Lithuania

Brixton, London

There is a hole in the roof of the house I am living in and people are coming in, down a ladder. I don’t know where they’re coming from but there are loads of them. Some of them I know but most of them are strangers. They’re making themselves at home. I’m not sure if this is my house or not. Maybe it isn’t. Most of these people are quite friendly. I don’t really want to kick them out, and I think if I asked them to leave they would just be baffled.

On the train from Vilnius to Warsaw

I took the bus from Palanga to Vilnius. It cost 51Lt. Now I’m on the train to Warsaw. 67Lt. I have 10Lt in my pocket. The rest of my money I changed into Polish Zlotys. The woman in the bank seemed to find the way I said Polish amusing. It took a while buying the train ticket, queueing at three different tills before I found one that would sell me the ticket, and then there was a load of paper work and a phone call. It was about a ten minute wait.

Lithuanian TV

Now that I have a flat I have a TV, but can only pick up Lithuanian channels. There was quite a bit of singing and dancing, some American and Russian programmes

Uzupio Kavine, Uzupio

Sitting in the Cafe de Paris yesterday drinking a coffee and old Lithuanian guy sat next to me and started talking to me, in Lithuanian at first. He asked me if I was writing a book on my laptop, and then started talking about rock music. He said he got lots of emails telling him the latest rock music news. I asked him what kind of rock music and he said the old stuff. I said like what and he said donovan. But then he mentioned Steppenwolf, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Nazareth. Nazareth were Scottish, he said. I…

Kavine Uzupio, Uzupio

It’s French election day. I got an email from a French friend here attaching a cutting from a newspaper about a couple of French kids, 8 and 11 years old, who were arrested for some petty crime and told they would be photographed, fingerprinted and also their genetic “fingerprints” would be taken – “empreintes génétiques” in French – thanks to a law presidential candidate Nocholas Sarkozy brought in in 2003, which most French thought was just to be used for sex offenders but which is actually being applied more widely and has no age limits. I was listening to some…

Café de Paris, Vilnius, Lithuania

Reggae music is playing just outside the café on the unmadeup Didzioji street. There’s some development work going on in this area so the street is closed to traffic and usually fenced off, but the workmen put some concrete down yesterday and now there’s a sound system on it with a DJ on a small raised stage. There’s some kind of music festival happening all over Vilnius this weekend.

JNN Hostel, Vilnius. Lithuania

My coat has a detachable fur lining that I have detached and then re-attached several times since leaving Britain in February. I went away with it attached but then for a while in February it was quite warm and I had to detach it, though when I met Mr and Mrs KarmaBanque and we talked about environmental holocaust it was cold and rainy and I had it attached again. Bergen in Norway was not as cold as you might think it would be and so for a while there I was sans-lining, but not when I went North of the…

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