Today was a beautiful day in Vilnius. The sun was shining, the temperature was hovering on the warm side of zero and people seemed to be almost smiling. After six months in Lithuania I can spot an almost-smile from a hundred yards and it is as heart warming as a toothy Idaho grin. I am not sure if it is the spring, the sun, or the holiday weekend, but people seem to be really happy right now. I spent the day basking in the sun from my window seat (really a window sill, but I can sit in it, so it counts as a seat) doing some sewing and catching up on my readings.
I repaired my felt purse, which I love even though it lacks in durability. Once I can find a sewing store and an iron, it will get a nice interfaced lining which should help more than the temporary fix that I hand-stitched in today. Then I read about the American way of war, which is fascinating. I never really considered that people might have different views of the realities of war, but it turns out that my concept of what war is and what it should accomplish are very, very American. Although I am sure that most Americans are not quite as anti-war as I am, it is really interesting for me that I share the *concept* with pretty much all Americans.
And, finally, I took the recycling out and went to Maxima to pick up a few things (man, my life is exciting). On the way out of Maxima, I was accosted by a tall man speaking very quick Lithuanian. “Aš nesuprantu Lietuviškai, atsiprašau” I replied. He made it clear that he wanted a cigarette, so I said “да, да” and gave him one. It turns out that he spoke Russian, so he continued his monologue in Russian about how he is not an alcoholic or a drug addict (two words that I didn’t know before, but the context was clear), but he needs some money. I seriously doubted his story, but he seemed kind and it’s not my business to judge what people need money for, so I gave him a handful of change. He thanked me, and walked away. It wasn’t until I was well on my way home that I realized I had forgotten to be afraid. He was probably a foot taller than me, and a good deal broader in the shoulders, and I just spoke with him human to human.
I guess this means I feel safe here again, that I am well and truly back to the person that I have always been. It feels better to give money because I can’t stand people to suffer rather than giving it to them simply because I am afraid of people.