literatura, historie, politika

Great party time in Lithuania or Big Bordel on Tour

Shortly before the last Christmas me and Pepa made a good decision. We accepted invitation to spend New Year‘s celebration in Lithuania. It was very good decision. Very good. Why? Suffice to say that for me it was the greatest New Year’s celebration ever.

I don’t like public New Year’s celebrations with squares and streets full of totally drunk people, destroyed bottles amid other trash, fireworks etc. Therefore I spend my New Years at home, in a small circle of my friends or only with my girlfriend. But this should have been something totally new. So we cancelled our participation in Sar-El volunteer programme that we had planned to attend on spring 2010 and instead spared our money for Lithuanian party time.

We visited the country in 2007, the following year the Lithuanian-French company came to our country (Mira wrote an article about that), and now we wanted to strengthen the international relations and see the fairy and always happy Country of king Miroslav again.

Back in the Country of king Miroslav

We arrived in Kaunas on Tuesday December 29th, at six o’clock AM after spending twenty hours in a bus (direct line Prague-Riga). But the journey was in a way shorter – thanks to Beefeater gin and the magnicifent and at the same time terrible Stroh 80% („Spirit of Austria“, our closest neighbourghs). But in another way it was long, because we had a lack of food and water. Yes, I was prepared on twenty hours long journey, I had enough of everything. But Pepa is… a great master of improvisation. So, when he had finished up MY food, only then he began to prepare and plan: „Next time WE must prepare better…“

Ramas and Evaldas, participants of the Vltava Tour 2008, expected us at Vytauto bus station and „kidnapped“ us to Ramas apartment (during the way we drank a bottle of trauktinė Palanga, lithuanian herbal vodka), where we held a long discussion about our friends, life and politics in our countries and other things. With Pepa we have tasted for the first time two Lithuanian specialities – smoked pig ears (ouška :) and šaltiana (in our country we have similar food called huspeninaor sulc, but without green onion). Pepa felt in love with ouška but I didn’t (because of the gristle in it).

But it was only beginning.

Later that day, on the afternoon and the evening, we visited Vilnius. We love Lithuania because it’s full of beautiful girls (see the photos below). And Vilnius that evening was the real paradise in this meaning. Many Czech people are very surprised about our enthusiasm about Lithuania, but it‘s very simple. When you meet an unknown Czech girl on the street, she always looks down to the ground with a very vinegarish and hostile face – unlike all Lithuanian girls who are always smiling and very friendly. (Another refreshing thing is that we have not met people in those terrible „nigga“ clothes, which is very popular in Czech republic – I don’t really understand why half of Czech teenagers wants to look like an idiot).

Evka showed us some interesting places in Vilnius but later was our guide little „tired“ and made some „paintings“ in the snow. At midnight we picked up two Frenchmen on Vilnius airport – Raphaël (sculptor) and Camille – and went back to Kaunas. The day had not finished yet. Again we held a friendly discussion, newly enriched by French themes. (I was suprised that the French don’t know French writer Robert Merle who is very popular in Czech republic – I love his historical saga Fortune de France. Camille later wrote me she had found Raphaël studying Wikipedia and refilling knowledge in it :) .

And I was very glad that these kind French people are not supporters of French socialistic politics of power and making from Europe something like a French empire (= Sarkozy and his impressive but empty policy). Later we told our Lithuanian friends about Entropa and a portrayal of Lithuania in this sculpture. Entropa was a scandalous symbol of Czech presidency of European Union in 2009 – it was a dismantled puzzle of Europe – every country was represented by one silhouette symbolizing its character. (The greatest scandal was Bulgaria – depicted as a Turkish toilet. Another scandal was the authorship – supposed authors, the 27 sculptors of 27 european countries, were fictive.) But Lithuania was pictured gloriously. In the eastern part of the map there were standing Brussel’s pissing boys in Lithuanian uniforms pissing towards another side of the border. Yes! Piss off, Russia!

Next day, on Tuesday 30th, we visited the best Kaunas bar B.O. – Blue Orange (for Czechs/Budweisers: it’s something like Velbloud), where we met Evaldas first time in 2007 and where are to be found the roots of all these great Lithuanian-French-Czech stories. We met there another new friends and participants of this one-week long party – Simas (a sculptor), Saulus and Laura. We also heard there from Saulus for the first time about šaltibarščiaitraditional lithuanian cold soup (yes, I did it!).

We finished that evening in another interesting Kaunas bar Suflerke (Sufler’s Cabine, suflérova budka, budka nápovědy, takový divadelní klub), where we met another friend Arturas (sculptor). In Suflerke one can drink one of the two Budweiser beers – dark Samson (the worse choice of Budweiser beers). Evaldas used it while making a terrible gay cocktail – dark beer with strawberry sirup (of course with straw…). And in Suflerke it’s also possible to drink my beloved Erdinger (from Bayern), which I can drink only in Alps (when I’m skiing), because in Czech republic this type of beer is not popular.

Little beer insertion

It’s necessary because the vacation was at most about alcohol, and beer especially. And beer is a great theme for Czechs – we are thegreatest beer drinkers of the world. The best known Bohemian beeris of course Pilsner Urquell – that defined in 19th century new type of beer – ligth lager alias „pils“ (until this time the most popular type of beer was „Weissbier“ or „Weizen“ – Erdinger is typical Weizen).

Our city, České Budějovice (in German Böhmische Budweis), is also famous for its beer. „Budweiser beer“ is a protected geografical brand. And in our city there are two breweries. Large and importantBudějovický Budvar or Budweiser Budvar (founded in 1895 as a purely Czech factory during national emacipation upheaval). And a smaller one commonly called „Samson“ for its beer brand, but the official name is Budějovický měšťanský pivovar or Budweiser Bürgerbräu/Bud­weiser burgess brewery (founded 1795 by rich Budweiser burgesses, mostly Germans).

The origin of our breweries (Czech or German) is not important, I’m not a nacionalist. Only the quality is important. And Budvar (we use this name, not Budweiser, because it’s only an adjective and a geographical name) is the best of the best. Samson is just a terrible piss. With Míra we say that you can find in our city the best beer of the world (Budvar) and the worst in the Czech republic (Samson). Budvar is also a big exporter and its beer is, after Pilsner Urquell, the second worldknown from Czech beers.

Not important and quite unknown Samson also use the geographical brand „Budweiser“, in large emblems and logos. It’s some kind of parasitization on Budvar’s world reputation (for example one of the Samson’s brands is B.B.). In Lithuania we recognised that very well, when our friends tried to make us happy and bought Budweiser 1795 (brand of Samson), not the real, one and only Budweiser Budvar.

But it’s not all, yes, it’s getting more complicated – there is also another Budweiser, that American piss from Anheuser-Busch. Origin of this name is only an accident – when founder of this brewery wanted to find in 19th century some old European name in traditional beer countries (to strenghten marketing), he accidently chose the name of our city. Shit!

End of insertion.

On the coast

Last day in 2009 and first day in 2010 we spent in Palanga, holiday resort on the sea coast. Ramas, Pepa and me were joined by Vaida and her friend Diana, very ironic girl. Together we made a short stop in Klaipėda, old hansa town. Another part of our company made a trip to Kuršiu Nerija (Kuršská kosa) – me and Pepa visited it in 2007 with Míra and Míra. Later that evening we met together in Simas’s apartment in centre of Palanga, there were another people. Mindas, Vytautas, Edmundas, „eagle woman“ with noble name Aquila and many others. (Aquila was very glad that I know the real meaning of her name, not only the mineral water. So, when my dog’s name isPompeius and his son’s name is MuciusI really must know it) .

In Simas apartment we enjoyed the best moments of our trip, part of that is how we got to the nickname Big Bordel on Tour (sometimes it was really wild).

All the fun happened with the music of Groove Armada in the background – their song I won’t kneel became unofficial anthem of the week. At the beginning I was very suspicious to this song, because I prefer more (and only) this or this or this music, not popmusic with electronic sound. But later we felt with Pepa in love with this song, because it’s not stupid and it symbolize for us great enjoyments. (This song now awakes me every morning :) .

At the party (and all the week) I found myself to be some kind of beer expert, because I was talking with everyone about the beer (sometimes I’m really troublesome partner). So I tasted many beers – because everyone offered me: Taste this one. Or this one. Or this another one. Great. But the most wonderful moment for me was when in the room full of laughing and dancing Lithuanians everyone hold in his hand the Budvar. Yes!

We celebrated the Coming of New Year on the beach in –20°C. And we celebrated it twice – in Lithuanian time and one hour later in Czech time too. Thanks. I was really touched.

Pepa was impressed by the sea. He jumped into it and swam in ice cold water. When he was running back on shore, he made three enthusiastic jumps in the waves. I was standing on the beach and controlling him and I was impressed too: Wow! He is really enjoying it! Especially when he made the last jump in low water level where the water was reaching only his ankles – and he hit the sand with his face. Wow! I told him how much I’m impressed by his courage and enthusiasm. „Fuck you! I was scared! Desperate! I wanted escape but the waves caught me. I couldn’t leave the water and the waves was only getting me down!“

I can’t forget – Saulus introduced us to the best card game ever. I hate those stupid social and party games which make you victim of other’s maliciousness – when you must fill strange objectives in case you lost. But this game is totally fair. The rules are simple – who draws the lowest card is the looser. If you join the game, you know the punishment at first, not as late as you lose. And you can play only if you want. Great and funny. Lower is the gallery of loosers – the target of the game is always very clear.

We also found out that Saulus and his girlfriend Laura like Czech movies. Especially the stupid geniuses of „do it yourself“ Pat and Mat (Saulus) and the movie Black Peter (Černý Petr) from Miloš Forman. Laura knows our popular greeting Ahoj from this movie (in South Bohemia we pronounce it longer like everything – Ahój). I can only recommend you another jewel of Czech cinematography –Lemonade Joe or Horse opera (Limonádový Joe aneb Koňská opera). Lemonade Joe is our greatest and only western (!) hero, some kind of Czech Clint Eastwood. You’ll find it on Youtube (not long ago there was all the movie with english subtitles but now this version has been erased). It’s great parody in a Czech style of humor. Legendary dialogue: Joe is talking to an old deaf man (he is preparing great night shootout): „And the nights are cold?“ „What?“ „The nights are cold?“ „Yeah, yeah.“ Joe, very dramatically: „So I should… put on the warm underwear…“

Gallery of losers

 

The end

After two days, two great parties and a lot of fun in Palanga, we moved to small village where we met another friends – Juozas (another sculptor) and his family. We took sauna there, except me, because night before I fell down on the ice and punched my ribs . Pepa and Simas fell too, but they had more luck and no consequences. Aiktu nachui! (Great lithuanian phrase we have learnt. Evka translated it like „go to the penis“. In Czech we say something analogous: Jdi do píči! (go to the vagina). But it’s really very vulgar and we don’t use it when the girls are present.)

With the punched ribs I could make only slow and careful moves, it was really uncomfortable. The pain left me after one month. Aiktu nachui! But I survived even without the sauna – indeed I was the only spectator and it was quite a fun.

And after that we came back to Kaunas. Me and Pepa once again with Ramas, Vaida and Diana – we were arriving along the Nemunas river (Němen where we visited some castles. It was very interesting for us because me and Pepa are interested in military history. And because castles in lowland and flat Lithuania are very different from Bohemian castles. Lithuanian are regular and quadratic in top view, our are irregular, because they were built on the rocks and cliffs under the river or valleys. Typically they consist of one dominant gatetower on narrow edge of the rock and other buildings and the keep behind it on the wider top of rock.

In Kaunas we joined another party in Arturas apartment. It was „So long and thanks for all the fish“ party. (Míra also used this phrase in his article, Douglas Adams is very popular in some Czech subcultures.) I had explained this to Vaida and Gabija already in Palanga when I used it instead of „Good night.“ The phrase is from the science fiction parody novel Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy. The dolphins say it to humans when they are flowing (yes, flowing) from the Earth before it’s destruction due to building of intergalactic highway.

And the last day before our departure we spend sight-seeing Kaunaswith Evaldas, Raphaël and Camille. We also visited great and wonderful cathedral Prisikėlimo bažnyčia. Finally we took short but nice lunch also with our host Ramas and Vaida.

Thanks for all friends. Thank for your gifts, your hospitality, your sense of humour. It was really great time and we have only good memories. It was one of the greatest weeks of my life, really.

See you soon, I hope.

And again I would like repeat our invitation. Come to our city, you are welcome. This summer is ideal. When you will be making your summer travel plans, make the stop in the city of České Budějovice. In the next weeks I will prepare another article with the reasons why you should come and I will introduce some South Bohemian points of interests you can see and some activities you can enjoy here. And Simas, don’t forget – I owe you better T-shirt!

PS: With some of you I was talking about my plans. So, I proposed Adéla and she said yes. The wedding will be on September 4th. (Something special for the ladies.) And with someone I was talking about the Alps. You can see their snowy tops from one mountain near our city – and it‘s our most favourite skiing destination. So, here is some short greetings. (This winter was really great a beautiful – pretty freezy in Lithuania and perfectly snowy in Alps, so I use this greeting in this time like some kind of memory.)

Isveikata. Na zdraví! (See the Erdinger in my hand, like in Suflerke ;)

Isveikata. Na zdraví! (See the Erdinger in my hand, like in Suflerke ;)

Photogallery