Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Our memories from childhood must be windows to our personalities. What we choose to remember, and then keep current by periodic refreshment of the memories, must say a lot about us.

Take the Pirita bus station. It is one of my vivid memories as a 4-year-old, mainly because of the shape of the building. It has a round front, classic 1930’s architecture, and it is this round front that has stuck in my memory all these years. The building is just a short distance from our house, so as a small child I must have seen it often. It used to be a real bus station, but now it holds a wine seller, a dry cleaner, and a convenience store, and the big green buses stop there on their way to Tallinn. It is an unremarkable building, and the town of Pirita had intended to tear it down until there was a public outcry to save this homely place.

But why do I remember this building? I suspect that even when I was a little kid I enjoyed order, and appreciated straight lines and right angles, the stuff that keeps buildings and bridges from falling down. I was, perhaps, offended by this round shape intruding into my orderly world. I still believe that round buildings are silly. But in the case of the Pirita bus station, it is a kind of gentle, even handsome silly, isn’t it?

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