Monday, September 28, 2015

Hi sweeties!

I'm not posting a whole lot mainly because I don't do a whole lot. But I figured that I should at least make an effort since I'll probably get swept up in real life once I get to Oxford and this blog will become even more neglected than it already is. I think it would be good for me though. I could use some human on human contact. Feeling rather forlorn here.

Actually, Eva is returning! Even though our stay in Estonia will only overlap for a few days, it'll be good to see one of my high school friends again. Especially since I'm leaving in a week. I'm still not quite sure what we will get up to. We're planning to go out with Jamie so we'll probably reconquer Tallinn Old Town but the details are hazy. Will be awesome though. 10/10.

Anyhow, since I'm not feeling particularly eloquent right now here are the things I've done (and will do before my next post) since September 10!

So, most memorably, I got my tongue pierced again. Way more blood than I remembered but also way less of a hassle than I recalled. Eating wasn't even difficult this time around. Maybe my tongue has evolved. I bet it would survive in the wild. Go tongue! I would post a picture but I've never been overly fond of shots where my tongue is sticking out. Maybe someday. You'll just have to hold your breath and cross your fingers.

Also finished my prelim reading. Actually this is a lie. I have like 100 pages to go. But I have finished all the obligatory bits. Technically, I am a good girl. Don't argue. What I have learned from all this reading is that I really love ancient greek (I'm not gonna go back and capitalise it, reaching for the mouse is a bloody hassle) history because it is very dramatic. And I love the way ancient sources relate events. It's all just so precious. I'm really glad for my choice of subject, too. I thought that passing up on forensics at Exeter would cripple me with regret forever but thankfully I have seen the CAAH light. Will probably still go on to do forensic archaeology as a postgrad, though. Can't keep me away from science while there are still more tables to light on fire (my chemistry teacher sure didn't appreciate that, though).

I gave a surprising amount of relationship advice to a surprising number of people over the span of two days. Now, I don't have anything against it, that's what friends are for. Please come to me with your relationship problems. I care. I just find it ironic that I should advise people. All my relationships, with one expectation, have ended in a hail of fire and brimstone. They have been wildly horrible. Even during, not just after. So dear friends who I tried to advise, not taking my advice would probably be the wise thing to do. History has spoken.

My hair is reddish brown now. I am so fickle, especially when it comes to hair colour, and as I had some toning shampoos from my brunette days lying about I dyed my hair. Now, when I used this toner before, my base was dark brown so all it really did was give it a warm hue. With my ombre-ish hair though, the roots are pretty nice whilst the ends have that rather distinct reddish brown colour. Not ginger. That dark artificial reddish colour. It looks oddly good though. Sounds gross, but looks surprisingly nice. And it will wash out so I don't have to commit. Lovely. Maybe this is why none of my relationships work.

I also have a driving test in two days. Fuck my life.

I am planning on getting vaccinated after. And then I'll get froyo. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Loneliest month of my life

no spell check so brace yourselver

Loneliness is a weird creature. It sneaks up on you unexpectedly. One moment you're fine and bam the next thing you know you're getting choked up in a bus station. For a self-declared introvert, I sure crave human contact right now. But it's a bit more complex than that. It's not like I don't talk to anyone all day and stay holed up in my room, I keep quite busy these days. I think that is part of the problem. I am so often surrounded by meaningless conversation with people I'll undoubtedly lose touch with in a matter of weeks or days. I miss my friends.

Taking steps is easy, standing still is hard. Yes, I quoted the OITNB theme, don't judge. It's pretty darn relevant right now. So long as I keep in motion I won't have to deal with everyone I've learned to lean on in these past few years being gone. Well, actually, I would like to give a shoutout to my 1.5 friends left in Estonia (jep, poolteist). I'd be lost without you. It just kills me to stay here for another second. I'm not sure what I mean by here, I'm probably referring to my room and Estonia in equal measure. 

It must sound odd for me to show desire to leave sooner. It's just that all of my friends are taking steps. They have gone to university overseas or are off on wonderful adventures. They meet new people, make new friends. They are building a new life for themselves. And I don't think that is easy. I don't think that for a second. I'll probably be homesick for a good chunk of the time I'll be spending at Oxford. But it is frightening to think of the people I built my life around moving on. I talk to my friends on facebook and skype but it is not the same. I won't be there for them when they need a shoulder. I won't be able to come and smack spiders off their walls. Hell, I won't be there to drag them home when they are too pissed to remember their own address. And I hate to be sitting here, writing an angsty blog post, instead of having a glass of wine with my best friends. I don't want to stand still. I want to take steps. Staying put just reminds me of the loneliness. 

Another issue I want to address is this so-called homesickness. I think I am homesick already. Kodu see ei ole koda millel aken uks. Nukitsamees knows his shit. I miss the sense of security my friends gave me. I miss laughing with them. I miss their twisted sense or humour. I don't think I'll be sick for Estonia in university. I'll long for the sense of belonging and acceptance my friends provided and with them scattered across the world I hardly feel like homesickness is an adequate term.

I have expressed my worries over growing apart with my friends due to our diverging paths and I often get the response "if your friendship is true it will not change". Now at this point I usually smile, nod, and say "i guess so" which, coming from me, usually means that I don't agree but really can't be arsed to debate the issue. This is why that belief is a filthy lie - people change. I don't mean this in a negative way. Even the most minute details can alter friendships. We all travel such different paths that we are bound to learn and grow in different directions. When we meet again in a year we won't fit together the same way. Our inside jokes won't make sense anymore, our slang will be different. The friendship we've built could very well remain intact but it will take on a different form. I don't want that to happen but there is no point in fighting eventuality.

I think this month has been a lesson in loosening my grip but not letting go. I refuse to accept that our friendship will just dissolve but I am learning to cope without its constant presence. It will just have to evolve and find a way to survive over hundreds of kilometers. I'm lonely but hopeful. 

I really miss you.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Somebody got busy


I haven't really updated this blog for a while because in spite of getting quite a bit done I haven't actually accomplished anything blog-worthy. Not that I ever accomplish anything significant. Really. I mean, I did nearly off myself out of sheer stupidity while scuba diving last week but I prefer to not dwell on that. 

So I figured that since there really is nothing big to blog about I will tell you about the small things. The useless things that a lot of people seem to find intriguing. Maybe you don't. That is sad. Actually, now that I'm getting down to it it's even hard to come up with the small things. What can I say. Living my life to the fullest.

I've been pretty glued to studying lately, taking driving lessons and trying to finish reading bloody Herodotos (i will not spell it with a 'u', just no, bite me England). I mean, that guy sure goes off on tangents. I was told that the main point of the Histories was to examine the causes for hostilities between the Greek and the Persians but I am on page 300 and let me tell you, these hostilities haven't come up yet. 

The book is interesting, though. I just wish that it was less verbose about it.

I also tried frozen yoghurt for the first time. I liked it. I liked it very much indeed. I mean, who would have thought that freezing yoghurt (and i suppose adding copious amounts of sugar to it) would make it taste so much better. It is as if I've been missing something in my life and now the void has been filled with icy sugary sweetness. Actually, no. I was just feeling like a hyperbole. It was really tasty though.

I'm really tired right now. To be honest. But it is the kind of tired where you don't really want to sleep. I think it's because I ate a shit ton of sweets before. Wise life decision right there. Je ne regrette rien. 

I realise I use a lot of fragments when I write. Grammar is for losers. This is all intentional. Sorry.

Anyway, I'm going to check out. Probably not going to sleep. I'll regret it tomorrow but that's future me's problem. Good night!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tried not to be tired

I have been wanting to write for a while. But then I was hit by this massive wave of exhaustion. Now, for a while I thought it was due to a lack of sleep. After all, I hadn't been sleeping well. But soon it became apparent that it couldn't possibly be that. I feel slightly less exhausted right now. Then again, I had a large latte and napped on the bus. I still don't know why I'm so tired. Maybe it's because I am back to work and haven't been able to eat properly. Maybe it's because I have been doing some preliminary studying for uni. Maybe it's just because I have been too bloody active for the past month. I don't know. But since for the first time in forever I don't feel like a piece of shit on a stick I figured I may as well get this post over with.


I went diving on Saturday. Or maybe Sunday. I can't remember but it's irrelevant anyway.  What is relevant is that the dive was an absolute clusterfuck. I don't think I have been on a dive that shitty in a while. The worst part is that I have (almost) nobody to blame but myself. But I am not about to accuse anyone in this post but yours truly. It would be in bad taste.

To put things in context, I haven't really dived much in the past two years. Sure, I went on one dive this year but otherwise I have pretty much been on hiatus for the past two years. Secondly, I am in the process of obtaining a license for a dry suit. It is completely different from the wet suit. Completely.The day of the dive started out pretty nice. We drove out to Rummu around 12pm (which by the way is an amazing diving location). It was a lovely day. The air was hot and the water was approximately 21 degrees. This is rather warm by Estonian standards. I assembled my diving gear with minimal trouble and somehow managed to get into the suit. 

It was no easy task. Trying to fit my head through the collar felt like being born again. Except this time I did not have the benefit of flexible infant bones. 

Anyway, I got into the equipment and started off towards the water. Now, I was pretty anxious to get in because I was wearing a full undersuit (see on nagu karupĆ¼ksid kombe vormis ok) and carrying quite a few kilos on my back. I was sweating my ass off. 

Just as a point of reference, this would be me in (almost, as it turned out) full gear.

So I get into the water, right.  And immediately I realise something is wrong. 

Now, I don't get it at first. I attribute this to the fact that I haven't dived for a while but it may be my chaotic nature in general that is to blame. I just sort of felt weird. Like a balloon. After a while of floating like an idiot I grasped that I had forgotten my weight system. 

Honestly, it was kind of mortifying because Rummu is a very popular diving location and there was a lot of people to witness my fall from grace. Other factors that needn't be mentioned weren't exactly helpful, either.

So my dive got slightly off the wrong foot. Oh well. No biggie. I'd like to say that it was smooth sailing after that but I would be lying. 

I finally got underwater when I realised that my cylinder was loose. 

Well, fuck me.

The cylinder I had initially intended to use turned out to be missing one of those parts needed for it to connect to the regulator (I honestly don't know what it is called in English). So, one of the instructors magically procured another one and ended up changing it for me whilst I was otherwise occupied with god knows what. I, being a piece of trash, didn't check if he had fastened the cylinder to my BCD properly. Cue, 30 minutes later, I was trying to pantomime my unfortunate situation to my instructor who for some reason was not getting it. Seriously, he was looking straight at me whilst I was flapping my hand like some weird native dancer and pointing at my cylinder rather frantically. I think it took at least five minutes for him to understand. And then about 10 to get it fastened because apparently the (not so) fancy metal fastening system was even more difficult to handle underwater than above. 

I do have to say that the people I was diving with took my shittyness with rather good grace. Kudos to them. As I never fail to repeat, dealing with me takes some patience.

Luckily enough, most of my troubles ended there. Diving with the dry suit was rather difficult at first.  I think it took about 20 minutes for me to finally get my buoyancy right.  It did feel amazing to get out of the water and not be freezing, though. I see why some people prefer the dry suit.

Anyhow, I suppose this will be all for now. 
Stay tuned to hear more of my failures/successes! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I'm driving (everyone nuts, including myself)

Well, hi. 

I've been trying to get a lot of things done this summer. Especially this month. I suppose it's because being the (ir)responsible high school graduate that I am, I feel as if I should do something with my life. Something important. Cliche, I know.

Yet I still feel that just getting into Oxford somehow isn't enough. Life is a never-ending competition. Not necessarily against other people. Sometimes you just try to beat the odds (which, contrary to the popular belief, are not ever in your favour). And I did. But what I realised is that the race isn't over purely because I "won". Now I'm just competing in a higher league. And the odds will be harder to beat this time around.

So, que my near-desparate attempts to better myself. Somehow, I thought that having a full time job, getting two diving licenses and going to driving school simultaneously would be just fine. Not to mention that I have to get through my reading list for university (which really wouldn't be much of a problem if one of the key books on it didn't cost bloody £40). I think it's safe to say that I feel a little bit overwhelmed right now. The pressure makes me forget simple things, fail where I would have easily succeeded before. I guess it's all a learning experience, huh. Don't bite off more than you can chew.

To sum up how I feel about all the responsibilities I've taken.

PS I got side-tracked by some of my senior banquet photos and got sentimental. That's why this post wound up so short. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pictures of Spain!!

I already tried uploading these pictures twice on my phone. Unsurprisingly, the blogger app did not cooperate. 

Anyhow, here are some pictures! I tried to arrange them somewhat chronologically. An effort has been made. If you see yourself on one of them and don't fancy being on my blog just tell me to take it down.

So, this is the fancy meal they gave me in the business class whilst flying from Tallinn to Istanbul. I had to take a picture. I mean, come on. It has a bloody tablecloth. The fish was delicious. The shrimp tasted like nothing at all. Cheese was lovely.

This is the hotel room I stayed at in Santiago de Compostela. It was about the size of my closet. Admittedly, I have a huge closet. The rooms were very brightly coloured. I am still uncertain whether I loved it or hated it. This picture was taken a few moments after the terrible realisation that I should have packed more than one hoodie and one pair of jeans of warm clothes. Galicia is not a warm place. The online weather forecasts are filthy liars. I was cold a lot. But I can't complain since I'm always cold back in Estonia, anyway.

This is an inside look of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, taken a few hours before I left for Rois. It's some altar or another. There were so many I frankly can't remember. All the guiding notes were in Spanish so it is safe to say I understood next to nothing. It is still very strange for me to visit Catholic churches. Even though I am not religious myself, Estonia is a Protestant country and all the churches I have been to have been rather plain in comparison. It was a very beautiful sight. I saw a lot of pilgrims as well. Obviously. 

So this picture is taken in Padron. There is supposed to be an accent on the o but I can't figure this keyboard out. This is one of the first ''field trips'' we did. There is yet another church in the picture. Apparently there are many churches in Spain. Not much to say about this one aside from that it was on a hill with an amazing view. I have a picture of it somewhere but being a lazy piece of trash I am probably never going to upload it.

So later that day we went to the market where we had pulpa, which I suppose means octopus in Spanish. I was fairly apprehensive at first but I figured I may as well try it. Peer pressure played a large role in the making of that decision. It tasted interesting to say the least. It was like an odd combination of chicken and fish. The texture was very squishy. I mean, it tasted way better than expected but I probably wouldn't order it again. Everyone is Spain seems to love it, though. I heard it's a Galician speciality.
That white bowl-like thing was used as a wine glass. Made me think of Japan. I don't think it's common to drink wine this way, though, since this was the only place where I saw it.

Now, let me tell you something about the nature - it is gorgeous. I was told that the north of Spain has a vastly different landscape compared to the rest of the country so I am extremely glad I got to volunteer in this region. The view is from the hill of the trench I worked in. As an Estonian, I was constantly amazed by the mountains. I think the scenery was breathtaking. 

So, um, this is me. Archaeologically doing archaeological stuff. If you look close enough you may notice that I am wearing the mask upside down. That's why I look like my entire face is swollen. What an idiot. 
I am actually surprisingly clean in that picture. No mud on my face and arms. It must have been taken early in the day. I mean, that blue hoodie I'm wearing is distinctively more gray right now. I hope it will come out in the wash. 

Here you can observe a fraction of the lovely pottery we found in one day. The decorated ones are cool. I've forgotten what the technique is called in English. I think it's called 'kammkeraamika' in Estonian but I wouldn't bet on it. I'm quite the uneducated peasant. For now.

Now let me tell you about this river. You see those piece of shit stones over there? Well I thought that I was going to be adventurous and instead of taking the round way I'm going to skip over those stones. Bad idea. I mean, after 19 years I should be aware that I am a piece of trash when it comes to anything physical. But noooo, I had to be cool. Long story short, I ended up falling into the water (only one foot, thankfully) and had to borrow Sophie's shoes because I am a bloody idiot who didn't pack more than one pair of trainers. The shoe took two days to dry. I paid for my stupidity.

Just hanging out with the coolest people of the work camp at the river. Note how I am so white I reflect sunlight. The albedo effect has got nothing on me.

And another river. In Padron again. I am just being casually deep and slightly sunburnt. There were some cute as hell ducks in the water. It shouldn't have come as a surprise but the ducks look completely different from the ones back home. No blue heads anywhere!! There were also black swans and geese. I know it looks like I am warm and enjoying the sun in the picture, but don't be fooled. I was freezing my ass off.

(I have now arrived in Estonia. It is warmer here than in Spain. What the fuck? Anyhow, carrying on from where I left off...)

After posing by the river we visited a pepper plantation. I was extremely cold and my nose went full out Rudolph so I am not on any of the pictures.  These peppers are very treacherous. The small ones taste like paprika. The large ones taste like Satan's breakfast. They are hot as hell. Some of us found this out the hard way.

So yeah, peppers. Another thing the region is famous for, apparently. We visited the factory where they were packaged as well but it was a bit less than thrilling. Enlightening, though.

On Saturday we visited the Cathedral of Santiago. I had been there before but the trip was still enjoyable. It was more fun to be there with other people. One of my friends had actually done the Camino de Santiago so she was able to provide really cool contextual information. The atmosphere is crazy. Unfortunately, the cathedral was being renovated during our visit and most of it was covered in scaffolding. 

Aaaand here is an admittedly shitty panorama of the square in front of the Cathedral. There were a lot of pretty buildings.

We spent the night in Santiago de Compostela and had a little fiesta. The picture is admittedly horrible but very grunge. Tumblr would love it. I found it really odd how late people start drinking in Spain. They stay up incredibly late. I felt like an old lady in comparison. Apparently the laws about drinking in public spaces are very strict in Spain so we had a little bit of trouble with finding a place. Also it was cold as hell. So cold. Oh my god. Very cold. This is coming from an Estonian that went clubbing in a miniskirt in December. We also took plenty of selfies but I look so drunk on all of them I can't post them.
When we finally hit the bar (calling it a club would be a bit of a stretch I think) I found it to be very similar to Estonia in terms of size and the amount of people. The music was way different, though. And the dancing. Oh boy, the dancing. These people were seriously amazing, I tell you. I think my standards for dancing have been irreversibly raised. It was a good night and I think I turned in around 5am. That is apparently considered quite early. Mjeh.

Obviously, there is no better place to nurse a hangover than on the beach (this is a lie, there are so many better places, the seaside is a horrible choice). The day was ridiculously hot. I mean, at least 30 degrees. Probably more. Now this comes as a bit of a shock after freezing my poor ass off for an entire week. A pleasant shock nonetheless. I actually got a tan. God bless. The scenery was amazing, again. The beach wasn't crowded at all so we had some privacy and were able to enjoy the day. There were so many seashells. Big ones. Of course, the local people weren't at all surprised or overjoyed by this, making me feel like a bloody five year old, but come on, huge seashells. That's some sick holiday stuff right there. The beach was about an hour from the place we were staying at so I got a few hours of shut eye on the bus. Perfect weekend.

I took this picture one day before leaving. We climbed on the roof (even though I guess we were not supposed to). Not much of a view since it was so dark and the picture really does the reality no justice. We just hung out for a while until I, being the resident old lady, decided that 3am would be a nice time to go to sleep. I had to get up around 7am to pack and take a taxi to the airport. I was sad to leave. The people at the work camp were extremely kind and I will definitely remember them fondly.

And last, but not least, this is a picture I borrowed from the camp's facebook page. This would be (nearly) all of us on the second day of the camp (I think).

This is where I conclude my little picture story.
I really really really loved my time in Spain.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Recollection (Part 1?)

Well, hi.

I think I have to apologise for how sloppy my last post was. Way less than eloquent. But I suppose that's what sleep deprivation and anxiety bring about. I'm afraid this post isn't going to be all too fabulous either. Mainly because I just woke and feel a bit groggy. I know I am going to be too lazy to proofread this post. Perhaps I will edit it when I get to Estonia. Ah well.

Might have to split this post into two parts. I did a lot of things. Yes. I know. Wow. Britt actually got out of her house. I am as surprised as you are.

I have thought about the way I would start this post many times but I find it extremely difficult. The past 10 days have been a continuous adventure, an experience I can't possibly do justice by words. 

(Some weird ass square just popped up on the screen. This is why I don't trust public computers.)

Before actually arriving at the work camp, as you can probably tell from my last post, I was very nervous. Having never travelled alone I was unable to deal with being on my own. Looking back, it all seems rather funny to me. Right now, sitting here at the airport with only my own thoughts for company is way easier than before. It is almost a solace, I suppose. Then again, the only time I was alone in the past 10 days was when I was taking a piss. And really, it probably doesn't wholly count since the door didn't lock. Heh.

(The bloody square keeps moving and it obstructs the words I write. I am so done with it's shit. Just stop. Please.)

Even though I was constantly surrounded by people, I didn't really mind. Rather, I enjoyed it. You have to give the Spanish that they know how to make you feel at home. They are probably one of the kindest people I have met. Of course, I can't determine the nature of all the people in Spain by just the handful I encountered, but I had such an amazing experience with everyone I met. Even people outside of the camp (like tour guides or airport workers) were extremely kind. And patient. Anyone who has the patience to deal with me probably deserves an award. And I made really great friends. It is really odd how you can find someone with such similar interests half way across the world. Incredible. 

It still eludes me that I will never see most of the people from the camp again. After spending countless hours in their presence it is very weird to think that you will never meet them again. I already miss their accents.

I also picked up quite a bit of Spanish. It is not quite good enough to hold a conversation and I can't write in it to save my life, but at least I know how to curse people out. Hooray for insulting everyone in their mother tongues! Actually, no. I knew how to curse before going there. Thanks, Janete. 
I did expand my tiny vocabulary though. I think that if I had spent a few more weeks there I could've even managed a basic conversation. It really made me want to study Spanish in university. Oxford's language courses aren't exactly cheap but I've heard that my college may refund half of the fees so I will have to look into it once I arrive. It would be a pity to forget all that I've learned and frankly, I think I kind of fell in love with the country. There are so many archaeologic opportunities there and I would love to do an internship or the fieldwork project for my dissertation there. 

(Omg this computers spell check is in American and it keeps rejecting my British spelling. I am getting annoyed. Please take your freedom elsewhere, America.)

The archaeological side of the camp was probably my favourite part. Now, this is not a surprise since you all know I'm a sucker for a dirty piece of old pottery. I was a bit concerned about this though. Seeing that I had never actually done any field archaeology before I wasn't 100% sure that I was going to enjoy it. I was afraid I had made a terrible mistake with my course choice.

My fears turned out to be completely unfounded.

Sure, I may have been covered in dust from ankle to forehead while sneezing dirt every day (my snot is still black, ew) but I loved every moment of it. Well, maybe not every moment, but I enjoyed a significant majority of the moments. I don't know how to explain the thrill of finding something ancient. I mean sure, it may be a shitty undecorated minuscule piece of low-quality pottery but it was held and used by human beings hundreds of years ago!! Human beings just like me. They may have lived a completely different life from myself but there it is, a piece of connection between us. A little piece of well-preserved clay. It's astounding to hold a piece of someone's life in your hands. 
They found some Roman tiles in the other trenches (the one I worked in mainly contained iron age artifacts) that had actual fingerprints in it. Bloody fingerprints!!!!! How cool is that? I suppose you can safely say that I was over the moon most of the time.

I was really pleasantly surprised by the archaeologists we worked with as well. I guess it really shouldn't be such a shock to me as I have yet to meet an unfriendly archaeologist anywhere in the world, but then again, my sample size is woefully small. I guess I was slightly intimidated at first because these people have my dream job and I cannot help but to admire them. They turned out to be amazingly friendly and helpful, though, and they let me ask my one thousand questions about everything and anything. Kudos for the patience. I can get annoying. All in all, the work camp was a cool learning experience. It actually persuaded me to switch my Roman sculpture class for the Greek vases one. Look at all the self-discovering I am doing. Whoop!

I think I will wrap this up here, though. I will upload some pictures in another post as soon as possible. It may take from five minutes to five hours. I am just so unpredictable. Wild child. Wow.