Chuck has been so busy getting ready for his classes which begin next Monday that he has not had the time to write as promised in our last entry, so here I am again. He’ll be writing more of his thoughts this coming weekend after new faculty training, meetings, and all that stuff he fondly remembers from his years at Siena.
First I wanted to add the picture which was missing from last time. You may have wondered about the caption: Big fluffy dog gets a walk which was underneath a picture of our living room. For some reason, that picture did not show up and for those of you who really wanted to see the big fluffy dog–here it is:
Today Chuck and I braved the gale-force winds and sleet to walk to the bus stop and go to the shopping center, Akropolis. Now you might think this shopping center would have a Greek theme but instead, the decor is more like a Bavarian village complete with a clock where little figures come out on the hour. It is quite a large, modern shopping center with many types of stores. Today I found my coat which, given the icy wind seemed more necessary than before. I thought you’d all like to see me dressed up like a true Northerner–this coat probably weighs 15 pounds and really works–I wore it around to the other side of the building to model it for John and Rachel who have been very concerned about my not being warm enough.
Yesterday we visited a nice little Russian Orthodox church downtown which we may try out although the 2 hour service with no pews may be a bit much for me. Nearby was the city’s Sculpture Park which was quite interesting simply because the sculptures are so ugly. We have seen this type of “art” in other formerly Communist countries and it seems to me that the oppression of Communism somehow alters the creative urges of the people. Is it just me? What do you think about these sculptures?
Here is something interesting about this little University–it does not have a cafeteria! Therefore students have to prepare their own meals. In each of the two dorms, there is a large room on each floor which has a number of stoves and refrigerators and a small locked cupboard for each student where they can keep their food. I guess this keeps the room and board costs down. There are also none of the fast food chains which usually abound around colleges. This is probably another reason why everyone is skinny–lack of temptation may have a lot to do with it. I’m now up to 5 on my “fat people count” list. I understand one of the main impressions Lithuanians have of Americans is that we are fat and they find it contemptible.
More problems in the kitchen: I made a nice vegetable soup a couple of evenings ago. I found among some spices that had been left here by the last occupant, a package that said: Paprikos– and it was red. So I assumed it was Paprika. I put maybe 1.5 TBSP in my soup as that is what I do at home. Surprise! It was red pepper. John and Chuck thought it was pretty good anyway but it was far too hot for me. A lot of the spices they sell are mixtures of some of the spices we use, so it is hard to know what to buy.
I’m making progress in every way–I actually spoke in Lithuanian to someone in the shopping center and she understood me! Yeah! Of course, that is just one thing–about all I know.
That’s it for tonight,