Guest post by Teedub
I’m currently in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, a lovely place that I could certainly see myself living in more permanently, and on Sunday I witnessed something that reaffirmed my desire to leave the UK on a more regular basis.
There was an international football (soccer) game on Sunday, between my home nation of England and Estonia. A rather big occasion for a country whose national stadium hold roughly 10,000. A comparison for our American readers would be that the English national stadium holds around 90,000.
The locals I met on Ladies Night on Wednesday (surprisingly few ladies were out it transpired – though the ones that were seemed pleasant enough) were excited. A few of the lads predicted an Estonia win, and whilst I disagreed, everything was set up for a pretty fun atmosphere on Sunday. An atmosphere where myself and other expats would watch the game alongside friendly and welcoming locals without any serious hostility.
That is, until yet another group of tossers turned up to once again to affirm the local’s understanding of what it means to be English. Usually it’s horny men on stag do’s, expecting the local talent to drop their knickers at the sight of a British passport, but this lot were a different breed to that. They weren’t just here to try in earnest to pull a lap dancer, they were a particular brand of Englishmen. A brand we seem to breed with famous regularity. Hooligans.
Sure, perhaps they weren’t the foaming at the mouth tyrants that once plagued football stadiums in the height of the 70’s, but they were certainly what are now known as ‘Football Lads‘ – not necessarily an organised mob, but certainly not adverse to a fight.
Dressed in the ‘football casual’ uniform of Stone Island coats and other identifiers, they brazenly swaggered throughout the city with all the lack of nuance one would expect. When former EDL leader, and former convicted football hooligan Tommy Robinson, tweeted that he “wished he was in Estonia”, that kind of summed it up. Not that I have a problem with his political views per se, as a lot of it echoes what we discuss on this side of the internet. Anyway, I digress…
I was in McDonald’s with a mate who I know over here, and there they all were… Sitting, staring aggressively at everyone who walked in, trying to intimidate the local population. It really pissed me off. Just who did they they were? Coming to a nice place and infecting it with everything wrong with English society. Bringing Jeremy Kyle to Eastern Europe.
Not all the fans who came over to Tallinn were like this, but a very large proportion seemed to be.
I was reminded of a conversation I had with a Latvian-Russian acquaintance, who said that stag parties have frequently urinated on war memorials in Riga, his home town, and how this had made people wary and openly hostile to Brits abroad. I was reminded about the hordes who frequent Magaluf and other places with uncivilised debauchery. Nothing wrong with a bit of debauchery now and again, but one should have a bit more class and originality when it comes to booze, sex and drugs.
As it turned out, nothing much transpired, but that doesn’t mean that their pre-match antics in the city won’t have had any effect. Reaffirming the stereotype of the unsophisticated Englishman abroad.
I did however, see some scary looking Russian blokes out in the city, and I would certainly have paid to watch a meeting between them and the English! Is that a curious case of self hatred? Possibly.
I don’t know what the solution is, maybe UKIP are right and proper border controls are needed to keep the troglodytes out of each of our respective countries.
Anyway, since we’re on the subject of Tallinn, I’ll leave with a few more brief thoughts:
1) The girls are very friendly and will often open conversation with you in bars if they hear you order a drink in English. Though throughout the day, there’s less hot women walking around to open than I thought before I got here.
2) The ethnic Russian girls are better looking than the Estonians, who are getting fatter than you’d expect. Especially the girls, typical! 🙁 Estonian girls (probably due to Scandi influence) look old as soon as they’re mid twenties in many cases. A combination of very light skin which ages badly, and that kind of ‘wide face’ you see on some Russians (picture Putin) means quite a lot look unattractive to me. Spoof your phone’s GPS and go on Tinder, and you’ll most likely see what I mean.
3) The Russian girls will often go to the supermarket dressed up as if on a night out. Tight black dresses and high heels. Extremely thin, with masculine boyfriends leading them around. It’s made me want to visit Ukraine (you need a visa for Russia proper).
4) It’s expensive. Food and drink is the same price as Western Europe. It’s noticeably more pricey than Lithuania was when I was there. I suspect due to a more thriving tourist base, plus the fact it uses the Euro – which unlike me, I hadn’t researched before arriving.
5) Despite what I’d read on forums, the nightlife early in the week isn’t exactly popping. Weekends are a different story, of course. Mid-week nights are significantly more quiet than weekends, even in Club Hollywood, which I was told was busy all the time. Perhaps it’s the cold weather at the moment.
The wind chill has been, on occasion, fucking freezing.