My good friend Hoja is gallivanting through Northern Europe for a few months of adventure and research. In her latest report, she tells of walking the streets of Tallinn, Estonia, in particular, the old 1/2-mile square of Vanalinn (Old Town). This image above she captions as
"Nuku Museum of Puppet Arts: this is their "Steampunk Puppet Theater" -- a glowing window of clockwork automatons that whirl into jangly action every 30 minutes."
The museum's information video is a thorough delight!
Ah, were you expecting your own language? Did it matter? Hoja is finding that being a non-native has this most peculiar effect: a kind of fantastical buzzy glow. She says, with delight, "imagine my surprise now that the printed word has absolutely no meaning here."
I am immediately reminded of my 2nd most favorite book in the world: Shaun Tan's The Arrival.
If I could give this book to every person I meet, I would. It so precisely, so whimsically, so poignantly captures what it is to be Other - the stranger in strange lands. Tan's illustrations are a master class in their expressive simplicity. I have written about this book at length previously in my Cool Book series. Please have a look. Please have a read.
‘Flock’ pencil on paper
By Shaun Tan