lithuanian food

Deleted Scene: Our Bodyguard and Lithuanian Food

Our Bodyguard and Lithuanian Food

I appreciate a poignant AC/DC tune when I hear it, but how many times in a sixteen day period does one really need to hear “Stiff Upper Lip”? One early morning Vaidas pulled up to the hotel dormitory building with some fuzzy dice adorning the rearview mirror. We later discovered it was really a deodorizer. What?  Hey, Vaidas, do we smell bad? He continually, albeit inadvertently, popped the clutch stalling out the car at least once every trip we took with him. Thus, Teresa and I devised a demerit system to document every time Vaidas committed an automobile infraction. Teresa and I took a stab at an amateur translation of “Car death” into Lithuanian on a sticky note that we presented ceremoniously to Vaidus. We were not confident Vaidus understood. Or perhaps, he understood only too well, and decided to up the ante. The following morning, Vaidus scraped off a chunk of the side view mirror and the back fender as he peeled out of the parking area in front of our hotel, jostling our unbelted bodies across the vinyl back seat. He was undeterred and merely smiled when we gave him five points on the “infraction log” for his trouble. Teresa and I were not anxious to get a high score, but you can find all sorts of ways to amuse yourself when you are otherwise in hell. The ride to and from our cement paper-storage prison was my favorite part of the day.
lithuania food
I did manage to eat authentic Lithuania food on the trip. Vaidas ordered a meter (literally) of sausage at the first restaurant to which we ventured for dinner. This was a few days into the trip, when we actually broke from work to eat dinner. Another dinner companion ate dangling chicken (imagine a vertical skewer of unidentifiable chicken pieces presented on a plate equipped with a sort of culinary guillotine). I tried borscht, which was tasty. Discovered “still” water, as opposed to water “with gas”. Drank “cowboy-sized” local brew. Grateful for the body temperature coke light. Passed up the pig’s ears, frog things, whole smoked mackerel, eel and herring. Not even tempted by the cod strings. A bit of digression on the food here. It was all delicious and as far as I could tell, most meals packed 1500 calories per serving. gherkins, cucumbers, peppers and/or tomatoes garnished every plate I ordered for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Each time I ordered a meal and the server presented it to me, I wanted to scrounge up a random patron, yank them by their collar and demand them to explain why the meal I ordered had been abducted by aliens in the kitchen and returned to my table with the organs all present, but not in the right place or order. The waiter should simply ask foreigners what type of food they would like to eat fried. Ordered grilled pork- it was fried. Ate chicken Kiev- it was fried. Tasted dessert pancakes- they were fried. Eyed the roast beef- it was fried. I was
pleased to report I ate veal rolls (I normally don’t eat veal at home- that whole furry calf in the dark barn thing), and beef tongue. The tongue was very tender, almost like high quality spam. Not my favorite, but I did try it. The menu translations were often hilarious. One item caught my eye: Salads for men. Mental note: it had nuts in the description.
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