Lithuanian Woodstock

Four more days of teaching, and two of those days have three or less classes.

I miss The Political Scientist a lot.  She tells me that she wishes she were still here, but everything changed after she left.  I have to live on 10,000 yen a week, so there is no money for going out, and I’ve been in a pretty bad mood from all the bad news from Taiwan.  So of course, I am missing her, and she are missing me, but I assured her: she is not missing much.  It is like she left the party just before everyone got tired of dancing and started sitting around.

Maybe I need to figure out a way that I can start working on shit in Lithuania.  She says she’s been talking with producers in Lithuania about new circus because Lithuania is expected to get a big economic boom when it switches over to the Euro.  She is trying to sell us as one way of getting attention.  Nothing real yet, and I’d get this residency in Taiwan first to credibly establish myself as an international artist, but a nice possibility!

I think about her and how I feel about her more than I will ever let her know.  I am glad that we are what we are right now.  Undefined.  I am comfortable with amorphousness.  She told me that she saw her Lithuanian ex-boyfriend again.  I am sure they have both changed so much in the last year and a half I can’t imagine how that must have been.  Evidently, she is training at a gym in Lithuania that has everything – including a sauna complex and jacuzzi – all that the men have at our gym at Big Box and that women don’t.  When I think of her, I imagine her in that Vilnius Cafe where she said people were cool.  I will be dressed so poor the next time she sees me; I think she will find it a little sexy.

A year ago, I was helping out at the Lithuanian Pavilion.  I still forget that she has left sometimes.  I look around the gym to see if she has arrived or not and then feel stupid.  When she is not here, it is like she is here but not here, you know?  But maybe that is a good skill to develop – where any one day I don’t see her is like any other day I don’t see her, even if it has been months since the last time.  Taking days one at a time may prevent loneliness.  Some might argue that it amounts to forgetting people, but for me it is like having everyone here with me in this town; just too busy to meet up today.

If The Political Scientist and I are ever together for a long enough time I think we need to be more open to how our relationship may evolve.  Our ‘no dating’ rules over the last few months were maybe a bit stupid – yes, all we have is a great time behind us, but in a way, now I feel closer to her than I would if we were dating.  If we were boyfriend and girlfriend, I would only concentrate on everything that is keeping us apart.

I feel like now, I am strong enough to deal with everything that we might go through in the next couple of months.  I have no right to negative emotions about her, I cannot judge her life, and that is nice.  Conversely, she is free to evolve and change the way she should so that when I next see her, she will not be the Political Scientist I remember, but someone better and different and stronger.

I wish I could write her more, but there is absolutely no internet at the house and I only have enough money to log in at an internet cafe for 30 minutes a day to do all my business, try and write a blog entry, and write her.  Once we have internet at the home, I can write her all the messages I want.

She also met with the director of the Lithuanian pavilion who is getting married next month.  Her current job doesn’t satisfy her, so she’s trying to get into “Vilnius – the cultural capital of Europe 2009”.  While they were talking, a colleague came up to talk about their need for talent which may end up being a job opportunity for The Political Scientist.  She says it may not be the most interesting job, but the money wouldn’t be bad and once she get into the ministry, it is easier to get something better later.

In the meantime, she’s applying to graduate programs right now to get her Masters in either EU or Asian studies.  I’m going to talk to The Politician about what the best options are for her.  From what I know of US schools, any foreign affairs/international communications study she does there is probably going to be very US-centered, so with her Asia and EU focus she’ll have a gap in her knowledge, which can either help or hurt.

She wrote me today to tell me about a huge summer music festival that come call “the Woodstock of Lithuania:”

“if it’s true that only unhappy people cannot dance, then the 10,000 thousand lithuanians gathered by this lake in the middle of the country were some of the happiest ones i’ve ever met.. there’s a nice cafe in vilnius oldtown where nice people meet: imagine something like that but 1000 times bigger and in the open air.

‘Cool’ Lithuanians wait all year for “Blues Nights” and this year I got a chance to understand why they feel this way.  Some people call it Lithuanian Woodstock, as it takes place in the open air and though the music isn’t really rock, the ‘hippie era’ atmosphere is somewhere there..though I am not sure how much drugs are actually involved; beer would be more popular, as I’ve hardly seen a person who would be walking without carrying a bottle of Svyturys.  It starts early in the morning on friday when people try to come and take the best places around the lake and in the forest for building their tents. I was amazed how efficient lithuanians are when it comes to using the space for tents – you could find them built right next to the lake and all the way to inthe forest, even in the places where you’d think only elves and fairies would live.  I’ve heard this year was the most crowded, as the festival gets more and more popular every year.

After everyone gets settled, they start wandering around and getting to know the neighbours/other. maybe alcohol is to be blamed, or maybe all the people are just so relaxed and nice to one another, but there in this forest, I was proud to be surrounded by these people and it was a relief after seeing all the grumpy faces on the streets after coming back to Lithuania.

You shouldn’t expect everyone you talk to that night to become your best friends for life – with a few exceptions maybe – but surely you will feel more than welcome to almost every tent you would decide to visit and every girl/guy you give a smile to would smile back at you. I have made friends with a Polish bassist who plays with an American band; he was in a hurry before the concert and asked people in line at a bar if anyone could let him buy a pack of Marlboros.  I said I could, then we started talking, and after the concert had a beer.

By the time music starts playing – which is around 9pm – most of the people are pretty much drunk or at least not completely sober. I am not a big fan of blues and not a very experienced critic either, but it wasn’t bad at all. I totally loved Joe Turner, an old blues man from Memphis; there was also this Latvian project called Latvian blues band, who’s guitar player didn’t look like an art person at all – if there is such a thing as “looks of an arts person.”  But when he started singing, he sounded exactly like these old fat black people who have sang/played blues for their whole lives. There were also a few Lithuanian bands performing, but I wasn’t paying that much of attention to the music as socializing was more important for me at that time.  Oh, the electricity on stage has dissapeared for two times maybe and for maybe 10 minutes each time; once again giving everyone some time to think on how we all depend on it so much; of all the instruments only the drummer tried to play something but even the drums were not loud enough; all the other instruments just sat there waiting for the electricity to appear again.

The whole thing for the first night ended around 3am and by that time I was more than ready for bed. We had a bottle of fine Chile wine between 3 or 4 people, lots of beers before that, and then some sake after the wine, but I didn’t have any hangover in the morning. Just the opposite – was very genki and even went swimming in this lake which was quite deep at least for the people who cannot swim.

Saturday was a big day for those who like fish soup and who are into beating records. the festival is also famous for it’s event when people try to boil this huge pot of fish soup and this year it was more than 1,200 l or smth, though I was gone by the time everyone could start eating.

As we left in the afternoon, we have missed the big party on saturday night – supposedly best music and also the semi-final game on a big screen.  But when leaving I was sure I will come back there next year if only I will be in Lithuania; and I will invite you together if only you’ll be some place closer next July.”

Before she left I had agreed to go out to dinner with one of her Japanese friends here in Tokyo, someone I never really fit with, but it was somehow easier talking to him when it was just the two of us.  Maybe she was right about him being jealous of my friendship with her.  He mentioned that he went to the airport looking for her when she let but didn’t manage to catch up to her.  He’s done this in the past.  In any case, our little “date” was cut short by the guy next to us puking.

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