It’s Saturday evening and everything is busy in the 6th floor of Baltija Students Dormitory. Klaudia is going out with the girls. They are all dressed up and smelling like raspberry perfume. Fabrizio and Vincent are cleaning their room and the only way they know for doing it is with music: an elegant selection of reggae classics welling from the worst laptop speakers ever. I know that Barby, Toms and some Turkish are going ice-skating, they talked about it in the kitchen, and someone told me that Hana has an important exam on Monday, so she’ll stay in her room trying to pass over the gibberish in the corridor.
Everybody seems to agree on one thing: the Erasmus period is an amazing time, but each person will give you a different reason when asked.
For example, parting. Erasmus and parties are two words that are strongly bonded. And it’s true. People can knock your door at any time to come up with a party plan. And I must say I have accepted many times. Going to Zero Club for drinking cloying mojitos and listening cloying dance. Slipping into an abandoned building to make a barbecue. Or just staying in the grubby kitchen drinking too much beer for a Tuesday.
It can also be the time of your life because it’s a great moment to learn about anything. If you are lucky you can get one of those teachers that open your mind with every word, those who you will always remember. If you pay attention, you can learn about the culture, the language, the people or even the gastronomy of this country.
Or maybe it’s just great thanks to the people you are sharing this experience with. For sure you will make some new friends. Maybe one or two good friends that will remain after this crazy year. Some of us will have sex. Some of us will fall in love. And, unfortunately, some of us will be loved back.
All these explanations are good. But there is something behind all of them. And it is that you will only be here for four, six or nine months, and you will never come back.
I’m not saying that you can’t come here later. I’m sure that most of us will return to Lithuania sooner or later. But it won’t be the same, because the situation won’t be the same, the people won’t be the same and ourselves won’t be the same.
One of the most beautiful thinsg I haver ever seen was the graveyard during the evening of the 1st of November. The crowded silence among an ocean of candles floating in the darkness was an startling view that I will never forget. And of course I will be here during a long time, there are a lot of months left until I’ll leave this city definitely. But I won’t be here the next 1st of November. I won’t be here the next autumn.
This feeling, this disturbing sensation that everything is fleeting and passing away is what rules my world now. Every time someone comes and invites me to somewhere or proposes to do something, I always say yes, because you never know what experience will change your life forever, you never know where you can meet your soul mate, and you can not decide which one is the best mojito in the city if you haven’t tried them all.
For me, this is the most interesting thing about my Erasmus period. And I usually wonder if I will keep this philosophy when I will be back in Spain. Let’s be realistic: probably I won’t. Nonetheless I should carry on this way of taking decisions, because it’s true that I’ll be only once living this period in Kaunas. But the fact remains that I’ll be only once living this period on Earth.