“My first knowledge of Estonia was from my father. When the Berlin Wall fell, he came to me and said, “Look these are three small countries – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania that got independent from the Soviet Union. They are very small.”
I was born in Chile and worked as a graphic designer in a wine company for 12 years. Chile is diverse and so are its people. I am a big fan of metal music and Finnish bands. Because of this, I was very interested in this part of the world. In 2010 my friend and I visited Finland for a concert, we decided to visit Estonia as well.
While in Estonia, it was completely by chance that I met Eliisa. We fell in love very fast and that changed my plans for the future. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t want to regret the decisions not taken, I’ve always made prompt decisions. I thought if this is the chance to meet someone really wonderful as she seems to be, then let’s give it a try. We have nothing to lose. I offered her to move to Chile, but it took me six months to just convince her to visit me there.
In 2012 I moved to Estonia. We had a beautiful wedding. I was completely welcomed by Eliisa’s family and their circles. Her mother, sisters and all the family were very glad I was here. Then I immediately found a job at an advertising agency. My first impression was that there was no communication, gradually all conversations changed to Estonian and I wasn’t included. This was nothing like the Chilean culture of nonstop socializing every day. Before moving here I had never experienced isolation. After working at different agencies, I wanted to freelance. But if you don’t have contacts and don’t manage the language, what to do?
I started a business in an outdoor food tricycle café located at a park close to a school and office buildings. At the park, I’ve had a lot of contact with locals and have many interesting stories to tell. Since I speak with all of my clients I’ve discovered that some are very prejudiced. The question people ask all the time is – where do you come from. Some quickly assume I’m from Pakistan or Iraq. I guess this is the influence of mass media, which greatly concentrates on refugees, that makes people have a hard time imagining someone could come from a different place with a different reason. I don’t have any problem to be Indian or Pakistani, but I’m not from there. When people find out I’m from Chile, the prejudice is much lower.”