The Estonians

Well, they’ve been here now for two weeks. They’re all about 20 and are majoring in technical fields. Arnie did work last year in Idaho and is showing Madis and Martti the ropes. For instance Arni introduced them to peanut butter which they now both like.

I was telling a guy at work about the original story of them moving in and he said $600 a month seemed steep for one room. I was looking at it as being three roommates but he was looking at it as just the room and it shouldn’t matter so much how many people lived in it. So I figured I would lower the rent to $500. They pay by the week so I told them after the third week (figuring they were rotating the payment) I would start charging less. I still think they’re getting a good deal because they’re not setting up utilities and they get free phone and internet (their training says they are not supposed to watch TV or use the internet, but they do send e-mails).

They really do work all the time. They get up and leave before I’m even up. They said part of their training is they take cold showers in the morning to wake them up so they aren’t in the bathroom for long and there’s always plenty of hot water for me. Then they don’t come home until 9:30 or 10:00 at night. They make their lunches for the next day, take showers, and eat dinner which usually consists of frozen pizza zapped in the microwave (they say they don’t have time to bake the pizza, even in the toaster oven; in fact they don’t even keep the pizzas frozen, just refrigerated, I think so they’ll cook faster).

Still, one day last week I had a meeting at a consultant’s office and it was almost on the way for me to stop by home for lunch afterwards. When I got home one of the guys had the attic fan going (the thermostat is on a timer that sets the house at 85 degrees during the day), Pink Floyd cranked on my stereo, and the internet on. He asked me not to tell the other guys and what do I care? I think they’re usually working, but I’ve caught him home from time to time since then. But usually just for a minute before he heads back out again.

I went ahead and cleaned out my junk room and borrowed a mattress from Susan so one of the guys could sleep in there, but I don’t think they’ve done it because the mattress is still leaning against the wall with the sheets folded on top.

The first day they moved in (which took about five minutes) they had bought a minivan which I found out cost $800. So they get around using that. On Sundays they don’t work but have a meeting with the other salesmen in Georgia down in Fairburn or some place like that. Last weekend they said the van was overheating and they had to drive around with the heat cranked all the way up to try to keep the engine cool. To take the van down to Fairburn they would have to stop every few miles and let the engine cool back down and it would take a long time to get down there. So I let them borrow my car for the day (they had already taken the van to a mechanic to get the fan replaced, but he couldn’t get the part until Monday). They said it was nice to have air conditioning and acceleration.

When they come home they make piles of sandwiches for the next day. They’ll easily use a whole loaf of bread to make bologna (they called it sausage until I told them it was bologna) and cheese sandwiches. They also make peanut butter and jelly. So they have this stack of sandwiches about six inches high, but their tupperware lunchbox thing is only about two inches high. So they put the stack in there and then compress it down until they can snap the lid on. I asked if it puffs back up when he opens it the next day and he said no.

sandwich.jpg   sandwich2.jpg

They get along with the dogs fine. When they go to bed Katie goes and whines outside their door. She doesn’t like being locked out. At night I keep my door closed so she won’t scratch on their door. Clio doesn’t seem to really care and stays by my side except when they are making sandwiches. Today one of them asked if he could give Clio some peanut butter so he tore off a piece of bread, smeared some peanut butter on it, and gave it to her. Of course she put the whole piece in her mouth right away and it immediately stuck to the roof of her mouth. She didn’t seem to mind trying to get it unstuck.

They said their visa is only good for 4 months so one way or another they will have to move out before winter.

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2 thoughts on “The Estonians

  1. I don’t think you should have loaned them your car. This is above and beyond the call of charitable landlord duties. You may want to consult with Landlord Grant on this one, though.

  2. For some reason I feel a little bit bad cracking up throughout this whole entry, but it is really just funny. At the same time sad – they are here just for the summer to work 13 hour days?? What would they be doing right now if they were in Estonia? Do they speak good English? That is cool that one of them enjoys Pink Floyd…

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