Giving something back

As Estonia is a fully Western country, visitors will not see grinding poverty or serious begging. Charities do operate in Estonia, although far less than in Britain and the US, since there is still the feeling lingering from Soviet times that the state will handle any problem and also few people have built up sufficient savings to be able to abandon paid work for the voluntary sector.

I like to be extravagant outside Tallinn, where whatever I spend will go further and is needed more. Crafts are tasteful, so there is no problem in supporting local artists who work in wood, wool and glass. Small museums need encouragement too, however frustrating their environment and sometimes their staff may be. Do not give away any old clothes or equipment. The need for these disappeared in the mid-1990s!

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