How is the life as a foreigner in Estonia?
We asked two foreigners who both moved to Estonia to stay. Learn more about the life in Estonia and about their own experiences of the country.
James Werts – Musician from USA
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your profession.
Born in Detroit Michigan and now living in Estonia with my Estonian wife and boy. In Michigan I was into some serious sports like American Baseball, basketball, American football and music. R&B, gospel and Jazz music was a big influence on me as well. My profession is that I’m a musician. I am a singer and I play the bass guitar. In Estonia, I can be seen with my 4pc Funk/R&B cover and original music band “James Werts World Project”.
2. What made you stay and live in Estonia?
I came to Estonia to get married to my Estonian wife and stay for a short time, which has now turned out that i am still here since December 2002.
3. Did you face any difficulties or challenges during your first time in Estonia that took some time to get used to? Explain.
Yes, the fact that not too many Estonians have seen people of color and or nationalities often had the locals looking just a bit harder at you was a bit of a challenge for me being that I came here from the States (Los Angeles California).
4. What do you like about the Estonian culture?
The fact that they pride in who they are, their country, make me like them (Estonia) even more.
5. How do you see your future in Estonia?
I try not to look too far ahead but to live life as it comes.
6. Anything you miss from your home country which is missing here in Estonia? What and why?
Home cooking like Sweet potato pie, Bar B que’d ribs, Collard greens, golden fried chicken, to name a few. The seasonal changes, like Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter like it’s normally suppose to be. American sports whether live or at a professional game.
7. Why would you recommend Estonia to others who have not visited the country yet?
As I have been mentioning to many of my family and friends folks from the US to visit Estonia. There is a lot of history to be seen and heard from here in Estonia. Whether taking the walking tours through old town in Tallinn, or visiting the summer city of Parnu, the University city of Tartu or the beautiful islands of Muhu, Saaremaa & Hiiumaa. Most of these parts are still undiscovered by many tourists who are limiting their Estonia tour(s) to only Tallinn.
8. Any favorite Estonian dish?
I don’t have a favorite dish here in Estonia, but I have tried many of their fine dishes. I must say I eat a lot of Estonian dishes at the in-laws home in the East of Estonia.
9. Final question. Can you sum up the best of Estonia in 3 words?
PRIDE, EVOLVING, BEAUTIFUL!
Louis Zezeran – Stand-up comedian from Australia
1.Tells us a bit about yourself, backround and your profession.
I am 34, Australian and a Stand Up comedian and producer in Tallinn. My background is actualy IT, I have a Computer Science degree but I sort of abandoned that years ago in favor of telling dick jokes on stage.
2.What made you stay and live in Estonia?
It’s a nice place! I think life can just take you in certain directions, my friends and I were backpackers in 2006 and Estonia was one of the first countries we came to and we spent a few weeks here exploring the place and getting to know people. Even if you love a place you still need a *reason* to be there though and I am really happy we founded Comedy Estonia and this gives me an amazing purpose to being here.
3.Did you face any difficulties or challenges during your first time in Estonia that took some time to get used to? Explain.
I think moving anywhere you need to have a reason and just coming for a girl isn’t enough. You have to find your own reason and purpose otherwise life can become really one sided. Having said that, I didn’t actually move here for a girl! Ha, yes no one believes me! However still I was searching for my purpose, working in IT was ok but once I found comedy then things really fit into place.
4.What do you like about the Estonian culture?
A great sense of energy, like anything is possible. I like the connection with the nature too, which as an Aussie is something I am into.
5.How do you see your future in Estonia?
This is the question Estonians are facinated with! Like ok ok I am here but SURELY I am getting sick of it soon! Sorry, I am here for the long haul, my life is here. I have my friends and family back at home but beside that I don’t really have anything to go back for. I hope to be Estonian President one day.
6.Anything you miss from your home country which is missing here in Estonia? What and why?
Yeah sure the sunshine. Having said that, last year I went somewhere hot and sunny. Afghanistan. So yeah, I dont even mind the weather too much, its not everything. I am a cyclist so I miss smooth roads to ride on, Edgar needs to pull his finger out and fix more of the roads.
7.Why would you recommend Estonia to others who have not visited the country yet?
The place is lovely! I think you Swedes need to get to know it. Cause I lived in Stockholm for 2 years and when I told everyone I was moving to Tallinn I got looks like I was moving to another planet. Or surely I must really love cheap booze. Estonia is an amazing vibrant place which has everything I need and gives me a society where if I have a dream, I can go for it. Unless that dream is to perform Stand Up for more than 1,3 million people. That’s about the only dream I can’t live out in Estonia.
8.Any favorite Estonian dish?
All the dishes in my cupboard are from IKEA so you Swedes got me there. Ha ok, Estonian food, I’m more into the classic Baltic German type stuff like sauerkraut and blood sausages at Christmas. No way am I touching the Herring, that stuff is a biological weapon of mass destruction.
9.Final question. Can you sum up the best of Estonia in 3 words?
not cheap anymore