Arni, Madis, and Martti have been staying with me now for 6 weeks and have another 6 weeks to go so we are halfway. They continue to work like crazy: out the door before I wake up and home around 10 PM. Though they asked to borrow my car again the weekend after I let them use it for a Sunday get together (in Part 2), I have decided not to let them use it anymore. Here’s the reason why:
Arni bought a digital camera with part of his earnings last year and he loves taking pictures with it. He was showing me some of the pictures of what they do when they all get together on Sundays. They just go to water parks, play soccer, go to Stone Mountain, or whatever. But in that set of pictures was one of my speedometer:
So now they use the van. Apparently that doesn’t slow them down because the next weekend one of their pictures was of that speedometer at 100.
Arni apparently comes home for at least a little while every day. I’ve discovered him home a couple of more times, plus there are little Arni signs left behind like the remote control being set to TV mode which I don’t ever do. Or .ee internet sites in my browser’s location bar. Or the lid left off of the peanut butter. And so on. He can still get plenty of work in I guess and the other two guys are never home (of course they don’t have a van).
I went to Anna Marie Island a couple of weeks ago and had to be out of town for four days, leaving Saturday and coming back Tuesday. Dad was extremely worried about me leaving the Estonians on their own and refused to pick me up at my house so that I would have to leave my car at his house if I wanted a ride to Florida. He wanted me to bring my computer too, but had no leverage on that. I was a little worried and didn’t want the Sunday get together to be held at my house (someone pointed out to me that if 3 of them can stay in one room they could easily fit 40 in the house). Even though I had bought my airline ticket for Tuesday I told them I didn’t know when I would be back and it might be Sunday. They asked “So you’re driving to Florida on Saturday and coming back Sunday?”. I’m such a horrible liar. I said “Maybe so. I’m really just going to have my picture taken.” Anyway, it was fine. There were no signs of damage, but there were no signs of cleaning having taken place either to cover up signs of a party.
They were getting homesick so they asked if they could download some songs from Arni’s computer back in Estonia. I have dialup but it is unlimited usage, so I said it would be fine. They started the download that night and the next morning it was still going. Eventually they downloaded about 100 songs, most of it disco or just pop: George Michael, Eurythmics, Queen but also some “Karl Madis,” “Genialistid,” and “Caater-Caater featuring Anaconda.”
Katie really looks forward to them coming home each night, but they don’t have much time to play with her and she still follows me around the house (Clio, of course, doesn’t leave my side).
One day Martti said he had a question for me about America. He said “Who is this Uncle Sam?”. I told him that Uncle Sam was a nickname for the government. He said “Is it a real person?”.
Though they don’t get a lot of fresh fruit or vegetables (they do eat salads) I have brought stuff home from the Dekalb Farmer’s Market. They are amazed at the size of American produce. They even said the blueberries I brought home were much larger than the ones in Estonia. So I showed them some grapefruit I had bought and told them they were lemons.
Last Sunday they brought over a couple of Estonian girls that also work for the book company (judging from the picture of the two of them in the back seat of my car they live somewhere near Spaghetti Junction). I don’t think they have a car so the guys give them a ride to the get togethers and had them over for dinner afterwards. It was still just frozen pizza, but this time they did bake them in the oven instead of the microwave. They got one of the girls to give them all haircuts and also had them take a picture of the four of us below.
Madis, me, Arni, and Martti