Friday, March 26, 2010
Universities in Lithuania have it hard: salaries are dropping for the workers, and at the same time, the fees for studies go up. No one is happy and quality of studies is eroding. However, now one Kaunas-based university has found a solution to make money quick with little effort: selling of diplomas.
First, they tried to sell a diploma to a girl living in France: she wanted to be master of political science, because she was from a diplomatic family, as I heard. She had no previous studies in politics, and the university did not teach the subject in English, but as enough money was put on table, there suddenly was no problems. However, when too many professors were requiring her participating in exams, it suddenly was too much for her, and she quit the studies.
Still, the university had opened the Pandora's Box, and it took only a few months until they were trying again this new financial planning. This time, a doctoral degree was for sale.
Lithuanian students studying for a PhD pay 12000 ltl for the studies, unless they get a scholarship. However, now a Dutch writer wanted to get the degree due to his book on his life in Soviet Union. Memoirs worth a degree, as they had agreed with the earlier dean.
This of course caused some turmoil among the staff, as first of all, he was not qualified, the book was not political nor scientific and third, he wanted to be given the degree without him showing any effort. Resolution: some people agreed to write him passing courses required for the PhD studies, and everything was prepared. However, the money became an issue: as Netherlands is a poor country, 3500 euros was an obstacle too big for the writer - he had been given the impression that it would cost only around 1200 euros. - this was solved, and he got the studies with a third of the price of the local students.
No outsiders were informed on the decisions taken, and the local students still have to study for the degree and pay the regular price totally unknowing of the new discounted degree.
Thus, if you ever see a foreigner who studied a PhD in Lithuania, ask to see the dissertation. It may be that he just paid a pittance for the title. However, the local students still have to work for their paper.
If you would like to use the abovementioned opportunity and get yourself a qualification to work in the scientific community as well as an expert on about anything, run to Kaunas with your master's - it may be just enough for a foreigner!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
That was the title of the runners-up song of Inculto at Lithuanian national Eurovision final in 2005. Partly I can agree with the message, but there are some issues in it, that is, sex tourism.

There's something wrong with the country's marketing: First, they cannot decide whether they want to market Lithuania as a country of honey, beer or as a crossroad to Russia, and then when everyone is having their own campaigns, what lives on is the sign near Vilnius airport, where a Lithuanian naked girl lying down on a hotel bed hopes you come back soon.

This ad did not really disturb me, before the I went to look for opening hours for Kaunas restaurants (I am pretty much behind the Finnish version of wikitravel guide for Kaunas - the English is most likely made by local tourism information centre). There are three sources for collective info:, and The second presents only member restaurants that give a price reduction with their card, the first one is rather good, and the last one, decided somehow that all I need is to see naked Lithuanian girls. Sure I needed, on my work computer. Lithuania is not acountry of feminists, and a Scandinavian male can feel easily extremely progressive here.

Then there is this Olialia -thing going on in the country: suddenly it is cool and great to be blonde, stupid and having kilos of plastic as an airbag. They have a credit card from SEB (Wallenbergs' found a Sex Endowment Bank?), they run Pizzeria, sell cola (which got a bigger bottle after two of the olialia models got silicones), computers (as female nerds need the fastest there is with Swarovski - I always thought the longer the better, but these IT people just cannot wait)... and now even music. Please surf the web for Olialia Pupytes to find these wonderful ballades on hard knock life... ... that is playing with boys and spreading the legs.

Olialia album cover tells more on their music than you can imagine

A sort of an anticrisis plan this is: get tourists to the country to make the women pregnant and then earn with foreign child support. I guess it is only a matter of time before there comes a tax for that. On the other hand, it is still better for the country that the prostitution takes place here (if it is taxed, at least), as otherwise the New Baltic Way takes these girls to UK.

Soon the spring is here. That means the skirts will become shorter and the tights thinner. Then there comes the summer and quite a few more Ryanair flights to Kaunas. So far, here is only one strip club in the centre, but I bet they are going to expand. Let's see if there comes a wave of enterpreneurship or will the local mafia find a new life in pimping.

A bit on an anti-prostitution campaign:

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