I'm in Tallinn, Estonia, and I went out to dinner and forgot to bring my camera along. So of course I saw many, many things I would share with you if I had.
But I didn't. So instead I'll share a small piece of dining advice: Never order a Martini in Scandinavia.
There's apparently some disagreement as to whether Estonia is or ought to be (these are two separate questions) part of Scandinavia. But when it comes to Martinis, it is written in rock: Do not order a Martini in Estonia.
Having made this mistake before, in Sweden, I ought to have known better. But on the menu, there was a short list of cocktails available and it included "Dry Martini." It looked safe. So I was taken in.
When the drink arrived, I took a sip and said to Marianne, "Try this."
She did and said, "That's got a lot of dry vermouth in it."
"It's nothing but dry vermouth," I replied. Which was the literal truth.
When you say, "Martini" here, people hear "Martini & Rossi" and bring it to you as an aperitif. Americans making such a big deal about the drink, of course, everyone knows that a dry Martini requires more than just dry vermouth. So they added two cocktail olives on a toothpick.
I would have snapped a photo of the "Martini," had I brought the camera. Since I didn't, I share with you my look of patient resignation upon first tasting the drink.That's it up above.
And did I mention the rain...?
Not only did I leave my camera behind, but I also neglected to take along my umbrella. It being monsoon season, it proceeded to rain. Marianne and I ate on one of those wooden platforms out on the street under oversized umbrellas.
Earlier, I had bought two spools of thread for Marianne's Dragonstairs Press Christmas chapbooks. And since we were stuck under the umbrellas for some time, I wrote one of the Christmas stories for her.
So I've gotten a good start on the Christmas season. How about you?