Generally I’m not a big fan of laptops. I don’t like the small screens, I hate trackpads, and my wrists complain if I have to type on a laptop keyboard for too long. But they are considerably easier to travel with, and so I’ve been working off one for a few weeks.

I did however plan ahead, and also brought a proper keyboard and mouse with me. Unfortunately I was far too stupid to actually test these in advance, and upon arrival discovered that I had no way to actually connect them! I have therefore spent the last few days in search of a USB/PS2 adaptor.

When I was last here in October I forgot to bring a power adaptor, and had to seek one out locally. The electronics department in Kaubamaja proved itself up to that task, but has let me down on this one. They said that I would need an actual computer store and suggested I tried the Kristiine Centre.

Kristiine has been on my ‘to visit’ list for a while, so I today I set off in search of it. Getting to it on foot is slightly trickier than I had expected, due in part to having to cross the railway line. The most awkward part however is the number of places where there are only pavements on one side of a road and thus junctions where you can’t just cross straight over, but need to cross two roads to continue on the opposite side of the same road. With a lot of building work going on everywhere as well, there are also the perils of temporary wooden footpaths which were much icier than I was expecting.

However, despite my needlessly circuitous route, I managed to find the centre. It has a few interesting stores, including a bookshop with lots of seating and a relatively large English language selection, a Euronics store with several interesting LCD monitors at significantly reduced prices (I mostly need to decide whether I want the widescreen one…), and the largest hypermarket I’ve discovered here yet.
Unfortunately the computer store in it is rather tiny and I wasn’t particularly hopeful that I’d be able to get my adaptor. Indeed they seemed rather puzzled by my request, which made me think they had never heard of such a thing (although it may of course just been a language issue). They did however helpfully recommend that I try the computer store in the Ülemiste Centre.

This is meant to be the largest shopping area in Tallinn, and has also been on my to visit list for a while. I’ve been past it in taxis a couple of times, as it’s right beside the airport, but haven’t been down that side of town on foot yet at all. I’m meeting someone down that way at the weekend, so I’ll be able to check it out then.

If I have no joy there, then my next option is to try to find one online. I’ve found a couple of sites so far that sell computer gear locally, but both have only been in Estonian. I actually made it quite far through the registration process in one, but then they started asking questions that I just couldn’t translate at all, and couldn’t work out from context what they might even conceivably be asking.

As a last resort I’ll have to fall back on ordering from the UK, but as I’d take that as a personal failure, I hope I don’t have to do that!

A-wandering I Will Go

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