Listening for the Alien Heartbeat

The town square of Paide (pronounced  bp-aii-de) has a church on one side, a town hall on the other and a small park in the middle. People are out for spring; there is a fire truck, local boys eyeing local girls and little kids in funny costumes.

But the only restaurant is closed, so I keep walking. Moss grows on the roofs of wood houses:

Estonia, Paide: Moss Growing on Roof of Wood House

There is the smell of pine trees and wood-smoke. This is roughly the centre of Estonia.  Life is old but cosy:

Estonia, Paide: Cosy Old Wood House

Today I want to reach Turi (dt-oo-ri), 13km. I pass the cemetery of Reopalu, sitting quietly amid tall trees. Its stone walls are covered in moss.  There is a small stone chapel with a bell. The first grave here is dated 1774:

Estonia, Paide - Reopalu Cemetery

An old woman in a big coat walks amid her memories.  My heart walks with her a moment.  A worker trims bushes. Pink, red, purple, blue flowers grow on many plots:

Estonia, Paide - Reopalu Cemetery - flowers, fence

I walk under a blue sky, in a carpet of blue flowers. I try not to walk on them, but it is spring and they gather about my feet:

Estonia, Paide - Reopalu Cemetery - carpet of blue flowers

Estonia, Road to Turi - Stork NestingI pass signs telling me that there will be Mooses Crossing Next 5 km. I hope these half-tonne hormone-barrels don’t find me attractive. An idiot in a bright blue jacket passes me on a bicycle. I relax. He looks much more like the kind of guy a spring-struck moose might eye.

The walk here is long and flat. Husband Storks stuck in their domestic eyries look down on me, no doubt thinking: “Now there’s a good idea.”

Finally a small river, marking just 5km left today.

I arrive in Turi late afternoon and head to the place I am staying, sitting beside the river. The landlady eyes me, and asks for the money upfront.

She tells me she will make me an English Breakfast.  I request:

“But no bacon or sausage.”

She gives me one those looks:

“So what’s left?”

Later we chat and she becomes friendly. She tells me the reason she asked for the money upfront is:

“You look like a man with no money”.

Have I really so cast off my earthly shackles?

(events 1 May 2013)

25 Responses to “Looking Penniless”

  1. Anonymous

    Just lovely. I particularly love this turn of words, “An old woman in a big coat walks amid her memories. My heart walks with her a moment.” I was right there with you as I read that.

  2. Jessica

    Stunning. I love your descriptions. They bring the photos to life. I also liked, “An old woman in a big coat walks amid her memories. My heart walks with her a moment.” All of it, just wonderful. What beautiful memories…

  3. madalina.d

    You have a special way to tell a story about each picture you take ,about the villages you visit and the people you’ve meet during your travels.
    I would have liked to see in these photos the ,,old woman in a big coat”.

    • alienheartbeat

      Not sure why I didn’t take her picture. I guess I am not really a photographer: a real photographer would reach for their camera first, but I often only think of it later after I have understood what I just saw. And by then it is often too late. In this case I think I just didn’t want to intrude on a private moment.


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