Letter from May-ling Soong Chiang, 1917-07-03, Vancouver, British Columbia, to Emma Mills
May-ling Soong Chiang
Dada Dearest: We just got into Vancouver today! And tired! The train was late by six hours. I al-most had a [cat] fit, for I was so nervous and headachey after almost a week's travel, that another "wash out" would have been the last of me. The trip was deadly: - miles after miles of Western plains until the last day when we got into the Canadian Rockies. Then I was so tired that I couldn't even see the beauties! And homesick! Did you say that I would be homesick for America? I am already! And here I am still on the American continent!4 July, 1917 Well, just as I was about to write some more, I became too sleepy. This morning I am having a [page break] headache. Brother & I went to the [best] shop. Trying to get some things: but to our disappointment, the store was terrible. Someone said that there isn't a well-dressed Canadian woman here: I did think that was an exaggeration. Now, however, I am inclined to think that there is some truth to that. The women here look like dowds! By the way, [Peel] sent me a lovely pair of silk stockings from Peck & Peck. He's swell! You know, Peel always did think that I was vain! You must look after the [Burks] & Miss [Wayne] for me. See that they don't catch cold, & wear rubbers on rainy days. I am so homesick and blue over leaving you and some of my other friends that I could just weep. You know, when I left you at the Grand Central, I controlled myself; but when the train began to pull out, I broke down completely. Oh, Dada, why aren't you [page break] going home with me? We have met with some very nice people. - among them a bride & groom. But I want  our friends! I have received over 60 letters since I arrived yesterday: but yours has not come. Today is not like the Fourth of July in the States. The stores closed this afternoon: but I soon learned that it was not because of the Fourth; but because the people here demand that half holiday on Wednesdays instead of on Saturdays. By the way, I don't like the Canadians: they are so downrightly ignorant and narrow-minded. Brother & I decided that we would have the best of everything in our travels: so here at the hotel, we are having it! The tips to the waiter at each meal is more than a month's allowance for me at college! We are doing everything up here! You see, after we return home, we shall no longer be able to be as irresponsible [page break] as we are now: so we are making the most of our present opportunities. On our way across the continent, we saw a whole trainful of returned Canadian soldiers. At another place, we saw a train-load of Chinese coolies who are being shipped to France as laborers. If one of them should die, his family gets $150! Such is the price of life to them! If ever I have any influence, I shall see to it that no coolies are being shipped out, for China needs all her own men to develop the mines. Dada darling, now write me at once to 491 Avenue Joffre, French Concessions, Shanghai, China. And in the mean while save all your money so you could come see me. Love to the whole family, & tell Grandadthat he is almost as sweet as the candy he gave me.Mayling
Papers of Emma DeLong Mills, MSS.2, Wellesley College Archives.
Since July 31, 2013