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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Until the next time, America...

Lithuania, here we come. We're leaving Falls Church this afternoon for Vilnius, flying there via Frankfurt. Assuming we land on time, it'll be early in the afternoon on Friday when we arrive at Vilnius International Airport. This should give us the weekend to rest from the long flight (seven hours and fifty-five minutes from Dulles Airport in Washington to Frankfurt, followed by a two-and-a-half-hour layover and then the two-hour flight to Lithuania), and begin to get acclimatized to the new surroundings. On Monday, my daughter and I will start school and work, respectively, while my wife will begin to find out how it feels to be an Asian person in an Eastern European country. I can't speak for Amber and Pamela, but I'm looking forward to getting back to work and learning what it'll be like to work in a small embassy as opposed to a large consulate (like Shanghai). One thing I'm certain of is that the pace of both life and work will be slower than compared to our previous post - Shanghai's population of 24 million dwarfs that of Vilnius' 540,000 (or of Lithuania as a whole, at 2.9 million), while the number of visas adjudicated in the last fiscal year by the consular section in Vilnius was roughly equal the number of applicants Shanghai would see in a day-and-a-half during peak season there. 

Everything I've heard about the city and the country has been nothing but positive (with the exception of when the subject turns to winter weather!), and I've been getting good impressions of my soon-to-be colleagues at post. In the two years that we're scheduled to be in Lithuania, I'd like to learn as much as I can about the culture, see as much as I can of the country and pick up as much as I can of the Lithuanian language (especially after having been trained in only Russian for work purposes). And, of course, the three of us would like to take advantage of our being in Europe to do a lot of traveling to other places on the continent (but not Russia, with the possible exception of Saint Petersburg, preferring to look west instead of east). One thing in particular that I'd like to do is to show my daughter her English and Scottish ancestral homelands (and Irish, as well, if time permits).

Once we get to Vilnius, it may take a few days to get reconnected to the Internet. But when we do, I hope this blog will soon have some interesting photographs and stories to share with you. Until then...


  1. Best of luck with the transition, James! On another note, I was intrigued by your reference above to "Shanghai's population of 24 million dwarfs" ...


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