As I go about my daily life, it is not necessarily obvious that I am a foreigner in Lithuania — until I speak, of course. But there are times, as explained in “Spot the Foreigner” Round 1 and Round 2, when I am particularly noticeable as “not from around here.”
Lithuania is situated quite far north and the winter days are short. I am living at the same latitude (54 degrees North) as the north end of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada. I am often out in the dark, either in the morning or late afternoon and evening. When I arrived in January 2009, I soon noticed that everyone — and I mean, everyone — riding the trolleybus had some kind of reflector on their person. Often it was attached to a purse, backpack or briefcase. Sometimes they wore reflectors on their coats. It makes sense. The combination of dark winter days and dark winter clothes can be a safety issue when trying to cross a street. I managed to make it through the winter without wearing a reflector, but I felt it absence when I saw everyone else wearing one.
This year, I am happy to sport my own reflector on my purse. In fact, I have two. So now when I am out and about on the streets during these dark winter days, I not only feel more safe, I feel more local.