I went to the supermarket here at about 5.30 on Saturday hoping to get a snack while I worked in the office. While I was standing on line, I noticed the enormous amounts of alcohol being purchased by individual Estonians on line.
"Christ, what a bunch of drunks, I thought to myself." Then I purchased my food and moved on.
At 5.45 I received a call from my wife, who informed me that if I wanted to buy any alcohol to drink until May 3, I should go to the supermarket now, because the government had placed a nationwide ban on alcohol sales until that date. This sort of explained the behavior I saw previously but, still, how can you drink two cases of A. Le Coq in a just a few evenings. It didn't seem possible.
When I ventured back into the store it was even crowded than before with last minute boozers stocking up. I decided to buy just a few beers, and because these kinds of bans don't happen everyday, a nice Saku Gin Long Drink. I had a cold and I thought the grapefruit inside would do me good.
In line with me were the most unsuspecting drunks you ever saw. Two guys that looked like 19 year old chemistry majors stood in front of me with a whole cart filled with enough booze to make you sick just by staring at it. They laughed when they saw my expression. "Nii palju," I said to them. "Jah," they replied sheepishly.
Another guy in front of me had two huge cases of Saaremaa õlut, which is one of the most alcoholic beers in Estonia. It's basically like drinking beer with a shot of vodka mixed in. I couldn't fathom this one guy needing all that beer until May 3.
But you never know with these Estonians.