Banterist

From New York, original humor writing & commentary by Brian Sack. Subject to all the flexible quality standards of internet self-publishing.

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Lithuania Dispatch: Report from Wheatopia

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LANDSCAPE
Lithuania is mostly beautiful countryside peppered with the occasional farm. The occasional farm is peppered with a sunburned farmer loading hay onto a mule-drawn cart with an 1873 pitchfork.
Like all Central and Eastern European countries, they look upon Russia with the opposite of fondness.
DRIVING
Perhaps some of the most terrifying drivers in Europe. Aggressive and reckless – passing on curves, over hills, and driving through 8-foot wide pedestrian-laden medieval streets at 90kph.
Signs are largely ignored, as was the construction man who didn’t want people to drive over the bridge. He waved his stop sign, drivers ignored him, he cursed them. Repeat.
According to Andrius the Bellhop, traffic laws are frequently ignored by the “bad boys.” Andrius then made a hand gesture using his thumb and pinky. This apparently means “bad boys.”
PARKING
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Parking involves stopping the car where convenient for you and exiting the vehicle. If you are blocking a main thoroughfare this is unfortunate but not worth addressing.
Parking rules are not particularly known, cared-for, or enforced. Parallel and perpendicular parking are confused a lot.
FOOD
Meat and potatoes. Potatoes and meat. Meat-stuffed potatoes. All delicious, fatty, hearty fare that one would need if one was going to spend the afternoon loading hay onto a mule-drawn cart with an 1873 pitchfork.
They eat herring.
DRINK
If you ask anyone in Vilnius what the best beer is, they will tell you it is Svyturus every single time.
As the dollar continues its mighty plummet you can still feel good about ordering Svyturus because it’s cheap.
WOMEN
The default setting for Lithuanian women seems to be gorgeous.
Lithuanian women dress very well and accentuate their naturally stunning selves in a classy and terribly seductive manner. There is much worthy midriff and revealing of the pubic bone.
Lithuanian women seem to get married a lot because I keep seeing bachelorette parties.
Lithuanian women are unapproachable – mainly because of the language barrier and my wife.
MEN
Because of the preponderance of gorgeous women, Lithuanian men do not need to be overly testosterone-charged. They’ll wind up with a gorgeous girlfriend anyway. Therefore, they carry man-purses and dress like metrosexuals on a budget.
LANGUAGE
Lithuanian is a strange language – even to those familiar with Roman or Slavic tongues. It seems to have been made up at a drunken brunch.
Knowing Polish will help you understand and pronounce the accents on the words correctly, but you will still not know what the word means.
Thank You in Lithuanian is “a-choo” which is still hard to say with a straight face after three days of saying it.
When your car breaks down in a wheat field 70km from civilization, it helps to have a wife who speaks Russian, the national back-up language.
When in doubt, add “as” to the end of anything and odds are you will have said a legitimate Lithuanian word.
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VILNIUS
The capital city of Lithuania is un-navigable and pretty. The road you need to get to Point B is under construction. It helps to have GPS.
The Old Town square is among the largest in Europe. It is teeming with supermodels and men with purses.
The architecture ranges from medieval to really old. As the case with all former Soviet republics it’s filled with misplaced, ugly and decaying gray apartment buildings that everyone curses.
There is a monument to Frank Zappa.
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According to a Scottish man inexplicably wearing half a pair of glasses, the monument was lobbied for by a Lithuanian fan who was thrilled that Zappa responded personally to his fan mail. Let this be a lesson to other celebrities: Respond personally to Lithuanian fan mail and you too can have a monument tucked on a side street in Vilnius. Are you listening, John Mayer?
RUSSIAN MAFIA
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The cancer of Central and Eastern Europe, the Russian Mafia, has a presence in Vilnius and is largely involved with the strip club scene. According to a shady man who approached me, if the man with the white Cadillac limousine offers you a “free” ride to some strip club you should really say no.


Previously

The Runowo Conference commenced at approximately 6:00 AM in Runowo Krajenskie, Poland. Ostensibly a wedding celebration for friends, it was in fact a meeting of distinguished representatives from the United States (me) and three Polish …