Druskininkai Local Customs

  • NEW  PLATES:  RED  ON  WHITE
    NEW PLATES: RED ON WHITE
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  • 60  KM/H  SPEED  LIMIT  IN  DRUSKININKAI
    60 KM/H SPEED LIMIT IN DRUSKININKAI
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  • LPG  available :-)
    LPG available :-)
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Most Recent Local Customs in Druskininkai

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    Poverty on highways, LPG

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    LPG  available :-)

    The average monthly salary in US$ at the beginning of 2003 was only 278 in Lithuania, while in Poland 500 (Estonia 351, Czech 347, Latvia 272). Source: Ministries of Labor, 2003

    Keep in mind that average prices were lower than in any western European country but not as many times lower as salaries and NOT all prices were lower.

    Petrol/gas was almost as expensive as in, say, Germany. And it was well seen on Lithuanian highways:
    1. most petrol/gas station offered over twice less expensive LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas which was essentially propane) - look for the sign, on my picture,
    2. many drivers conversed their cars to LPG to save on gas/petrol,
    3. there was mostly light or medium traffic on Lithuanian highways (they didn't drive much and/or have fewer cars),
    4. there were mostly old and very old cars in use,
    5. instead cars, many Lithuanian used relatively cheap public transportation (local buses and/or trains).


    Up-to-date prices of gas/fuel in European countries: Prices of gas/fuel/petrol in European countries
    Excuse, this page is in Polish language. Lithuania is "Litwa", "bezolowiowa" means unleaded, "waluta" means currency. All prices per liter. Enjoy :-)

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    Strange prices!

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    POLISH CHEAP CHIP :-)

    I found my favourite Polish computer magazine CHIP in Lietuvos Spauda kiosk in Druskininkai. What a surprice!

    Haha, it costed less there (6.90 Lt = 9,66 zl) than in Poland (15.50 zl). And for the first time in my life I saw Russian edition of that magazine which costed 13.00 Lt, almost twice more than Polish edition. Isn't Lithuania a strange country?

    Well, CHIP magazine is the most popular computer magazine in Poland and is published by Vogel Media Group in many countries like for example: Germany, Poland, Czech, Hungary, India.

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    Made by the world's biggest state

    by matcrazy1 Updated Sep 9, 2004

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    HUGE  MONUMENT  OF  SOVIET  ERA

    Excuse, it's not at all Druskininkai local custom but rather former Soviet Union custom.

    Walking around Druskininkai I had to see these huge, cement, grey structures on my picture. They were built during Soviet occupation era, I am sure. There are many huge, poor quality and ugly structures left by former Soviet Union not only in Lithuania but around over half of our globe when communist ideology ruled: from eastern Germany to China and Asian coasts of the Pacific Ocean.

    Well, the previous Soviet Union loved to put up BIG, HUGE, the world's largest structures, factories, apartment buildings etc. never mind the costs or any economic calculations. BIG meant good, admirable that time. And only huge things were worth of the best and the most powerful state on our globe that was the Soviet Union.

    Additionally communist Soviet Union always had to remind its citizens how huge and powerful it was, just in case they didn't believe in it looking at poverty around... Well, it started to change now, for sure in Lithuania :-).

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    Will they survive European Union ?

    by matcrazy1 Updated Sep 3, 2004

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    FAST  FOOD  TRAILER

    I found this car towing a trailer, on my picture, at western bank of Druskonis Lake. Local guy prepared and sold candyfloss (cotton candy, fairy floss) and popcorn from the trailer. There were more similar fast food trailers in Lithuania. Not my favourite food and I am not sure whether those businesses survive... maybe...

    Lithuania (together with 9 other countries, incl. Poland) joined European Union on May 1, 2004. As I know, law of European Union doesn't allow to prepare and sell any food at points with no running water available. Hmm... that's why many "mobile fast food stands" missed in my country, Poland recently. Does it work different way in Lithuania? We will see... soon.

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    Speed limit in Druskininkai

    by matcrazy1 Written Jul 31, 2004

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    60  KM/H  SPEED  LIMIT  IN  DRUSKININKAI

    The beginning of each urban area was signed by a table with the name of city/town/village, like on my picture. At its end there was the same table with the name crossed out.

    There was a new (since 2004) speed limit of 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas of Lithuania (before it was 60 km/h = 37mph) unless otherwise stated, just like 60 km/h in Druskininkai on my picture.

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    New local custom

    by matcrazy1 Written Jul 31, 2004

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    NEW  PLATES:  RED  ON  WHITE

    Since Lithuania joined European Union on 1 May 2004 there were no customs for cars imported from any EU member.

    I could see few (more soon, I am sure) older cars imported from say Germany, Netherlands etc. They had characteristic temporary registration (license) plates: red numbers on white, just like on my picture. Well, I could see more and more such cars in Poland, as well recently (June 2004).

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    Mercedes in Druskininkai

    by matcrazy1 Written Jul 30, 2004

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    BLACK  MERCEDES  IN  DRUSKININKAI

    I noticed that locals prefered old German cars (especially Mercedes) than old Japanese cars. Why? Well, maybe they were less expensive, maybe they were better for loong use.

    And as I know Germans used to treat their cars very seriously (prestigous) so they used to change them for new ones every say 3-5 years (quite different than say Suedes). Germany being the largest car market in Europe is forced to sell numerous used cars at lower prices. A lot of them go to more poor East which raises the prices. Well, since 1 May 2004 Lithuania is European Union member and there are no customs among EU countries, for cars as well.

    There were no American cars in Druskininkai or I didn't see any.

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    Tasty Lithuanian bread

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jul 30, 2004

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    LITHUANIAN  DARK  BREAD

    In Picerija Saulegraza the waitress brought us some bread although we didn't order them. I noticed that they (in Lithuanian restaurants either in Druskininkai and in other towns) often served Lithuanian dark bread free of charge, just like they served tortillas in Mexico.

    Well, the bread in my country, Poland was not that dark and was sometimes with home-made lard.

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    Colours of Druskininkai and Lithuania

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jul 30, 2004

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    RUSSIAN  ORTHODOX  CHURCH  IN  BLUE

    I noticed that old wooden houses in Druskininkai and Lithuania were usually painted in yellow, orange or green but never in blue. Only Russian Orthodox church was painted in blue. Was blue reserved for the church as saint colour for Russian Orthodox, I mean the colour of quite different (not Lithuanian) culture? Or it was just a coincidence?

    Well, for example in Morocco green was royal colour of king's palaces while in Mexico bright green was a colour of casual houses.

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    Fast changing Druskininkai

    by matcrazy1 Written Jul 30, 2004

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    NEW  HEALTH  CENTER

    There were few, usually state-owned, neglected and not renovated for years hotels/sanatoriums in Druskininkai. But I noticed that there were quite many sanatoriums under renovation or reconstruction in 2004 of which most were privatized.

    Additionally there were a few brand new, clean and pretty health centers, like this one on my picture, located almost at the end of a road along western lake. Druskininkai will look different and even more pretty in a few years, I am sure now.

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    Roofing customs

    by matcrazy1 Written Jul 30, 2004

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    ROOF  OF  LOCAL  HOUSE

    As I noticed, in Druskininkai and generally in Lithuania, old wooden houses were very rarely roofed by wood. Did the original wooden roofs fall down of winds or burn in the past? Never mind, locals used to put metal roofing, corrugated iron sheets especially. Hmm... not the most beautiful roofing unless... it's mossgrown like in that house on my picture.

    There were nice looking and wooden dormer windows on the top of that house put at the corner of M.K. Ciurlionio gatve (# 30) and Sv. Jakubo gatve (#2). Dormer window (or shorter dormer) in English means a window sticking out from a sloping roof. The word derives from Latin word "dormire" which means to sleep. People used to put bedroom just under the roof of their houses not heavy lighted by dormer windows.

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    Wood and a lot of glass

    by matcrazy1 Written Jul 30, 2004

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    WOODEN  HOUSE  WITH  A  LOT  OF  GLASSES

    Typical old houses of Druskininkai were wooden and they usually had a lot of glass windows or better to say surfaces around. Just like on my picture of the house which was put at the corner of M.K. Ciurlionio gatve (# 30) and Sv. Jakubo gatve (#2).

    Glass surfaces provided Druskininkai's visitors a lot of natural light which was usuful for treatment some ailments like of nervous or locomotive system. Houses had a lot of windows in many other health resorts I visited, too.

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    Polish visitors, cars and safety

    by matcrazy1 Written Jul 29, 2004

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    CARS  FROM  POLAND  AT  TURISTU  GATVE  (STREET)

    I could meet many, even very many visitors from Poland in Lithuania, esp. in Vilnius but they arrived by cheap scheduled buses or tour buses.
    The only cars registered in Poland I found just in Druskininkai. Well, look at my picture, they were not afraid to park relatively new and attractive for thefts car (Mercedes A) just on a street.

    Was Druskininkai esp. safe place with no car thefts? I don't know but I felt very safe there. I think that opinion on numerous car thefts in Lithuania is just wrong and not fair prejudice. I am sure about it. Although I don't know official police statistics on that matter (are there any in the net?).

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    Were new small businessmen greedy?

    by matcrazy1 Written Jul 29, 2004

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    GOOD  BUSINESS, RIGHT?

    At first I wanted to put this tip in Warnings Or Dangers but... it's more local custom, I think.

    This young guy on my picture run pedal boat rental at the western bank of Druskonis lake. He managed a few new, yellow pedal boats, I think for a short time. Hmm... there were no costumers (except one older couple) in sunny afternoon on business day in June. He didn't have any official price list.

    I got to know that I should pay for renting a pedal boat something like 5 - 6 Lt per hour. The guy wanted over twice more. Was it special (higher) price for "rich" visitors from Poland or... "expensive" Druskininkai?

    Well, a few times in Lithuania (and not exclusively in Druskininkai) I noticed similar price policy put esp. by new and young Lithuanian small businessmen. Well, good luck with your business :-) but... it's wrong way, I suppose. Although... Lithuania was still cheap even with these "special" prices. Anyway, I would prefer to see official price list, instead.

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    Poverty and few visitors

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jul 29, 2004

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    TWO  WOMEN:  LOCAL  AND  VISITOR?

    I found Druskininkai clean, beautiful, relaxing and first of all, pretty empty resort in June. All restaurants, cafes were empty or almost empty, streets and parks as well. Druskininkai itself had approx. 21,000 citizens. Why people didn't go there to relax?
    Well, there were few older visitors speaking mainly Polish or Russian language. Where were Lithuanian visitors?

    Hmm... later on during my Lithuanian trip (in over-crowded Palanga) I got to know what most locals were looking for to relax. First of all they needed cheap, very cheap accommodations which costed 10.00 Lt (€ 3.01; US$ 3.63; 14 Polish zl) or even 7.00 Lt per person for rented room in Palanga. So, Druskininkai was simply too expensive for most of Lithuanians. Am I wrong?


    Notice that the average monthly salary in US$ at the beginning of 2003 was only 278 in Lithuania, while in Poland 500 (Estonia 351, Czech 347, Latvia 272). Source: Ministries of Labor, 2003

    Keep in mind that average prices were lower in Druskininkai than in any western European resort but not as many times lower as salaries and NOT all prices were lower.

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