I will always be a foreigner in Lithuania, but there are moments when I feel like I belong.

  • When I attend the Vilnius Book Fair with thousands of other people and run into people I know from both Vilnius and Kaunas.
  • When someone stops me on the street to ask directions and I not only know the place they are looking for but I can also give directions in Lithuanian.
  • When I am having a conversation with someone and discover that we have a mutual friend.
  • When people ask when I am leaving Lithuania in August and then respond, “But when will you come back? Soon?”

Last week, while I was in Vilnius, a census taker knocked on the door.  I explained that I was a foreigner, and she said that they are counting foreigners resident in Lithuania.  I was very excited that I would be counted in the census.  However, when she learned that I arrived in September 2010 and would leave in August 2011, she said that I couldn’t be counted.  Apparently I would have to be resident for the full 2011 calendar year.  I was very disappointed.  After all, this is my second time in a three-year period to be a resident of Lithuania.  I feel like I belong enough to be counted.


About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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