When I walked this morning out of my apartment and fought my way through the wind and the snow on my old way via Viru Center to Vabaduse Väljak and my office, I thought a lot about a friend of mine. Actually I thought about him before also and already wrote in his facebook profile and this is because: he has birthday today.
But lets continue. When I walked as described through the cold morning, feeling the snow on my face I started to think what I know about my friend O. If I remember correct I met him first time in March 2000 – funny wise a few days before I met my now ex-wife Leena (memory jump, sorry) – in Tallinn. I came here to make my internship at the German embassy and still was active with the Young Liberals and for them representative to a newly founded network called LYBS – Liberal Youth of the Baltic Sea. And this O. was the president of that network and I agreed with him to meet for a beer and chat about LYBS, politics and Estonia. OK, I have no clue if we agreed to talk about these topics since it si 10 years ago, but I am pretty sure that was the main topic. As a result of this first meeting I can say that we met more often – to watch FormularOne in a bar called LostContinent, where we always good some free cigarettes from 2 Ladies in silver suits giving out West cigarettes. (as you can see it is long time ago, in that year West was the main sponsor of Mercedes Racing team where O´s and mine favorite driver, Mikka Häkkinen, was the number1. But anyway).
I also remember that we met aside the races also and I still remember that once I mentioned that I would have loved to watch “The Blues Brothers” in estonian TV to hear it in english and also to have a movie with estonian subtitles to take home and the next day he brought me the tape. I still have that (just no VHS player anymore ;))
We did stay in contact over the years, failed together in creating a business and did many things like getting totally drunken on a trip to Saaremaa where we had very special experience with a bunch of Danes. He was a high flyer in that time already, became general secretary of a new founded party (where I still am a member) and later made an impressive policital carreer that brought him into parliament – before finally he quit with politics and opened together with some friends the leading PR agency in Estonia. (ok not yet leading but surely will soon).
Do not worry: I will not write now about all the memories coming up, when he and his girlfriend visited me in Munich, how he informed me that he married at the same day I told him I will get divorced (:-D), about his election campaign where I tried to help a bit and in the review more or less only stood in the way and eat Pizza, my tries to teach his daughter some German (as far as I see I failed in that but I still wanna try) and my struggle for years to understand him when he speaks Estonian (and this struggle is not because my Estonian is so bad it is because the description “he mumbles” is the understatement of the year ;)). I remember once that he ordered a taxi and I thought for a moment he speaks french…
I know O for 10 years. Did not see him for more than 6 months if I remember correct. Time to change that.
Happy Birthday My Friend!