In the latest issue of The New Republic, Tom Bissell goes to Estonia to find out what all of the 'e-Stonia' buzz is about, and oh, how he finds it.
The best parts of his piece are definitely his first hand experiences in Tallinn, but my personal favorites are his glowing reaction to Estonian womanhood. "Tallinn boasted what I can say were--without fear of hyperbole--the most jaw-droppingly beautiful women I have ever seen in my life," he writes. When he loses his bank card and has to go to Hansapank to pick it up, "a six-foot-two-inch Estonian Amazon so glowingly blonde she appeared to be irradiated" retrieves his new card for him.
Bissell also reacts warmly to the wife of Scott Diel, who is editor of The City Paper. "Diel's biggest impetus for staying in Estonia, he told me, other than his predictably lovely Estonian wife, was 'lifestyle'," Bissell notes.
There's a lot more meat to the story than Bissell's admiration for the exotic Estonian female. But I like it the best. It reminds me of when I was younger and single and sitting in a cafe in Oslo going, "Oh my God." And yes, there are some beauties in Estonia and I do recall at least one time going to the desk at Hansapank and completely forgetting what I was doing there or perhaps, what my name was. So here's a big "terviseks" to Bissell for so honestly portraying his experience. It is of benefit to us all. So read the piece. He is equally smitten with Toomas Hendrik Ilves.