#4 Rafiki- from Spain to Estonia
Tiina: [00:00:01] Welcome to the podcast: Found in Estonia, where we talk with foreigners who have made Estonia their home, in each episode we are going to talk with one foreigner, who already lives in Estonia. This podcast aims to bring our listeners together, inspire more open-mindedness and just to share interesting stories and observations that many foreigners with their fresh eyes can offer.
Among the podcast. We also plan to organize events and get togethers in real life and the best way to never miss any information about that is to go to our website, which is Foundinestonia.ee and become part of our community.
By the way, if you join our email community in August, which is right now, which is our launch month, then together with Estonian organic fragrance company HURM, we actually have a gift for you. So go to our website and read more how to get In today's episode, it's going to be me, Tiina and I'm chatting with Rafiki, who is from Spain. He says it was his destiny to move to Estonia. And he actually came to this conclusion while watching TV in Northern Russia. So you will hear that story in a minute. And we're also going to talk about his special hobby, which is visiting all the museums there are in Estonia and well, let's just say 200 different museum visits later. He is still going strong. So, yep. It turns out we do have more than 200 different museums in Estonia. And we also talked about how it is now hard for him to go to bars in Spain, how he has become a fan of reflectors and how he made up a new term for Estonian drivers, which is: "complex of the first in line."
If you feel confused, then let's just jump into our chat and let the conversation unfold from there. Enjoy.
Also by the way to make it easier for you to follow all the names and places mentioned, you can find the transcription of the episode on: foundinestonia.ee/rafiki
Rafiki: [00:02:26] Well, my name is actually Rafael.
Tiina: [00:02:32] aa, Okay.
Rafiki: [00:02:34] Yeah. Rafiki is just the nickname. So Rafiki is okay or Rafa.
Tiina: [00:02:39] Nice. Rafa, Rafiki, Rafael which one do you prefer?
Rafiki: [00:02:43] Whatever, it's fine
Tiina: [00:02:44] Okay, nice. And you are from Spain and you've been living here in Estonia for.. m ore than few years now already, right?
Rafiki: [00:02:52] Yeah. Several years. Actually, I came first to Estonia to live, uh, not really to live to live. I didn't visit this. I hadn't visited this country before in 2009
Tiina: [00:03:02] okay
Rafiki: [00:03:03] I stayed for one year. I was Erasmus student in Tartu university. Um, and after several years, since 2016, I came back to Estonia again, to Tartu university, but not to study, but to work.
I was teaching Spanish there, uh, was there for three years. And then last August, in 2019, I moved to Tallinn and I'm still teaching Spanish.
Tiina: [00:03:30] Okay. So what did you study in Tartu university?
Rafiki: [00:03:33] Actually, I was studying translation in my home university, but. Of course, there was no Spanish to English translation.
So I took just languages course, courses like I took Russian course also Estonian and took French several levels of English. And they also had some, other kind of courses like history or literature or even documentation, I had in Viljandi Academy.
Tiina: [00:04:02] Wow, nice, do feel like if you speak so many languages, do you feel like you have an advantage of learning Estonian or is it easy for you or how is your Estonian actually?
Rafiki: [00:04:13] My Estonian is very basic. I took it: "Ma räägin ainult natuke" I can understand much more than I can speak. I managed just to have some very simple phone conversations, for instance, in Estonian, just to know something's open or opening times of someplace, or a very, very simple things, but anyway it can, whenever it's at some place, I can even understand if it guide is in Estonian.
I can somehow more or less guess, uh, what's going on there. But. My active Estonian competence is not that good.
Tiina: [00:04:55] Okay. That's fine.
But since we are talking about Estonian language, do you have any like favorite expressions or anything that seems funny to you or doesn't make sense?
Well, that, for ages,
Rafiki: [00:05:08] my favorite sentence has been: "tere tulemast". It sounds so funnny, because. "tere" is actually a name in Spain. Oh, It's Teresa.
Tiina: [00:05:17] Oh, so women's name
Rafiki: [00:05:18] The short name is "Tere"
It's like "tere tulemast" sounds so funny for me. But actually, I can't think now in any very specific. Uh, expression or words, some strange.
Tiina: [00:05:36] Yeah, that's fine and going back to like first time when you came to Estonia was you said 2015, not five,
Rafiki: [00:05:43] 2009,
Tiina: [00:05:44] okay 2009 - 10 years ago, so you hadn't been in Estonia before. So how did you chose Estonia?
Rafiki: [00:05:54] Actually I have the list of countries I could choose and they saw the, I wanted to go far because I can go to easily for example to Italy or from Spain to Austria or Belgium. Uh, I didn't want to go to the UK or any other English speaking country because I wanted to feel something different and I have already been there.
So I wanted to go as far as possible. And I have two main options. Estonia with both Tallinn and Tartu options and Finland by the check, then Finland was so expensive and they couldn't afford back then. So I decided to come to Estonia. With the Eesti kroon.
Tiina: [00:06:36] Yeah, with the Eesti kroon , soyou were here when we got euros?
Rafiki: [00:06:40] No, I was already gone when you got the
Tiina: [00:06:43] 2011, I think
Rafiki: [00:06:45] yeah you got euros in 2011 and I was here 2009-2010.
Tiina: [00:06:49] And how did the decision came to come back to Estonia?
Rafiki: [00:06:53] that's actually a very funny story
Tiina: [00:06:55] okay listening.
Rafiki: [00:06:57] Uh it's uh, you could say like, uh, destiny or fate was bringing me back here.
Tiina: [00:07:05] Yeah.
Rafiki: [00:07:06] Uh, after I finished my degree, I went to several places in Iowa.
Tiina: [00:07:16] Oh to US, Iowa?
Rafiki: [00:07:16] Yes also to Usbekistan and Murmansk, and Cypress, different places.
And there's a program. Kind of agreement between the Spanish ministry of foreign affairs and, uh, other countries to promote Spanish language. So wanted to participate in that program. And I had always participated, uh, first time I asked for Australia, they say, of course, You can stay home, waiting for that.
Uh, then I applied for one Island nations in the Caribbean and .
Tiina: [00:07:53] Oh, that sounds far away.
Rafiki: [00:07:55] Yeah. I ended up in Murmansk instead
Tiina: [00:07:56] Murmansk, is that in Russia?
Rafiki: [00:07:59] Yeah, in Arctic Russia, it's quite near, the border between Russia and Norway.
Tiina: [00:08:05] Okay, that sounds exciting as well. How long were you there?
Rafiki: [00:08:09] Oh, six months
Tiina: [00:08:10] Six months, okay
Rafiki: [00:08:11] Yeah, but, they do work quite hard. Fortunately starting the dark period and ended in the light period - day light. Once I was in Murmansk and then, you know, the, this program is for three years.
So every year the destinations are different, most people stay for three years. So there was the Tartu option out as well as other options like Johannesburg or Scopia, Macedonia or any other places. Um, I went to a friend's house there in Murmansk, outside Murmansk and it was the first time in my life, that I saw the Northern lights .
Tiina: [00:08:48] Oh, that's cool, I've never seen Northern lights. So that sounds like.,
Rafiki: [00:08:54] it was not that visible. I saw like a green cloud. Okay.
Tiina: [00:09:00] Okay. Still it sounds really cool.
Rafiki: [00:09:03] I've seen better.
Tiina: [00:09:04] Okay.
Rafiki: [00:09:05] And Well, after that, Oh, of course. I was excited. I saw like small Northern light, I was like, Whoa. And we were having dinner at her place. And then she turned the TV on and suddenly I recognized a place on the movie, it was played. It was Raekoja plats in Tartu.
Tiina: [00:09:23] Oh, okay.
Rafiki: [00:09:25] Not Soviet movie inspired in the forties or fifties. I don't know. I don't remember if it was, no, it was color was color movie. So it was not that old. But it was shot in Tartu and I could easily recognize the main square. Of course there was no kissing students fountain yet. I was like, okay, that's a sign I have to apply for Tartu. Applied for Tartu.
Tiina: [00:09:48] So you were in the Nordic Russia, yeah, up-up Russia, when you saw the Tartu in TV and then you decided that that's the place to go?
Rafiki: [00:09:57] That's the place.
Tiina: [00:09:57] Wow
Rafiki: [00:09:58] I actually had to decide on that night, where to apply, because you can only apply for one place.
Tiina: [00:10:02] Wow. That is destiny.
Rafiki: [00:10:03] That was the sign and I applied and I did that: my interview.
Yeah, I got second place. So I wasn't chosen at first, but for some reason, the person who was chosen, decided to resign. So I was taken in the last moment already. I think it was August, or maybe late July to start in, at the ending of August. So, okay.It was the good sign after all.
Tiina: [00:10:33] Yeah. Wow. That's a journey.
That's really exciting. And how do, like, what brings you back to Estonia and what do you like about the Estonia compared to so many other countries that you've been to? Or do you even like it?
Rafiki: [00:10:47] Yeah, of course. I love Estonia. I could have left already. Uh, but I decided to stay, it was actually love Estonia.
Tiina: [00:10:56] That's nice, so what are you like about it? Or is there anything
Rafiki: [00:10:58] It has something, I actually don't know.
First one, there's not so many people, so it's not so stressful as, I don't know, being in Barcelona, Rome or Berlin,
Tiina: [00:11:13] Where are you from actually, from Spain?
Rafiki: [00:11:15] I'm from the South from Cadiz. It's quite unknown, but maybe you know Sevilla, Malaga or Gibraltar. Near by places.
Tiina: [00:11:24] Are those crowded places?
Rafiki: [00:11:25] Yeah, Yeah, yeah, especially in my area. It's one of the areas with more population density in Spain, apart from the big capitals.
The Bay, are being five villages. They are all about on million people.
Tiina: [00:11:39] Oh, okay. So just like tiny Estonias over there.
Rafiki: [00:11:41] Yeah. It's a tiny Estonia in a very small territory and yeah, I like being able to go freely. Let's say, Not to visit places, supermarkets are not full of people and streets are nice. Uh, Okay. The weather I don't like it. Especially, not today, it's raining
Tiina: [00:12:04] Why? What is there not to like?
Rafiki: [00:12:05] Today we are having every kind of weather - it's summer.
Tiina: [00:12:10] Today it's a bit rainy with some clouds and grayness, true.
Rafiki: [00:12:13] I actually don't, I don't like the hot we have in Spain. It's so, so hot for me, but I don't like this minus 20 temperature, minus 30. Even the experience here even.
Tiina: [00:12:27] Even, I don't like it.
Rafiki: [00:12:29] I know, even Estonians don't like them in any way this two last year's weren't that hard, especially this year was so mild.
And I don't know, like also the nature, I miss mountain.
Tiina: [00:12:42] Do you have mountains in the South of Spain, where you're from?
Rafiki: [00:12:45] Yes. Yes.
Yes. Well, not exactly my city, because we are by the sea. We're in the let's say the Valley, but in the, it's very mountains are very near it's one hour apart, unless my promise is quite mountainous in being in England.
Um, also I studied in Granada, that is surrounded by mountains and the main ski resort in Spain was there. superb. And so I miss mountains in that aspect, but I, I like how easy it is to do like. Trails and experience nature because everything's well controlled. You have these wooden parts, that you can mhm, in Estonia camp everywhere.
Uh, I don't know. Nature is very, I love nature here.
Tiina: [00:13:30] Mhm, yeah, we have a lot of nature, so that's really cool to hear.
Rafiki: [00:13:34] Yeah, yeah, it's very green and it's very, that's why it's very different from my area. My area is quite dry. In that sense. So, yeah, I like the green part of Estonia.
Tiina: [00:13:45] Okay, cool. That's really cool. what do you think of Estonians, you really like the country and the nature, but what about people in it? How would you describe them actually firstly?
Rafiki: [00:13:57] It's not so easy to describe like one nation. Like I will be so stereotypic but uh, Yeah. Mostly. I actually have noticed that they like nature and they're very good friends when they are close, but it's hard to get that close.
I have some Estonian friends obviously after so many years here, especially my colleagues at work in Tartu university or also in other activities that I've been doing. Um, but, yeah, I actually. It's a bit hard to get into knowing Estonians. If they're not drunk at some point,
Tiina: [00:14:40] I've heard that before as well. yeah, or I know that, yeah, but how have you found your friends? You said to through the work,
Rafiki: [00:14:48] Yeah. I work with people mainly when I'm teaching and I have my coworkers and also my students and also became friends after, after I left university or whatever.
But also, yeah, I have some like, I play some games and also some, just some activities like this museum going orwhatever meet some people there as well.
Tiina: [00:15:13] So you mentioned briefly that you work with people, but what exactly do you do?
Rafiki: [00:15:19] I teach Spanish, also Spanish literature, culture history.
Right now I'm working in a language school. Here in Tallinn, right in front of the Spanish embassy. Um, yeah, ofcourse I'm in contact with people all the time and it's always the same people. It's not like when you are in a shop and you see different people coming every day or in a restaurant, but I see the same people for a period of time.
So maybe it's just for one week or for several months. So they become closer.
Tiina: [00:15:55] Yeah. Yeah. Then you get to know them more. Do you hang out with, mostly with Estonians or with the other foreigners?
Rafiki: [00:16:03] Mostly with foreigners, mostly with foreigners, because I also, I dunno, it's easy for me to speak in my own language or yeah. Usually with foreigners,
Tiina: [00:16:13] Is there a strong, like Spanish peoples community in Estonia you'd say?
Rafiki: [00:16:19] We're more than I expected actually, more than I expected, but yeah, it's, it's a
Tiina: [00:16:32] That's cool, I've also heard that you have some interesting hobbies. I heard that on the weekend you visited like 15 museums?
Rafiki: [00:16:42] Well, not on the weekend, but last week.
Tiina: [00:16:44] Last week, okay. So tell us more.
Rafiki: [00:16:47] Yeah, I have this hobby. I initially took it from, from my experience in Tashkent and Murmansk. In Tashkent I didn't have many things to do there actually, so
Tiina: [00:16:59] So Tashkent is also in Russia?
Rafiki: [00:17:01] No Tashkent is in Uzbekistan, it's the capital city of Uzbekistan
Tiina: [00:17:04] Oh okay
Rafiki: [00:17:04] I had not so much to do when I was not working. So I first visited main museums in the country. Of course, the national museum of whatever, applied arts or history or whatever. But then I started focusing on small ones.
Tiina: [00:17:19] Okay.
Rafiki: [00:17:19] Like there local poet, that had his home museum there or this local painter or local dancer. Some of those names, I already forgot. Unfortunately.
Tiina: [00:17:31] Yeah, that is my next question. Like if you visit so many museums, can you remember like all, that you see or?
Rafiki: [00:17:37] Of course I don't have this that photographic memory. I can remember everything that I see, but I can more or less remember what's going on. If something was actually impressive or special there and talking about this once in Uzbekistan, or in Murmensk.
I remember. For example, I even remember some names of the home museums, I visited, even if I didn't know them before: Buthamaran, .. (names)
Tiina: [00:18:10] Those names are so foreign for me. I don't know anything about that.
Rafiki: [00:18:14] Buthamaran was a dancer. And then the other were painters and politicians even.
Tiina: [00:18:21] So In Uzbekistan you Started by visiting all the museums they had and then you moved and then you did it again?
Rafiki: [00:18:28] Again in Murmansk, yeah, cause I had actually nothing to do there
Tiina: [00:18:32] Okay and that was in Russia right?.
Rafiki: [00:18:33] Yeah. in Northern Russia.
And then when I moved here, actually first year, I didn't actually visit so many places. First semester I only came, I was in Tartu, I came to Tallinn and visited ocupation museum and photo museum, but just like random, uh, museums to visit. Not like specifically, I want to visit all. Then. Uh, it was the second part of my first year here.
That was this, uh, my first museum night here in May, 2017. So I was in Tartu, so, okay. Let's visit the museums in Tartu.
Tiina: [00:19:13] So the museum night is the night, where all the museums are open for everybody to visit.
Rafiki: [00:19:17] Yeah, not all of them, but uh, every year it changes, but there are a lot of museums participating in this initiative. And I planned to visit some museums there in, in Tartu. And I managed to visit more museums, than I expected, because museums were not that big.
Tiina: [00:19:37] So what was your first museum that you visited?
Rafiki: [00:19:39] That night?
Tiina: [00:19:39] yeah, or, or in Estonia? Ah no, you said, the Occupation museum? Right.
Rafiki: [00:19:39] The first museum I visited in Estonia was. Yeah, I dunno if Photo, Occupation museum, but, when I was Erasmus, my first museum, I visited, was a museum that doesn't exist anymore.
Tiina: [00:19:53] Which one?
Rafiki: [00:19:55] It was the old anatomical museum in, in Tartu
Tiina: [00:19:59] oh
Rafiki: [00:20:00] and now the collections transferred to AHHAA keskus.
Tiina: [00:20:04] Okay.
Rafiki: [00:20:04] But the, it was the old Anatomical building. It was so creepy. because, babies in bottles.
Tiina: [00:20:14] Jars yeah?
Rafiki: [00:20:15] Yeah in jars and now they are in a very like. In a better place and they don't look that scary. But having that building that was not renovated back then, cause it was like old building semi the Relic building with all the surgery rooms and all..
Tiina: [00:20:33] That does sound scary.
Rafiki: [00:20:34] It was so scary.
Tiina: [00:20:36] Probably a lot of souls going around or spirits.
Rafiki: [00:20:38] Yeah, yeah it used to be a hospital or something. So imagine how many dead people was there.
Tiina: [00:20:44] Yaiks, blood on the walls and so on.. mm Interesting topic. Yeah.
And now It's been 10 years from the first time you came to Estonia. So how many museums have you visited in Estonia and what is your goal?
Rafiki: [00:21:01] I can't say,
Tiina: [00:21:03] Do you keep track of those?
Rafiki: [00:21:04] Unfortunately not. Uh, I have a list of what I have to visit because I haven't been to, but I don't, unfortunately I didn't keep track of what I visited.
I guess if I sit one day. Okay. Let's write down, what I have visited. Even I have pictures of all of them. So I can even track, when I visited them.
Tiina: [00:21:28] You could make your own expedition or museum like you visiting all the museums.
Rafiki: [00:21:33] Yeah, I could, it could be the museum of museums.
Tiina: [00:21:37] Exactly.
Rafiki: [00:21:38] The meta-museum
Tiina: [00:21:41] Approximately how many museums do you think you've seen?
Rafiki: [00:21:44] About two hundred.
Tiina: [00:21:45] Wow, do we even have so many museums in Estonia?
Rafiki: [00:21:48] Yeah, yeah
Tiina: [00:21:49] And how do you find those?
Rafiki: [00:21:51] How do I find? Okay. The main ones are easily visible.
Tiina: [00:21:54] Mhm, big ones.
Rafiki: [00:21:56] Yeah, big ones, there's Kiek in de Kök, there's Ermann
Tiina: [00:21:58] The Ermann, what's that? Aa Hermann? Pikk Hermann?
Rafiki: [00:22:05] No, Pikk Hermann no! ERM - Eesti Rahvamuuseum
Tiina: [00:22:07] Aa, ERM, Okay. I haven't been there actually, so that's embarrassing. I've been in the lobby. There was an event there. But I haven't been to the actual museum part, to the collection
Rafiki: [00:22:18] Yeah. I guess save some hours, you will see it sometime.
Tiina: [00:22:21] I will
How do you find the small ones?
Rafiki: [00:22:25] The small ones - sometimes by chance sometimes. Okay. There's this website: visit Estonia, where there's a map and you can just click on: show museums and galleries and it will show, but they're all of them.
And even in English, they are not all that are in Estonian. In the Estonian version of the website,
Tiina: [00:22:44] I can imagine the tiny, tiny museums that are like the information is probably only in Estonian or?
Rafiki: [00:22:50] Yeah, some, some of them are only in Estonian, obviously especially this small. Sometimes I just find it. I just pass by. I find them, really for real, it happened.
Or other. Okay. Like even former websites, former travel guides, museums that doesn't exist anymore , don't exist anymore Or I don't know. Sometimes it's even by list of museums participating in this.. Sometimes I worry, was this a museum before. And it's Uh, every week I find at least one new museum.
Tiina: [00:23:22] How, what, every week?
Rafiki: [00:23:26] Yeah, every week
Tiina: [00:23:26] Is it only in Tallinn over
Rafiki: [00:23:27] all over Estonia.
Tiina: [00:23:28] Okay. And how, like do you put with time apart to find new museums or you just..?
Rafiki: [00:23:34] Sometimes I just find it, like the last museum I found,
Tiina: [00:23:37] yeah
Rafiki: [00:23:38] I was looking for the phone number of a museum. To call because sometimes you need to, well, sometimes not most of the ones I have left, I have to call and ask for them to open because they are not openly open to the public normally.
And I randomly found another museum in another list of museums. I was like why now? Stop. Please stop creating new museums people, let me finish.
Tiina: [00:24:06] So do you have a goal with it, like to see you all the museums?
Rafiki: [00:24:10] Yeah. The goal is seeing all the museums. Um, but it's never ending task, even if Estonia is such a small country. It's never ending task. You can't imagine how many, like small, small, small museums are in the pastoraat of a church, for instance,
Tiina: [00:24:30] Pastoraat of a church. Yeah. Okay. I I've never, I heard of it.
Rafiki: [00:24:33] Yeah. in the, in the rural places, they have like the history of the village there or the history of their parish. They're in the church or in a school. There are a lot of schools that have museums.
Tiina: [00:24:46] Oh, okay, so you count those
Rafiki: [00:24:47] They are quite hard to visit, because they can only be visit during school years normally.
And normally by that time, I'm working, so. It's the biggest niche that I haven't actually explored so much. I have been to some of them. But wasn't, it's not that easy. Sometimes you need to ask him it's a school you can not like answer freely.
Tiina: [00:25:12] So, what do you like about visiting museums? Like do you always read the history and texts or you just walk in, walk out, and make your checkmark?
Rafiki: [00:25:23] Sometimes you can only do that because, there is nothing else to see.
Tiina: [00:25:27] Yeah.
Rafiki: [00:25:28] And some of them just taking picture and say, okay, checkmark. But actually I like the, especially in small places, I like to see the, how people used to live, how with some friends that sometimes come with me, I have like this checklist of things that a museum should have.
Tiina: [00:25:48] Okay. Oh, nice, what is in that checklist?
Rafiki: [00:25:51] For example, actually, I don't know the words in English for this subjects, but for instance, this sewing machine.
Tiina: [00:26:00] Sewing machine - this is a must for each museum you visit? Even if it's like sea museum?
Rafiki: [00:26:06] No, there will be.
Tiina: [00:26:09] Sewing machine.?
Rafiki: [00:26:09] Yeah, there will be,
Tiina: [00:26:10] really?
Rafiki: [00:26:11] At some point. Yes, yes.
Tiina: [00:26:12] I've never but what about art museums?
Rafiki: [00:26:13] yeah, no, but I mean in the small, this "Koduloo" museums, this local these quite small museums.
They have this sewing machines, they have this. Old irons. Okay. I had to know how to say in English, this abacus,
Tiina: [00:26:30] Abacus - it's like the person who writes or
Rafiki: [00:26:33] no, it's the old calculator.
Tiina: [00:26:36] Oh, okay, okay. Where you push, like put the, the tiny, like, uh, marbles or pieces into one side or the other to count stuff?
Okay, Ja, "rehkenduslaud" I think it's in Estonian. I think.
Rafiki: [00:26:49] I had no knowing this name actually, I think it's abacus, but I'm not sure.
Uh, they have this, um, also these old Estonian kroons obviously,
Tiina: [00:27:01] okay
Rafiki: [00:27:01] They tend to be there. And what else. I don't know now, but it's like, you will see that. Okay. It, can, we have this? It can be considered a museum. It has this, this, this and this.
Tiina: [00:27:15] What if it's missing like Estonian kroons or the abacus or something?
Is it not..
Rafiki: [00:27:20] Yeah. Yeah, of course it's still. Yeah. It's like something's missing, something is missing. Yeah. a firend had a theory that there's only one abacus or one sewing machine in the whole country and they are, they are spying me, so they know where I'm going. So they are moving objects all around.
Tiina: [00:27:40] Maybe, maybe someones chasing you or like.
Rafiki: [00:27:43] Back to..
Tiina: [00:27:46] That's a big task to go like, transport it to like 200 places.
Rafiki: [00:27:51] It happened once, that we planned to go, me and my friend planned to go to one museum and in that morning, we decided, okay, it's too far. Let's go to some place that is closer. And there wasn't any, so maybe they didn't have time, because of chased, being so fast.
Tiina: [00:28:08] Oh, but you still counted the museum?
Rafiki: [00:28:09] Yeah.
Tiina: [00:28:09] Nice. Hmm. Okay, well, what have been your like most interesting museums or what do you recommend for others to see?
Rafiki: [00:28:14] It will be very easy to recommend the, I don't know, this "KUMU" or ERM or of course people should know, that they should visit those ones
Tiina: [00:28:29] But something outside of Tallinn? For example,
Rafiki: [00:28:32] Something that is quite interesting also because the people that - sometimes the most important, interesting part of the museum is the people that take care of the museums.
Tiina: [00:28:42] Oh, okay.
Rafiki: [00:28:43] Because they're so passionate. Who's passionate about this hobby, because most of the times they are hobbies.
Tiina: [00:28:50] Yeah.
Rafiki: [00:28:51] And they are really honored to have guests, especially guests coming from other countries, that are interested in their small local history museum.
Tiina: [00:29:02] Yeah. I can imagine that's a big honor when somebody is from Spain and has visited all the like. Pretty much. You've visited all the world, and then other museums, and then you come to this tiny, tiny museum, that you have to call in front and to get in and then you go and check if they have sewing machines, abacus, Eesti kroonid, all these things, then it, it seems to be yeah super exciting. That's really cool.
Rafiki: [00:29:28] And some, some of the museum caretakers are amazing. Really. They really helped a lot and they are not normally very. Very kind and very, uh, welcoming to, to show and they, even if they don't speak English, they try to make themselves understandable.
So that's also part, that's why I can understand a lot of Estonian. Cause I can see. She the person, he or she, the person that is explaining the magnesium for free, because they're not adding anything. They're just having fun showing they have been collecting for years.
Tiina: [00:30:06] Is that one of your like tips for learning Estonian to go to tiny places and visit tiny museums and then talk with the keepers?
Rafiki: [00:30:15] Yeah, why not.
Yeah, for instance, uh, this one of these museum's came to my mind is, uh, Treimanni muuseum.
Tiina: [00:30:22] Treimanni?
Rafiki: [00:30:23] Treimanni
Tiina: [00:30:25] Treimanni? Where is that?
Rafiki: [00:30:25] it's in Pärnumaa, it's very, very, very near the Latvian border already. It's near Ikla.
Tiina: [00:30:31] And what, what is there, it's a person's name or not?
Rafiki: [00:30:34] No Treimanni is the name of the village,
Tiina: [00:30:38] Okay
Rafiki: [00:30:38] where there is a person, who has a museum. I found it by chance. Just zooming Google.
Tiina: [00:30:44] Wow,
Rafiki: [00:30:45] Just why there is a museum here.
Tiina: [00:30:47] Okay.
Rafiki: [00:30:48] It's not even on the list or anywhere. I remember this, this man was so, so honored. He was showing an opening everything and, or. Even last week I went to Kallaste vanausuliste muuseum.
Tiina: [00:31:03] Kallaste, is that in Maardu?
Rafiki: [00:31:05] No, Kallaste, there are different Kallaste's, this one I mean is by lake Peipsi - Peipsi ääres.
Tiina: [00:31:13] Okay. Oh yeah, I think I've been in somewhere in Kallaste.
Rafiki: [00:31:17] Um, they, they have these cliffs there. So the, I called there. This is when, not even one of the main museums of all believers there is, have this Kolkja museum or this even Piirisaare or Mustvee
Tiina: [00:31:29] Kolkja, Piirisaare, Mustvee - okay.
Rafiki: [00:31:36] Yeah. Um, there's even one in Tiheda.
Tiina: [00:31:40] Tiheda? Okay. I don't think I've visited any of those museums.
Rafiki: [00:31:46] Varnja as well.
Tiina: [00:31:46] Narnia?
Rafiki: [00:31:46] Varnja, not Narnia.
Narnia - we do not have in Estonia yet..
Tiina: [00:31:53] Maybe, maybe you can open your, like your museum called Narnia. That would be excellent name for your expedition, like welcome to Narnia, where you enter into and you're automatically like seeing all the museums in Estonia.
Rafiki: [00:32:05] Museums in Estonia in one room?
Tiina: [00:32:07] Yeah, that would be really cool. You will make this grand entrance of everything. You have to enter through a closet.
Rafiki: [00:32:15] And then you're suddenly there.
This lady in Kallaste. She didn't speak English and she was communicating with me using Google translate, she was writing sentences and then, to explain me things. And she even gave me two exhibits, to me, to keep.
Tiina: [00:32:36] Oh, what were they?
Rafiki: [00:32:38] I got on a old picture of Kallaste cliffs. And one small, all believers, cross that was found on the, on the Lake shore.
Tiina: [00:32:51] Okay. Nice. So you get souvenirs as well?
Rafiki: [00:32:53] Actually I think, I have the cross on me, because I didn't take it out of the wallet.
Tiina: [00:32:57] Is that your talisman?
Rafiki: [00:33:00] Yeah
Tiina: [00:33:01] Oh, so this is like a metal, like a bracelet..
Rafiki: [00:33:04] Yeah. It's all believers cross. And, they found it on, on the beach. They have the connection of them actually. And she told me: "just one you can take with you". So it was so nice.
Tiina: [00:33:17] It looks ancient and pretty interesting. So for the, uh, people who don't see the picture, it looks metally, it looks old, there's a cross on it. I think it's like Russian orthodox cross?
Rafiki: [00:33:30] Yeah. Yeah. On one side it's like catholic cross or lutheran cross, like standard cross with two arms. And on the other side is the orthodox one.
Tiina: [00:33:42] Yeah. Okay.
Rafiki: [00:33:43] Or actually, the all believers cross and it's a bit different.
Tiina: [00:33:48] Do you know a lot, like, I don't know much about religions actually, but do you know a lot, are you religious or do you know a lot about religions?
Rafiki: [00:33:54] No, I'm not religious myself, but I am quite interested in religion. So, I became so interested and it's also a way to get to know the culture, cause of, a region of, or a country,
Tiina: [00:34:10] But is it valid point in Estonia as well? Where we don't have so much like religious things?
Rafiki: [00:34:15] That's what you think.
Tiina: [00:34:16] Or that's something that I think, because I don't really
Rafiki: [00:34:18] That's what you think.
Tiina: [00:34:19] Okay. So tell me more, what is the..
Rafiki: [00:34:21] Actually you have more religious related things that you think
Tiina: [00:34:25] okay.
Rafiki: [00:34:26] Uh, first, uh, it's not really just like with an organized religion, when you have your own, not you personality,
Tiina: [00:34:35] yeah Estonians
Rafiki: [00:34:37] have their own superstitions that are somehow religious as well.
Tiina: [00:34:41] For example?
Rafiki: [00:34:42] That's like beliefs, for example, uh, I didn't see that, that often now, as I used to see it when, uh, 10 years ago, but for example: to give them money, not directly to the hand, but to the plate
Tiina: [00:34:57] oh, okay.
Rafiki: [00:34:59] In a supermarket or something, we'll even give you the money directly to your hand. That's what I'm used to or whistling inside.
Tiina: [00:35:08] Yeah. Whistling inside. It's truly like a, it's like at least in my like household or family was a common fact that, or teached that if you you are not allowed to whistle inside, because otherwise the house will, there will be a fire in this house later, so.
And the money thing, yeah, I haven't thought about it maybe because we always have this counters for like coins, but I noticed it like in February I actually visited South Korea and there, there was, it was like super polite that you have to give money with two hands and everybody was giving it.
Rafiki: [00:35:37] But in a Estonia, you.
Tiina: [00:35:38] You put it on the counter usually
Rafiki: [00:35:40] They put the money on the, like a small plate, surface and then you took it from there, take it from there.
Tiina: [00:35:46] And is that like, does that has anything to do with religion then?
Rafiki: [00:35:52] Superstition, not passing money from hand to hand.
Tiina: [00:35:54] Yeah, maybe it's too automatic for me that I haven't,
Rafiki: [00:35:57] Yeah, yeah, yeah it's something unconscious. It's not religious at some point. It's connected to beliefs more than religion.
Yeah. Let's call it. Beliefs.
Tiina: [00:36:06] Do have anything else that you've noticed like that?
Rafiki: [00:36:11] Many things, but right now I can't think of it, probably in some mint, something else? Yeah.
Tiina: [00:36:18] Is it the same in Spain as well?
Rafiki: [00:36:20] No, that's why I noticed. That's why I noticed.
In Spain for example, I wouldn't do that, what we are doing now - yeah you cannot open umbrellas inside.
Tiina: [00:36:28] Okay. We have like, for context, we have, we are sitting in a room and it was raining. So I came in, or we both came in and put our umbrellas, opened it up and put it drying on the floor. So why, why, what is wrong with that?
Rafiki: [00:36:43] It's really bad luck, It's really bad luck in Spain.
Tiina: [00:36:44] Oh interesting
Rafiki: [00:36:46] Opening the umbrella inside will bring you years of bad luck.
Tiina: [00:36:51] Okay. I've never heard of that. I just know that, for example, if you, uh, uh, If you break a mirror, then
Rafiki: [00:36:58] that's quite widespread walking under a ladder or
Tiina: [00:37:02] black cats.
Rafiki: [00:37:04] Yeah, black cats.
Tiina: [00:37:05] And we have..
Rafiki: [00:37:06] Number 13,
Tiina: [00:37:07] And you have to knock on the wood when, uh, When, uh, uh, when you're afraid to jinx anything, like knock on the wood then it goes away or spit over your left shoulder, that's also something.
Rafiki: [00:37:16] Yeah, there's some, yeah, some superstitions
Tiina: [00:37:20] yeah, those are really interesting topics and yeah..
Rafiki: [00:37:24] And also not as related to this beliefs or superstitions, there are a lot of these energy trails or energy, energy, " more in the South.
Tiina: [00:37:42] How do you recognize them? Or what do you mean by that?
Rafiki: [00:37:44] They're even called like that - energy trail and it's full of small sculptures representing some things. I remember, for example, one in Ilumetsa, there in Põlvamaa.
Tiina: [00:37:57] Wow, I'm learning so much, that's super cool.
Rafiki: [00:37:59] There's a trail with a witches.
Tiina: [00:37:59] In Ilumetsa, there is a trail with witches? Okay.
Rafiki: [00:38:07] Yeah. Um, also in Elva, they have this energy trail, full of different sculptures, representing different animals.
Tiina: [00:38:17] Do you consider those as museums as well? Or just..?
Rafiki: [00:38:19] no, no they 're just.. It could be considered, now, that you think about it, like open air gallery.
Tiina: [00:38:27] That's really cool.
Rafiki: [00:38:30] It's trail actually.
Tiina: [00:38:32] Anything else exciting or interesting that you've noticed?
Rafiki: [00:38:36] About Estonia?
Tiina: [00:38:38] Like energy or traditions or superstitions?
Rafiki: [00:38:42] Or behavior? First thing that really shocked me was silence.
Tiina: [00:38:55] What, what do you mean?
Rafiki: [00:38:56] Now I've became very use to it and I can be silent for years.
Tiina: [00:39:00] Yeah. We have a lot of that.
Rafiki: [00:39:02] But, yeah. First time I came from a very noisy part of the world.
Tiina: [00:39:07] Yeah, Spain.
Rafiki: [00:39:08] And especially in my region, we are more noisy even, and it was, I'm use to a very high level of noise tolerance. So I remember the bus I took from Tallinn airport to Tartu. First time I arrived one thing that was surprising for me, it was the, there was wifi there.
Tiina: [00:39:29] Yes. Yess. That we have.
Rafiki: [00:39:32] But then it was, that no one was speaking.
Tiina: [00:39:34] In the bus?
Rafiki: [00:39:35] On the bus - no one.
Tiina: [00:39:38] Oh yeah, that's unpolite to speak out loud.
Rafiki: [00:39:43] It's, it makes, at least me and probably most people from Spain feel uncomfortable at first. It's like, why it's.. - silence is uncomfortable. It's not polite. It's uncomfortable. Like there I'm so used to be sitting on a bus in Spain going on, I don't know from my city to Madrid. And then the person next to you, starts speaking to you and it's speaking for eight hours until you arrive to destination.
Tiina: [00:40:09] Yeah, that's true here - most people are like, when you go with a young child to public transportation in the bus and the young child, starts to speak out loud or sing or anything. Usually the parents are like: "shh-shh", "no, be quiet!" They're like telling the child to like shush because, yeah, we don't consider it polite.
Rafiki: [00:40:30] In Spain it would be the only way around - people will start, I've been on buses. That people will start clapping and singing on the bus. Unknown people, it's not like a school bus - of course it's different. There you'll go with your friends. No, but it's just regular bus from my town to the capital of my province. So it's twenty minutes and people are like jumping and singing and
Tiina: [00:40:52] yeah, here it's.. Not the case
Rafiki: [00:40:53] So here it's so silent and like, Um, I remember first day I didn't know anyone of course I was, uh, I was skyping, Estonian expression,
Tiina: [00:41:09] good point.
Rafiki: [00:41:10] I was skyping with my, with my father and, and then said like, no one spoke to me in the bus. No one spoke to me. It was, I was like, so shocked. Like I'm in the dorm. I was in the dorm. Uh, I was sitting down downstairs just to see if someone comes and speaks to me because I didn't know anyone and my flatmates hadn't arrived yet. And I'm sitting here for two hours and no one has even approached to talk to me. I find so strange here.
Tiina: [00:41:42] Oh yes, that's Estonia.
Rafiki: [00:41:44] It's a thing, that of course after so many years I became so used to it. And it's not a problem, but at the first, when I was 19, by then I wanted to meet people. I came to meet people and I was like, why is anyone talking to me? Is no one talking to me?
Tiina: [00:41:59] And now when you go back to Spain, is it like weird?
Rafiki: [00:42:03] Yeah,
I feel so uncomfortable in bars for instance, because they are so noisy inside. I remember being in Madrid last summer and I was with two friends and said: can we please go, let's.., can we please go out!" it's too noisy here. It's too-too-too noisy. Like, I cant' even hear you in front of me. It's too noisy here, "but it's normal". "No, can we please go?"
Tiina: [00:42:34] yeah. So you've become like Estonianized I guess?
Rafiki: [00:42:34] Yeah, I remember once:
sometimes I rent cars here. So I drive in Spain I have my car, unfortunately, I planned to bring it this summer, bad choice.
Tiina: [00:42:45] Yeah, yeah, corona times.
Rafiki: [00:42:48] Bad moment to bring it. So I remember, I was with a friend that had already been here. She was then, I was visiting her in Granada and I.. it was nighttime and I stopped.
I had to stop because there was a person crossing by and say: "why isn't he wearing on reflector?"
Tiina: [00:43:09] Automatically exactly.
Rafiki: [00:43:11] I didn't see him, where is the reflector?
Tiina: [00:43:13] Yeah, that, that is automatic. I remember like, I was living in New York for a year and. Even there like, it's automatic as an Estonian like when winter comes, that of course I have to have my reflector on my coat. And then I think I had it, like, it was, uh, I had left it on there and I put it on, on winter and people were really like: "what is that thing?" "What do you mean? What?" - nobody knows it.
Rafiki: [00:43:39] I remember, I was wearing that in Spain because I had it on my coat and I didn't remove it. And people on the street were stopping me: "you still have your tag!"
Tiina: [00:43:53] Aah, they thought it's a tag.
Rafiki: [00:43:53] Do you realize you still have your tag or your label?
Tiina: [00:43:56] Yeah. It's so interesting that here in Estonia it's like obligation, you have to have it - mandatory, but like other countries, like, doesn't it go dark in Spain? Why I'm surprised, that you don't like use it
Rafiki: [00:44:09] Yeah, of course it goes dark. Winter days are long. Sorry. Nights are longer, not as here, but of course, but I don't know.
Tiina: [00:44:21] Yeah
Rafiki: [00:44:22] Probably, it's also because in Estonia you have a lot of small villages, very, very small villages with three people, four people, hundred and fifty people, and they move in the village. So maybe it's more for rural areas, in Tallinn you can see people, the lights are on.
Tiina: [00:44:47] The lights are on, but it's still mandatory in the cities as well . But I see what you mean.
Rafiki: [00:44:50] Anyway I think it's more made for this rural areas. I think it's also compulsary in Finland? can it be?
Tiina: [00:44:56] I'm not sure, But I think Latvia, but I'm not sure as well.
Rafiki: [00:45:01] I haven't been in Latvia for a long time.
Tiina: [00:45:06] Hmm. It's not far from here.
Rafiki: [00:45:08] Oh, of course. I went last time in October, but.
Tiina: [00:45:13] They probably have some museums as well.
Rafiki: [00:45:14] Yeah , yeah, I visited some, but I want to focus on Estonia first.
Tiina: [00:45:20] Yeah, that's a nice thing.
But what about, do you have any advice for people who want to move to Estonia what should they know or what should they be aware of?
Rafiki: [00:45:29] What should they know? What should they be aware of? Well probably I'm not gonna say anything new.
Tiina: [00:45:36] Who knows! Maybe you have some interesting insights.
Rafiki: [00:45:40] Of course. Be careful of wheather, like bring..
Tiina: [00:45:45] clothes for each..?
Rafiki: [00:45:46] Clothes for each season, cause they are very different. You actually have seasons. Not like me. You actually have seasons, I have two seasons, you have four.
Tiina: [00:45:54] So you have four different sets of clothes, right?
Rafiki: [00:45:58] Yeah, or at least three
Tiina: [00:46:01] Mhm, with layers probably?
Rafiki: [00:46:04] At least three, cause spring and fall can be more or less compatible. One is putting on and the other is putting less,
Tiina: [00:46:13] That's true
Rafiki: [00:46:15] And be ready to work with computers and to pay with cards and. Yeah, that was one of the things that surprised me because in Spain, you cannot, not that you don't want to, you cannot pay for this bottle of water with card!
Tiina: [00:46:37] Really?
Rafiki: [00:46:38] No,
Tiina: [00:46:38] Like in a grocery store?
Rafiki: [00:46:40] No, never, never. They don't allow you.
Tiina: [00:46:43] Oh,okay.
Rafiki: [00:46:44] You have to pay minimum.
Tiina: [00:46:45] Yeah. In Estonian it's like..
Rafiki: [00:46:47] It was, I don't know, it was 20 Euro minimum. Now I think they lowered it to maybe 10 or 15. I'm not sure. It depends on the shop as well.
Tiina: [00:46:58] Yeah. Yeah, here is sometimes on festivals or things. They only take like card because it's easier for them. They don't have to
Rafiki: [00:47:05] to manage money
Tiina: [00:47:07] count coins or anything.
Rafiki: [00:47:08] Yeah, yeah, I think it's much safer in that aspect, you don't want to get attacked, because you don't have physical money. I think it's also good for bus drivers, for instance, or, you know, you can only pay by card so they don't actually have to deal with money.
Tiina: [00:47:24] Yeah, that makes it easier.
Rafiki: [00:47:26] Yeah. Um, yeah. And the opposite in Spain, people will think like: "Really you're going to pay this with card?". "Yes. Why not?" Yeah. I said the same in an interview, I had with the Spanish newspaper, during this quarantine time, uh, not in Spain, people are like, Making fun of you because you have paid a bottle of water with credit card or just with card. -Why not?
Tiina: [00:47:56] Yeah.
Rafiki: [00:47:56] It's money. It's the same.
Tiina: [00:48:01] Here it's becoming really,
Rafiki: [00:48:02] it's more comfortable, like "peep" and that's it.
Tiina: [00:48:05] Yeah. Especially with the contactless card.
Rafiki: [00:48:16] Yes. Yeah. That's that's wonderful, my favorite invention.
Tiina: [00:48:16] Okay. So now I have few short questions about all the weird stuff that you've encountered. Like what is the weirdest food that you've eaten here? Right here?
Rafiki: [00:48:25] The weirdest food? I mean, Estonian food is not so different from German food or Latvian food, so it's.. but weird?
Tiina: [00:48:37] So nothing weird?
Rafiki: [00:48:37] Not actually weird. Maybe I'm not. I tried different food here from other countries that haven't tried before, like Georgian food or Azerbaijani food or, uh, well, I found even Uzbek food here, that I've missed from Uzbekistan.
Tiina: [00:48:59] So generally you eat pretty international even here?
Rafiki: [00:49:02] Yeah. No. I also eat the Estonian food, but it's not that different. Yeah.
Tiina: [00:49:08] I guess it's hard to define, what is original or what is the real Estonian food?
Rafiki: [00:49:12] Yeah, like maybe "kama"
Tiina: [00:49:15] But "kama" for me, for example, as an Estonian, I never eat it at home. I've only eaten it at like summer camps or like schools sometimes when they serve it in big quantities, but I never actually eat it at home, even though it's our like national food.
Rafiki: [00:49:31] Maybe. Yeah. Maybe "kama". One thing that I've - strange thing let's say, something different. Cause I don't know, "Mulgipuder" is just.. It's not so complicated to make or
Tiina: [00:49:47] To make? Wow. Okay. I've never made "mulgipuder". But I know my parents have.
Rafiki: [00:49:55] I mean it's not that different from mashed potatoes, but you just have to add more staff, it will take more time, it takes more time.
Tiina: [00:50:03] Okay. that was foods. What about you already said about culture things right? Maybe some weird words or weird habits of people?
Rafiki: [00:50:14] Habits of people? Well that's more a critic. I don't know why, uh, every time I'm driving on Estonian roads, everyone is passing me by. Yeah I like made a name for that. I call it the: "complex of the first in line" So they always have to be before you, so yeah. And then it's me who gets fined. I don't know why.
Tiina: [00:50:46] Oh, that sucks. I think it's common on the road. For example, from Tallinn to Pärnu, when there's only like one lane from both directions, then everybody wants to cross, but then from like Tallinn to tartu, there is more space.
Rafiki: [00:51:01] No it's same, it's also one lane most of the time, there are some parts, at least,
Tiina: [00:51:07] especially in the beginning
Rafiki: [00:51:08] yeah the beginning until you get a to.. I don't know the name of the place "Kose"?
Tiina: [00:51:17] "Kose-Uuemõisa" probably
Rafiki: [00:51:18] Kose-Uuemõisa
Tiina: [00:51:20] then it's more lanes, but then it begans one, then, then this "maja", I think it's called this "Paide" - Paide crossroads. Then it's also two lanes. And then again one. So in one lane it's always, even buses or trucks. That's annoying when trucks try to pass you.
Rafiki: [00:51:44] Yeah. And very dangerous, uh,
Tiina: [00:51:48] Yeah, I hate that as well
Rafiki: [00:51:49] accidents as well, they're doing there.
So Estonians have to be more patient. You, you may have more travel if you want to arrive like 10 minutes earlier because you're not going to save more time. So behave on the road.
Tiina: [00:52:04] Yeah, everybody wants to be punctual.
I think it's a nice place to wrap up, because you have to run as well to be punctual in Estonia, but any last things that you would like to share or say?
Rafiki: [00:52:21] I don't know, like first of all, thank you for interviewing me.
I don't think I'm that interesting. And that people would like to listen about me, but,
Tiina: [00:52:29] humble, humble
Rafiki: [00:52:32] Yeah, like once the people are in Estonia, not only foreigners, but also Estonians, I have been to more places than Estonians have.
Tiina: [00:52:40] Yeah, you have, that makes it super interesting. I think.
Rafiki: [00:52:45] So that's a good thing that I can advise to people like: don't stay just in the place you are, just move around. You don't need to go to Southeast Asia or to South America or to Egypt. You can even go to the nearby province or County that you haven't been to. And you can learn about how people live there now on how people used to live there before, and you can learn how to do a lot of stuff as well.
Tiina: [00:53:14] Yeah. That's super exciting. I'm excited as well about like, finding out more about this tiny museums that you mentioned, places like the energy trail in..
Rafiki: [00:53:24] Ilumetsa,
Tiina: [00:53:24] Ilumetsa, Elva and so on.
Rafiki: [00:53:27] And also there is more in Viljandimaa. There is also some in Otepää.
Tiina: [00:53:37] Wow, that's really cool.
Rafiki: [00:53:38] There are several or several, energy with columns that you have to hug,
Tiina: [00:53:44] that's cool.
Rafiki: [00:53:44] For that they will give you more energy.
Tiina: [00:53:47] Have you felt that it works to get energy from it?
Rafiki: [00:53:51] Not really. Okay. It's all a matter of believing maybe, if you believe in, probably will help
Tiina: [00:53:59] loading your batteries, charging your batteries.
Rafiki: [00:54:02] Yeah.
Tiina: [00:54:03] Okay. Well, thank you.