Unfortunately, during the last ten years I’ve been a witness to the brutal “super-marketisation” of the whole of Estonia. Big monster chains like Maxima, Rimi and Selver strangle and absorb all small local cellar shops, bakeries, groceries, street markets etc.
Sometimes just for getting a loaf of bread and litre of kefir you need to go to a big supermarket and run hundreds metres from the dairy products department to the bakery department and then stand in an I-don’t-know-how-many-minutes-I’ve-wasted line. However, I remember the times when it was all different in the 90s and we had a wild small business and street kiosks’ based economy.
In Tallinn you still can see some of the remains of that “wild capitalism” era, unfortunately, less and less, and definitely not in Old Town, mostly in sleepy suburban areas like Lasnamäe and Mustamäe, somewhere in Kopli and the city center. I am talking about multi-functional street kiosks spread out mostly around public transport stops, where you can get all sorts of highly required things like drinks and snacks, penknives, fake plastic toy guns, ambered orthodox icons, cheap medicaments produced in Russia and even pregnancy tests. And all at one place!
In most of these kinds of kiosks you may meet an old-school style Russian-speaking-only-woman, who will sum up the price for you on her mini calculator and quickly close the window right in front of your nose without redundant “thank-yous” and “goodbyes”. Classic!
Tallinn kiosks | Shopping, Snacks | St.Nicola image € 2.50
09:00 – 18:00 daily