I'm really bad at shopping. Like, really really bad.
When I go to a shopping mall alone, I last for about twenty minutes. If I'm with a friend, I can stay for some thirty minutes before I feel an irresistible need to leave. Which makes it sometimes quite difficult for me to shop - if I don't find what I'm looking for in first two shops I go into, there's a good chance I leave without buying anything. So I always have to be very strategic when it comes to choosing the shops. I basically need the first one to be the right one. And even if I truly need something, it may take me up to two weeks before I feel motivated enough to go to a mall and buy it. There is something about things, about great quantity of things, that makes me so tired in my head. I just don't like stuff.
I don't understand people who think shopping is fun. It isn't.
And I am one of those weirdos who actually thinks owning 25 pairs of shoes is unethical. It's morally wrong.
Which, of course, doesn't mean that I don't value certain things. I do. I have my mom's watch and it is immensely valuable to me. I have a violin which some well-to-do friends helped me buy when I was a poor student, and I have a very emotional relationship to it. S. knitted me a sweater as a Christmas present and I love wearing it. I have a cool ceramic kettle in my kitchen which I bought together with my mom and I'm glad I have it. I like the quality - emotional and sentimental quality - of things.
And the shopping rule also has exceptions. I like bookshops - for very obvious reasons - although I get tired even there. Then I like buying concert tickets online. The good thing about this is that I don't end up with more stuff in my drawers, I end up with more beautiful memories and this is brilliant. And then there is one more odd exception. In a mall, I can stand for 15 minutes and window-shop for watches. Considering my 20 minute shopping time limit, this is really something.
When I finished teaching Greek a month ago, I felt like celebrating. It had been a tough year and yet, all turned out so very well in the end, the students worked hard and the results were very good. Newbold was happy, I was happy. So I thought - let me pat myself on the back and reward myself. And oh, why don't I be creative and get myself a thing as a present this time. Maybe even a watch so that this one time I would really have a reason to turn my window-shopping into real shopping. And it would be such a nice reminder of my teaching year. Something tangible. A thing.
So I went shopping just before leaving the UK on Friday. I didn't take me longer than 20 minutes, honestly. And I left the fancy shop as a proud owner of a watch I have decided to call The Greek Watch, honoring the endless hours of preparing for Greek classes and commuting between Tallinn and Riga. So let me proudly present, a thing of a watch:
It is wonderful to be back home. Last week I was feeling pretty homesick so I got a little emotional when I saw the Old Town steeples from the plane window. There's no place like home! The first thing I did after dragging my suitcase home was to go to a grocery store and buy dark rye bread, real bread. Yesterday I got to taste first fresh strawberries and fresh pickles and I suddenly realised summer had reached this far Nordic corner of the world while I was away. Summer and home, ah! And today I'm taking revenge for the past Sundays when they made us sit in the classroom and study from morning til evening. I'm lazy-ing around my apartment, listening to my favourite radio program, reading the newest William Dalrymple book which Dr A. N. gave me as a present (W. D.'s Koh-i-Noor was published in paperback literally while I was in the UK so it's like a warm bread straight out of oven) and thinking about calling my Mister Little Brother to get together for lunch. Maybe a walk in the Old Town in the evening... Take that, classroom! Revenge tastes so sweet. But home tastes sweeter yet.