Burlaki.com finally got around to interviewing the youngest member of the family on her impressions and feelings regarding Europe and coming back to America.
In the practically unedited words of a 9-year-old…
Burlaki [back] on the Hudson: Are you happy to be back in America?
Kimmy: Kind of… I miss London, but I’m also happy to be back in America.
B[b]otH: What do you miss about London?
K: I miss my friends. I miss the parks that we went to. And I miss my school…
B[b]otH: You miss the school? I didn’t think you liked your school in London…
K: I mean… I miss one of my teachers. Miss Coton. She was my teacher in year 3.
B[b]otH: But last year you had a different teacher, right?
K: Yeah, Miss Sheehan. She yelled at me all the time. I didn’t really hate her, but she was mean to me…
B[b]otH: Ok, forget her. Which friends to you miss?
K: I miss Grace, I miss Gabriella, and I miss Marina… And I also miss Leona, but she was sometimes mean to me too…
B[b]otH: So, you don’t have good friends here in America?
K: I have, like, 30 friends now! And I am a little happier here because I have a lot of friends, I’m quite popular and everybody thinks I’m pretty cool.
B[b]otH: In England, nobody thought you were pretty cool?
K: I was a bit happy there, but a lot of people were really mean to me.
B[b]otH: But you still miss it?
K: Mm, kind of…
B[b]otH: You mentioned you liked the parks – which parks?
K: Mostly, Greenwich Park, and the park down the street with a big field and a playground… and the teeny little park where you go down to the pond… [Ed.: Kimmy means The Tarn, featured here]
B[b]otH: Did you like traveling to all of the different countries?
K: That was my favorite part! I loved that!!
B[b]otH: Which countries do you remember?
K: I remember Spain, France, Italy… I remember Germany… I remember Switzerland… I remember Belgium… I remember we went to a lot of cities…
B[b]otH: Where is Budapest?
K: Is that in… Cracow?
B[b]otH: No, Cracow is another city that we went to. Budapest is in Hungary.
K: Oh, yeah… Hungary!
B[b]otH: Ok, now that you’re back in America, what do you like the most about America?
K: My best friends live here… Tessa, Sammy… I made new best friends… And we have this beautiful, wonderful house, and I think this is the best house that anyone could ever have.
B[b]otH: How about the house we lived at in England?
K: Yeah, it was ok, but it was kind of tiny…
B[b]otH: Is there something you did not like about England?
K: Miss Sheehan… And I did not like the kitchen in England. It was so small… And I did not really like the bathrooms…
B[b]otH: I’m not asking about the house. I’m talking overall, in England, living there, was there something else besides miss Sheehan that you did not like?
K: People weren’t being nice to me…
B[b]otH: Which people?
K: One time, Leona, because a glue-stick broke and I wouldn’t let her use it, she was mean to me all day long… She made me cry all day. And she got me in trouble with the teachers… Usually you get called by name for lunch, and she told me my name was called, and it did not, and I got yelled at because of that… Miss Sheehan yelled at me really loudly, so all the school could hear…
B[b]otH: This type of thing does not happen in America?
K: Not really…
B[b]otH: That’s all you did not like in England?
K: Yeah, my friends were occasionally mean to me, I did not like that.
B[b]otH: But you still miss them, you said?
K: Grace was my best friend and she was never mean to me. And, sometimes, I don’t make sense! [laughs]
B[b]otH: Got it! Ok… If you had a chance to go and live in Europe again, would you go?
K: That is a very complicated question, ’cause I kinda wanna stay here and I kinda wanna go there… I wanna visit but I don’t want to live there… I want to visit my friends and stuff, but I don’t want to live there again… [pause]… unless we get a really big house!
B[b]otH: Unless we get a really big house? [laughs]
K: No, actually, no. I love my best friends here, I don’t want to leave.
B[b]otH: So, you have better friends here in America?
B[b]otH: Ok, is school harder or easier in England?
B[b]otH: Why? You didn’t even have homework during the week in England…
K: Oh, American homework is so easy, I can do it in, like, fifteen minutes… In math, we did really complicated things in England… and sometimes, we did not even go over it before getting it for homework [Ed.: weekends only], so we had to figure it out by ourselves… there was this big 4-sheet thing that I usually got on weekends, with so many problems and things to do… and I like it here more, because we don’t get any homework on the weekend… because weekend is to relax, not to work…
B[b]otH: [long laugh] Brilliant! So… What is your favorite place in Europe?
K: I really like… Spain, France and Italy.
B[b]otH: All three of them?
K: Yes… Well, Italy is my favorite… because it’s got all of my favorite food…
B[b]otH: Which is?
K: Pasta, pizza and bruschetta! Of course!
K: And also chocolate lava cake!
B[b]otH: Chocolate lava cake – is that also Italian?
B[b]otH: Very good, then. Thank you very much for your time, young lady.
K: No problemo!
Brilliant! Kimmy sounds like a very sweet girl. It’s also interesting observing you as an interviewer, Ilya. When I was working on my school research paper I had to read some books about the ‘art of interviewing’ and found it quite difficult. You managed to convey her sweetness, honesty and good humour. Seems like you were surprised by some of her answers, weren’t you? I’m so happy she accepted to be interviewed and she was very participative!!!
I don’t know if words and my sparse comments can truly convey Kimmy’s performance, but thanks!
My thought is this: as complex as her feelings are right now, she will look back at this part of her life and think of it as the time when life was simple…
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