The unwillingness of Estonians to make eye contact and generally acknowledge each other's existence in common everyday interactions is a matter of lore. But some bastions of humanity remain, in the form of supermarket sampler counters. You get a little plastic bowl of salad or a toothpick with a piece of meat or cheese on it, and the counter is staffed by people who restock the selection. These are generally sociable and extrovert people who will happily prattle at you, praising the merchandise, inviting you to come over and try, and then telling you where to find the stuff on the shelves if you decide you liked it.
Went into Selver today, and there was a sampler counter with a whole bunch of tiny salad bowls on it, but no attendants. The management had decided to spare people the discomfort of acknowledging a human being when they're getting their free stuff, so instead they put up a suggestion box and a stack of paper slips where you could write if you liked the new kind of salad or not.
A tale of two countries
5 weeks ago