Letter 001, pg. 2

on, girl” to me.

[Paragraph crossed out:] Not taking anything too seriously is the chief rule Americans adhere to. Everybody makes fun of everybody else, not maliciously, but very wittily. I think I kind of got used to this. I learned not to take anything seriously, and that is the essence of America. The language here is not English at all, and is all “jokes” and “wisecracks” as they are called here.

As you can see, not only have I reached Riga [many family members expected her to abort her trip and return to Russia], I reached further still. The only thing that remains for me is to rise, which I am doing with my characteristic straight-line decisiveness. I hope you will be impressed once more when you hear that I didn’t back down from a much harder path. I heard you were told that I returned. I am getting used to America. I had gotten used to all kinds of adventures even before I got to Riga.

Even though I speak English now and even think in English, I would be very happy to have