Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I am in paradise! / Ma olen paradiisis!

What is the paradise? What does it mean to be in paradise? I got an answer to those questions after arrival in Split.

Split is second largest city in Croatia which is situated on the coast of Adriatic sea. It is the capital of Dalmatia (Croatian coastline district). Dalmatia and its beautiful beaches, diverse islands, well preserved old towns and mild warm climate attract many tourists from all around the world. Croatia got a title as "Lonely Planet Destination No. 1 in 2005". And now I understand why.

The most southern point that I have ever been to before that trip was Munich (Mynchen) in Southern Germany. But here I got the feeling of real Southern Europe! It is amazing for me to see palm-trees growing on the streets and in the gardens of people. Amazing is to see the light blue-green colour of the water in the sea. Amazing is the fact that today is 27th of September, but I am sweating in the t-shirt and will go to the sea to swim in couple of hours.

About 300 meters away from my dorms, where I am staying, is the seacoast. There are plenty of bigger and smaller islands near Split, therefore one can get a breathtaking view on the mountainous islands around Split.

It is strange to feel that my real summer has started just in Slovenia in the middle of September and got to its highlights just in Split in 20ths of September. There was too much work in July and August in Berlin to get a real summer feeling probably.

Split is also very interesting because of its history and architecture. It is 1700 years old and its old part has its roots in Ancient Rome. It is considered as one of the best preserved Ancient Rome towns. The old part is under protection of UNESCO. It is great feeling to see 1500-1600 years old stone houses which are still inhabited. It is amazing to walk on the one-meter-broad streets where the others walked also a thousand years ago.

What do I do here? I am staying in Split for about 4 months till the end of January. I will be working in AIESEC Split Executive Board and will be responsible for promotion and recruitment of local students and graduates who want to go for a traineeship abroad. For Aiesecars - I am doing CEED as VPOGX here. This is an interesting challenge because Split has lot of potential, but they just sent 2 people abroad last year (whereas they accepted about 14).

I came to Split from Zagreb, a capital of Croatia, where Is pent three days. Although being an interesting city, Zagreb does not differentiate in my opinion from many other Central European big cities that I have been to before. A very interesting experience was to feel difference in landscape and climate in different parts of Croatia. When I entered the bus in Zagreb, it was around 12 degrees, rainy and grey. When I arrived in Split, it was 25 degrees outside and completely sunny!

I went to the island Brac next to Split on my first weekend here. It has around 14.000 inhabitants altogether. I could walk around 25 kilometres a day on this island. Because everything was just so nice! :) I am going to upload the pictures from there soon.
You wonder where exactly Split is? / Ka su vanaisa ei tea tapselt, kus asub Split?
[EST] Mis on paradiis? Mis tahendab olla paradiisis? Sain vastuse nendele kysimustele tulles Spliti.

Split on suuruselt teine linn Horvaatias, mis asub Aadria mere rannikul. See on yhtlasi Dalmaatsia (Horvaatia rannikuosa) pealinn. Dalmaatsia oma kaunite randade, mitmekesiste saarte, hasti sailinud vanade linnade ja pehme sooja kliimaga meelitab paljusid turiste kogu maailmast. Horvaatia sai tiitli "Lonely Planet Destination No. 1 in 2005". Ja ma sain aru misparast.

Enne seda reisi oli k6ige l6napoolsem punkt, kuhu ma olen j6udnud, Mynhen. Siin sain tunda t6elist L6una-Euroopat! Imeline on naha palme, mis kasvavad tanavatel ja inimeste aedades. Imeline on naha merd rohelis-sinise veega (parast seda ei saa ma Laanemere vee varvi mitte kuidagi teisiti kui halliks nimetada). Imeline on see, et tana on 27. september ja ma higistan t-sargis ning paari tunni parast lahen meres ujuma.

Umbes 300 meetri kaugusel mu yhiselamust on mererand. Ja kuna Spliti lahedal on palju vaiksemaid ja suuremaid saari, siis Splitist avaneb kaunis vaade lahedal asuvatele magistele saartele.

Imelik on tunda, et mu t6eline suvi algas alles Sloveenias septembri keskpaiku j6udes oma tippu Splitis septembri 20-tel kuupaevadel. Berliinis oli liiga palju tood t6elise suvise tunde tekkimiseks.

Split on aarmiselt huvitav ka oma ajaloo ja arhitektuuri parast. See on 1700 aastat vana ning vanalinn parineb Vana-Rooma aegadest. Seda peetakse Vana-Rooma ajast yheks k6ige paremini sailinuks linnaks ning kesklinn on UNESCO kaitse all. Vaatepilt vanalinnas on muiudugi kirjeldamatu. Umbes 1500-1600 aasta vanused kivised majakesed, kus siimaani elatakse ja ligi meetrilaiused tanavad, kus kaidi ka tuhat aastat tagasi - see k6ik on vaga v6imas.

Mida ma siis siin teen? Jaan Spliti ligikaudu 4 kuuks kuni jaanuari l6puni. Selle 4 kuu jooksul tootan AIESEC Spliti juhatuses, kus hakkan korraldama AIESECi promot kohalike tudengite jaoks eesmargiga neid AIESECi praktikale valismaale saata (ehk teen sama tood, mis Tartu AIESECis). Aiesecarite jaoks - olen CEEDil ning tootan VPOGXina. See on huvitav valjakutse, sest Splitil on kindlasti potentsiaali, kuid eelmisel aastal saatsid nad valismaale vaid 2 inimest (samal ajal kui v6tsid vastu ligi 14).

Spliti tulin Horvaatia pealinnast Zagrebist, kus veetsin kolm paeva. Kuigi huvitav linn, ei erine Zagreb minu jaoks paljudest teistest Kesk-Euroopa suurlinnadest, mida olen seni nainud. Kirjeldamatu tunne oli mul kui sain tunda, kuiv6rd mitmekesine on Horvaatia maastik ja kliima. Kui istusin Zagrebis bussi, oli valjas umbes 12 kraadi sooja, vihmane ja hall. Kui valjusin bussist (s6it kestis 4,5 tundi), paistis paike ja sooja oli ligi 25 kraadi!

Mu esimesel nadalavahetusel olen j6udnud ara kaia Spliti lahedal asuval saarel Brac, kus kokku elab ligi 14.000 inimest. Sellel saarel k6ndisin umbes 25 kilomeetrit paevas. Sest k6ik on nii ilus! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A word from beautiful Slovenia

It is my last evening in Slovenia, where I have got two friends, whom I met in Germany two and three years ago. It is a beautiful country! Although it is smaller than Estonia, it has everything from the mountains till the sea beaches.

I was very kindly hosted by my Slovenian female friends. I went to hike in the mountains (Velika Planina). I went to one of the most famous caves in Europe, which goes 100 meters deep under the surface and is 20 km long (Postonjska Jama). I saw the beautiful white horses from the race Lipica. I went to the gorgeous lake of Bled surrounded by mountains and having little island just in the middle with lovely church on it.

Apart of it I went to the night club in Ljubljana, had fun with Slovenian students in the dormitory and had fabulous dinners in the family of my friend.

More than happy! :)

Interesting that I found many similarities with Estonia. Slovenia is also a small country with population just about 2 millions (Estonia has 1,4 millions) - so Slovenes are also the part of the remarks from foreigners like "Ooo! Your whole country is smaller than my city!".

Slovenia is the most developed country in ex-Yugoslavia (it has the strongest economy among all Post-Communist countries in Eastern Europe) as much as Estonia is considered to be the most progressive ex-Soviet country. Mentality of the people is also similiar to the one in Estonia. Slovenia has national minorities from other ex-Yugoslav republics which could be compared to Estonian Russians (mentality, economic and societal position etc).

Picture of the rural areas differ significally from Estonia, being very similiar to Southern Germany: nice white houses with red flowers around.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Last days in Berlin

On the beach in the outskirts of Berlin...

Tomorrow is my last day in Berlin. Today I am working in my restaurant for the last time and having small party with my colleagues. Tomorrow I am going to organize a big farewelll-party for all the people whom I met here: AIESECars from Berlin, other trainees, some of my colleagues from both works.

One period of my life is ending. Another one is starting. I am going to Ljubljana (Slovenia) for some 4 days. I have one friend there whom I have not seen since 3 years. We met in Germany three years ago, spent very much time together and all that time kept in touch. Now I will see her again. After that I am going to Zagreb (Croatia), where one very dear person lives. I have not seen her more than one year. I wonder how it will be...

Afterwards I am heading to Split, where I am going to spend around 4 months of my life. I am going to work in local bureau of AIESEC. Split is considered to be a pearl of Mediterranean area.

Many things happened to me in Berlin, positive as well as some negative. But I gained many new experiences, I growed as a person, I feel myself even more comfortable in this world. Let's see what will I learn from my next period of the life.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hard work in Berlin

I have not written here anything since a long time. The reason is that I am working as mad. In addition to my main traineeship from 9.00 till 17.30 I work about 3 evenings in a week in the restaurant in service (I need to earn money for my future trip to Slovenia and Croatia). I go there directly from the first work and stay there till 1 o'clock. It means that I come home by 2 o'clock.
And Deutsche Welle has been organizing two big events last and this weekends. That is one of the main reasons, why do they keep me here - to help by organizing them. The closer event, the more job to do.
But it is interesing experience, as now I truly understood, what does it mean to be really tired, exhausted, f***d up, whatever you call it. When you work 14 hours in a day, when you need one hour to go there and one hour to go back and you return home in the late night, there is no other word than "bed" turing around in your head. Your legs are hurting like a hell and your mind is completely switched off. Now I understand people in the third world countries, who work 12-14 hours doing physical job. I thought that it might be good, if all politicians, professors, managers etc would try to work like this for some few weeks at least. Then they would appreciate more physical labor of "ordinary" people.
By the way I understood, why Communism has been so popular in 20th century. Workers and peasant worked around 12 hours in a day in Russia before 1917. And they saw all those reach guys driving around with they horses, smoking siggars and taking rest in resorts. Of course, the feeling of being apart of the society rose in their heads. I must admit, I have been feeling kind of the same, when I have been returning home after being at two works and saw all those fancy Berlin young people in Cadillacs dressed in very expensive clothes. So, I could be potential participant in a revolution...
But also something about positive experience - I have been invited to be the chair of Reception Weekend in Berlin last weekend. For those who do not know - reception weekend is 3 days long AIESEC event, when trainees and aiesecars from other cities come to Berlin to discover the city and have fun. I have been providing fun for them and I suppose, I succeeded :) It was interesting experience for me anyway, as a reception weekend is different from AIESEC conference, which I have been chairing before. People work less, party more.
Ah yes, there was another guy with me as a chair as well - one Columbian, whom I like actually. The thing is that he came to the Saturday morning plenary 5 minutes after it has ended. Probably it was to hard for him to arrive in the Sunday morning plenary, because no-one saw him there anyway. :)
My boss in Deutsche Welle said that as I have been being nice and hard-working guy, I can finish my work here 3-4 days earlier than we agreed before. Probably I will go to Slovenia and Croatia a bit earlier also. So, my dream will come truth probably earlier ;)