Diary of a Baltic exile

  • 2004-02-19
I had to spend a few days in Vilnius recently on business and while I was there I had something of an epiphany. Without wishing to sound like a pervert, I couldn't take my eyes off the local women.

Every restaurant I went to, every street I walked down, every store assistant I glimpsed, I eagerly ogled them all. I realized that, contrary to popular belief, Lithuanian women are by far and away the most beautiful in the Baltics. It's grotesque to generalize in this way, I know, but it works to a degree.
Estonian women are attractive in the most banal sense of the word. Theirs is what we might term a functional beauty, inasmuch as it attracts men, and begets future Estonians. Latvian women are attractive in the most ridiculous sense of the word. Theirs is what we might term a killer beauty, inasmuch as it attracts men, but begets masses of unwanted children.
Which brings us to Lithuanian women. Theirs is an altogether more original beauty. Where Estonians tend to be birds of a blonde feather, and in Latvia one too many Baiba is modeled after Barbie, Lithuanian women are refreshingly human in appearance. Their faces are a sculptural combination of elegance and intelligence.
One night I went out with a colleague in Vilnius' Old Town and fell in love with our waitress' nose. It was simply spectacular - a real nasal work of art. I ended up ordering way too much vodka just as a pretext to get her over to our table so I could steal a glance at it.
When the time came to get the bill I just had to tell her how beautiful I found her nose. With consummate grace, she swiped my credit card and told me that no one had ever said such a thing to her before, before ushering me out of the door.
Beauty is a complex idea. In the extreme we may even say that it exists only as a reflection of ourselves. Locals and foreigners dribble alike in appreciation of the many beautiful women in this part of the world. But one wonders what they actually see in such women beyond the wish that they bear the brunt (and the grunt) of their desires. As for me, I'll think I'll start regularly popping down to Vilnius to do my grocery shopping from now on.