Tallinn, Estonia - July 14, 2012
Back in Tallinn again after a wet but otherwise uneventful trip from St Petersburg. The border crossing went even more smoothly this time than before if that's possible. I did sort of crash the line on the Russian side but the line was not really that long. Well, unless you were a truck in which case it was about 4 kms long. I just pulled up behind the last car as there were only about 10 of us, but then some guy was yelling from behind the fence for me to move up. I didn't understand a word of what he was saying, but then he probably wasn't using first year Russian either. Instead of saying something like "Please go to the front" he was probably yelling something like "Get your butt up there buddy, whad'ya waitin' for?" If he had spoken slower, and with a little better diction, I might have gotten "there" and "waiting" but as it was I just drove up to the front. Anyway, on the Estonian side, I got the same guard as when I left and so he remembered the whole Insurance Corporation thing. So no problem there. He also told me that there was just beginning at the castle adjacent, a two-day motorcycle meet and show. He said I should go get my bike entered. It would have been fun, but after the rain earlier that day, I looked more like a mud clod on wheels. Besides, I had to get to Tallinn.
So I got here last evening. Back at Tiiu and Bill's place, which they have graciously allowed me to use in their absence now that they themselves are back in Kamloops. Have just been packing and organizing for heading home. Some stuff stays here, some goes with the bike to Turi and some goes home. It's all really quite confusing at my age.
I have tickets for the ferry to Helsinki tomorrow morning, returning tomorrow night and so just a quick day trip without the bike. Unfortunately the weather forecast is for 90% chance of thunderstorms. Now hopefully that is a 90% for a thunderstorm during the day and not for thunderstorms 90% of the day. I'm never quite sure how that works.
The Old Part of Tallinn
In the Old Part of Tallinn
So while this trip is winding down, there may be more travel in store shortly. I had mentioned that something was brewing at home making a late-July return perhaps better than a late-September return. I was correct. As it is all public now, I can say that at Diane's vet clinic, the junior-most partner in a rather interesting legal move has bought out the other three, including Diane. Her last day at the clinic is next Friday. Typically these deals involve a non-compete clause and so Diane is looking a bit farther afield for new employment. She has applied for a teaching position at the University of Adelaide in South Australia and they seem rather interested, having already started to contact her referees. Also, by virtue of her grandparents having been born in the UK, she qualifies for a 4-year working visa within the UK... and she can bring along any deadbeat family member she wants as long as they don't work (that's me!) or go on welfare :( There are many very attractive practice offerings throughout the UK... some in the Midlands, some in Wales or along the southern coast, some in the Lake District and some quite close to London central. Some even offer housing and a car to boot, as well as no late-night emergency calls. So where we are going is undecided as yet, but I will need to get home and start preparing for the move. We'll keep the house (Alec and Ian can share it) and we will probably be back in Kamloops in a year or two anyway. So they would be good guardians.
This was all a little surprising of course, and unnerving... but for only a few minutes. I think both of us immediately saw the opportunities in this. In a few years, we won't have the energy to deal with such a major upheaval nor be able to take advantage of what living elsewhere might offer. Besides, we are both in agreement that our lives were getting a bit too comfortable. Too easy. Time to shake things up a bit. Woohoo!
/>Also... in another really quirky unreal scenario... I pick up my new bike, a 1972 R75/5 BMW on my way home from the airport Thursday morning. How's this for weird. I knew I was going to be bikeless for a while and Diane is going to have a month or two off. So while here in Tallinn last week, I got onto Craigslist, from where I bought my bike I have now. I saw this very nice looking '72 model, three years older than mine, and emailed the seller telling him I was interested. What also had caught my eye in the pictures though, was the tree and flowers in the background. They looked suspiciously like the tree and flowers in the background of the pictures I had seen when I bought my bike back in 2007. So I asked if the seller was Michael D. and sure enough... the same guy! In fact he wrote back that he had just been thinking about me a couple of days before and was wondering if I had ever gone on my trip. He was pretty shocked to hear from me. Well Michael was great to deal with and his reconditioned BMW's are great. So I just bought it sight unseen. He swapped out the single seat for a dual seat and added a small luggage rack. Ready to go! Looks great and I'm sure it runs great. And what a modern classic! Another Woohoo!
Nuts!... I should have taken a picture of the bike in front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. I don't know why I didn't think about it at the time. Crap. Now I'll have to go back again...