Old Town

Old Town

Monday, October 24, 2011

Settle down buddy your'e in a different country...

So I'm back on this thing after a tough week.  Let's just say it all worked out.  I wont go into too much detail but sometimes when the chips seem stacked against you, you want to give up and quit while your'e ahead.  I been taking it easy out here and enjoying a new country and new culture and new ideas.  The weather is still crazy it can be ridiculously cold one part of the day and extremly mild for the second half of the day.  Many things are about to change though with the time and my living situation, but it should be a fun and at times bumpy ride.

A note to anyone who plans on moving over here, don't send any electronics in the mail, they make you pay taxes on it, and they open your mail.  I was blown away by this but I guess some Soviet stuff is still in place.  My lap top had to be fixed before I got here soooooo it had to be sent in the mail, unfortunately I have to pay taxes on it, I want to go in there and be like WTF is wrong with you guys, but I cant do that because it will get me nowhere fast.  I been trying to keep what to talk about in these blogs on my phone as like a message to myself.  Stuff like keep your American bank account open and just take from there, this eliminates the ridiculous wore transfer fees and waiting for this or that or the other.  Never bring a check with  you always use travelers checks and other extensive financial advice from this or that.  I started going to this burger joint called Hesburger, its from Finland and its a good alternative to McDonald's when you're out grabbing fast food. As promised I went to a mainstream movie theater and got to have popcorn with my movie this time! They did have Pepsi and its the first place that I have seen with Pepsi...I saw ;argin Call about Wall Streets lies and I also checked out Elite Killers about some British cover up mercinary type of film.  They were both entertaining.  However I saw another movie this weekend DRIVE-- shit is hot, if you havent seen it you should and see what your own opinion will be, half the people who see it like it the other half not so much, I guess its a love hate type of deal.  Someone said they were expecting it to be more like the directors first film PUSHER a Dansk film that is very good.  The thing is you can't make that type of movie for the American market and expect to really get a return on your investment.  So you have to adjust as a film maker for the audience you are trying to reach, some elements carried over to the film but for the most part I thought that this was a step in the right direction for the director.

I have also been privledged enough to check out a few girls basketball games and  I gotta tell you they go hard over here.  Other than our schools team wearing skirts it was pretty intense the first game I caught the score was like 75-76 with a last second shot barely missing.  Our team won, the next game was a JV vs Varsity type of game the team they played was noticeably younger but they did what they were supposed to do and crushed them by 59 points 107-48, it was crazy, I've never seen a team get totally dominated like that live in front of my face.  Hopefully the team can keep that momentum going for the rest of the season.  They look strong and I really think they could prolly beat our team...

I had another perk of meeting someone who is locally famous and tagged along for free to Club PrivĂ© it was a helluva night filled with drinking in VIP, dancing on a stage that literally shook when the bass thumped. And yeah the girls were of the model quality.  We made the most of it and had a good time, I can't really write about alcohol or drugs anymore because every time I do someone send me a message that says ''are you ok?'' or ''You cant write this or that...'' honestly fuck it, I go out and have a good time take it how you want.  Back to this club, this is probably where you want to go to get an idea of the night life in Tallinn, its a little more exclusive with prices and stuff but I got in for free bitches! So I took advantage.  Anybody who knows me knows that clubs are not my thing maybe a once a month type of deal but living here I don't mind it so much the only thing that is kind of whack is the music I mean they still play DMX--Lose my mind...I don't mind it so much but break something new for the people.  My favorite spot in Tallinn is Embassy Bar tho hip hop on the weekends and we just found out Wednesday night is half off cocktails so I think a trip there on Wednesday is in order especially with no classes this week. 

On Sunday I caught the Rugby World Cup Final and I gotta say, I don't know shit about that game, it made me want to watch some NFL really bad.  The score was 8-7 and France went down against New Zealand.  It was good to watch something different, and I guess broaden my horizons there was another American there, well his accent was anyway and he was the only dude in the room really rooting for NZ, The crowd was more pro France and as I was told FR was a huge underdog.  The closeness of the score was a triumph for them being that all the papers said they would get smashed.  I equated it to USA going to the World Cup Final in soccer.  Something that seems possible but so far away.

I guess I should get out of here and make some of my day worth it I might go see DRIVE again I thought it was that awesome.  Maybe Coca Cola Plaza is still playing that Danny McBride movie.

Until I get back, c u next time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nimeta(The bar with no name)

In keeping up with my promise of updating this blog once a week.  Its time I talk about the places I don't mind going to.

There is a bar/club that I go to regularly on the weekends its called Nimeta or the bar with no name.  They play sporting events on their TVs (mainly football) and they also apparently play NFL games on Sundays.  I have yet to go to this bar on a Sunday but when I do you can bet there will be a post about it.  Last week I went there and saw a Euro qualifier between Turkey and Germany.  It was good to get involved in the atmosphere for the first time seeing a European Match in a European Bar.  Although it can not compare with going to an actual match it was pretty close.   There were many games on the TV screens all throughout the bar.  Russia was playing Slovakia, England was playing Montenegro and Estonia was playing Northern Ireland.  Every game had a crowd of people watching it.  The game I watched was filled with Turkish and German fans cheering and jeering both sides.  I knew it was coming tho:  Germany smashing Turkey.  The Germans took a 1-0 lead into half time and came out on fire in the second half (2-0).  It was closed out by our household (Reader Lane) favorite of the World Cup Bastian Schweinsteiger on a PK (3-0).  Something about the last name and his intimidating presence on the pitch that makes him seen super human to us back home.  The Germans were bigger more conditioned and younger to stop.  Unfortunately my Turkish friend was not too happy about the result and after the match the majority of the Turkish crowd flaked out and went to another bar.

The bar is an alright place, it's always alive and filled with people from wherever just drinking and for the most part having a good time.  Of course there are your occasional fights and fits of rage but what bar is complete without that?  The girls come in and out dividing their time between Nimesta and the more contemporary bar/club Shooters next door.   It has quite a small dance floor that always seems pretty packed after 1am and has two separate bars on in the front and one in the back.  Don't worry about whether the girl bartenders are hot because yeah they are, maybe its the form fitting shirts, the tight jeans or the skirts that seem a lil too short to work in, well by Starbucks standards anyway.  The only problem with the bar is that it plays the same damn music all the time.  I guess maybe because it's Europe and they really don't know how to rock a crowd like the DJ's back home, but I mean c'mon lets get something other than LMFAO featuring whoever played and hear something a lil different I don't think the crowd will care that much.  And here's another hint you can't play the same song more than 3 times in one night unless its like some exclusive shit.

If you're looking to go out and get a little wild then this is your place.  There are several other bars in the vicinity so you can pretty much bar hop without hopping too much or at the very least you can stumble into about 5 good bars all in the same square.  If you want to go somewhere a little more quiet then I really can't recommend a place that is very quiet especially not on the weekends.  So your best bet would be to go out on a Wednesday or a Thursday.  Friday and Saturday you can forget it!  Everywhere is jumping off and sometimes the crowds can be a bit of a turn off.  I have been to a few other pubs in Tallinn but this is where the action is for the most part.  I am still in tourist mode though and hopefully I will find a bar that is a little more laid back even on the weekend.  I don't mind going out but unfortunately it will get very tired for me very soon especially when the weather gets extremely cold, hopefully I'll have some sort of flat by then and I can throw some flat parties and get something going on like that.  Just like Biggie said ''Play the crib/when its mink weather''...

Until next time keep it level wherever you're headed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Going to the Movies

Well since I got one of the lower grades in my English Composition class and my native language is English, I guess its time to take more than 20 minutes writing a paper and actually give the professor what he asks for, who wudda thought 5 points would make so much of a difference.

This post is about going to the movies in Tallinn and I guess anywhere else in Europe that I've been.  Because I am a student at BFM (Baltic Film and Media School)  we get to go to a movie theater for free, the theater is called Artis.  Apparently according to some it is one of the better theaters in Tallinn you can get wine, beer, snacks and candy.  But wait a minute there is something missing, oh yeah POPCORN where the hell is the popcorn, maybe it's the American in me well it is the American in me but popcorn is a staple at any movie theater back home even the shittier ones.  I know I am complaining but its kind of a let down to not have popcorn.  I need that butter and that crunch sound that makes me feel like I am watching a movie.  Maybe they don't feel like cleaning up all the remnants left behind but eff that they need popcorn up in that piece, and I wont truly be satisfied until they get it.

On another note the seats are assigned at the theater when you buy your ticket so you can choose where you want to sit.  I have and pretty much always will sit in the back it makes me feel like I am not only watching the film but also I can see the audience and some of their reactions, which to me makes the back of the theater a good vantage point, that and the fact that I really can't stand someone talking behind me and me hearing what they are saying really sucks.  The theaters always seemed pretty packed on the weekends mostly Friday or Saturday.  I went on Sunday and it was a pretty empty theater, I also think that because it was a movie that came out last year in the States most people either saw it or downloaded it by now which may have had a hand in the attendance rate.  If you do go to the movies alone like I do for the most part you probably want to get a seat on the end that way you don't end up sitting next to a family who is probably going to be more uncomfortable sitting next to the only black dude in the theater...  But that's  another story for some other time.

I like the assigned seat that way there is no complaining involved when you get to the theater just get your seat where you want to sit.  I once went with a few people to the movies back home in Columbia, Maryland and because there were not 4 seats all together  one person insisted we leave and get our money back.  We did but I really didn't give a shit where we sat I just wanted to see the movie.  This eliminates that.  But I will say the earlier you show up the better your seats will be.

The audience seems a bit more quiet than the theaters back home.  There is no one talking really and when something is funny its laughed at during the appropriate time and bam the movie goes on, a lot less cell phone interference and the audience is a bit more reserved in their feelings towards the film.  Granted I have seen 3 movies at this theater hopefully at some point the audience will open up.  Maybe it's because English is my first language and I don't fumble with the subtitles on the screen, which for some people is a big deal.  I have friends back home who cannot stand to see any subtitles even when the movie is in a different language a lot of the time their response goes something like this: ''Damn we gotta read this shit'', or ''Why we gotta read and watch a movie''  c'mon guys at some point you gotta watch something other than somebody blowing up buildings and killing people for an hour and a half and just watch something that makes you think, broaden your horizons, go out see something you wouldn't normally watch and talk about it with the TV off. 

Overall  I love the movie experience here, the movie starts on time no 10 previews for movies that probably won't be out for more than a week, and no commercials before telling you to donate here or donate there.  I went to a theater in London and let me tell you it was like 50USD(24 lbs) and they played about 30 minutes worth of commercials and previews.  Add to that the fact that when I returned home there the same movie was on the Blockbuster wall waiting for me to be pissed off that I shelled out all this cash for a movie I could have watched at home for 4 bucks.  Yeah never again London movie theaters, never again.  There are some things about the theaters that I miss at home the fact that I can got to about 3 major movieplexes in case one is sold out or maybe they are not playing a movie at my theater that they are playing at another.  Midnight shows on a Thursday night so you can brag to your co-workers how you saw the hot new pick of the week at midnight, don't forget about movie hopping, oh yeah and of course fresh popcorn.  I know I can go to other theaters and get popcorn or what have you but the fact is that this theater is FREE for me so it will become my movie theater, they will prolly get tired of seeing me there after awhile but what do you expect its a film school we are going to go where the deal is.  Although I think this weekend I might go and splurge at Coca-Cola Plaza pay for the movie and popcorn...

Until next time safe travels no matter where your headed.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't forget your Jacket

Its been about a week since my last post and I know some peeps back home are wondering what I been up to?  Not much actually...  I got my Baltic Film and Media School card so now I am only going to be checking out fancy shmancy Art House Films why you ask, because it's free dummy.  I went to see the ''Rabbit Hole'' yesterday it was alright, not a bad movie but I don't think it was the best either, most of the Art House Films are depressing and they do have a good thing about them which is that they make you think, like what if I went through that or what if I found out my wife is a slut how would I really react, but every now and then you just want to see some mindless action or some slap stick Danny Mc Bride comedy.

On another note I went to a bar in Tallinn called Woodstock, and let me tell you something there is absolutely nothing Woodstock about it.  People of Color beware stay the eff outta this place.  There's a Confederate flag on the wall and the people that came into the bar after me well they looked like part of the Aryan Brotherhood or some shit.  Some say the flag represents ''History not Hate'' but to a lot of black people in the states it represents a dark part of Americas past that needs the door shut on.  There was a deal on beers tho 3 for the price of two, I drank my beer and had a shot looked around and got the hell out of there.  It was still early I made the decision to roll out when I saw a group of guys that were not so welcoming roaming through the bar.  I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover but in that case I decided to.  It was a Wednesday night and what I was doing out I had no clue.  Its like every night there is some sort of party or bar having some sort of event or something is going on.  Me and my French friend rolled down to a more inviting bar called Hell Hunt, it was kind of sporty and the waitresses were cute.  The beers were the right price and the atmosphere was pretty laid back and cool but of course this was Wednesday, try that bar on the weekend and its a whole different story.

The weather has been pretty Danish as of late we had a good weekend of weather with the sun shining and pretty mild temperatures, but then came Monday and it was wet, like real wet it rained and poured all day, I didn't make it to my first class but that's a different story, and from the looks of it on Facebook a lot of other classmates didn't make it to class either.  Just one of those lazy morning/afternoons.  It's funny because being black and walking through Tallinn you get a lot of looks and some pretty mean stares.  The old people look at me with mad looks because they lost the Cold War and the young people look at me because a lot of them have never seen a black guy before in person like at all.  It can get a little frustrating at times like in my mind ''OK get over it'' but at the same time I guess it's good that they are getting exposed to something new, besides all they really know is what they see on TV or in the movies and I guess me not dancing or playing sports is not feasible for them to understand.  I was outside of the bar Shooters (hot spot) when I struck up a conversation with a guy, he asked me where I was from and I gotta admit if you say Canada there's not much conversation after that, I said Canada but messed up and said Quebec (French Speaking part) so he started talking in French.  Needless to say I was exposed and outed as an American...  we continued chatting for a bit when a few dudes who were in a band jumped in and asked me ''Where is the weed at?''  this is a common occurrence anytime I go out on the weekend I get asked that question at least 2 or 3 times.  My response is ''I'm looking myself'' and I try to keep it moving.

On Saturday Tallinn is pretty drunk!  Like people stumbling over themselves drunk.  I don't get it.  It was like 10pm and some underage girl is yelling in our faces that its Saturday, and how her ''dream is to adopt a black boy'',  they treat weed like Heroin meanwhile people are throwing up in the streets, hey I guess its a classic case of Different Strokes for Different Folks.  Tallinn is growing on me though.  I know where to take buses and where to get good food, well decent food and I also know where to go for drinks and after last week where not to go for drinks.  This week I made a promise not to go out at all but if there is a flat party I will go.  I like those because you can just bring a bottle of something and sit back and have a good time.  Conversation is usually good and there is always a good ratio of girls and guys so no one is really left out in the cold except for when people start talking in groups in their own language.  Sometimes it can be annoying sometimes you just take it in as an experience and a true example of how big the world really is even if your just in one room.  Until next time safe travels wherever you're headed.