A week or so in Vilnius

I have been in Vilnius now for over a week.  I would have liked to have been about blogging my first impressions of the city, but it was all so overwhelming that it was all I could do to take pictures of things.  It’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, but it has been much odder.  Grocery shopping when you don’t know the language is always an adventure.  The fitted sheets are NOTHING like what they are back home, and I have yet to master the skillset required to get them onto the bed without tearing the hell out of them.  But it’s been mostly good.  I have made some good friends from other countries, been on a pub crawl that was not, and to a museum tour at the former KGB headquarters that was the most depressing thing that I have ever seen.  We were in the cells for maybe an hour, and going up the stairs and outside felt like a miracle.  I will never understand how human beings can do such things to other human beings based on something so abstract as “orders”.  The history of this place is overwhelming, and overwhelmingly sad.  The current reality of the place seems so normal to me, although I am not yet able to put into words how horrible and crippling the poverty here is.

I don’t know how well that serves as an introduction, but I feel like I would be remiss if I just started telling stories without at least some sort of post marking the beginning of this adventure.

Expect to hear a lot more about language barriers, international dorm life, churches, cars, and, eventually, classes.

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