It's winter here in Lithuania. There's no better time to reminisce about last year's vacation at the beach with your close ones or your friends—but if you missed the trip to Palanga, you missed it all anyway. There's only one way to know that you're up for a truly exciting week when you're in a fully packed car approaching a small resort that, despite its size, is in the league of its own. 5 kilometers before entering the town you encounter a bunch of elderly women holding hand-written signs with prices of their homes for a night. Just pick one, you can't go wrong. Unless of course the house is not finished yet—well in that case, you still get a yard for your tent for half the price (and satellite TV always comes with the package).
Give it an hour to get your bags out and then you're ready to hit the streets. The destination has been reached but the real journey still awaits. If you're lucky you can get a table at an open-air restaurant—it might even have a terrace with a solid wooden fence that gives it a private atmosphere. A one-man show is a guaranteed success: his shoes are white and the beer-cocktail is ready for you. Yes, he's not even funny but maybe it's because just around a corner there's a poltergeist-scary Mickey Mouse with a pre-WWII period mask that will leaves you scared shitless and unable to laugh.
People in Palanga are both artistic and practical. It's a combination you can't miss. A locally-brewed beer comes decorated with pictures and it can be made available at your doorstep (or a yard gate, depends on how lucky you were with the old ladies) in a few speedy minutes. The pictures are also conveniently wrapped in plastic so the découpage won't get bruised or fall of or whatever until you have it hanging nicely in your grandma's bedroom.
So the week goes by, unstopped and uninterrupted. You take a spin on the green-watered "The Little Sea," you take a picture at the famous Palanga bridge to lighten-up your Facebook wall, you accidentally greet the seagulls as you're trying to find the right tent at 4 o'clock in the morning. Who knows, you might even make an extra buck selling "Cold Beer" and "Hot Chiburekki"—although everyone knows it's a tough job for tough people. But please don't miss out on the main prize, the bonanza of the vacation, the heart of it all: sweet lovely romance. Get together with your bros, shoot some kiddie hoops, smell the countless possibilities in the air! Nothing can stop you now. Not tonight. Why? It's your last night at Palanga.
Editors' note: "Palanga" is the newest series by Lithuanian photographer Mindaugas Azusilis. The photographer has previously explored topics of simulation and social delusion in his "Happiness in Lithuania" (2012-2013). All of the photos were taken during the peak of the summer season at the most popular Lithuanian resort Palanga.