In Tartu when you see someone you know walking down the street -- which basically happens every day -- you are sometimes encouraged to shout out "väike Tartu linn" to get their attention, inferring that Tartu is so small that such continuous bumping into one another is to be expected.
But what about Tallinn, that sprawling metropolis of 400,000 people? Does the "väike Tartu linn" situation occur there too? I am here to tell you yes, it does.
A "väike taani linn" moment can happen anywhere in Tallinn. When I first lived in Tallinn several years ago, I saw then TV host Alex Lepajõe at the Söörikukohvik on Kentmanni street. Then there was that time that then foreign minister Kristiina Ojuland was on our plane. I saw Juhan Parts at the cash machine at Hansapank, and, of course, I happened to cross paths with Arnold Oksmaa -- teine Arnold -- who is probably now used to getting odd looks in public.
But the best place to have a "väike taani linn" moment is at Stockmann in downtown Tallinn. This is where you will find basically every semi-famous person in Estonia picking up some pere leib and kotletid. Usually when I am in Stockmann, it's celebrities I spy. Sometimes Anu Välba. Occasionally Margus Saar. And for some odd reason I ran into the guys from Soul Militia one too many times.
Last week in Stockmann I saw my favorite Keskerakond politician, Olga Sõtnik, loading up on leib and kotletid after a laborious week of working for the people of Tallinn. The only reason I like Olga is because her last name reminds me of my favorite bakery treats, which are called Sotsnikud. If Olga was ever to add an additional letter to her name, she could potentially win more votes from people who also enjoy sotsnikud kohupiimaga.
Anyway, I am hoping to see Edgar Savisaar filling his cart up with blood sausages next time I am in Stockmann. Who have you run into in Tallinn? Feel free to share your "väike taani linn" moments.