The opening lines from Adele’s hit song suddenly came on the car radio after a long stretch of Slavic folk music. It was minutes before midnight, and a detour along our northbound route through the Eastern Baltics had led us straight toward a Russian border crossing. Slightly delirious from hours of driving, we saw an opportunity for amusement and began to sing along to the eerily timed lyrics, attempting to outdo each other with impressions of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. The rows of stadium lights leading to the crossing cast an uneasy glow across the otherwise dark Estonian countryside. Briefly dismounting for an impromptu photo-op, we continued on to the next chapter of our next Baltic journey: Narva, a city transformed entirely by the Soviet period.
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