Wow! My good friend Emel-Elizabeth, aka The Girl From Estonia, sent me a letter . . . all the way from Estonia! I’ll bet I’m the only person I know who has ever gotten a letter from Estonia, or who knows an Estonian at all.

I have a sense that this is true, because after I got Austrian citizenship, I posted something on INSTAGRAM about the United States being on life support, or whatever, and how I would evacuate to Europe before the bombs started dropping, to wit:

. . . and my friend Joe replied thusly:

So there’s my proof.


Here is the envelope and part of the letter Emel-Elizabeth sent me. She drew little cats on the back of the envelope in silver ink and everything. And look at that stamp! Our stamps look fuckin lame compared to this’n:

In my letter to her, I had asked Emel-Elizabeth to send me a few Estonian phrases, and this is what she wrote, bless her heart. Estonian is insane. The closest language to it is Finnish. But Emel-Elizabeth said Finnish sounds disgusting to her ears. I wonder if that’s a universal Estonian sentiment. And do Finns feel the same way about the Estonian language? I guess I could ask . . .

Well: Emel-Elizabeth is one of the best people I’ve ever met. I ought to stop distilling her entire being into her nationality, though you know what: as far as nicknames go, The Girl From Estonia is pretty good. It sounds mysterious in a way. And also: there are only 1.3 million Estonians in the entire world, so why not make a big deal of it. I remember her being impressed that I knew that. Why did I know the population of Estonia? I guess I’m just good for things like that, and not much else.

I am returning to Europe this summer and will find a way to see her again. Estonia is protected by NATO, but it’s right on Russia’s doorstep, so I reckon I’d better not visit her home country just yet. She told me we could meet in some city other than Berlin, so maybe we’ll do that. How do you say TO BE CONTINUED in Estonian? Is that what ABORDI PÄRDIK means . . . ?