’20 A To Z Challenge – I

A To Z ChallengeLetter I







have been an inept, indolent idiot, about the A To Z Challenge, for the letter I.  I have not had an iota of inspiration, so I have decided to insert a travelogue.

20 Fun Facts About Estonia

Esto Man


Careful!  You may end up unintentionally learning something.

You may be wondering why I chose Estonia for this blog.  Since rheumatoid-arthritis prematurely retired Cookie Monster, our Estonian-heritage, ex-chiropractor, he and I and my son have got together about every six months, to sample the various road-house restaurants in the area.  We enjoy deep, socially-significant conversation, lack of female supervision, and delicious, but questionable, menu choices.

Mr. COVID19 has put a kink in our calendar.  We are almost a meeting behind.  I publish this so that he will have something to read in self-isolation.  If it influences him to offer to buy me an extra beer when we are paroled and next visit Montana’s, that’s purely coincidental.  😉  So, here are some non-evaluation related facts you may enjoy about this country in northeastern Europe.

Let’s get started with “tere” which means Hello in Estonian!

Fact 1:
While the official capital of Estonia is Tallinn, the country is unique because it has more than one recognized capital. In fact, it has several capitals that change throughout the year. Tartu is established as the “cultural capital of Estonia”, while Parnu is known as the “summer capital”.

Fact 2:
Estonia was the first country in the world to use online political voting.

Fact 3:
Estonia has two Independence Days. It first achieved independence from the Soviet Union on February 24, 1918 and again on August 20, 1991 after 51 years of occupation. The second date is known as the “Restoration of Independence Day.”

Fact 4:
Estonian is the official language. Russian is also widely spoken.

Fact 5:
The Estonian currency was the Kroon, but they have joined the Euro-zone and Euro is their official currency now.

Fact 6:
Even though Estonia is considered to be a part of the Baltic countries; along with Latvia and Lithuania, there is no real political alliance.

Fact 7:
Estonia is named after the “Ests” who inhabited the region in the 1st Century AD.

Fact 8:
Estonia is the least religious country in the world with only 14% of the population claiming any religious beliefs.

Fact 9:
Almost 50% of Estonia is covered by forest.

Fact 10:
Estonia has a population of 1.3 million and one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe.

Fact 11:
Estonia has the highest number of meteorite craters per land area in the world.

Fact 12:
Estonia is the homeland of Skype, Hotmail and KaZaA.

Fact 13:
All Estonian schools are connected to the Internet.

Fact 14:
Chess Grandmaster Paul Keres was born in Estonia. When he died in 1975, over 100,000 people attended his funeral (10% of the country’s entire population).

Fact 15:
Out of the nearly 200 countries in the world, Estonia ranks in the second place with a literacy rate of 99.8%.

Fact 16:
In 1994, Estonia became the first country to institute the flat income tax.

Fact 17:
They have the biggest collection of folk songs in the world with written records of 133,000 folk songs.

Fact 18:
The Estonians invented Kiiking, which is considered a sport. It involves fastening yourself to an enormous standing steel swing (kiik means swing in Estonian) which has a full 360 degrees of rotation to it. To swing a kiiker, the contestant must pump by squatting and standing up on the swing. The swing gains momentum taking the person in full circle by his skillful pumping.

Fact 19:
Estonia produces quality vodka and boasts Viru Valge and Saaremaa as its most popular brands.

Fact 20:
And, in case you are thinking of relocating, Estonia doesn’t accept dual citizenship.

Hope you enjoyed this. Head aega! (That’s “goodbye” in Estonian.)


19 thoughts on “’20 A To Z Challenge – I

  1. jim- says:

    Thats a lot of fact I really never knew.


  2. Rivergirl says:

    Lots of forests, few churches… and Vodka? Let’s go!


  3. everything sounds wonderful – except the flat tax rate – it’s like the VAT, horribly unfair to lowpaid workers.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I believe that they have a minimum income exemption clause for just that reason. The same thing has been suggested in Canada a couple of times, but never got passed into law. 🙂


  4. Garfield Hug says:

    Loved your informational post!! You are brilliant👍😀


  5. Well, Hurricane Isaias is almost here in Yorktown, Virginia. You have to love 2020!


    • Archon's Den says:

      One of the less obvious drawbacks of living on the coast. I once knew a lady from Stuart, FL – wonderful place 355 days of the year. The other 10, she might involuntarily be in Georgia…. or Kansas. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

      • I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to a nearby tornado. That wasn’t a fun hurricane during a Full Moon situation. Sadly, some people were killed by the tornadoes.


      • Archon's Den says:

        😳 😦 Does the phase of the moon affect the tide??

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, so we had some flooding, but the winds and tornadoes really did most of the damage in this storm.


      • Archon's Den says:

        That was a silly question. Of course the moon phase affects the tide. I just mentally worked out the math…. or the astronomy. Actually, a full moon would produce a lower tide than a new moon – is the full one the neap tide? It all doesn’t matter much to a hurricane. you still get storm swell. I saw smaller versions on the shore of Lake Huron. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmmm…one more place on the list for relocation. Any place would be better than where I am now. I live in a country where only one race and one religion is favored. And they will put anyone behind bars for criticizing the King or those in power. So, we’re very careful about what we comment on social media esp. Facebook and Whatsapp. We have some goons running this place and it’s getting worst by the day. ฅ(≚ᄌ≚)


    • Archon's Den says:

      Wanna tell me where you are? I’ve just been assuming USA. Even if we could afford it, I’d still want to remain here. I did a post some years ago, about living in Goldilocks territory. Unless some idiot Prime Minister who shall remain Justin Trudeau nameless, really f**ks the economy and the country – there are few places that are much better. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Malaysia! It’s hot and humid and I don’t think you’ll survive a week here. LOL! Wished my grandfather had gone a bit further to Australia maybe. Australia is a good place to live. (=^・ェ・^=)


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