July 9 2009
Today went by so quickly. Probably in part because I was able to sleep in until 10 J Then we had a tour of the Estonian National Museum and then the Estonian National Court which is the highest court in Estonia. The national museum had a lot of examples of the types of housing and clothing (especially clothing) that the Estonians have used throughout the ages. I’d seen a lot of the clothing already at the dance festival but it was kind of neat to see it closer. They have these giant brass broaches that they wore, which are circular, convex, and come to a point. They look like they should be chest protectors of some kind.
The national court was in beautiful building that used to be a hospital. It had great dark woodwork and wood furniture and a nice calming sage green on the walls. So we learned a little about their legal system which sounded quite similar to ours…although I’m not sure I know much about our own to be perfectly honest. Everything is on a much smaller scale though. Today the tour guide was saying that government officials are so accessible because for 50 years, no one was allowed to say anything, so openness is very important in their society now.
Tomorrow we leave for the island of Saaremaa. I guess we’re staying at some kind of tourist resort so that should be interesting. I’m mostly excited to have a break from all of these lectures. It’s not that they aren’t interesting because they are. It’s just that it’s all very tiring for my little brain to take in so much information along with a new environment and language. At this point, we’ve learned so much that I feel like I know more about Estonia than I do about the US or even Michigan. I’ve slowly been picking up some of the language but only the most basic survival words and phrases. It’s fun though.
Now it’s off to the bars and clubs to explore the nightlife of Tartu!