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White snow orgy

João Lopes Marques* (Eesti keeles)

There is nothing more delicious than His superlative irony. Having read a couple of agricultural articles on vineyards in Scandinavia and the Baltic region, God surprised me (us) with a altruistic orgy of extremely white snow.

More: who could guess some weeks ago I would be walking in the middle of the streets fearing being hit by one of those menacing spikes that grows bigger and bigger in the roofs of Tallinn?

Well, since last Winter I have realized this crystalline water ice can break legs. That I already knew. What I never expected was that this gigantic natural spears pointed at me in every corner. Last night I even dreamt about one of them that is growing in a building by my flat — it fell unexpectedly perforating my gentle torso.

For sure I also don't fancy all this army of tractors and caterpillars that just remind me Godzilla. But let's be positive (at least this time): these are quite bearable side effects of one of His most wonderful creations. If the reader has doubts, if such purifying whiteness that falls from the clouds is not enough, please try to see a snowflake in a optical microscope.

Oh my God, it's unbelievably perfect!

As if life gains renewed meaning — just look at the faces of people when the first serious snow starts falling from the skies. "The thing I like best in Estonia are our four seasons!", whispered me Triin, perhaps one of the biggest fans of snow I have ever met in my not-so-short existence.

She is right. I myself like better Vivaldi and its symphony after moving into Estonia. We understand better its tempos: the adagios, adagiettos, allegros and allegrettos... and then the adagios again... Beautiful.

And that said, and knowing that I had a snowy text to write, happy Triin texted loads of hints by SMS: "João, please don't forget to mention the happy kids riding sleighs, all grandmothers knitting gloves, the beauty of the snow reflection, the boys playing and the snowmen, the workers whose salary depends on snowing, the joy of going crosscountry in a pair of skis, the clothes people can finally dress..."

Minutes later she even added in an second SMS: "Ah, and Kristina Smigun can now prepare herself much better for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver..."

Uff, she was comprehensive (snow is gold). Yes, Triin is so happy these days that I even hide from her all these news on stranded people in highways and airports, not to mention alpine avalanches. Once again, these are side effects He created to warn us that everything has a positive and negative side.

Actually, both my rubber boots and I feel relieved by these crystalline Nordic days. And I feel baffled by Him as well: He not only sent us these torrential flakes, He wanted me to be in Estonia to see it.

A weather record is always a weather record (and vice-versa).

OK, now I know I will have to wait a bit longer for good grapes and cheaper wine in Estonia. Yet this amazing sense of normality eases my angst — it is good to acknowledge the world and our animal lives are not changing too fast.

You can't imagine my joy not having to recall my imaginary children: "You know what? Papa is still from the time there was snow in Tallinn..."

*João Lopes Marques on romaani "Mees, kes tahtis olla Lindbergh" autor


João Hartley disse…
Ótima ideia a tradução para inglês das crónicas no eesti ekspress. É que era uma aventura completa traduzir aquilo no google para inglês ou português.
Estes sem inglês são mesmo os originais. Não existe é versão... em português. Prometo inserir todos doravante.

Um abraço para Santarém, Hartley.
João Hartley disse…
Bela palavra "Doravante". Uma gueixa...
Iolanda Bárria disse…
"Snow is gold" é uma expressão curiosa. Descreve lindamente este teu texto, João!
(há uma gralha minúscula, depois de Vivaldi :)
Corrigida. Obrigado, Iolanda.
sónia disse…
Ainda não tinha apanhado este toque poético (na maior acepção que esta palavra pode ter) na tua escrita. Adorei!
Lembrei-me de Impressão Digital de António Gedeão: "Onde Sancho vê moinhos/ D.Quixote vê gigantes..."
You should comment it in the article itself. Estonians also use Google translate! :-)
You should comment it in the article itself. Estonians also use Google translate! :-)
Manu disse…
Só de ter falado VIVALDI ficou belo. ..belo....
hahanna disse…
Thanks for another amusing column in Eesti Ekspress! I always wonder what on earth brings foreigners living in Estonia. And it becomes even more curious when they start observing and commenting publicly, what's going on in this weird country. It's interesting to read about the small peculiarities which go unnoticed to the locals but astonish somebody from another culture.
I also enjoy the wordings of your articles. I suppose you write in English originally? Any ways, the Estonian translations are just delicious, written with zest. To whom can I address the congrats for that?
And the snow article is just so appropriate now. I really miss it, as I had to leave these magical landscapes and cityscapes for foggy France. Snow brings up some most sensitive emotional information for Estonians. Seeing this, they will be teleported to the childhood instantly.
Cheers and keep up the good work!
Thank you, Hahanna.

It has been a novelty for me the chance to express myself in Ekspress. Estonia won my heart long time ago.

And yes, the originals are in English and translated into Estonian language by Teve Floren.

Rocío disse…
Ganda Teve! :-)
sónia disse…
Será que podemos sonhar com estas crónicas compiladas num livro na nossa Língua Materna? Gostaria e compraria, no entanto sei que estas coisas não são fáceis.
O livro sai em estónio no início de Março, lançamento aqui em Tallinn. Estás convidada, Sónia... :-) Depois veremos se, mais para o final do ano, há interesse de alguma editora portuguesa. Talvez mais à frente...

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19 kinds of girls who bruise my soul

By João Lopes Marques (Eesti keeles)

There was a time, not too long ago, I believed I had become a misogynous guy. False. I wasn’t. Then I started fearing I was slightly gynophobic. Nope. I was just afraid to bump into another stupid girl. It wasn’t easy to understand it but 10 or 15 years later I realize I’m just too sensitive to 19 specific species of women. Indeed, I can even turn intolerant in presence of one of them. Such a phenomenon can be either personal taste or old trauma, I know. However, I don’t care anymore. I just confess the following kind of females have the power to bruise my soul:

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