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.