I just spent 24 hours in Tallinn and, boy, is every part of me exhausted. I was dragged kicking and screaming to see a hip hop concert at Club Hollywood, a place of ill repute in this nation's capital -- and I mean 'ill' in the sense of 'license to ill' and 'ill communication'.
It was as described by most roving journalists dispatched to this part of the world. There were young attractive women clothed in various fashion statements dancing on table tops. There were embarrassing attempts by fellows from the countryside to recreate ghetto fashion and posturing in this city of the Hanseatic League.
One highlight of my evening took place in the men's restroom. While resting there I began whistling the tune of 'Mu Isamaa' -- the Estonian national anthem. Before I knew it, four or five gentlemen in the toilet began to loudly sing the words -- mis mul nii armas oleks ka, kui sa, mu isamaa!
I also befriended some Nigerians who were more than happy to discuss the career of the innovative Nigerian afrobeat musician, Fela Kuti. Finally, without even trying, during the concert by Los Angeles' own Delinquent Habits, one of the emcees came over to my side of the stage with two shots of vodka which he persuaded me to drink.
The evening's climax came while waiting in line at a kiosk to buy a burger and fries at 3 am or so. There were some Swedish guys in line ahead who, for some reason, annoyed me. I decided that they needed a lecture about Imperial Sweden and Gustavus Adolphus, the "Swedish Rambo". They needed to hear how Sweden, in general, needs to pull its head further out of the Scandinavian social welfare sand and be more active in the Baltic Sea Region. I believe I finally told them that they should "spend less time listening to The Cardigans, and spend more time reading the works of August Strindberg."
They were unresponsive to my arguments, preferring to stuff their faces with hamburgers and wallow in Swedish self-absorption instead. I went home, pessimistic about the future of Baltic cooperation.