No, we are not talking about modern years, but about the distant 1981. My friend, a classmate who studied at MEPhI, at school age with his parents often rested in Pärnu (Estonia) and prompted me and two of my classmates from our common company to spend a vacation there in August. He knew all the “moves and exits” and rented a room for 4 on the second floor of a private two-story house, a 15-minute walk from the beach.
We drove there by bus from Tallinn, where we arrived by train.
Exploring the city
The first thing we decided to do was explore the city. In this trip, we were struck by the fact that no matter where we turned, we always ended up on Vydu street. Apparently, this is fate, we thought, based on the name of the street. From this campaign, I remember only this speaking name. And all our attempts to ask for directions in Russian ended with answers in Estonian and a wave of the hand to the side, which made it very difficult to understand the direction. With sin in half, but we found the way to the house. Further, our exits to the city were limited to going to the sea and to a famous restaurant in the city (I don’t remember the name), about our visit to which is below.
I didn’t get on with the sea. After walking through the water about 50-70 meters from the shore, the water began to reach my neck. I was delighted and dived to swim my traditional 200-300 meters freestyle. Imagine my surprise that after another 30 meters from the shore, my hand began to row across the sand. I got back on my feet and walked another 30 meters into the sea, the water reached my waist. On this I decided to end my trip to the sea and returned on foot to the shore. I didn’t go to sea again. The owner of the house told us that there is a wild beach 40 minutes walk and it is deeper there, but remembering our “successful” trip around the city, we did not dare to make such a “long” trip.
Well, we could not miss a trip to a restaurant famous for its beer throughout the city. Moreover, it was located very close to the well-known to us street Vydu. After standing in line for an hour and a half, we got there at a free table. After looking at the menu, we decided to start with the famous beer in 800 gram mugs and barbecue. A portion of barbecue surprised us: it did not even contain 70 grams. Well, what is 70 grams for a Russian person? Only an appetizer for one mug of beer for 20 minutes. Therefore, after 20 minutes we called the waitress. Her question was, “More beer?” to which we replied, “and barbecue.” Well, 140 grams of barbecue for a Russian person is also “about nothing”. Therefore, after finishing the barbecue and drinking beer, we again called the waitress. You should have seen her face when we said: “Repeat beer and barbecue.” After this order, we noticed that the visitors sitting around with a bunch of empty mugs of beer (for some reason, empty mugs were not taken away in the restaurant) began to stare at us. But we did not attach any importance to this.
Well, 210 grams of barbecue is already normal, but there was clearly not enough beer. But what’s a beer without a snack? Therefore, we again delved into the menu and found a completely normal snack – an omelet. And they called the waitress. Her first question was: “Repeat?”. No, we answered, beer and scrambled eggs. And … the applause of those around was heard. It turned out that they had already made a bet on us: we will repeat the kebab for the 4th time or not.
But in all the following trips to this restaurant, we were allowed out of turn, although three servings of shish kebab + scrambled eggs turned out to be our “record”.
Well, what else can four young people do by the sea if they can’t swim, and lonely girls shy away from Russians like devils? Only preference and sport. From sports, we preferred football, fortunately, quite a decent company crept up on a box near the beach. One Georgian over 30, who said that he studied at the school of Dynamo Tbilisi, played in reserve for several years and even scored in several matches for the main team. True, I didn’t remember such a name among those who took the Cup of Cups, but he played clearly better than us. Although he seemed to us an “old man” because of his baldness. Another person who stood out on the field was a stocky blond man in his 25s. As it turned out from the joint drinking of beer after football, he was an active striker from Dynamo Kashira, who played in the second league. I would not advise anyone to get under his blow with the ball. They got me…
Well, that’s just the preamble. Once, three tall men watched our football on the court for a long time and intently. I am rather big – 186 cm tall and was the tallest on the site, but shorter than everyone who was watching.
After the match they came up to us. It turned out that these were the players of the team of the local seafood plant, which played in the second league. They had a break in official matches and they suggested that we hold a friendly match between the beach team and their team at the stadium of the plant.
The head coach of our “team” was the mentioned Georgian, who quite competently placed us on a large field, based on the capabilities of each. I got the libero position, the Georgians took over the role of playmaker, and the blond became our “tip”. A couple in the center of defense was my classmate, with whom we played in the national team of the course, although in different positions: he was a defensive midfielder, and I was a right-back who drove all over the edge. Well, our friends, who played weaker, were sent to the flanks of the defense with the task of holding the zones and giving the ball to us in the center. Our task, when receiving the ball, was only to deliver it as accurately as possible to the Georgian, who was near the central circle.
The match began with the pressure of the opponent, who took not so much technique as superiority in physical condition: I wrote about the growth of three above, but there were six of them in their team of 11. While we figured out how to keep such massive, albeit slow men, we missed. 0:1. But by the 20th minute, we got used to it a little, became more insolent, and I even “took on the shoulder” of their attacker a couple of times, who was 10 centimeters and 15 kilograms superior to me. By this moment, my defense partner and I figured out a little that after a couple of tricks opens the opportunity to give an accurate pass to the Georgian. Well, when he began to receive balls for sure, it started. Together with the blond, they simply tore apart the opponents’ defense. The match ended 6:1 (4 scored by the blond, 2 by the Georgians) in our favor and drinking beer together, where the opponents offered to play for them in the next couple of official matches to the Georgian, the blond, me and my friend, a defense partner. But my friend and I politely refused, the blond considered it unethical to play in a foreign team of the same second league, albeit in a different zone, but the Georgians, they say, played several matches in which the team of the plant won.
Actually, this is all that I remember from Pärnu. We also went to Tallinn and spent a day there, but this is a separate story, also full of different situations.