The Nights of Vilnius


From Minsk I go to Vilnius. As usual, I sleep on the bus. Whenever I open my eyes and look out of the window I see lupines. Shortly before the border a man with red eyes gets on and sits down next to me. He coughs and wheezes. My dismissive manner doesn't stop him from striking up a friendly conversation with me with his heavy tongue and from helping me out of the bus at the passport control.

At its White Russian border, Lithuania starts with a cappucino machine. My neighbour notices that I like the smell and buys me a coffee. He describes his image of a travelling artist: the artist opens his eyes wide, remembers everything and paints a big picture out of all of these memories at the end. If only he didn't have such bad breath.

Coming from Minsk, everything in Vilnius looks very German. The Minsk fashion of short skirts, long hair and high heels has


been replaced by a sporty look. It pours with rain most of the time. I spend my time in the best of company in the nice bar of the Contemporary Art Center, or go out, also in the best of company. "Let's go to the Café de Paris", suggests Ula in the evening. Ula is one of the curators of the CAC. In front of the Café de Paris the decision is made to go to Cosy's instead. "It's like that every time", says Valentinas. "First Ula suggests going to the Café de Paris, and then we go to Cosy's". Much to my pleasure we have fried garlic bread to go with the beer.

The curators are all very young.
One late evening we end up in the writers' union. Ula rings the doorbell of an inconspicuous door. The staircase is very noble. Poems hang on the yellow walls. The writers are drunk. A man drinking apple juice with brandy joins us at our table. "It's all empty", he says, and: "It's all not so easy".


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