Shopping is easy in Tallinn. But sometimes it’s a little eventful.
While on my way home from work last night (Friday night), passing through the old town, I remembered that we needed bread. We go through a loaf every two days. We love bread (and it’s cheap). So, I went into our local supermarket, Rimi. Pete has a little Rimi card to give us additional discounts, but I didn’t have his card with me, so I walked up to the little table with the forms and started filling out the form. Thank goodness it had Russian below the Estonian; without the Russian translation, I would have had no idea how to fill it out. While filling out the form, a cart smashed into me–hard! I could see a little old lady in my peripheral vision, and so I decided to pretend like nothing happened. Whenever anything awkward happens, it’s always better to pretend like nothing happened.
So, I finally started shopping. Nothing too exciting until I saw that our favorite drink, Valga Klaar was on sale for 69 cents instead of a euro!
Once I was ready to check out, I went to find the youngest cashier I could (usually I don’t care, but I wanted a younger cashier who could likely speak English to let me know if I filled out the form correctly), but an older lady was free (that never happens–lines are usually so long!) so I went over to her, gave her my paper, and started unloading my stuff. I had to put my basket at the end of the conveyor belt thing, so I said “excuse me” in English two the two young girls who were in line behind me. I know that “vabandust” is “excuse me/sorry” in Estonian, but the word still sounds so weird to me, so I still don’t believe that that word actually means what it’s supposed to. Kind of like when you learn that “aitäh” means “thank you”. You say it, but then you follow it by a real “thank you” in English, just to ensure yourself that you’ve done a true thanking. I don’t know if I’m alone in this world with that concept, but it takes a while for me to believe that foreign languages are actually understood by the person who is being spoken to.
Tangent. Shoot. I gave my form to the lady and she got out a card and asked me if I needed a new card “uus kardi” or something like that. “Jah” was the reply I gave (or is it spelled “ja”? One means “yes” and the other means “and”. Luckily it sounds the same). Then the lady started telling me all of this stuff, pointing at the back of the card and those were my 4 numbers and something about document something and basically she talked to me the entire time she checked out my things. The girls behind me were kind of laughing because they knew that I didn’t know Estonian. I smiled and shrugged my shoulders as they smiled back. We had a moment. Anywho, I guess it worked because I got the 5% or 10% discount or whatever. And then I threw all of my purchases into my bag (along with one little flimsy–but more importantly, free–bag) and went home. We drank the whole Valge Klaar that evening while watching “Chonicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” on Pete’s computer. We tend to have pretty epic-ally eventful Friday evenings like that all.the.time.