Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Estonia Sucks!

Estonia sucks!

This is only a list - for explanations and solutions, just ask (I'm not writing a book...just yet!)
Why does Estonia suck?? Here are just a few reasons off of the top of my head:


Greedy, selfish "neo-capitalists"

Post-soviet mentality

Estonia would never admit that it is in fact - in almost every way - a cross between RUSSIA and FINLAND! (and is still being screwed by both of them)!

(People always ask me why am I in Estonia? I usually used to answer - quite sarcastically:
"For the roads, service, food and weather." But that's really just the tip...)

Way too many street lights in the center of Tartu

(Guess how many...over fifteen!?!?..Two would be one too many!) and none where they should be!!: you have to stick your head out of the window to see them if you stop where you are supposed to! (Manhattan has hundreds of four way intersections with six lanes of traffic on both roads - and what do you know - one highly visible, easily seen traffic light - hanging directly in the center!!) Let's play a game: count the number of accidents at this tiny little intersection - why so many accidents? "Because this intersection is so busy" you say?? Ridiculous!! This intersection is far, far less busy than almost any intersection in any major city in the world (Manhattan) and none (at least I would hope none) of them have such horrendous traffic problems and accidents as this completely screwed up intersection in the center of Tartu with way, way, way too many frigging traffic lights!!!)

Way too many manholes and manhole covers...(and A-holes)

Way too many street lights - yes, too many: the "Euro-Union" mandates that there be way too many street lights in a row and way too close together - but only in a very few spots when most of the rest of "the most dangerous roads in Euope" are pitch black! A few, very small spots of broad day light and the rest of the roads are pitch black...maybe spread them out a lot more??
Right hand rule!??!?!? (...does not rule...4 way stop?!?!?...how about just a few more "Stop" signs...2 are always cheaper and easier than 4...)

NO "RIGHT ON RED"!!!!!! This alone could save this pathetically ignorant country billions of euros in fuel over the next couple decades!!

Dangerous driving (Lack of traffic police and one of the world's leading rally car drivers - Estonia's Marko Martin - who retired after the accidental death of his partner/navigator - inspire the most dangerous/deadly roads in Europe...the U.S. State Department actually advised against taking the buses...too dangerous...)

(My brother suggested that Estonian traffic authorities hire Marco Martin to make a public service announcement: the message would explain that Marco Martin's partner died while Martin was driving in a legitimate race and to please slow down and drive safely - and never drink and drive or drag race - to help save lives and limbs. My suggestion was that the message be paid for by Marco Martin - because let's face it: he learned to drive the way he does on Estonia's public highways!!! He should say: "Please don't practice to become the world champion of rally race car driving (making tons and tons of money) by using Estonia's horrendously dangerous, poorly constructed and maintained and policed public highways as your practice course - the way I did!! Or you may end up paying for your completely unacceptable lack of concern for the safety of other people by being forced to make a public service announcement like this one!!!"

While we're at it, let's have the prime minister make a public announcement too: "Please don't speed ridiculously fast and dangerously or hit wildlife with you vehicle and then laugh about it. Yes, I am allowed to speed - all that I want to - you know this as you watch the tax payers pay for the gas and my car and my driver and my entourage and the police escorts as I speed - ridiculously fast - from town to town (without there ever being any emergency at all!!). (It really is too bad that we are so short of police to fight crimes that endanger other peoples lives - like the crime of speeding. It's also really too bad that other meager and utterly powerless heads of state - like the mayors of cities all over the world - cities (and "towns") far larger in population and economic output than the entire country of Estonia - it's too bad that all of these public servants aren't granted the same immunities that I am granted. Please don't speed!! Thank You!!")

Do I really need to mention how unbelievably poorly Estonian "authorities" maintain the "roads" (I use the term "roads" very, very loosely!!)??? They take dozens of man hours - and immense and expensive machinery - to create a full sized volley ball court in the center of the town square in Tartu - but they can't get the funding for repairing the enormous and dangerous holes in the middle of the roads!??!

The quality of the roads directly or indirectly effects every single transportation cost - fuel in particular!! (The entire country is literally "spinning it's tires")!! How much money does Estonia waste on fuel, fixing tires and suspension systems and mufflers and ....literally "you name it"....virtually ALL vehicle maintenance and repair costs - because the people in charge want it that way!!??? These costs are just another way that the people in power in Estonia are completely screwing everyone else while padding their pockets with hard working Estonians' hard earned cash!! Who owns the gas stations and repairs stations and vehicle inspection stations and...!!

(Someone please supply me with the name and/or contact info for the person in charge of transportation...so I can slap them silly...What's that? You don't have anyone in charge of transportation???...????...Slap yourselves!!)


No one smiles ("Let's play 'The first to spot someone smiling wins' or 'The first to get someone to smile or wave hello wins")

Suicide epicenter of the world (Mao was far worse than either Hitler or Stalin: he made millions decide to kill THEMSELVES!)

No sense of humor, no comedy clubs

"Long Hate"? (I say "Pik viha on pik viga!!" "Long hate is a long mistake")


Nationalism (When asked "What should be done about all the foreigners in Estonia?" one man said: "Shoot them!"...on
public TV...)



(Unlike the U.S. and most other civilized countries (not controlled by the Third Reich), Estonia is the only country
that I know of that requires every citizen to speak one certain language - Estonian - even though over a third of the population speaks an entirely different (and in my opinion immensely more valuable, diverse, culturally rich, etc. language) - Russian - and this is why Estonia has the largest population of refugees any where in the world!! (Estonian is not only virtually utterly useless outside of Estonia - it is often times - a third of the time - utterly useless within Estonia!) I quote the Estonian National Examination and Qualification Center site - (where they don't post the Estonian language Proficiency Exam dates - you have to go to a site that is entirely in Estonian(??) to find the dates!??!?!??) - "The Estonian language proficiency exam does not have to be taken if you have acquired a basic, secondary or higher education." - because obviously if you have been to grammar school -anywhere other than in Estonia - you are far better educated than any Estonian citizen! Ithink maybe that should have read been to school in Estonia...ARROGANCE!!)

Ignorance (Libraries here suck - english, english, english!!)

Alcoholism (Is there a single Alcoholics Anonymous chapter in the whole region - why isn't the social services fully funded to provide the same exact service for people suffering from alcoholism - which is arguably Estonia's worst social problem!)

Estonia has the most rampant and fastest increase in AIDS in the developed world ("Estonia's Number 1, Estonia's number 1!!") (Whoever it was (the minister of health??) that said that this enormous, costly, unbelievably embarrassing and utterly out of control social problem exists only among the people with the problem (and I am paraphrasing what I heard that they said) should be mugged, kidnapped and injected with the virus!!....OK...please do not take that seriously...and actually go and commit such a heinous crime....without calling to invite me first!)
Needle exchange program!!!!!! For starters....public apology!!!

The weather

Why is the entire country is allowed to turn into an ice hockey rink for six months of every year?? (When people slip on this country sized ice hockey rink, they very often injured - unnecessarily and unforgivably. The associated costs to the Estonian society - medical bills, loss of labor hours due to incapacitation (sometimes permanent!) and, of course pain and suffering - these costs almost surely would easily pay for the small cost of clearing the most used walkways...no??)

Fahrenheit meets Celsius around -40 degrees

Insomnia - the sun either never, ever shows up - ever - or never goes away!

Easy solution: if you are starving to death - get the flock out of the desert...stop living in the desert you foolish idiots!!!
If you are freezing to death and spending all of your Gross National Domestic Product ("all the money you make") on heating and reinforcing and rebuilding and refacing and repairing and....everything else you do to make your living spaces livable...and maintaining the wet, frozen Estonian infrastructure (roads, pipes, buildings...)...... MOVE!!

If you can't afford to fix your buildings and roads and infrastructure and social and economic problems (and apparently you can't)- move to where everything is already working and already fixed: Lakewood NJ - where thousands and thousands of Estonians live and work and speak Estonian and enjoy much more reasonable weather every day. Try Florida - where real estate costs almost half as much money - and your living expense will be cut by two thirds to three fourths (no heating bills) !! Or Portugal or Canada or CALIFONIA...just about anywhere else!

Almost everything is 50 to 300 percent more expensive than in the U.S. Why?? (You're being ripped off by the people with money who own all the businesses in Estonia (and therefore the government as well)- mostly foreigners: Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, Brits,...)
Internet - some of the most expensive in the world - as opposed to Finland where it is the least expensive...???

MONOPOLIES RUN RAMPANT: The most horrendous of industrialized crimes is staring (and spitting) every single Estonian in the face every single day of the year, in plain broad daylight - and not a single person ever says a single word!!!!:

Just look at the most major intersection in the entire country - four corners, four gas stations, ALL FOUR are the same exact gas station: STATOIL (all four are outrageously overpriced and foreign owned and operated - whoever it is in your government that allows this to occur is utterly, utterly corrupt!!)

I will say it again:
MONOPOLIES (AND OLIGOPOLIES) RUN RAMPANT!! ESTONIA'S ECONOMY IS NOT A FREE MARKET, CAPITALIST SYSTEM!! (and anyone that thinks it is - is a complete and utter fool!!) Can you say:

COLLUSION!!??! (Businesses secretly allowed to get together to fix arbitrarily high prices - people with money forming "trusts" (gangs) to overcharge everyone - especially the government!! The recently built tower being sold to the government for student and lower income housing - CORRUPTION!! I guarantee it!!)

The medicine is quackery and completely outdated (but it is cheap - or for Estonians it's free - you only have to wait three or four years for your operation...My brother had his knee operated on...unnecessarily!!...oops...misdiagnosis...)

Banks ("...your savings account interest rate is...zero??...Really?...and you charge...a six percent fee to invest money in equities??...)

Newspapers (almost all owned and operated by - and for - the "Overlords" from other countries!)
18% tax - even on shipping - for what?? (NO tax online in the U.S.)

Theft ("More police?? Nah, let's just retire half them...who needs them?...")

Corruption (Several books could be written on this subject alone!)

DIRT (One the filthiest and most dirt and muck and dust ridden places that I have ever been - Bangkok was cleaner! If you can't afford to clean it - move!! To where the streets clean themselves!! Florida?? The highest rainfall - all at once - and therefore the sunniest state in the U.S. - the rainstorms clean everything spotless! Unfortunately, so do the hurricanes...and I am not talking about the baseball team...)

Pollution (Everyone burns their garbage in there coal burning heaters - Jannipäev is Gummipäev - burn your old tires day!)

Soviet Army style brutality (I once saw a man kick another man in the head for about ten minutes and then in another ten minutes they were arm in arm - brother's in law! Seven on one - kick him till the police show up...if they ever do...)

Bumper to bumper traffic?? In "cities" with less than a million people??? (Please find and slap the transportation minister for me...please...or at least fight the corruption by demanding that there actually be a transportation minister - for the country, each county, every town and city - transportation is an absolutely astronomical cost!! Idiots!...)

No organic produce (anything that you would really want or need to be organic - you have to order online! You could do that anywhere in the world...)

No real health food restaurants or stores!!!!!!!! (One of the lowest life expectancies of all industrialized nations!)

Overpriced meagerly equipped "gyms"


Tartu has no decent:
Vegan/Vegatarian, Salad Bar, Middle Eastern, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Thai, American (Subs, NY/NJ or Chicago pizza, Philly Cheesteaks, omelette's, Ben & Jerries, Cookies & Cream, "All you can eat" Buffets...)

Mc Donalds won an award for the best fast food in the country!!! (and is going out of business in the U.S. Estonians have given an award to a fast food chain that most of the rest of the world makes fun of and laughs about, and makes movies about how utterly horrendous McDonald's food is! Unfortunately, we are all forced to eat there because - in fact - Mc Donalds is the best fast food in the country (if you can call it fast! I often wait for twenty minutes or more for my "heart attack inducing" meal.) Sad, sad, sad!!

No Wendys, No Taco Hell, No Arbys, No White Grissel, No Burger King, No In and Out, No Jack-in-the-Box...and I would be overjoyed if any of these franchises could make any money here (they can't! Because Estonian's have yet to develop the taste for anything but the most horrendous post-soviet style food!!) even though these are the worst, greasiest, nastiest, "fast food" drive-throughs (as opposed to Estonian "faster than unbearably slow" "drive/stumble drunk through" restaurants where you will almost definitely be accosted and/or attacked by the young drunk studs "stumbling through" on Friday or Saturday night)

No Costco

No BJs

No Sam's Club

No Super Target

Shitty, short skiing/snowboarding season

Shitty, incredibly short, ice cold surfing/swimming season

Overpriced tennis/golf (How much??? For a golf ball??!??!???!)

No Jiffy Lube (20 minute - 40 dollar - complete oil and filter and lube and liquids and 100 point check up for your car!!! They do lightening fast, incredibly inexpensive spark plug replacement and tuneups too)

No 24 hour Walmart

(Estonia has the worst infestation of biting insects of anyplace that I have ever been! It's like a plague: Swarms of mosquitoes! Enormous, horse-sized horse flies that literally chew through various layers of clothing before gnawing through your skin, causing you to literally cry out in pain!! "OUch!!!"

Why are Estonians so completely ignorant to Mosquito reduction techniques and technology???! Because they don't listen to foreigners?? Because they don't speak or read English?? Have you ever heard of "bug lights"?? No!! Do they prevent standing water (I would swear that they encourage standing water - every Estonian is growing puddles and pools of mosquitoes in their back yards...) Spraying for mosquitoes - perhaps instead of investing in...let's say...bad advertising slogans like "Welcome....To....Est.......Onia"...(Land of the mentally challenged: "I am Est.......Onian!! I compete in da Hand.......Dicapped ....O.....Lympics....")

I was told that no Estonian spiders bite...bowlshite! ALL spiders bite...how would they eat??

Music??? ......MUSIC??????.......Don't even get me started...
...and I'm just getting warmed up...



(that blog is exactly the same as this but has over 9 comments!)


Anne said...

Just one question, why do you still live in Estonia when you hate it so much?

Maria said...

Do you realize how xenophobic your own post sounds?

It seems that you are looking for a copy of your home country here, but this is a different place and accordingly carries a different name - Estonia.

Can you maybe guess why we do not have "real health food stores"? Healthy food grows here, just in our own backyards. You can also find it in a usual supermarket.
Jaanipäev has far longer tradition than a rubber production and the fire itself has a very special message. It is a pity that you have seen people ruining it with burning tires.
A comedy club is not a sign of a sense of humor either. We put our jokes in the words not on a stage.

Here are so many beautiful things to see, but you can only see what you look for...

James Graff said...

I actually choose (foolishly) to live in Estonia because my heart forces me too: my girlfriend is finishing her masters degree at Tartu University.

I am truly sorry if my post "sounds" xenophobic because nothing could be farther from the truth. I love absolutely ALL people, animals, plants, places and things - especially those foreign to me for they are the most intriguing!

The main intent of the post (and hopefully of most of my activities) is to ease suffering in the world. I am really simply speaking from my heart and mind - the truth - (something that post-soviet, nationalistically trained Estonians don't do very well yet) from a simple perspective:

In what ways does Estonia "suck"?

How can we all best improve the lives of all who chose to remain here (The population is decreasing so frighteningly and rapidly that the Estonian government has -in an act of National pride and tax-base self-preservation - resorted to "bribing" citizens into having children with absolutely unheard of, Estonianesque subsidies! And I will hopefully be moving to California...or Florida...or anywhere else...ASAP).

I was born in New York City. I was an A student in Economics and Systems Engineering at purportedly and arguably the very best schools - number one in the world (The Wharton Business School and the Moore School of Engineering - where they invented the computer...). I have traveled to over 40 countries on 5 continents. So I would like to believe that I have a very open and cosmopolitan view of the world.

Real health stores sell "organic" produce amongst a myriad of other healthy goods and diverse information filled media. You might want to try locate some of that media and start reading - in English - why the food that grows in your "backyard" might be the reason Estonia has one of the lowest lifespans in Europe (...carcinogenic pesticides for one...). You can find the meager kind and quality of produce that sells in the stores here in just about all grocery stores in even barely developed countries - but that doesn't mean it is high in variety or quality - or that it has been organically grown.

Of course Jaanipäev has a long - and culture and tradition filled - history - but I have experienced half a dozen of them and learned almost nothing about those traditions (from the Estonians themselves). Why? Because everyone is invariably too drunk and covered in soot and bonfire smoke to every bother explaining any of the tradition to me. "Go into the forest in search of a special flower..."...and hook up! (...with the Devil?...)

A comedy club - not unlike a library - is a sign of high culture in my opinion (not to mention a sign of something...anything...fun to do at night other than drink oneself into oblivion and listen to some of the most awful music I have ever heard...) All peoples and cultures have humor. One of the main problems with Estonia is it's size: 1.5 million people and SHRINKING. For that number of people Estonia kicks booty in so many ways (due to the highly competitive - almost "dog eat dog", nationalistic ideologies): gold medals, number of international successes (models, rally race car victories, etc.) genome research, the discovery of alpha-centuria - which led to the development of a "light year" - the discovery of the vast cosmic cloud - the Öpik-Oort Cloud - an immense postulated spherical cloud of comets just beyond our solar system...which is where I believe a great deal of the Estonian flora - and quite possibly - fauna (the Estonians themselves, perhaps...) are from....thus completely explaining the time and expense in building the incredibly odd shaped and odd looking new Tartu Kaubamaja (I think everyone already knows that it's actually a space vessel ...waiting to transport these heartless, hyper-intellectual visitors home...hopefully the new mall (complete with "permanent scaffolding") will help hide the "Kaubamaja Mother ship" from Sauron's evil eye of Mordor that is high, aloft his evil snail shaped, conical tower....comedy!!...)

But Estonia is really just a teeny, tiny country - like 500,000 (of maybe even 50,000) Manhattanites living amongst a million country bumpkins - essentially sheep - in impoverished, rural Alabama - half of which speak Spanish (and have absolutely NO CITIZENSHIP anywhere in the world!...!!!)

I am really only trying to help the former and educate the latter.

And of course I am truly sorry for any and all unintended offense...

But thanks for commenting!