A Few Stories From My Hosts

I don’t know if you have noticed that quite a few of the pictures I have posted of churches, the outside of the churches have been pastel peach in coloring. (I will include some pictures just in case you missed this).  My current hosts told me there is a reason for this. Lithuanians apparently love the color peach for houses. They want the inside and the outside of their houses painted peach because it is a warm color and they live in a cold country. My hostess, Guoda, is an architect. She told me that once the company she works for was building three houses that were exactly the same, but they were going to paint them different colors. The colors were going to be green, yellow and blue. However, the agency that would sell the houses told Guoda’s company that they could not paint the house blue because Lithuanians won’t buy blue things; it is too dark of a color.

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I returned to the apartment around 7:00 P.M. this first Friday because I was meeting with some friends. At first I thought I was at the apartment alone this first weekend because Tautvydas and Guoda told me that they were going to do an experiment where each of them would write fifteen things they could do on different slips of paper and put them all into a hat. They would pick one out of the hat and leave right after work to do whatever activity was chosen. I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing something like this with my friends in California because Sacramento does not have much to do, but with many of us driving now, this experiment could solve our problems. Guoda told me when they got back that they had gone on their first date. Apparently they skipped the whole dating stage and just became boyfriend and girlfriend. I am glad they had the opportunity to go on their first date because it is my opinion that if you are in a relationship you should never stop dating. My parents have been married for 25 or more years, and they still occasionally go on dates.

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Some information I have learned from Tautvydas and Guoda. Vilnius is one of the only cities where you can still take off from inside the city in a hot-air balloon. They apparently have done this because it is an attraction that is available in a park not far from where they live. The attraction is obviously expensive for an attraction, but they said it is inexpensive for a hot-air balloon ride because to fly in other places costs much more. I would do it if it weren’t so expensive, but I feel that I am already spending so much money on this trip that I can’t put that burden on my parents too (since I have not had the opportunity to work much yet at this time in my life, they are funding my trip and I am very thankful to them for it).

Tautvydas and Guoda like to go for walks sometimes, just wander around and get a little bit of exercise, and maybe even a little bit lost while enjoying the outdoors before it gets too cold to enjoy them anymore. There is a very tall TV tower that I can see if I walk out of the building where I am staying and onto the street. A person can spot it from many different locations though, where I stay does not have a unique view of this tower. They said on one of their walks they walked in a forest next to this TV tower, and found an animal cemetery hidden in the forest. In Lithuania, animal cemeteries are illegal. They said that some of the graves were simple, with just a picture of the animal next to the headstone. However, other graves were much more elaborate. Guoda said they saw headstones that were obviously quite expensive with pictures of the pets’ heads engraved into the stone, with information such as their breed written on the stones as well. People have evidently spent quite a bit of time and money on their pets and ensuring that this cemetery was hidden.

Tautvydas works in a start-up company where people can sell and buy used clothes; I think the company’s name is Vinted. They have expanded to America, so Tautvydas had the opportunity to visit San Francisco to take some classes concerning business at an American University. It is very expensive to live in San Francisco and Tautvydas was looking for the cheapest housing possible since he would be located in San Francisco while he was there. Well, he found cheap housing for San Francisco standards, but he told me that he ended up living in very cramped quarters with a Mexican roommate who hated the cold. Tautvydas basically had a bed and the area around his bed for his stuff. Keep in mind; he is also from Lithuania, a country that gets very cold in the winter. He said that his roommate told him that he got cold very quickly, so he needed to close the windows before he went to bed so he wouldn’t be cold at night. Tautvydas said he would be laying there sweating because obviously he was more used to the cold than the other guy, but he never said anything about being too hot for some reason. He said that for the price of that tiny space he lived in in San Francisco, he can rent an apartment in Vilnius for less. I think that you could rent an apartment almost anywhere for less than you can rent one in San Francisco.

(As I continue to stay with Tautvydas and Guoda in Vilnius, I will write more information about my experiences that relate to them or stories they have told me).

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