Posts by: Paul

Vilnius, Lithuania

After a gruelling nine and a half hour bus journey I arrived in Vilnius at 6:30 this morning. I had about the worst seat in the bus since sitting behind me was a Russian guy who for the first two hours was talking to his mobile phone. I know he was Russian because he was saying things like “da” and ‘nyet”. Once he’d finished on the phone he spent ten minutes kicking the back of my seat and then fell asleep and snored for the rest of the journey, with brief interruptions at the two border crossings: between Estonia and…

Jazz Lounge, Tallinn, Estonia

This is one of the posher places in Tallinn, but still a bowl of soup with bread cost less than £2. Red armchairs, fake flowers and soft music – not jazz. Here’s a couple of photos taken on my mobile: Strange how it’s not possible to get from Tallinn to Vilnius by train. I’ll have to take the bus. I went to the bus station earlier but couldn’t buy a ticket. I didn’t see anywhere that was selling tickets, just buses and a shopping centre. I found an information desk, though I think it was information for the shops, and…

Cafe Moskva, Tallinn, Estonia

Sitting in a window seat of Cafe Moskva with my laptop on my lap, having just had two double espressos and a plate of pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and chicken. The waitress, wearing a tight black mini-skirt, just asked me if I wanted anything else. I’ve been here for a few hours, browsing the web, trying out different templates on thios blog and getting rid of the adverts I put on it the other day. Meanwhile in the real world jazz music is playing. The cafe is quite full. There’s a cold Baltic wind blowing outside. Last night I went…

Tallinn, Estonia

Last night I had dinner in a mediaeval restaurant but tonight I bought a tin of tuna and some mushrooms and did that with the spaghetti I already had in the hostel kitchen. That’s one big advantage of staying in a hostel rather than a hotel: you get to use their kitchen, but while I was eating I had to listen to two English women talking as they lined their stomachs with vodka and coke, presumably before going out on the town: I only found out today how old my mum is. She’s 55. That’s only 5 years away from…

From Cafe Esplanad, Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia

I’m feeling a bit weak after a night out experiencing the dark side of Finland, the side that drinks to excess and then keeps on drinking. Cafe Esplanad is the other side of Finland. People eating salads, drinking coffee, reading newspapers, two people holding what looks like a business meeting: a woman sits at a laptop and types as a man speaks. When the beer isn’t getting you drunk fast enough you order a round of fisherman’s friends: shots which smell and taste like the sweets but are made from vodka. A deep dark red colour. You touch glasses and…

Helsinki, Finland

French films from the 30s and 40s showing today in Helsinki. LA BÊTE INTOXICATION IHMISPETO , tuition Jean Renoir , French 1938 Jacques Pelvis Jean Gabin ) is höyryveturin chauffeur , which enduring tajuttomuuskohtauksista and hallitsemattomista väkivallan purkauksista. Jealousy asemapäällikön wife Séverine Simone Simon ) decide next conquer quiet and retiring Lantierin. Romance began and lisädramatiikkaa yonder intohimonäytelmään furthermore assassination , which suffix competing side together. Tale bottom Emile Zolan gipsy. Register keskeisenä motif is Lantierin alkoholistivanhemmiltaan genotype luonnehäiriö. Renoir is nevertheless elokuvaversiossaan kiinnostuneempi henkilösuhteista and environs paineista , which spectacular thus pahantekijöiden like uhrienkin kohtaloihin. La Bête Intoxication is…

Helsinki, Finland

Before I forget then I’ll write down my dream of last night: I’m travelling with Tony Blair and we stop over in Iran to visit a school. Sitting in the classroom with Tony watching the kids lesson I ask if it would be alright if I take out my camera and take some photos. They say yes, of course, so I take some photos and no one seems too bothered. Then Tony asks me why don’t I shoot video rather than stills. Meanwhile in the waking world I met some interesting Americans the other day, and a French guy, in…

Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki, Finland

There’s a church on a hill by the port of Helsinki, a red brick building with gold balls sitting on the spires, making it look a bit Islamic but I think it’s a Russian orthodox church. I went in there today, just as a christening was starting. Tourists and people who’d just walked in were confined to an area by the door by ropes. There were prominent signs saying: “Silence Please! Divine service in progress” (in several languages) and images of cameras (still and video) and a mobile phone, all crossed out. Some people didn’t notice the signs or deliberately…

Cafe Esplanad, Helsinki, Finland

In the Roger Otip story “Executioners from the future” (which was originally titled “Ignorance is no defense” but the former title was felt by the publishers to be more marketable in Yankeeland and more likely to lead to a movie deal) the judges and the bailiffs (who carry out the arrests) and the jury are all presented as being very short grey skinned individuals with large black eyes, like the popular image of aliens. Apparently Otip was hoping that Tom Cruise would play the lead prosecutor but Cruise turned down the role because it didn’t fit with Scientologist ideology, and…

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