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Published: January 6th 2009
Tartu- Christmas Town
They set up a merry-go-round, and a few stand where people sold goods; blood sausage, mittens, scarves, cookies, chocolates, postcards and more.
I will start off with some news that some people may find irrelevant, weird, and out of the blue. I got my visa! Officially, I am allowed to stay in the country until three months past the end of April! It is exciting that I don’t have to deal with that any more. My host sister took me to this place (kind of like the post office) and we waited for our number to be called, took up my passport, and then the lady ran some numbers, did this and that, and in less than a few minutes produced this little envelope. After I signed for it and dated it, she gave me the envelope. Inside it was an ID card, and some little things saying I am allowed to stay in Estonia, here is what it entitles, blah blah blah. The point is, I don’t have to deal with my Estonian visa anymore! Unfortunately, I still have to get my Russian visa to visit Russia. For people who don’t know much about Russia here are a few quick facts: 1. Russia is NOT part of the EU so it still uses roubles- its’ form of money, 2. You have to
Same tree, just at night
have a Russian visa just to enter Russia, 3. I will be inhabiting St. Petersburg sometime in April.
Now, all I have to do is start that long and quite tedious process. Eventually, it will be over.
Christmas time! Besides a few things, not too much was different between the way that I normally spend Christmas and how I did this year. I had to sing and do a bit of poem reciting to get my gifts (which was really entertaining, because everyone else had to as well and there are some creative people who were here for Christmas). It was spent with my host sister, her boyfriend, his grandparents, his mum and her boyfriend, and my host mum. I don’t think I could have thought of a better company for an Estonian Christmas! We ate blood sausage, pork, sauerkraut, garlic in some really weird sauce- still tasty, potatoes, potato salad (Estonian version), and then for dessert it was some marzipan baked bread, cake, and tea and coffee. Christmas time is one of times in the year when you get to eat pretty much anything, anytime, and eat so much of it that you feel you are about to burst
and still not feel guilty about it. Just because I am in Estonia, was no cause for stopping that tradition. When we all sat at the table, there was no getting up- for any reason!... Well, except for presents.
Decorations were splendid too. We had a Charlie Brown Christmas tree with candle and ornaments on it. Then we had some coloured strings hung up around the room. Candles on the table for dinner and lots of people crowding around in the living room. This Christmas was pretty much as wonderful as it gets for Estonian Christmas!
New Years was also very fulfilling. We ended up staying up until really late, and of course wine and champagne were out and about- just for celebrating reasons. 😊 Blood sausage here too, with loads of other food. The eating thing got a little old just because Christmas was not too long ago and we ate pretty much all night. My host aunt, her husband and her son showed up. Some host cousins (older ladies who were delightful) showed up and chatted a little bit in Estonian. They loved hugs too! I was so excited because they grabbed me and just kind of shook
The kiddies went to say hi to the lambs in the center!
me and held me. Cute, yet defiantly unexpected. There were five cousins that came and then left later on at around eleven or so. The other family stayed at our house until the next day- they slept in the spare bed. I was surprised that we had enough space for all of us! At midnight we all went out on the balcony to watch fireworks and because we live outside of town, we had the best view! Not only could we see about five shows going on, yet we didn’t have to leave the house to see them- laziness at its’ finest! I was joking to my host mum that the fireworks off in the distance looked like bombings because we couldn’t actually see some in the distance, just some lights. The next thing we know, we hear this huge boom that sounded like a gun! Turns out, someone wanted some more champagne to ring in the new year! One tradition that they do is instead of making resolutions (at least the family that I stayed with) brought money outside and traded it for luck- to have more money in the new year. Noh, Head Uut Aastat! (Well, Happy New
My Christmas cookie!
We all got cookies with our names on it- delicious!
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