I wrote my first and true letter – a letter, as a means of conversation and not a polite brush-off or a forced birthday postcard – I wrote it from Paris, and it was rather short: I scribbled it on the back of a postcard with a corny view of the Eiffel Tower. It said something like this:
“Dear, A, I’m sitting all alone, in a café, with a cup of lousy coffee in front of me, and it rains like hell. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to see the Eiffel Tower and don’t think I will. Tomorrow is my last day in Paris and I haven’t yet seen all of one hundred local museums. So, I didn’t take that picture in front of a Tower that you’ve asked me for, so I send you this postcard instead. Kisses!
From the depth of my heart,
As you’ve already guessed, I didn’t catch that famous romantic part of Paris. Though, I’ve had a lovely week, entombed in museums. Oh, yes, I walked the city a bit: went to Per Lachaise a couple of times. From Paris I was bringing back home a case full of books in English.
The second and true letter I wrote several years later, from India. It was scribbled, again, on the back of a postcard and was meant for the same person, A., though that time it sounded different:
“Sitting on a bench in front of Ganga-Ma, monkeys watching me from the parapet. Today, an old Indian sat beside me and smiled, showing a row of yellow teeth. He tried to ask me, where I come from. I said Ukraine, but I think he didn’t get it. Anyway, he gave me a small, wrinkled mango, and I gave him some leechee I had with me. We munched, smiled at each other (I think his English was no good at all) and looked at the river. Then he saw a couple of his elderly friends in saffron robes, so we said our goodbyes and he left. A monkey tried to steal my bag and there was a cow with a sad look on her face, staring at me and chewing mechanically.
PS I’ll send you a detailed one on that trip up North, soon!”
That letter from India started a good tradition of letter writing that I keep on until now. Though lately, more often than not, all my letters finish, folded, in the back of my notebooks, not sent but quietly whispering to each other of my journeys and new friends.