Yesterday was Sunday. I didn’t really make plans for Sunday, partly because I assumed that most things would be closed, which was for the most part true (since I had been considering looking for shoes, but I thought another day would be better for shoe-shopping because more stores would probably be open on a day that wasn’t a Sunday), and partly because I only have a few days left that are not planned. Pretty soon my schedule will be as full as it ever was, with classes and excursions that I must attend. I did, however, decide to go to a restaurant that had some good reviews on Trip Advisor. When I read reviews on Trip Advisor, I usually look for information concerning whether or not the food is good and decently priced. I don’t look passed that because I want the general atmosphere of the restaurant to be a surprise, and I don’t want to have preconceived expectations based off of what other people have written, to ruin my experience.
The restaurant I went to yesterday, reportedly had a combination of foods from various countries, including Thai food, and I felt like eating Thai food, so that’s what I went for. The restaurant was called “Briusly,” in Lithuanian, and I didn’t realize until later what that meant. Guoda had taught me how to read in Lithuanian, but it was just such an odd name for a restaurant that I didn’t initially make the connection. Another problem was that for the name if this restaurant, the name used had been combined into one word, when it is usually two. In English, the name I am referring to, and that the name of the restaurant translates to, is Bruce Lee.
My whole experience with the place was rather strange, and not very pleasant. When I entered, the inside of the restaurant smelled like stale cigarette smoke, but I could barely concentrate on the smell because the music was so loud. For the most part, people came in groups, as people often do when they go to restaurants, but I don’t know how they managed to hear each others voices over the sound of the music. The music wasn’t necessarily bad, it was interesting, it was just too loud for what I would expect to be played in a restaurant because it didn’t encourage communication and conversation.
In Lithuania, from my experience, people always seat themselves, and a waiter or a waitress will bring them a menu once a new person’s presence is realized and acknowledged. So, once I sat down, I started to look around. The first thing I noticed was that the tables already had menus on them, thus eliminating one of the steps I have become accustomed to in Lithuanian restaurants. The second thing I noticed was that the walls were adorned with pictures of Bruce Lee. I don’t know why anyone would open a restaurant and decide that the decorations should all be pictures of Bruce Lee, but I guess that someone must really like him. I wonder if the photographs were chosen because of the name of the restaurant, or if the name of the restaurant was chosen because of the interesting decorations. I won’t wonder for too much longer about it though, because I think it is just another case of the chicken and the egg. If you don’t know what I am talking about, ask yourself; what came first, the chicken or the egg?
When I first arrived, there weren’t many people in the restaurant, but as I ordered and waited for my food, the restaurant filled. I noticed that most of the people who chose to eat there were around my age, maybe they were university students or people who had recently graduated. I guess with the music, the smell and the decorations, the restaurant seemed to be geared towards a certain age group. There was one family with very young children that I saw come in to eat there, but that was it. Another piece that contributed to the restaurant’s atmosphere, that I didn’t like, was that the waiters kept walking around so quickly, and not close enough to my table, that I couldn’t stop one to ask for a check for about ten minutes. I just sat there drowning in the commotion, and I know they saw me there waiting, they could have come over and asked if I wanted anything else. I mean, maybe if I had yelled “CHECK,” they would have heard me, but I was trying not to be rude. I made a note to myself never to return to this restaurant again if I ever had the opportunity to go on another trip to Lithuania. I still feel the same about my experience at this restaurant today. I slept on the story for a night to let my thoughts cool down a little bit, but I think the only difference is that I am not mad today, I am just disappointed. But, what would life be if we didn’t have disappointing experiences to compare our good experiences to?
I am sure that I had other experiences, in addition to this one, yesterday. I am just currently not recalling what those might have been. As my time in Lithuania draws to a close, the days have started speeding by, and I think my memories are blurring together. That is part of the reason I started this blog though, to keep my memories sorted out because I don’t want to forget this year.