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Trip Start Jan 17, 2006
Trip End Dec 01, 2006

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It was from Vilnius to Kaunas that I embarked on a maiden voyage. The important thing about going to Kaunas was that I would be hitchhiking for the first time. I was always a little wary about hitchhiking (HH), not because I was scared of meeting a psycho, which seems to be the stumbling block for most people, but for the fact that I had no idea how to do it properly. It was actually 15246 times easier that I had originally imagined. So anyway we went to the outskirts of Vilnius on the bus to the place where all the exits from the city combine to form the full highway to Kaunas. We were pipped by a matter of seconds for first place in line for cars, but that didn't matter, by the time we had crossed the road (we were 10m behind them), they had already been picked up and it was our turn. No sooner than I had turned around with my thumb out, a car had stopped and picked up my and my host for Kaunus, who had been partying in Vilnius the night before. The car that picked us up was not what one would imagine for HH: a baby-shit brown 1984 was in fact a very nice Chrysler with bucket seats and ample leg room. The guy who picked us up was a business man who was on his way home from the capital.

It took us about one hour to get to Kaunas, which was 100km away - maths buffs with be able to work out our approximate average speed after hours of calculations. Fortunately the driver lived right near Ernesta, my host, so we only had to walk for a few blocks. On the way home I saw most of the sights in the city which are all centrally located. I wish I took a photo, but I didn't manage, of these drain pipes that were so contorted it was funny. They were running down the side of this massive Russian church and instead of being straight or internal, they followed every curve of the building. For anyone who has seem a Russian church, you can imagine how retarded these drain pipes looked. The silly thing about it is that they would leak water all over the place because there were at least 25 joins in each pipe and going by simple probability, the more joins, the more holes and so on. Clever people built that (or maybe I am just picky?).

Anyway my host's house was hilarious - it was the tiny room in a corridor that was decorated with outdated exercise equipment, old childrens toys and cupboards. The housing had originally been built for factory workers. The corridor had a lot of small rooms coming off the hallway with a shared bathroom and kitchen. What a life that would have been eh? Go to work and become no more than a number then go home and live in your mouse-cage room, then repeat. The cool thing about this house however was that it was about 100m from the centre of the city.

Ernesta and I hit the town the first night and by the looks of it, we were the only people doing it - the bars were all empty and the streets were dead. We went bar hopping in the direction of home and in the process visited about ten places, five of which we had a drink at. The old town looks nice, with cobble stoned roads blah blah blah (its just another old town) and then we got to the interesting bit which is the new centre. It looks like it was fitted out in the 80s by the Soviets. I am guessing that is exactly what happened. All the decorations are so bad and the homeless people are numerous. I had been craving a kebab since I left Berlin and I saw a shop to which I was moth to the flame. I went there while negotiating requests from smelly homeless people in many languages. The bums in Europe are the most multilingual people you will find - they can probably ask for a cigarette in 20 tongues - I just wish the word 'shower' was in any of their vocabularies. So, back to the topic at hand - this kebab looked shifty from the word go and in the end it tasted so bad I had to choke it down. IT HAD NOTHING ON THE KEBABS IN BERLIN.

The other highlight of Kaunas was going to this medical university into their mini museum. They had so many pickled dead babies, it stopped being funny. I will spare you the photos I took, but the worst one was the disected siamese twin. Sort of gross. I didn't already mention this and it is sort of important being the title of the blog, but this city has three major universities in it and all are in the centre. Most of the people there are students and you really get a feel for that when you walk around or go to a cafe.

After Kaunas I had been invited by my host to go back to Vilnius and because I had such a good time there, I obliged :)
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