No matter what topic of conversation you enter into it, chances are, if you are a foreign guy, you will be sucked into the vortex of discussing Estonian womanhood at length. Most young gentlemen under 25 revel at the chance to chatter on about their sojourns to and fro nightclub with Triinu and Piret and Kaili.
But when you actually marry one of this northern specie the questioning grows more tiring. "Yes," you want to say, "I know they are attractive." 'Yes," you carry on, "they are very stylish", "Ok," you concur, "they might be the most beautiful women in the world." It gets to the embarassing point that you realize that some people still consider women to be some kind of property, and your Estonian gal to be ... a trophy wife.
Taken in the context of paging through Kroonika magazine, one could see where this idea comes from. Kroonika is a catalog of platinum blonde Barbies, usually straddling some kind of masculine-related item, if not an actual man, and waxing on about what kind of attributes they look for in their guy. A jaunt across Tallinn will leave you feeling equally stimulated as you spy young ladies wearing cowboy boots and hoop-earrings -- a sure sign that they are ovulating and desperately want you to help make up for the lack of suitable males in the Estonian population tonight.
So to indulge all of you in what you want to talk about anyway, I thought I'd address a few of those too frequently asked questions about Estonian ladies.
Why Do Foreign Men Marry Estonian Women?
Beyond these superficial glimpses at the opposite sex, there is the real phenomenon of foreign boys shacking up with Estonian girls. Some people wonder why. I'll tell you why. Because the traveling-guy-meets-exotic-foreign-female-and-settles-down-to-sire-a-multitude-of genetically-diverse-children parable is the oldest tale in the book. Ever since Fletcher Christian spied some random Polynesian teenager, mariners like ourselves have been doing it.
But why we stop in Estonia? Why not proceed through Latvia and then conquer all of Belarus? Free Wifi. No, actually, Estonian women are not alone in this regard. Across Europe Americans and Brits and others routinely partner with whomever they can. When I was living in Denmark I met two gents at a bar who were Americans that had left to evade the draft in the 1960s. They had runaway to Malmö of all places to marry Swedes and eat lingonberry jam for the rest of their lives. So I guess that is my first response: Estonia is not unique. This happens everywhere.
That being said, Estonians are amenable to marriage. They have a liberal, "eh, what the heck" approach to it and see it as a manifestation of romantic love, as opposed to the US where it has been viewed over the past 20 years or so as a phase in life that occurs sometime after a big promotion at work. In the Soviet ice age, Estonians got married young so that they could move out of their parents' homes. These days many still marry young because, "eh, what the heck" coupled sometimes by a loud "oops" and a surge in hormones.
In this context of ladies that aren't afraid to get married and wandering guys that are looking for a place to put down their roots, it shouldn't be surprising that so many foreign guys wash up on Estonian soil. A final factor is that Estonia is 54 percent female and 46 percent male, and of that 46 percent, a good chunk are either drunks or Eurovision fans, leaving the market wide-open for synergistic coupling.
How's Your Girl?
It's hard to stereotype any person. What one can do is relate their experiences and hope they jive with those of others. My Estonian naine likes to start her mornings with the sound of her mobile phone saying, "on aeg arkata, kell on seitse!". Then the water is put to boil, then the coffee, the sweet nectar of Estonian life, is first brewed. We have been drinking Löfbergs Lila these days. My naine says it tastes as good as melted ice cream.
The most cherished of breakfasts is some kind of porridge, perhaps tatrahelbed. The Estonian woman's culinary universe is flavored by porridges and jams and keefir and Kalevi komm. These foods are fine. The ones I find worrisome are maksapasteet, varieties of dried fish, and jellied meats. Whenever some person is carrying on about the Estonian beauties, I don't think he is thinking of one with a lump of sült hanging from the corner of her mouth.
Estonian women know how to live life au natural. Mine dreams of days spent in forests picking mushrooms and berries and maybe a swim in a pristine countryside lake, preceeded by sauna. Tonight we ate seenakaste with potatoes and kurgid. It was so good. I washed it down with an A. Le Coq Pilsner and chased that with a plum tart. Then, as I lay on the doorstep of a fine slumber, my naine appeared with a cup of freshly brewed coffee to nurse me back to health and put me back to work.
They Who Wear The Pants
In Estonian society, women allegedly run things. This appears to be true, although our president and prime minister are not women. But in day to day life, it is the females that are organizing and the men who are obliging. With the advent of both mobilephone and Internet, my Estonian woman can order her day into a multitude of meetings that flow seamlessly into one another, complete with time calculated to get from one meeting place to another.
As a male, duties are assigned to you because the organizer has a special way she wants things done and its best not to take it upon yourself to, say, fold the laundry because that laundry might be dirty or intended for other usage. The real trainwreck occurs when several duties are assigned simultaneously (wash up dishes, take out garbage) and as you are finishing washing your last plate, you are asked, "How come you forgot to take out the garbage?" Don't even bother trying to explain yourself.
Estonian men are supposed to be like MacGyver. Like Lennart Meri, they should be ready to spring into action at any time with screwdriver in hand, fixing leaky pipes and roofs along the way with tree bark and some manure. As a foreign guy, your lack of handiness might make you into something resembling a male model. You just sit around and read the newspaper, relying on 'real Estonian men' to figure out what is wrong with your car.
Worry not. If you have two arms and two legs, the chances are good that your Estonian woman will find something useful for you to do. And, as they say in construction, showing up is 90 percent of the job.
If you really want to know your Estonian naine, it is a good idea to get a sense of where she is coming from. Most likely it's from a small corner of of Eestimaa that ends in a suffix like '-vere' [Eg: Adavere] or '-tsi' [Eg. Muratsi]. In this place you will meet her mother and perhaps even her grandmother or great aunts. Don't be surprised if Mrs. Claus, the spouse of Jõuluvana. comes to mind upon meeting vanaema.
Vanaema knows all sorts of tricks. She knows when is the best time to plant cucumbers and how to make bread and how to make a whole litter of kittens disappear with a bucket, a burlap sack, and a rock. The current generation of vanaemad in Estonia have lived through thick and thin. Soviets, Nazis, Soviets, Uno Loop, Collapse of the Ruble -- they have seen it all. Yet when they talk, they probably prefer to gossip about village life. Is somebody pregnant? Did somebody buy a new car? How much did it cost? Vanaema knows.
Sometimes it is hard to believe that the girls in VanillaNinja will one day become those old ladies you see walking the streets of any small village in Estonia, but genetics are a safe bet. So take a good look at your Eesti vanaema. Because chances are, if you stay together, this person closely resembles the one you will be sleeping with in 50 years.
Her Other Boyfriend
If you are married to or are in partnership with an Estonian female, the chances are that you may develop arvuti-envy. As she scrolls through blog.tr.ee or the online version of Eesti Ekpress, you might feel pangs of jealousy as she makes expressions of surprise, or even laughs, while you passively await her attention. She'll assure you that she is just paying her taxes, but in reality she is engrossed in a debate over child rearing in Perekool.
As talented and handsome as you are, there are some ways in which you will always be outdone by the Internet. The only way to handle this is to get even. And maybe even get your own blog.
Noh, mis te mõtlete sõbrad? Kas eesti naised ongi kõige ilusam naised maailmas?