9.29.2013

Thoughts about Lithuania

This is the first time that people are so surprised about my choice.
Usually, students who want to go to Erasmus, chose places like Sweden, England, France, The Netherlands, Germany (...) you know what I mean. I also have plenty of places to choice, but in the end I decided that Lithuania was the best for me.
Actually, it wasn't my last choice in the meaning that "Okay, everywhere else there are too much people, I'll take the one in which I'm going for sure". No. When the list with exchange places arrived, we needed to make two choices for different countries, so that, if we got rejected from one, we could try with the second.
My first decision was to put Germany as the first choice (because it lasted 10 months) and Lithuania for second. After I got advised that maybe the German university wasn't on the exchange program anymore, I put Lithuania at the first place.
Vilnius


But why Lithuania? What's there's to see in there? Is it even a country?

Bitter words by a typical Italian who can't see further than its nose.
The Baltic States and Italy are so faraway, that we don't share anything. (Maybe just the fact that most people here can't speak English). I was so curios, because in my daily life, I always listen to people talking about Germany, England, The Netherlands, Norway (...); so I was attracted because I was curious.

The first impression I got from this country was strange. Whenever I went abroad (My trips being only in Ireland, England and Germany), I looked back at my country like we were some decades behind them, in technology and everything. Here is different, very different. For the first time, my mind told me "So....maybe in Italy we're not so bad reduced..."
I know that this country got its independence around 1990, golden years for Italy, while they were just coming out from that huge menace called the Soviet Union. 
Truth to be told, the ex-Soviet Union influence is pretty evident. How can I put it, I took a look around shops and malls, and there are very few American products. For example the Barbie (tm): in Italy each single toy shop has, at least, a dozen of different versions of the doll. Here, I rarely get to see them, and if they are, there are just few models. 

I think that they have problems with stuff importation in general.
Also for technology. You know, here prices are lower than in Italy, and since Pokèmon X&Y is coming out this October, I thought about buying a 3DS here, and the game in Italy (I'm not very good at Lithuanian language). I looked for it in something like four different shopping centers, but the best I could find was a Nintendo DSi. 

There is no GameStop or 16Games in Lithuania, so, I don't even know where the heck I could find some.
Panoramic view of Vilnius


I'm impressed because their culture is very far from ours. The first impression I got seeing these guys was the one of people coming from the beginning of 1990 in Italy.
I can define them as the people who don't know gray. Either it's Black or White. Or they driver cars from the 1980 or they own an ultimate model of the Audi TT. Or they live in apartments that seems about to fall down, or they have ones so new and modern that neither someone coming from the richest nation would afford.
Thy have another way to live their life, they don't care about the other's opinion (Sometimes, if you see how people are dressed....).
Sometimes I found it hard to interact with Lithuanian guys, they are pretty cold at the beginning.
My Journey has just begun, I am really eager to see how stuff will develop here.

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