Sunday, January 1, 2017


Since arriving in Vilnius, the biggest adjustment I've had to make is accepting that everyone here seems to be in a good mood. Maybe it's because I'm American, or a diplomat, or it's just my naturally surly disposition, my guard is always up. But day after day, Vilnius proves to be a happy place where people are among the most content and satisfied of all the European capitals.

The young guy at the cash register doesn't get angry when he can't understand my pidgin Lithuanian, he just smiles and speaks English. The taxi driver isn't taking the long way to run up the fare, the kooky layout of the city means the long way really is the only way to get to my apartment. And I believe the girl in the bakery really does want me to have a nice day.

Is it possible that an entire city can be in a good mood all the time? It will be interesting to see what three years here will do to me.