Letter(s) to Al (USA)

Letter 1

Hi, my dear friend Al!

Thank you for your letter. From day to day I feel more necessity to get your letters. My mood has become better again when I have got your letter. I should say when I have a good mood my work seems more easily to me and I almost don't tire. By the way when I came to work today my mood was bad because my girlfriend Olga fell ill and now she is in the hospital. I asked a doctor and he answered that my friend will stay in the hospital about for one week. It's not very good occasion. I will try to visit her as often as I can. I think that to stay in hospital alone without any familiar faces is very sad and therefore I will try to adorn her loneliness by my presence. I believe other her friends will visit her too. When people are ill we visit them very often as we can. I think it helps them to recover faster. I think it's good support for them. Do you agree with me? Please let me know what people do when someone of your relatives or friends are ill and stay in a hospital in your country. Do you do the same things like we do here in Russia? As a matter of fact I have only three real friends - Nadezhda who has married some times ago. I think you know about it because I wrote you. Svetlana who's birthday we celebrated last weekend and Olga is that lady who is in the hospital. Nadezhda and her husband have left to the south to the resort city named Sochi for two weeks - they have a honeymoon. I am not sure that you have heard about this city. But anyway this city is located on the Black Sea. It's a very popular Russian resort. What is the most popular resorts in your country? Other two girlfriends are not married like me too. We have no serious relations now and have never been married before. We are friends almost for 23 years. We went to the same kindergarten and we lived in neighbor houses a lot of time but now we live in the different districts. But it's not a problem for us and we can meet each other almost any time. Svetlana and I are like sisters. We like to walk especially in our town-park. But also we like to spend time in Svetlana's vegetable garden. She has an old wooden house in the country and she grows vegetables and fruit trees. In the past it was a house of her granny, but her granny is dead already for 3 years and now this house belongs to Svetlana. This house is very old and it was built a long time ago, if I am not mistaken in 30's years of last century. Sometimes I help her to work in her garden. This house doesn't have bath and running water. So people have to take water outside in the well or in a pit. But there is big Russian stove. In the modern world such conditions seem very terrible, but this is really so. There she grows potato, tomatoes and cucumbers to not buy it at the market. She preserves vegetables and in the winter we could eat it. I also help her with preserving. I like to be on the nature at all. Almost every winter Svetlana and I make a big snowman by big snow balls. We make a carrot instead of nose and potatoes instead of eyes and on the head we install the iron pail. It is very funny! All neighbor's children come to see it. At the first time we made such a snowman 16 years ago. Since that time we do it almost every year. This is a tradition for us. We pour it with water to cover by the ice. So it stands for the whole winter. Svetlana says that she wants to live in a big city. I don't know where it is better. A big city is a big traffic, fast rhythm of life, garlands of fires, lightning shop windows, high buildings, fountains, cinemas, parks, attractions, theatres. It is wonderful! Of course I like it but our little town or village has a fresh air, a lot of trees and birds, silent and comfort, no hubris and vanity inherent for big cities. We have a lot of small and large lakes and rivers. Such places are very beautiful. If there were no criminals the place could be considered as a Paradise. But alas, the criminals in small cities as well as in the big cities are an integral part of our life. Unfortunately criminals in Russia are stayed on a very high level. But I don't want to tell about sad things. By the way today when I will come to Victoria we will speak about you. She likes to ask about you and I like to tell her. I wanted to ask you what makes you happy Al? What was the best gift from a woman you had ever got? You can see us all on the picture that I attached to this letter. From the left to right are Olga, Nadezhda, me and Svetlana.

Sincerely yours and with best wishes Natasha.