There is also a very special relationship between
In 1939 the infamous Ribbentrop-Molotov treaty placed both
Since those days, the price of alcohol has increased, and the prices of other goods like hotels and restaurants has leveled out to European standards, so there is less reason for Finns to come. And yet they come, thousands at a time traipsing off the ferries, spending a day or two walking around
The other day I was sitting at an outside café when three Finnish ladies came in and sat down. The young waitress went over and one of the women told her what she wanted, in Finnish. The waitress had no trouble understanding her, first because what she said was close enough to Estonian to be understood (even I could make it out) but also because the waitress, as with most workers in the restaurants and Old Town shops, spoke enough Finnish to get along. It occurred to me that one of the reasons the Finns enjoy coming to
The ubiquitous presence of the Finns in
The Finns are fortunate. They get to enjoy a joke three times. First when they hear the joke, second when the repeat the joke to someone else, and third when someone explains it to them.
An Estonian lady once told me that during the Soviet time there was a clear distinction made between the Estonians, who craved to maintain their national identity, and those who believed they were Russians (or at the very least, certainly not Estonians.) The Estonians, she said, were “meie inimesed”, or literally, “our people.” Most Estonians believe that the Finns, with all their foibles, are also “our people.” They have just had the misfortune to have been born in