Almost the same

February 16, 2015 - single portrait

It’s cold in December in Vilnus, especially for us “tourists” from Israel, who are “spoiled” by sun and hot weather. We saw the booth of Iliana and her husband with a great variety of wool goods from scarves and socks to gorgeous felt vests and coats. First we called on incidentally led by curiosity and the cold to buy gloves first then a hat. We started to talk about everybody and his dog, she told us that they have one day off a week, the rest of days they come to Vilnus from their village to sell their warming goods. They have one son just as we do. She was interested in our life and when and how we immigrated to Israel, what dishes usually are served for Hannukah  (she wanted to treat their neighbor). In exchange we asked her about the Lithuanian names of some dishes we liked. When I asked what her name was, she replied:  “Iliana, almost the same like yours.”

No wonder that on our last day when we wanted to buy gifts and souvenirs to our friends and relatives we came to Iliana. I asked her for a portrait. At first she said that she doesn’t look good, but finally agreed. Maybe I could get a better portrait of her, but anyway here she is just as I remember her each time when I put my hat on almost the same way she wears hers.


› tags: 100strangers / digital / lithunia / photography / portrait / sony nex6 / vilnus /


  1. Lena, what a nice, nice post! Both, the portrait and the story, – I feel like I’ve just met Iliana myself. You reminded me of one of my own strangers I met just like that… Thank you for such a visual story!

  2. i love this story lena and also her talking portrait

  3. Dawn Copley says:

    Lena – what a beautiful picture of your stranger friend ! I love her hat and mittens behind there ! She seems lovely just as you describe her . How nice to swap cooking ideas and traditions across the land and a son, dog , good fun and company . This was a nice portrait to end your friendly tour . Each time I read a story like yours on this site , I am warmed in thinking how people are not so different in our hearts . We just live in different environments that change our habits a bit ! You are so good at expressing warm feelings . It is because it takes a kind soul as you to never meet a stranger – really ! Dawn

    • Lena Konstantinova says:

      Dawn, thanks, I’m happy if I could present Iliana exactly as I saw and felt her through my eyes and lens !

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