A letter from Florida

Her favourite activity was waiting for letters from abroad. It was 1984 or 1985, so she was 10 or 11 at that time when she received a list of addresses from a much older colleague who lived in the same block of flats in a small industrial town near Cracow, Poland. These were addresses of various companies from around the world, for example Japanese, Austrian or American. Along with the list of addresses, she received a template of the letter in English, a language she did not know at all at that time. It was a ready template,  which included a request to send commercial materials - leaflets, brochures, small gadgets. In 1986, she received the very first letter from the USA in her life. The letter came from Florida, from campsite owners, to whom she also had sent one of these ready-made letters. She was 12 years old and it wouldl be only in two years that she would begin to learn the first words of English at school. So she did not understand a word from the letter and the leaflet sent to her. But along with the letter she also received three photos. She stared at them for hours trying to see every detail of a distant world. The photos were colourful, which was rarely used in Poland, because the colour films were very expensive. Pictures had such a smooth texture and they even shone gently. They were printed on Kodak paper, with the Kodak logo on the back side. The quality of the photos was stunning to her. There were no such pictures in her photo album. The campground owners sent her a family photo from the pier. There were 7 people standing on the wooden platform by the sea. For her they looked like a part of a show. They were dressed nicely, and their clothes were so colourful. Her family went on vacation only once in her life. It was a seaside holiday in Poland when she was 6 years old so she also had a photo taken on a wooden platform on the pier. But the photo taken by the Polish sea was made by a professional photographer and it was bought by her parents. So she did not have a copy of it and she would never be able to send the only copy to someone else, especially a foreigner or anyone she did not know at all. And the clothes she wore at 6 years old, when the picture was taken, were not bought in the store, but were sewn by her mother. She felt very happy to receive the letter from the USA, but unhappy at the same time as she could not communicate in English so she had never written a thank you letter to the American campground owners from Florida, USA.