iOS app Android app

Scott Diel

Entries by Scott Diel

The Thinking Revolution

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2009 | 1:49 PM

Estonians just might be the most skeptical people on earth: they have sayings like "Hope is the comfort of the stupid" and "Crying always follows laughter." Their male suicide rate generally ranks in the world's top ten. Depression is not uncommon. The country's divorce rate is the sixth highest in...

Read Post

Wanted: Superhero, Eastern Europe Beat

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2009 | 12:19 PM

A friend of mine in the United States recently got shot. Paul was having a beer on his front porch and two thugs showed up to rob his neighbor as she was parking her car. He shouted to break up the mugging and they shot him in the neck. After...

Read Post

Toilet Tour

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2009 | 12:32 PM

This past summer, one of the tour companies in Estonia allowed me the pleasure of guiding American cruise passengers. The company knew I hadn't passed any of the guide exams, but they still gave me the job. On my first day of work I realized why.

"Where's the bathroom?"...

Read Post

And Nice to Meet You, too

(2) Comments | Posted April 15, 2009 | 6:29 PM

My first instinct was to be angry with my wife for not introducing me. Then I thought I might introduce myself, but they already somehow knew me, my name, my connection to the few I knew in their group. They even made me feel like I should know their names,...

Read Post

Battle Stations: Among the Russians

(4) Comments | Posted April 13, 2009 | 12:10 PM

I've always loved Russia, if only for the Russians. They're a people to whom pazhalusta (please) and spaseeba (thank you) actually matter, and even poorly spoken Russian will get you almost everything and everywhere. And there are few things better in life than to be the honored guest of a...

Read Post

What Hemingway Said

(2) Comments | Posted April 5, 2009 | 9:53 PM

Estonians are fond of quoting Hemingway: "In every port in the world, at least two Estonians can be found." I was fairly well informed about Hemingway, but I'd never heard that before I first came to Estonia. Visiting the United States, I tried out the quote on an officer of...

Read Post

Brothel Watch

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2009 | 12:53 PM

Two years ago, a women's rights organization claimed there were 60 to 100 brothels operating in Tallinn, the capital of the former Soviet Republic of Estonia. The police cracked down, and now it's believed there are fewer than half that number. You can't deny the progress, but if you look...

Read Post

Cock Ring Ken: Dumping Western Consumer Products in Eastern Europe?

(4) Comments | Posted March 26, 2009 | 3:51 PM

There's a conspiracy afoot.

The door on my brand new Samsung washing machine didn't close properly and leaked water all over the floor. My Nardi refrigerator--also purchased new--made a noise like an incoming mortar round and we had to call customer service immediately. "Oh, these all have that problem," shrugged...

Read Post

Integrate Me: The Aftermath Of Russification

(5) Comments | Posted March 24, 2009 | 12:23 PM

I was recently invited to speak to an English class composed of all Russian students. From time to time, it's healthy to experience first hand the bitterness some young Russian speakers hold toward Estonians. This year's understatement: some don't like them very much.

It wouldn't have been so bad if...

Read Post