Food presented another challenge – used to a Mediterranean diet, typical for Albania, Deivid misses all the flavours and ingredients that he has in abundance at home. Fish, beef, tomatoes, olives and olive oil, oranges – KTU student lists the food that is not as good as there.
“In the Mediterranean region, we have almost everything. Tomatoes are ripe almost all year round, and coming from the seaside city, I am used to eating fish often. So, it took a little bit of time to adjust to the food here, to its taste and prices – oranges and tomatoes tasted weird, I cannot find good fish, beef is difficult to get and way too expensive,” says Deivid.
Upon coming to Lithuania, he brought honey and olive oil with him: “I didn’t know what to expect.”
While honey for Lithuanians is an important and valued ingredient, unfortunately, our climate is unsuited for growing olive trees.
“Our family has four olive trees, we grow figs and other small fruits, just for our own consumption. The bottle I brought from home is a mix of oil from our garden and from some other olives – it’s homemade and fresh,” says Mico.
To add a little taste of home, Deivid often cooks food from scratch with Mediterranean ingredients that he can find here.
Experiences exceeded expectations
As the most striking cultural difference between Lithuanians and Albanians, Deivid names the reserved nature of the locals.
“Lithuanians rarely talk, they seem cold to the people they don’t know. Back home, we are used to talking to strangers. Then, immediately after you talk to someone, you start being friends. I tried to deploy the same strategy here, but it didn’t work very well with some people,” says Mico with a smile, adding that a certain coolness of the locals may be related to the climate.
Since there are no direct flights, travelling home takes a whole day. Deivid is already looking forward to going to his native seaside resort in the summer. However, he will come back in autumn and has already recommended KTU to many of his friends.
“I have friends who are still in high school, but are interested in the same field as I. Telling about my experiences at KTU, I told them that everything is far beyond my expectations. Also, Kaunas is not a large city, which means fewer people, less noise, more greenery. That’s what I say to people about my studies here,” says Deivid Mico from Albania, a first-year bachelor’s student of aviation engineering.