“Americans… Can’t leave with them, can’t leave without them”

I happen to have this crazy American roommate named Shayna this semester.

10942736_400257143475404_3653629398316316039_nIt all started the night I came back on campus. I knew we were going to be good friends since the moment I saw her willingness to help me out with the lock problem. She was trying just as hard as Dorisa (my best friend) to open up the lock (If you have read my previous blog, you know what I am talking about); she was watching tutorials on Youtube and even called her friend, Drew, to aid us with the bobby pins’ procedure. Next morning, I wake up and find a package of gummies, chocolate and a note saying “I hope you are feeling more relaxed and that this day turns out better.”

10896915_400243196810132_3849083988378324409_nAnd then she promised to cook something American for me, so another day she made, along with Drew and Kaitlyn, guakemoli and tortillas for dinner- two of the best dishes I’ve tried so far. Later, we went bowling at IKI and laughed so much looking at each other’s lame shots and commenting on them.

Shayna is generous and funny, and kind; well, that’s an arguable point considering how much she picks on me. Sometimes I feel as if I am Lilo from “Lilo and Stich” and she is the big sister. “Get this book out of your hands”, “Stop reading you crazy Albanian”, “I think I’m allergic to you, I can smell Arilda from the kitchen”, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to put up with you for an entire semester” — and then she turns of the light when I am studying, throws her socks at me, messes with my hair, bullies me on social networks, pushes and scares me at unexpected moments: when I’m coming to my room after class or when I am cooking in the kitchen, but I get to revenge on her sometimes too.

“Americans… Can’t leave with them, can’t leave without them”- says she. Would not have said it better myself.

But when the lights are turned off, we spend the last minutes before falling to sleep on having conversations about life, future and faith and Shayna switches roles from a mean bully to a wise mentor. I especially appreciated that during the first week when homesickness is felt more.

Overall, she brings the right dose of energy and keeps the joyfulness at a steady level in a room where one of the two is going through an ‘up to the neck’ semester with reading and studying.

If you are reading this, I know you are reading this.. Please stay in Poland forever! The room is so much quieter and I got to have a study retreat this weekend.

I am kidding; get back to where you belong. The place looks empty.

XOXO

Arilda

Your Albanian Acquaintance in LCC

Sacrifices you have to go through to come to LCC

Now, you might expect me to talk about my first week of spring semester and I will share some episodes from it too (because it relates to my point), but today I thought it was about time to introduce you a guy that has recently entered my life.

Have you heard about the guy who lives in Neumann, 5-th west? Yes, I am talking about Bad Luck. We have been good friend since I can’t remember — even before I came to LCC — but we became especially close this trip as I was coming from Albania. Although that is supposed to be private, I wanted to share it with you only.

10407360_397359433765175_3384030875323665160_nI arrived at Tirana’s airport around 7 o clock. 5 minutes after I had checked in, airport ‘Siri’ announces “The passenger with last name Lleshi is asked to come to our offices.” What in the world have I done? I am a model citizen. This has never happened before. Did somebody intentionally put guns or drugs or God knows what, in my luggage? I go there and a woman starts opening my luggage. With heart in my hand, she finishes the procedure and says it’s only a routine check that happens to two luggages from the whole pile. Oh great! Thank you for the heart attack.

And then the moment of “do I wanna leave, do I have to go”. But… my mom cooks so well and I will miss her terribly and she is the person I love the most in the entire world. Never mind, I’m gonna survive. LCC waits for me!

15 minutes later I was in the plane to Turkey; no tears, if that’s what you were thinking, ‘Cause Big Girls Don’t Cry. As we were landing, the airplane started dancing salca or samba (not sure), something I had never experienced before (that I know). Shaking heavily up and down, I started fearing for my own life. I suspect the pilot must have had some kind of hangover. But yes, you figured it out correctly: I survived! — and no, I am not connecting through heaven wi-fi.

10419034_397359377098514_1875257751429078898_nTolou, had to go through a 12 hours torture in the airport of Turkey. Nobody tells you that for transfer waiting of more than 10 hours, you should be very politely accompanied and then picked up from a hotel by the company. That was something that I found out later — to my fortune– because doctors recommend a spinal cord pain and a sleepless night once in a while. P.S: I hope I am saving an innocent soul at least for future travels.

Morning came, and the screen finally showed our gate. We go there (was travelling with a bunch of friends), but the TV there said in large capitals “TOULOUSE”. I check with the screen again; the gate had not changed. Later, we saw that our flight was delayed by 30 minutes, so I thought there’s no rush. We got somehow lost in a conversation and when I go to check again, our gate had changed and a remark GO TO THE GATE was strong enough of an impetus to run for our flight. 304 was considerably far from the initial 501; precisely, on the other side of the airport. Once we were middle way, the remark changed to a red “LAST CALL”. Two words: RUN FASTER!

10917870_397359410431844_3428808299302296712_nWe made it to the right plane after all. To Vilnius we go! Welcome to Lithuaniaa, welcome to Lithuaniaaaa! That’s when I realized I didn’t have my scarf with me. It was not only a beautiful and “the right” scarf for cold climates, but also a precious gift. And it’s like every time I lose something, I turn so sad, because I realize how forgetful and careless I am and there’s nothing I can do to change it. That is something that will die with me. I had to add this feeling to my already messy mind. Moving on…

Our luggages take a lifetime to come, only to go then through another check that finds out that we have brought food products that cannot be transported from non-EU countries. My heart was crying as all that food was thrown to trash. Think about the kids in Africa, think about people who don’t like Lithuanian foods, or cannot even find similar cheese to the one in their home countries. But I just observed meanwhile.

Okay, so what now?

I had to wait about two more hours for a bus that goes to Klaipeda and then experience another exhausting four hour drive to come to LCC and find my wardrobe locked by a key that I had left home. I gained access to my drawer only two days later, when the maintenance guy came to saw it.

1907933_397359500431835_7587963206454591438_nMy alarm is either not working this week or I am so tired and sleepless that I can’t hear it. I woke up at 8:40 when I had an 8:30 class. I had four classes the other day, so I decided to follow a sweet pattern. Class, sleep, class, sleep, class, sleep, class! I had to break through the wind and rain for the last class, when on my way I realize that I don’t know the room number of that class. I go in finally, and find only five people in the room. As we sit there, watching the walls (new faces in the class), someone jumps “Oh my God, I forgot to tell you that the teacher said she won’t be able to come today, so class is cancelled!” Oooo that’s so sweet of you, to remember that small insignificant fact only minutes later. 😛 But awesome, sleep was calling me.

Difficult to find the moral this week, because I’m still looking for the cause of all this misfortune. Was it because I started the trip with a sad mood or just Bad Luck, the cute guy from Neumann, is getting more into me?

I only hope I don’t have such experiences anymore and I am glad I’m back at LCC after all.

Missed you my friends

XOXO

Arilda

Your Albanian Acquaintance in LCC