Right now, I am planning the long, winding, and endlessly complicated trip to Warsaw, Vilnius, Kaunas and Szetejnie, the birthplace of Czesław Miłosz, on the invitation of Romas Katilius, a friend of Tomas Venclova‘s, and Algirdas Avižienis, professor emeritus at Vytautas Magnus University (we met last week at the conference).
I am apprehensive about the trek, especially after this morning’s unnerving business with Vol de Nuit Airlines, which repeatedly cut off phone calls, when they weren’t trying to extort six euros a shot for the privilege of talking to them. That was while they laughingly rejected (a small, metallic chuckle emanated from my computer) my online transactions from such small-time organizations as Bank of America and Paypal. The allocated funds for the ill-fated transaction are nevertheless kept from my wallet in permanent deep freeze by my bank. I’m told they’ll be released in a year or two. In between my weepy phone calls, Vol de Nuit employees would entertain themselves by jacking up the airfares, which began around $250 and, last time I checked, were hovering between $600 and $700.
I have decided to travel instead by a combination of train, bus, and, for part of the journey, muleback.
Internet access is likely to be bumpy during this saga. Be patient. Meanwhile, the thoughts in the youtube video below express my sentiments exactly.