The question was if I was a boy or a girl, which is a pretty common one when I’ve been overseas. She then apologised and said she didn’t mean to be rude, and that she thought it was a totally fine thing to be different and not at all a problem here, and I made sure she knew I didn’t mind the question at all! It was pretty daring of her to just come over and ask; I think she and her friends must’ve been observing us two as much as we had been watching them. It was a really nice exchange across cultures and generations.

    (I only realised once home that I was wearing a Trans Justice Project T-shirt underneath my coat! Missed opportunity.)

Tomorrow we take a train trip out to Narva so I can renew my ID card, explore there for a day, and then get back in time for an evening inspection of what might be our future home. Fingers crossed :)

Literate pickle

I’ve been deleting hundreds of accounts and cleaning up many more while preparing for the move, and I found I have an npm account with one (1) package, last published May 2012 (!): allium, a parser for the “Gherkin” syntax used to define Cucumber BDD tests, back when that was all the rage.

The README captured by npm refers to the literate source code as once published on GitHub Pages. That was long ago, but I figured it might be fun to look at again. And it is! Have look:

Eesti keele abilised

Here’s a little tool I’ve made to help my partner and I while learning Estonian. Very much nothing special, but I’ll hopefully find more resources to add to it over time!

Eesti keele abilised

(Previously on this topic: Estonian Morphology Guide (mirror). I no longer collect analytics on my site, but when I did it was consistently one of the most-visited parts of it, presumably because the link broke at some point. I’ve just found its new canonical home, though, so I’ve updated the link!)