25 April, 2006

Vilnius, Lithuania!

Lithuania is amazing. I realize now that, when I romanticized Russia in my head (before I actually went there), I really did picture it to be THIS way - more European than Eastern, if you will. Narrow, leaning stone buildings... cobblestone streets... everything was so picturesque and clean! All of the people were incredibly friendly, and you can easily guess who speaks which language by their age. Over thirty: you can approach them in Russian. Under thirty: English. It works out nicely.


The first night, an hour after the 2 Sara(h)s and I left the airport, we walked to Old Town and wandered through the deserted streets. It was so quiet and the air was so clean; even the graffiti on the walls was tastefully done! We ended up at a small cafe where 3 middle-aged men sat down with us: a Finnish basketball coach, a Polish peat salesman, and a Belgian who did card tricks and was amazed that 3 American girls studied in Moscow, were visiting Vilnius, and knew so much about other parts of the world. We enjoyed some very interesting conversation and joke-telling before bidding them farewell and returning to our hostel (pictured below).


The next night we ended up at a random bar, where we met an aging Lithuanian hippie who invited us to join his as-yet-nonexistent commune where he planned to use music to save the world. He was stoned out of his mind and invited me to "read one another's souls" during a glorified staring contest. I was game, although eye contact is scary even when it's NOT with a stoned 55 year old Lithuanian who spits when he talks. We stared at each other for a while, and I had to blink a few times, but I refused to back down. He wiggled both his eyebrows; I wiggled my one functional eyebrow. For a moment, I actually got a little nervous that he was going to steal my soul or something (we later nicknamed him Charles Manson).

The "soul-reading" ended when Sara interrupted us for some reason; later I asked him what he saw in my eyes, as this was the whole point of our exercise. He looked at me with genuine astonishment and exclaimed, "You didn't see it?" I wiped his errant spittle from my right cheek and thought to myself, "Ok, buddy..."

Hm... what else? Many things happened, many people were encountered, many beautiful places were seen. A whole month happened in only 5 days, but I only have 9 more minutes of internet left in this cyber cafe.

Baltic sunset
Smurf-like Lithuanian construction workers.
Um.... what?

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