The grannies lived a simple, happy life in harmony with nature, in harmony with their traditions and free from the soul-eating hectic of the cities. They also all had an excellent education – usually at a well-known university, a healthy sense of showmanship and business opportunity, and sensible distrust of the police. (Nowadays you know when a police officer is on the island – it was the only time when the grannies wore helmets while driving their motorcycles. In the past days, though… The Islanders business included fishing and “trade” – or what less open-minded people like police officers would call “smuggling”.)
Arvo looked up. His hands made good progress. The wood looked just right. Now for the head.
It was a good life. When the kids grew older, they wanted more action. You can’t lock teenagers up on an island. (“Believe me, I tried,” he thought.) They wanted fun – he wanted peace. Luckily, they could have both. “Electric vertical take-off and landing” planes changed the world.
A single trip with an “EVTOL” from Kihnu to Estonia’s “summer capital” Pärnu took only seven minutes. The distance was 40 kilometers, across the Baltic Sea.
The capitals of four countries were less than one hour flight away:
Tallinn: 150 kilometers away, 25 minutes flight.
Riga: 130 kilometers, 22 minutes.
Helsinki: 236 kilometers, 40 minutes.
Stockholm: 354 kilometers, 59 minutes.
And of course, the big one. (The kids weren’t allowed to go alone until they were 18.): Sankt Petersburg, Russia. Five million people, a real metropole. 405 kilometers away. One stopover. Roughly 90 minutes flight.
“The world is so diverse – and yet, our problems and dreams are so similar,” said Arvo to the empty room. Then he continued his thought: “For example my last professional flight and my home. Kabaka in Ghana and Kihnu in Estonia. Smoldering hot the one, ice cold the other.” But both had the same problem for way too long: They were remote and therefore, small population wise. And because they were small, they couldn’t develop. They couldn’t offer choice to their citizens. Reality was a harsh censor to any dreams and aspirations that the women and men living there might have. Back then the only way to have a better life was to leave.