Europop vs. Santa

So, I’ve got one of those light therapy box things now, after reading many positive reports about them – some from commenters, and some from random people with SAD who seem to keep blogs chronicling their daily misery lest anyone feel left out.

It is bright. Very bright. You switch it on and it’s like opening the blackout curtains in one very sudden movement on a ridiculously sunny day. The room is bathed in bright, bright, bright light that makes you instinctively say “Argh!” and shield your face with your arm, much like someone does shortly before being sucked up into a mothership in a shaft of blinding white light.

Apparently I’ve got to sit with my face about 30cm from the light for an hour every day, and then reduce this time when “symptoms are under control”, by which I suppose they mean “when I’m able to stay awake for more than 4 hours at a time and don’t feel like I need to be institutionalised”. Whatever. It’s worth a shot, because I really don’t want to spend a large part of my time in Tallinn just trying to get out of bed.

And to be fair, I’ve been making an effort to get up and do things over the past few days. Just tonight, I went to the Christmas Market to see Maarja-Liis Ilus, an Estonian pop singer, who was singing a few songs on the stage at the Square. As she’s represented the country on Eurovision a couple of times, she’s quite well-known, and to my delight most of the crowd was soon singing along and dancing merrily underneath the twinkly lights. I managed to ‘get’ two words of the chorus of one of the songs, and felt quite pleased with myself at being able to sing along in an albeit quite limited way, but for the most part I was content to stand there with my cup of hot glögi clutched in my hand, listening to the music and watching the people in the bustling marketplace.

I’m completely enthralled by it all – for some reason, I become very emotional around Christmas time. Last year, I cried for hours because my mum gave me a really meaningful and special gift. This year, I expect I’ll be found in a snowy town square in Eastern Europe, smiling tearfully as children sing strange-sounding carols and a bearded mayor in robes leans out of a window of the ancient town hall and joyfully proclaims the Christmas Peace – he will, perhaps, be reading from a scroll, and maybe ringing a large bell. And snow will be falling gently all around us. Santa will probably be seen flying overhead, his sleigh pulled through the snowy air by all his reindeer. I really don’t understand how people can actively Not Like Christmas, you know.

Oh, and speaking of Santa – last time we saw him, he was begging for money on the streets of Tallinn. Seems that other people must have shared my in my disappointment over this, for tonight, to my delight, I saw him sitting outside a mall with a friend of his, having apparently decided to actually do something in order to earn money in these troubled times.

Rockin' Santa

Weirdly, Santa’s busking does not include Christmas songs. Instead, they seemed to be playing a jaunty, twangy little number not unlike Dueling Banjos.

It was a little surreal, but I’m glad to see he’s found a way to come up with some extra cash, anyhow. ..


5 thoughts on “Europop vs. Santa

  1. oliver says:

    To gain energy, you have to burn energy. That’s my Estonian winter motto.
    I go to gym or take a swim almost every day after work (in summertime I usually don’t ), something more fun and “social” at weekends – badminton, bowling etc
    And don’t forget to eat :)

    Also, people simply need more sleep so that they wouldn’t doze off during the day… this time of year, this kind of latitude. So go to bed early. I usually need only 6 hours of sleep in summer. Dec-March it’s more like 8-9…

  2. d@\/e – I hope so, too… I have lots of ideas for blog posts, and only about one in ten ever makes it as far as being published, these days!
    Oliver – Thanks for the advice re: exercise. I’ve always enjoyed swimming, so I’ve done some research to find a pool that won’t cost me a fortune to swim in. Going to check it out this week. Expect amusing stories about attempts to communicate with pool staff in very poor Estonian. :)
    EM – Ah, don’t worry, I won’t make the same mistake twice. Next winter, I’m heading south! The light box will be sold here before I leave…
    Geri – Ouch! Just read your blog post. I would say “big hug!” but I fear that that wouldn’t be very nice for you right now. Get well soon! xx

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