I went out yesterday night with an English friend in Tartu. We started the night at Club Tallinn, which brings me good memories of my student years in the city, when we used to go there pretty often on Wednesdays with the other students from the dormitory.
Some thoughts came to my mind after last night: first of all that I should try to go to other clubs where people are older. I was feeling like in a kindergarten there, and it is not that cool when everybody around looks like 6-7 years younger that you. Luckily, my English friend is even older than me…
Secondly, that I do not like that stupid rule that most of the clubs have that many nights (like yesterday) men have to pay the entrance fee while is free for the women. It is a much extended practice in Estonia, and for me, it is plain discrimination. I understand the reasons of the managers to do that: so pretty girls would go to the club, and then guys are attracted by them so they will come too and spend more money on drinks. But if we want an equalitarian society, that should apply to everything. I have not read any single voice that has been raised against these kinds of things in the media, and I think it is intolerable, but nobody seems to care. What would happen if next week, in the cafeteria down my work the meals would be free for men but women had to pay? A bunch of feminist associations would come immediately in rage… but well, this seems to be the way it is here, and we can take it or leave it…
Third, that the drinks are too expensive. We are talking about a club located in the same building that a student dormitory, with very young audience. Come on guys, having to pay 65 crowns for a small glass of rum with coke is not cool, even more now in crisis times. But take also into account that in Estonia there seem to be a big culture of “showing off”. Estonian guys will pay the drinks in the club, and dress like if they would live in Melrose Place, and for the rest of the week they will be eating pasta at home with no money to do shopping. That happens when MTV culture collides with low wages…
And in general, I realized that I do not like much the social dynamics of nightclubs in Estonia. True, for a man like me, it is very nice to watch 100 hot young girls dressed to kill around. But after a while, you realize that it is not really that fun. People are not very accessible to talk to, everybody is looking at everybody, but nobody interacts with others than the old friends. Girls just walk around showing their latest acquired mini dress, but they have a sign that seems to say “look but not touch”, with a very cold attitude, and boys are not really very friendly either for a conversation, and not very subtle when hitting on girls. Actually, the few times I could have a nice conversation in a club in Estonia usually take place in the smoking room. So if you want to have a bit of social interaction, you will have to sacrifice the health of your lungs.
I bet that at the end of the night, 95% of the people who went to the club left with the same group of friends, and without having made any new acquaintances. At least, I remember in my younger years when visiting a club in Spain that at the end of the night you could see many new couples around the corner kissing. I am a defender of “make love, not war”, so I find that much better than fighting in the streets. But in the club, you could hardly see anybody making out or having real fun in a conversation. Everybody dressed up, everybody expecting somebody else to make a move…nothing happening, boring. And because of the price of drinks being so high, most of them, being just young students, could not even allow themselves to have a glass in their hands.
On a more positive side of the night, I have to say that after that, I visited Genialistide Club for first time in my life, and I liked the atmosphere there very much. I actually do not know why I have not gone there before. I ended the night in Zavood, another mythical bar in Tartu, and I can say that in both bars I have in a few minutes many more interesting conversations with new people I was introduced that in all the previous hours at the nightclub. The usual crowd in those bars are much more relaxed and open minded, and although of course there can be some asshole like in everywhere, it is usually easy to have a nice talk while playing a fuzzball game or just ordering a beer on the desk. Not mentioning that prices are really much cheaper there.