Picture this…

You are standing with your feet in the cold wet grass, it’s a chilly morning,  june feels like oktober, but after all you were expecting this: summers in Estonia aren’t known for warmth and sunshine, they never were anyways. Everything is the same as it always was: the smell of fire burning in the furnace, birds singing in the trees, your house behind you, something that you could always call home, something that will always comfort you. It’s familiar. You belong here.

Blink! And you are in a huge metal box, cutting through the sky, rushing higher and higher as the forests and bogs and shores of your home are turning into tiny lines and smears on the horizon, as clouds cover even the faintest hints of home and turn the view into an ocean of fluffy cotton candy.

Another blink and you are here, in Zagorje, running to Spar because it is Sunday and everything will be closed at what is absolutelly too early for you.  Suddenly there are mountains, and heat and people talking in weird language all around you.

At first you rush into this world and marvel at everything, without really taking time to observe. It’s too exciting. It will take some time until you start to really notice the differences. When you find yourself quite surprised by seemingly mundane things again and again.

It has been a month since I arrived here. A lot of ups and a lot of downs, the time flew quicker than expected. Obviously I come from a country  far away (tho how far is it really, Europe is relatively small) and thus there are bound to be differences. Some things that shook my world a little so far:

Milk! Yes, just good old regular milk. For me it is weird to see milk outside of the fridge in the supermarket. I don’t trust a box that you can buy now and it will go off somewhere in September. Some slovenian witchraft if you ask me.

The struggle of not having a car, it’s real. It took me close to 3 hours to cross the distance of 50 kilometers. It is so very strange for me how the public transportation works here. Finding connections, changing trains, busses that come once in a blue moon- it is all very different. Perhaps it is the lack of hills or the way that most cities are situated in relation to one another, but traveling in estonia is much easier, faster, cheaper, plus, did I mention that there is free wifi in most of the busses and trains? Never in my life did I regret not having a car until I came to live here.

People. Why are you so similar to Estonians? I was secretly expecting a mix of italian and balkan mentalities, something very open, slightly crazy and surely warm. In reality I found out that people are rather reserved and need some time to break the ice. Which is totally okay, but perhaps unexpected J

Also Cedevita.  Looks suspicious. Tastes suspicious too.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I am sure that more is yet to come very very soon. Nine months is plenty of time to discover. Surprise me, Slovenia, I am ready!

Riina Meldre
EVS volunteer in Zagorje