It’s fall in Vilnius. Fall here is not like at home, it’s all rain and cold during the day, warm at night. The city is covered in leaves and in horse chestnuts (which a friend of mine is constantly putting in his pockets and forgetting about only to find them days later). None of the buildings have turned their heat on; it’s all centrally controlled, apparently a relic from Soviet times. Depending on who you ask, the heat will be on today or weeks from now, based on some absurd mathematical calculation.
Last night, I introduced five international students (from France, Poland, Hungary, Pakistan, and China (I think)) to the beautiful American food that is tacos. I had to teach them how to assemble them and they were the weirdest tacos I have ever had, but everyone loved them. My Pakistani neighbor loved them so much that he told me he loved me.
Afterwards, we went on a pub crawl. First we went to the mall (seriously) that has a pool club on top. I kicked ass the first two games, and then the Germans showed me how it was done. We met a very lost woman from Ireland on the White Bridge on the way back to Old Town, and gave her the best directions that we could (read: not very good). Then we went to a bar called Chaplin, where they force the waitstaff to wear suspenders. Then, to a club on the top floor of a bank (or a casino, it’s not entirely clear what else is in the building) that was chock full of very drunk Lithuanian children (seriously, they looked like they were in high school… which means they were too young, or I am getting old). There was a cover for men, and because we avoid cover charges like the plague that they are, we ended up in a basement club that is based entirely around foosball. Seriously. People bring their own handlebar tape for the tables, it is a serious business. I am incredibly bad at foosball. 90% of the goals I made were on my own team. Somehow that didn’t stop the boys from getting wicked competitive with each other. Then… we went to another basement club called Pogo. It was nice, and the drinks are cheap, they apparently have live music. Just the place for an aging punk rocker on a budget.
Academically, things are going well. I am starting to gather ideas for my semester papers, and the topics are interesting, so I think I am on track there. My Ashkenazic Jewish Civilization and History of the Old Testament classes are super interesting. You have to love an internationally-acclaimed biblical scholar from Brooklyn who says goddamn all the time in class, and makes fun of King David for being a mafioso. I am not getting credit for the Bible class, but I think it is good for me. I am still mired in a small spiritual crisis, and dealing with things academically might give me some clarity on that front. They were having a Sukkot festival in the park this week. Those men can dance. There was one old guy who was dancing to beat the band, and he was probably eighty and walking with a cane. What a way to praise God, I say.
I should have taken pictures, but I feel weird whipping out my camera and taking pictures of strangers. Shit, I feel weird taking pictures of my friends. Last night, Marie got some of me with the various people that I have been spending time with… hopefully I will be able to find them so that I can at least have one or two photos with people in them from my time here.