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 or what have you – if you missed the trip to Palanga, you missed it all anyway. It’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 is in the league of its own. 5 kilometres 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 – then you can get a yard for your tent for half the price (satellite TV is still a prerequisite).
Give it an hour to get your bags out and you’re ready to hit the streets. The destination has been reached though 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 to give it a private atmosphere. One man show is a guaranteed success, the shoes are white and the beer-cocktail is done. Not even funny though because just around a corner there’s a poltergeist-scary Mickey Mouse with a pre-WWII period mask that will leave you staring shitless if anything.
People in Palanga are both artistic and practical and that’s a combination you can’t miss. A locally-brewed pictures decorated with true Polish amber will be 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 on unstopped and uninterrupted. You take a spin at the green-watered “The Little Sea”, you take a picture at the famous Palanga bridge to lighten-up your Facebook wall, you greet the exotic seagulls as you’re trying to find the right tent at 4 o’clock in the morning, 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.
“Palanga” is the newest series by Lithuanian photographer Mindaugas Azusilis. The author 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.