In This Lazy Town

A.H. Starlingsson
2 min readOct 27, 2017

Visitors often compliment the calmness, as if living in a big city is a punishment they forced themselves to endure. Small towns, however, are nosy, intrusive, where neighbours rule and everybody disapproves of what everyone does, and frowning upon is a mid-afternoon activity.

I was summoned by the prospect of idyll months, and perhaps years in this paradise for the gossip, and opened my Tearoom, in local lingo “Teeruum,” near the epicentre of the whispers, of which as a foreigner I have been frequent mentioned.

However, I still battle expectations.

Will I fail? I am a failed adventurer, with stories long and wide as the ones fishermen tell, with a healthy abandonment of sentimentalism, but an almost fatal attachment to the romantic.

As a teacher I used to drag students out upon first snowfall, and make them plunge their writing hand into the snow and ice, before writing poetry. My reference for such drama was Scott of the Antartic:

Since writing the above we have got to within 11 miles of our depot with one hot meal and two days cold food and we should have got through but have been held for four days by a frightful storm – I think the best chance has gone we have decided not to kill ourselves but to fight it to the last for that depot but in the fighting there is a painless end so don’t worry.

Thursday, March 29.—Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W. and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far.

It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.

His last words were infused with the romantic fatalism that sometimes only the English were able to aspire to.

And here, I have named my Tearoom after the republic with the coldest city on Earth, Yakutia, while I yearn for the desert.

Haapsalu, Estonia, is too tranquil, but if you visit me in my Tearoom, I guarantee you a hidden bottle or two of treasure in conversation, and the chance to reflect, on what connects us.

one can see the stars
where lights do not glow
and the only fire
is inside the soul



A.H. Starlingsson

—dispatches from Ukraine🌲currently writing "Distant Taps The Woodpecker," contact: starlingsson@gmail.com_