For my two month anniversary in Vilnius, you get a listing post, because there is too much inside my brain to make a coherent narrative out of it. It will be not at all chronological, and it might get wordy. Ready? Let’s go.
- I have been to three of four capitals of Lithuania: Vilnius, Kaunas, Avalyne (maybe, I forget what it is actually called) Kernave (thanks to Eugene for setting me straight) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site itself is where someone (Gediminas, Vytautas?) had their castle way back in the middle ages. It’s basically some hills with stairs on them (and the UNESCO folks totally should have gotten my Dad to build their stairs because their stairs SUCKED) It was pretty. It was historical.
- I saw a Husky-dragging-a-bicycle race, or rather the end of one. It was like dog sledding but with bicycles and scooters. In the forest.
- L. asked an old woman who was milking a cow if he could buy some milk, and she said that she wasn’t a store. So after the other old lady ran (literally) to the house to get a jar and some cheesecloth to strain the milk for him, she flat refused to take the money. So he shoved it in her hand, and we ran. We thought that we had gotten to pay her, but we found out just how stubborn Lithuanian women can be when she CHASED US DOWN IN HER CAR and made me take the 10 Litas back.
- There was a party in the dorm, and we were roundly chewed out by the Babushka for not gaining prior approval (she was yelling, B was translating). then we stormed a birthday party with thirty people, and sang happy birthday to someone who only two of the people knew. Then… we DANCED. At a club. I went clubbing in Eastern Europe. It was a lot like dancing in the United States, but Europeans are totally more into dancing for fun rather than for funny.
- I am pretty sure that I passed my Lithuanian test.
- I am still not entirely sure what any of my papers are going to be on, but I am working on it. I also just remembered that I have a paper for ISU, so that should be fun.
- One week until I am going to start using my Russian as much as possible in my daily life (not just when I am two beers into a night on the town)
- I had my first experience with a person giving me shit for being an American. He walked up to us at the bus stop and, after mumbling unintelligibly for a while, asked what we were doing there. I told him we were waiting for the bus (I wish I could stop being so literal, but alas), to which he asked me if we were going to Iraq or Kuwait. Naturally, I told him Kuwait. Then M. interrupted and told him that we are not Americans, which led to some shit about how he must support the US because his government supports the war. Then, he finally took a survey of our nationalities. I told him I was Canadian. That cheered him up, because he loves Canadians, and then our bus came. Big thanks to L. and M. for encouraging me to lie our way out of a situation instead of egging the drunk guy on, and being ready with a soup can and an umbrella if it would have gotten to that point.
- Two people told me I am beautiful yesterday, and even though one of them was very, very drunk and the other one was trying to get out of a situation I’LL TAKE IT. Because being in the “land of the beautiful ladies” is hard on a big girl’s self-esteem, a little.
- Oh, speaking of being a big girl, I have totally lost weight even though I am surviving almost entirely on fried food, pasta, and various kinds of chocolate. Sometimes yogurt. It’s nice. If I were making more intelligent food choices, it would probably be going faster, but I am choosing to not care about my fat ass in the hopes that if I ignore it it will go away.