pühapäev, märts 22, 2009

kevadväsimus

It is now March 22, and there has been snow on the ground for four, full months.

Winter arrived around my birthday in November, and I am not really sure when it will leave. Allegedly, spring has sprung and, yes, I hear birds chirping in the trees. At 5.30 am this morning, I saw the kind of translucent gray light pouring in through the windows that one could expect at 9.30 am in December. And yet, I do not believe it could be over.

This morning, blinded by the sunlight, I walked to our compost heap to deposit some orange peels and spaghetti our youngest daughter had dumped on the floor, only to spy my neighbor sunbathing in his backyard. He was sitting in a chair, lounging in the sun like an Estonian lion, wearing a short-sleeved shirt and rolled-up trousers. "Is it that warm?" I thought to myself as I stood on the crunchy snow. "Is my neighbor a mirage? Am I going crazy?"

Could be. I am told that it's the kevadväsimus -- spring fatigue -- that's been setting in, a crisscross between cabin fever and winter exhaustion. It is the yearning for sunlight and all of the earthly pleasures that you know must be right around the corner coupled with the grim knowledge that nature will find a way to delay your satisfaction for as long as possible.

It seemed like it snowed almost every day last week. Even my stoic Estonian abikassa was reduced to emotional rubble by the kevadväsimus. "I just can't take it anymore," she opined, her face in her hands. "I need to get away." "Honey," I console her. "You grew up here. How did your 15 year old self deal with kevadväsimus?" She looks at me like I am crazy and that she has never been 15 before.

For some reason I felt the strong need to bleed out my fatigue with some punk rock. I brought out a live Clash album and put it on while I made breakfast. To my surprise, my two young daughters loved it. [London's burning with boredom now, London's burning to na na na na night.] I turned it off, but they begged for more. "Keep playing it," the older one yells. "Play more of that crumply music." Could they be suffering from the kevadväsimus too?

I remember my first spring in Estonia. It had been black and icy and unforgiving as the North Pole. My rear was black and blue from all the spills I had taken on the ice. Inside, I felt petrified. Then a hot silvery beam of sunlight touched me on my neck outside of the Hotel Olümpia in Tallinn. I felt like sobbing inside, I was so overcome by the change of the season. The women around me were suddenly more beautiful, the budding greenery more luscious, the chocolate heavenly. Yes, the Estonian climate is some kind of physical embodiment of a mood disorder. And now it is the end of March. Here we go again.

58 kommentaari:

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Your poll: kevadväsimus
There is one point missing.^^

Inner monologue ütles ...

Abikassa on väsinud.

Liiga palju väljaminekuid.

Peab rihma pingutama, siis abikassal jälle hea meel.

:-)

Corcaighist ütles ...

I know what you mean! Mu pruut and her sugulane dragged me in the snow to the shop to get some ICE-cream just because there was a some sun. I mean, eating ice-cream while simultaneously dodging to avoid the masses of sludgy snow on roads with pot-holes as big and as deep as the Gulf of Finland. How Estonian! :-D

Rait Ojasaar ütles ...

You nailed this one real good!

"kevadväsimus" or "kevade ootus" are definitely in the hearts of every Estonian.

I remember my macroeconomics professor, the legendary Mr. Hardo Pajula, staring out of the class window for several minutes during one pre-spring day and thus allowing us to lend some knowledge from each other and our notes during the exam. Suddenly he turned away from the window, rushed out of the class without saying anything. Everybody put that time into good use and perfected their exam papers. He returned after 10-15 minutes carrying stack of freshly printed documents in his hands, which he quickly distributed to eveyone in the class. When we had a closer look, to our surprize, it turned out to be a poem about how Estonian souls wait and yearn for spring to come... My respect torwards that guy grew even more.

Good post, keep it up!

Rob ütles ...

G'day. I'm an Aussie living in Talinn with my Estonian wife and a long time reader of your blog. (I absolutely love it. Best English language Estonian-related blog, hands down.)

When I lived in the land of sunshine and beaches, your insightful and articulate writing on this blog certainly played some small part in my decision to move here.

I had a good chuckle over your post and it's accurate depiction of Estonians weather psychosis.

We arrived in late October, more or less just in time for the first big snowfall. I have lived in Australia's harsh sun all of my life and therefore (so far) have an unquenchable enthusiasm for snow. Most Estonians think I'm crazy for loving the winter here - but it's just a case of liking what is novel to you.

So how was my first experience of a real winter? In stark contrast to most Estonians - I absolutely loved it! My wife still rolls her eyes when I run to the window excitedly when it starts snowing, or gleefully stomp through piles of snow.

Having said that, I finally understand what it is like to yearn for the sun and warmth of summer. A foreign concept to most Australians, when some years in Sydney we've gotten as little as a few days of rain. So, I'll miss the Estonian winter; the cold, the snow, the Christmas markets and the excuse to wear a jacket and gloves or enjoy a warm fire... but not too much.

Andres ütles ...

This time of year sucks the most. I have pretty much zero motivation to do anything useful. I'd just like to sit in the car and drive around in the sunny countryside. Endlessly :)

Manona ütles ...

Mnjah.

This fatique is pretty same everywhere in this "laiuskraad".

I´m in Moscow now and here is interesting weather: -3 degrees (C), sunshine.. and flurries. I have never seen this in Estonia before. I mean its snowing and the sun is shining at the same time. Like in fairytale. Rgrds to the abikaasa :) from me and Kr.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Oh, I absolutely hate the early spring - the first sunny days after the endless winter are really hard and tiring. But already in May starts the best part of the year. It is certainly a crazy manic-depressive climate, we are very far up north - in North America Tallinn would be in the middle of the Hudson Bay. I still kind of like it: the brief sub-arctic burst into life is something truly magical and lacking in more hospitable climates. Hmm, all this brings Eino Leino poems to mind, better stop while the going is still good...

Indrek ütles ...

Inner monologue wrote:
Abikassa on väsinud.

Liiga palju väljaminekuid.

Peab rihma pingutama, siis abikassal jälle hea meel.

:-)



Calling your spouse abikassa is an interesting idea. It would make perfect sense when talked in context of beibendussektor. Especially in a time of economic crisis.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Justin said:
It seemed like it snowed almost every day last week. Even my stoic Estonian abikassa was reduced to emotional rubble by the kevadväsimus. "I just can't take it anymore," she opined, her face in her hands. "I need to get away." "Honey," I console her. "You grew up here.

Mimi said:
Oh, this made me so upset...I just wanted to hug Epp ...and my poor little girls with no real sun for so long.
I hope it is warm by the time you arrive home to New York.

We have had some 60 to 65f degrees.
but today a mere 52 and tomorrow colder but only for 2 days
It has been a very long winter here as well...
The sun is so warm & bright so it helps..and flowers are now blooming

I am so hoping for nice weather for you ...for all of us.

Puu ütles ...

Inner monologue is a misogynistic moron.

Mingus ütles ...

Frankly I've never understood why people get tired and depressed in winter and worn out by spring. It's called Seasonal Affective Disorder though (SAD) and it's real. Poor diet can also have a huge contributing factor. But I love Estonia's mild climate!

Giustino ütles ...

Your poll: kevadväsimus
There is one point missing.^^


Jens, if I made "shagging" an option on the poll, nobody would vote for punk rock or Koidula's poetry.

Kristopher ütles ...

Well, I would say there's no question what sort of post readers crave.

Kevadväsimus is a slightly different phase of SAD (kaamos). I think the former is more like light shock that seedlings can get. You also hear it linked in the popular mind with avitaminosis and depletion, though I don't think in modern times with all the imported vegetables there's much truth to that.

I'm not sure shagging is the way to go. That seems more like the prescription for yuletide blues: some Jõuluporters and then a roll in the hay. But with the general feeling of depletion in spring -- and especially after seeing the pasty body of one's next-door neighbour -- it doesn't seem very conducive.

Mari ütles ...

"kevadväsimus" or "kevade ootus" are definitely in the hearts of every Estonian.


No, it isn't. It's not in this one's heart. I love our winter (provided there's decent snow and ice and proper cold), have always loved it, and I'm sad to see it go.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Need a hug, Puu?

Puu ütles ...

No, inner monologue, I don't need a hug... ( from you it would sexual harrassment anyway) and you owe Justin's wife an apology.

Inner monologue ütles ...

What?

She's alright. She has a healthy sense of humor.

In times like these, a good abikassa to have is a good thing.

Kristopher ütles ...

I am my wife's abikassa for the time being, among other things.

As for "abikaasa", I don't really like IM's interpretation of the etymology of the word - here --** that much, but I don't see anything misogynistic there either.

**I don't live in California nor am I gay, no matter what his or her comment says.

Inner monologue ütles ...

I am merely being a gadfly. Does that make me misogynistic?

So be it.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Kris, as to the etymology of the word - let me point out that it is not a matter of liking or disliking. It is what it is. Sorry, I did not make it up. It was here before I came around. As a gadfly, I just point out obvious things that everyone knows about. I have no idea how or why this pisses people off instead of making them laugh.

In fact, I get a kick out of it. So call me stupid.

Cheers.

Mark Oskar ütles ...

I'm actually a Canadian born Estonian (parents - Tallinn), and while it's starting to warm up here in Toronto...I feel like the ol' Esto genes kick in a bit during this time of the year. Today was about 2c and sunny...but it was SUNNY! I basked in it during my breaks from work and even (for a moment) considered eating lunch outside in a park downtown here. I didn't, because people would think I'm not quite right ;) Ahhh, the glorious, glorious sun!

Kristopher ütles ...

What rubbed me the wrong way is the "going to the milkmaid down the lane to get your rocks off" part. Are Estonians really less hung-up about fidelity than other nations? I mean, lots of cultures acknowledge that two people can never be one, but does it mean sex can be something just shared among friends, without any damage to relationships? No way...

Giustino ütles ...

Is the sexual tension in my screen capture of Kevade causing sexual tension in the commentary section?

Inner monologue ütles ...

OK, the milkmaid quip was just to stir things up a bit. I am an equal opportunity offender. Often times my inner monologue offends me too.

;-)

luuletaja ütles ...

kristopher, if you look at it from the perspective of a foreigner, and think that for them is sometimes quite unreal that OUR girls [pun intended ^_^, whats a comment without a joke =)] from nightclubs for example will go to bed, first night out, if the guy is alright.
Or that the ménage à trois is not that uncommon in social life, or the fact that people won't divorce, will still live together, but sleep with different persons once their children are out of they way, in university's or working.

try to explain that to someone from Mediterranean country's or Middle East.

Kristopher ütles ...

Now I can't stop thinking about Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Seconding to luuletaja and risking to drive Puu up the wall once again, I's say this to Kris - You have never left Virginia, buddy.

;-)

And G, you're right - there's spring in the air.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Seconding to luuletaja and risking to drive Puu up the wall once again, I's say this to Kris - You have never left Virginia, buddy.

;-)

And G, you're right - there's spring in the air.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Just to mess with Puu a bit ... listen, Puu,

now watch this and tell me when was the last time YOU had fun in your life?

Have you ever?


http://www.reporter.ee/2009/03/24/karde-baari-talvisel-rannapeol-loopisid-osalejad-riided-seljast/

martintg ütles ...

Inner, that last link you posted, I am absolutely sick and disgusted, that I am stuck here and not over in Eestimaa!!!!

Kristopher ütles ...

Mi-sand-gynist alert at 2:34.

Why is this only a five-minute segment?

Inner monologue ütles ...

He-heh. We Estonians, we have what is generally know as "an alternative lifestyle".

As for me, I struggle every day to fit into corporate. It's an act for me.

I won't gripe and grumble if I got fired. I'd get back to my roots and be happy once again.

Like Viido Polikarpus. (look for his song on reporter.ee)

Emilio ütles ...

Good Blog!!

http://deciloquequierass.blogspot.com/

see you.

Puu ütles ...

Inner,

I've been frat parties like that (I'm also aware of Girls Gone Wild Videos), but I stopped because they are stupid, not fun, objectifying of women and someone threw up on my shoes. I guess people in Estonia heard about parties like that and ten years later decided to replicate them. Also fratboys are mostly terrible in bed ( which is why they like to target freshmen girls who don't know any better) and married and slightly overweight by age thirty.
If you want to promote the sort of sad waste of human potential have fun. But I can safely say that you probably won't have much fun in your life.

Inner monologue ütles ...

It is safe to say, that I am having the most of the fun that there is to have in this post-Seinfeldian world of ours. As a victorian, you understandably have your doubts in this regard. But that's OK.

Kristopher ütles ...

It really comes down to a matter of taste, I think. I might find it amusing to take ether and adrenochrome and go to the cheesiest place I can find in Las Vegas, Nevada. But life's too short.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Thinking of that clip and all the displayed abandonment and enviable fun, I was wondering how many SMS loans it took to get this party going? Or is majanduskriis in eesti merely a myth that I keep reading about?

What was the unemployment rate among 20 somethings in eesti? Is it near 50% yet?

Puu ütles ...

http://bad.eserver.org/issues/2004/69/kitlinski_lockard.html

Rein Batuut ütles ...

I second to Mari in that I don't find winter depressing and the coming of spring usually makes me more happy and active despite the fact that there's snow everywhere. Most Estonians complaining of kevadväsimus mostly stay inside for most of the day anyway so I don't quite understand what they're complaining about.

Sérgio Meira ütles ...

Fun has many faces and many tastes, but none lasts very long. I fear Inner Monologue's path may be coming to the end of what's to be had as far as fun is concerned. Who says depth can't be fun? :-)

But of course to each his/her own.

Are ménages à trois really that socially acceptable in Estonia? They aren't so infrequent where I come from (Brazil) but are hidden under a thousand social taboos. Are Estonians more realistic, or are they just trying to imitate porn?

luuletaja ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
luuletaja ütles ...

I have to elaborate that I actually meant more of this type of behavior where the wife knows that husbands has a lover and does nothing about it rather than living together or where 20 somethings are forming circles where pretty much everyone has (usually straight) sex with each other so there are overlapping relationships. those are sometimes under the cover but not overtly. There are threesomes but not that common as previous examples. So, in a sort of way, my choice of words may have been a bit of hastily thought but I still retain the feeling that Estonians, especially 20 - 50-s are quite open to experiment and that bounded with taboos.

Puu ütles ...

I think that open relationships are very challenging
even in liberal cities like new york, not so much because of the people involved but because of the society that surrounds it... generally they fall
under the rubric of a "monogamous" relationships where the partners " cheat " on one another.And like everything it's much harder for women. I have some friends that are in a committed open relationship, and it's much much harder for the girl to find partners than the man, because being with a woman that has a boyfriend ( even if the boyfriend will tell the other guy it's ok) is much harder for men, then the conventional model where women exhaust themselves trying to "possess" a man. The other thing, personally I've noticed about open relationships is that it can become too much about
sexual scorekeeping... like you slept with so and so so I now I have to be with someone, and then feelings can get hurt. So in some ways the monogamous model can be more helpful..I do think the reason lots of couples stay together is economic, and that there would actually be more good sex and stuff if women had more economic power ( which is starting to arrive)... but in the end
a prospect like this freaks out frat boys like inner monologue( or english bachelors partying in Tallinn and Riga), because without the money/power stick,
people aren't going to sleep with them on charsima alone.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Puu, you sound like you are talking about "the Dude episode"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKIUu1olaOw

Lingüista ütles ...

Having myself had a number of relationships, and observed others around me, some of which were quite 'open', I tend to agree with Puu. It's not what it is sometimes 'romantically' supposed to be -- this 60's infatuation with 'sexual freedom' and how happy everybody would be if everybody were shagging everybody. In the end, what attracts us to relationships are personalities, how they interrelate and become important to each other. Sex, important as it is, is only one expression.

Note that I have nothing against multiple partners. What I don't think is that this is in itself intrinsically better than monogamy. For some people (say, if the partners are very different in their level of sexual desire) it may be a good solution. For others it would be a disaster.

In any case, monogamy or no monogamy, it ends up being about the people involved and how they relate to / respect each other. It always boils down to that.

When all is said and done, when the alcohol wears off, when you've had all the sexual fun you could have that night... it's always your relationship to the person or people lying next to you in bed that will make the experience fun and worthy of repetition and growth, or just one more attempt at driving away the boredom of life.

Luuletaja, knowing there's a lover and yet doing nothing about it is hardly an Estonian affliction. You can find it anywhere. It may have something to do with women having less money (as Puu suggests), but I suspect it's really because not much was invested in the relationship anyway. What was never really important is not really anything to cry about if it gets lost.

Puu ütles ...

Unless there are kids involved. Then it gets complex.

Inner monologue ütles ...

Oh, come on now,Puu. Kids make it far less complex. What can be a better bargaining chip and torture point to control your man? It's the kids, of course. Hold them hostage and control the situation with the blessing and full support of the judicial system.

Not that you are doing it (yet), but this is how it's being done.

Puu ütles ...

Inner monologue I wish you happiness, but you obviously have issues with your ex-girlfriends, mother, celebrities etc., that I don't want to be party to.

Just because your personal life isn't working out doesn't mean it's the end of Western Civilization.

Inner monologue ütles ...

My work is done, got under your skin. :-)

Good luck to you too.

Lingüista ütles ...

And all of this just because kevadväsimus? Maybe getting under other people's skin should be up there with the other options in Giustino's poll.

Puu ütles ...

How does not wanted to communicate with someone constitute " getting under the skin"? Must be reading too much Men's Health :
tips for picking up women

Inner monologue ütles ...

Oh, we are communicating alright, Puu. See, you are not giving the silent treatment.

What's up with that?

Sparks are flying. That's always a good thing.

You don't like men who just sit there like sack of potatoes and mumble submissively "Yes, honey, whatever you say."

With me, you mess with me and you gonna get wet every time. (Pun intended)

And you, you feisty little one, I'd take you by the neck and make you beg for more of that tenderness ...

There's kevad in the air. Feel it in your blood?

Puu ütles ...

Guistino could you please delete that last comment?

I don't find it funny and because it's not my blog I can't do anything. Thanks.

Siirik79@gmail.com ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Justin ütles ...

I think Puu and Inner Monologue are meant for each other. The spring is finally arriving. Maybe a romantic walk in the park?

Puu ütles ...

Let me be extremely clear, I have very little interest to have inner monologue as a friend, much less a romantic interest.

Puu ütles ...

Apropos of nothing :

Lily Allen