Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This is a liquor store that was near the apartment we stayed in, home of a fellow Foreign Service Officer in Tallinn. It was the most no-frills, clinical, fluorescent, and large display of liquor your correspondent has seen. This is but a detail because it was impossible to catch it all. The liquor is all behind a counter, so the bottom shelf here is about waist-height, and the top was at least 12 or 13 feet up; this captures maybe a quarter of the width of the whole thing. And that's all there was to the store. No extra doo-dads for sale at the register. One long counter, one till, one wall of liquor.

They drink a fair bit in these parts. Our Latvian teacher always told us that the attitude here is that beer isn't really alcohol. There is a certain small portion of the population of Latvia that really enjoys vodka, as evidenced by the way they smell on Sundays or on trains or really, now and again, anywhere and everywhere.

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