Dark…and Bright Yellow Days

Cintia grew up far away in Brazil, but has Estonian roots. It’s her first time to visit and actually live in Estonia. Cintia studies the Estonian language at UT and plans to apply for the master’s programme in semiotics next year.

Think about someone who grew up in a “tropical country, blessed by God and beautiful by nature”.
Immediately I can visualize a fresh pineapple drink and a warm breeze by the beach while listening to a summer hit, surrounded by friends in Brazil.
This a famous song by Jorge Ben, a Brazilian singer. It is a good interpretation of the Latin soul, passionate about life, friends and warm days.

When we decide to travel, for pleasure or studies, we have to consider some important details in order to have a successful journey.

I had my personal reasons to come to Estonia and knew already what to expect in terms of adaptation. I also knew that the winter had to be the best one, including the dark days. So I have been preparing myself…emotionally speaking. Remember that a Latin soul is not familiar with dark days.

The first weeks were just perfect, a good warm-up for a flowered skirt and flip flops addict in a European country. At the same time, I knew that things were going to change a lot, and I had to be prepared for that.

As a visual person, I see the changes happening, and the nice sunsets are no longer cheering up my window. The yellow leaves are falling, and I have never seen a shade of yellow more beautiful than that one.

A chestnut in Tartu in autumnIf you have the chance to combine the leaves with the yellow color that comes from the street lights, the contrast in a dark day will be simply magic. I had the chance to take nice shots on my way to the library. I was probably the crazy one lost in the middle of the leaves trying to catch a good moment, and I enjoyed that.

The city is changing a lot.

The atmosphere is impressive – more romantic I would say. Personally, I like to listen to the saxophone player when I am crossing Raekoja Plats during a dark evening. I have the feeling of family, Christmas and the romantic thing again. Latin passion, I think. The cold days are also bringing winter outfits. Ladies are wearing long coats, high-heeled boots and always running late. The reflectors are flashing in every corner, coming out in different shapes. Again, something different for a Latin soul.

Personally speaking, I can see the changes among my friends as well, and I do not like that. I like when they are happy, because they are nice! Very nice people.

Some of them are more quiet, concentrating on studies or just not in the mood for something different. Some of then are just counting the days to go back home for Christmas. Based on my views and interpretations, I decided to create my own plan during the first dark week, in order to get the best during the following months. I would call them “bright yellow days”.

Light:
We need it! Avoid the darkness, since it’s dark enough outside. Turn on the lights and hit a scented candle. Christmas lights are also a good option. Make your place more enjoyable. Keep it clean and organized. The good energy will flow around.

Music:
Be careful here. I had the opportunity to listen to some music around, and instead of making me feel happy, I wanted to run away to avoid some tears 🙂

Listen some good music that can cheer you up, avoiding the sad melodies. Keep those songs for a sunny day, when you are thinking about different things and a song will not change your mood in front of a beautiful sunny day.

Food:
At this point we are all tired of cooking. But we have to eat, so try to eat more warm food. I believe that everything that can keep your soul warmer, will benefit your journey during the cold days. If you are not in the mood to cook for yourself, invite a friend, or two, or all of them and have a great time. Sharing is always good.

Warm drinks:
Same here. Drink hot tea, a good latte or your favorite warm drink. I drink yerba mate or green tea very often. If you do not have problems with caffeine, it will help you keep a balanced mood as well. If not possible, avoid the caffeine, but add “something else” to your drink: spice, honey, lime, a spoonful of liquor…you name it! The “something else” really counts here, and every treat will be a nice pleasure for you. Before everything, you deserve it.

Warm drinks 2:
Hõõgvein, mulled wine, vinho quente…you name it. If you like this variation, why not try a Hõõgvein tasting with your friends? It’s a good opportunity to meet all of them, share good company and take nice pictures. Never forget: Memories are priceless.

Exercise:
Probably one of the most important things here. I know how hard it is to get up and do exercise. I also know that it will be almost impossible to stay outside in a few weeks. Meanwhile, we still have time for jogging or a good walk by the river. I personally do it and have no regrets. Just wear warm clothes, listen to some GOOD music and go out to appreciate the beauty of Tartu during the cold days. I bet you will like it. I just regret when I am running and I am not able to bring my camera. I’m always missing nice shots!

Colors:
Avoid the all-black outfit. Wearing different colors could also improve your mood. Try a different scarf, hat, gloves, bag…and be creative here. Girls, you still have the chance to be creative with your favorite nail polish. Do not miss this opportunity 🙂

Guys, this is for you! A man wearing a scarf is charming, at least among tropical minds. Again, Latin soul speaking 😉

Going out:
We have so many interesting things to do here, and I believe that we can also motivate our friends. Organizing activities in a group could be more productive. You will have fun, smile more and might have a chance to win a karaoke contest! Personally, I did not find a better place to listen to Estonian language on Monday evenings.

Your room:
Keep it neat, keep it clean! You have to sleep well and an organized place makes such a big difference! Keep it beautiful for yourself, but enjoy it during the night only. Yes – when you are sleeping! During the day, try to stay outside…go to a cafe, your friend’s house, relax at Aura Keskus or go to the library. I spend lots of time at the library. Right now I can see lots of people studying or chatting around here. But we are all here, surrounded by people. Personally, I found out that lots of people (including myself) do not like to study alone in a quiet place. I feel more productive here. I tend to be distracted when I am alone. So, you will always find me here. I feel happy when I meet people and they stop by and say hello. We are all connected and I like it.

Treats:
Give yourself a gift. You are achieving goals every day, so you more than deserve a gift. Buy something that you like and the price is not important, whether 1 euro or 100 euros. The idea here is to celebrate YOU, and there is no one better than yourself to do that. Buy your favorite chocolate, wine, or even that expensive product that you like a lot. Celebrate yourself!

Family:
Some of us are lucky enough to have family only 3 hours away from here. I am not that lucky. It will take a long day to get there, but the long trip is worth it. In the meantime, Skype is our best friend in common. Family is very important and our connection can relieve the distance between us. Keep in touch with your friends and family. They are a solid support when you are away from home.

Tartu in autumnCELEBRATE!
Before everything, never forget how lucky we are to be here! Things happens in life for a reason, so do not miss the opportunity to celebrate your life every day! Some of you are leaving for good in a few weeks, carrying with you lots of good memories about this semester in Tartu. Give the best of yourself by learning and learning again, and go back home with lots of good things to share about Estonia. Knowledge is priceless and no one can take it from you. Share all of the good things that you had the opportunity to see here. I bet you will have lots of spectators waiting for that 😉

Some lucky ones (including the Latin soul) hopefully still have something like three winters to enjoy charming Tartu. I wonder what I will write three winters from now.

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  • Haah, I should re-discover all those nice recommendations myself. (Native Estonian speaking here) Under hot drinks you forgot Tartu classics – Märt. If one does not know what it is, you should find it out ion Genklubi or Möku. 🙂

  • Cintia Elb

    I am glad you liked the recommendations, Eveliis. Thank you for sharing something new for me! Definitely, a must try 🙂