As a film and video editor, one thing I've noticed is that Estonians don't like anything cut too fast. The first couple of roughcuts I presented over here nearly snapped my clients' heads off. This more relaxed sensibility is evident in many facets of Estonian life (a notable exception is Estonian driving, but that's a topic for a future post). But I don't care how laid back your society is, the one thing you can't f*(k with is the Goddamn doors!
The first time I entered a Rimi I almost tore my left arm off. As I walked towards the entrance, the sliding glass doors opened like any normal sliding glass door is supposed to, parting quickly to accommodate a brisk entry. This is the way doors have opened for me my whole entire life, no matter what country I've been in. Not that I ever really gave it a single thought before living here, but I would have assumed that all humans prefer their automatic doors to get the hell out of our way as fast as possible. We have things to do and no time to spare! But to my agonized shock, I found myself painfully colliding with one of the doors and careening awkwardly into a woman who was exiting.
Now, at first, I didn't actually understand what had just happened to me. I thought perhaps I was just suddenly clumsy. Jet-lag perhaps. It didn't help that I was momentarily confused by entering the first set of doors on the right and then realizing I had to veer over to the doors on the other side (this was in the winter and my girlfriend explained this is done to conserve heat). But these ridiculous collisions kept happening to me - at Rocca Al Mare I nearly shattered the door. That's when I started closely observing things, and began to realize that while many doors here open all normal-like at first, they suddenly slow down before they finish opening completely - causing me to crash into them. Now, Estonians - perhaps having grown up with this madness - instinctively know to avoid these mishaps by making subconscious speed corrections. For me, however, its been one of the hardest things to get used to over here. I can now enter most malls without shearing my arms off at the shoulder, but it is a constant and conscious mental struggle to make this happen.
Please. If there are any Estonian mall owners or door engineers out there, I implore you to take immediate action to address this issue. I'm all for "vive la différence," but once accidental amputations enter the equation people should - nay, people must - make their voices heard! If not for me, then for the little children.
Won't you please think of the little children?!!
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I love Rimi and Rocca Al Mare mall. They are fine establishments and I'm fairly certain there is only one Canadian having problems with these doors. Also, I haven't used every door in Estonia. it may be this phenomenon is isolated to only a few of the doors in my neighbourhood. This post is by no means scientific. One thing I do know is that I don't need anyone taking legal action against me (although I'm pretty sure Estonians can't be bothered with litigation).