obinitsa village

YESTERDAY, A DOG BIT ME in Obinitsa Village. I was just strolling through and saw the tiny pooch sitting there, snarling at me. Then, a second or two later, a growl and a bite. It went for my ankle, but its teeth couldn’t penetrate my pants or socks. It only left a scratch. Still it added to my feelings of being totally out of place in Obinitsa, which is a place in Estonia where I have spent considerable time. I get this feeling there, as in much of rural Estonia, that at some point in the not-too-distant past (1960s), there was a lot of activity here that shortly thereafter (1980s) dried up. You know what I mean — the half finished barns that dot the landscape, the run down old collective farm buildings. New York is actually dotted with similar mistakes. At that time, people were intent on public works, planned communities, and they somehow just didn’t function. So Obinitsa has devolved to its status as marginal Seto village, which it always has been. That is its nature, the nature of the place. It’s a pretty area, with great pine trees, vistas. I can’t say I hate it or dislike it. I should I guess feel happy and honored just for the experience of being there. But it never feels like I belong there, whatever that sense of belonging is. I guess I have gotten used to the Estonians over the years, but I am not used to the Setos.  It’s a bit much for me to go that deep, beyond Estonia into Setomaa.