They are really good in an entertaining sort of way. I forget how emotional things are over there. I guess things are emotional everywhere. I do believe that the emotional coverage of the Baltic Times, stems from the fact that it comes out of Riga, which Aleks over at All About Latvia says is quite an emotional place.
Anyway, it's provoked some emotional responses, like this one from Ben in Russia.
It is sad to see but… [your] newspaper is full of aggression to Russia. Do you really think that relaxed Western readers want to see how the Baltic states are trying to shout about some “rising Russian menace?”
Your newspaper is useless for providing a positive look for the Baltics. Nobody in the civilized world wants to know about the crap you write about Russia.
I wonder if he sweated over that one. As Richard Pryor would say, no. Nevermind what Richard Pryor would say. Anyway the next one is even better, from John Slade in Tallinn:
Why should anybody ever think that Estonia would ever stop the only source of income it has? Take away the prostitution, and what’s left? Nothing is made/produced – the transit trade will end shortly. Tourism is based on prostitution. Break down the numbers of tourists into age groups, and even the EU can work that out. Sex tourism keeps Estonia afloat with its black economy. Being a member of the EU for Estonia means they pick and choose what they want and screw anybody who thinks otherwise.
When I freelanced for BT, I was wholly unaware that prostitution was paying my salary. I thought it was all real estate money that was buying those ads. There were a few sketchy "call this number for a good time" ads, but they were in Vilnius! And I had no idea that the boat loads of Italians I met in Raekoja Plats in the summer of 2003 were so chipper because they had all gotten laid by Estonian prostitutes. I should have known.
I have, however, had my run-ins with sex tourists. I recall hearing American English being spoken near Stockman and welcoming some guys from New York to my home town. They were on a trip through the Baltics. How nice. But then as one guy reached to shake my hand, a whole pack of rubbers fell out of his pocket onto the ground.
There was an awkward silence. Then they left. Yeah, sex is nice and the women in Estonia do like to wear high heels, but come on dudes. Don't you understand that the moment you purchase sex your manhood diminishes a whole order? You have just entered into the group of guys who are so untalented in conversation/hygiene that you must pay for sex. In other words, you are undesirable.
Estonians don't want Russians to own their railroads, no matter how good the Russian money is. Why should Estonians want to have their hometown barfed and orgasmed on by a parade of West European subhumans in search of vagina as a commodity and cheap Gin Long Drinks?
Eestimaa is shrinking in population size. Over the past 60 years the country saw a bizarre and backward economic system try to turn the country into a manufacturing, military, and transit hub for the USSR. But that economic system died, and all the workers brought in for that accident now live in Narva or Sillamäe and are unemployed and perhaps mad at the Young Republicans who run the Estonian state for not doing enough and ... well you get the picture.
Look at the other Nordic economies. Look at them. There is your future Estonian state. What does Iceland produce? Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland? They are just like Estonia - small in size with good Winter Olympics athletes and superior technological prowess. They are just like them as they are in a northern part of the world where few people live and few people visit. These are all marginal countries. Sure, Sweden has Ikea, Denmark has Legos, Finland has Nokia, and yeah, Estonia has Skype. But they are remote, even for Europeans.
One other thing about the northern countries. They all use to be havens for hoes, gentlemen. Watch some films about Finland or Iceland in the years after World War II. You'll see the same thing. American GIs show up with a pack full of rubbers and a smile and think they are in easy sex territory where the women all are blonde and their diets subsist of fish, potatoes, and the esteem-boost they get from assholes who find them desirable. That's the way it's been.
Before Anu got her mobile phone and Hesburger in Helsinki, her grandma may have been living in a hut in the countryside taking a sauna and beating on her reindeer skin drum. Before Magga accessed wireless Internet in Reykjavik, great grandma was cutting up fish and burying whalemeat. Bottom line, those modern utopias got a major makeover. And Estonia is in the midst of such a makeover.
So sex tourists, enjoy it while it lasts. Because your days of paying for pleasure are probably numbered.