December 19, 2017

Elena’s World 3: Gurgaon Redux

I have always intended this blog to be a way to capture how the Rising Daughters have grown up, log a few musings of my own, and occasionally bay at the moon. Thus this entry fits the bill. The interview captures Elena’s thoughts on leaving Japan to enjoy 15 months of experiencing life in India, especially now that she is beginning to taste life in the USA. 

the Humble Scribe

What's been the hardest thing for you since we last spoke (in March 2016)?
A tough thing for me was to say goodbye to my friends in Yokohama. I spent six years in Yokohama in the same house, the same neighborhood with them, so it wasn’t easy to leave. I still have a couple of special friends that I sometimes talk to by Skype.

What are three things that make you unlike any other kid at your school?
Well, I learned a lot of English from Japanese kids at first because I wasn’t so good at speaking, but my accent changed a bit from my terrific Indian teacher, like “tink” (as in “think”) and “mat” (for “math”). It is natural to do this when you learn, but I am a Japanese-Canadian girl with a slight Indian accent now. That’s cool!
On the other hand, I just cannot eat spicy food, which means a lot of Indian food is not possible for me.
What are your favorite clothes these days?
I like shorts and denim cutoffs because it is always so warm in India. But I don’t like skirts! I like the cat T-shirt that we bought (sometimes in this blog you can see it).

Embarrassing habits?
I bite my nails…but I am slowly learning to stop that nasty habit. (Ed.: The apples don’t fall far from da tree.)

What's your favorite ice cream/comfort food?
My favorite flavor at Baskin Robbins is cotton candy. Food…I just love pizza, any brand is OK but I will only eat three cheese or margarita pizzas.

Who is more fun to play with, boys or girls?
Girls. Hanging out and playing with them is fun, and we can talk about homework and stuff that is going on at school.

What is your average day like at school in India?
First, I wake up in my own room. I make my bed sometimes, then choose my clothes and get dressed. I eat breakfast with the family and leave for school. It takes about ten minutes to get to school in the car. Occasionally, there is a bad traffic jam. I walk with Marina into the school grounds because they won’t let mommy come in past the entrance gate.
At school, first I eat a snack and do the specials (PE applications such as shooting at the end of the semester; math, English, social studies etc.) At lunch, I usually eat bread and sweets—there were many sweet things at the lunch buffet. In the afternoon I studied English as Second Language (ESL), art, computers and some other subjects. I liked computers the best.
After school, mommy would pick us up and we go home. Sometimes I played with friends in our building complex courtyard, other times we went to Kumon to study English reading and grammar.
I usually went to sleep around 9:30 p.m.

What are you reading lately?
I am reading a lot of Japanese books. Mostly, I am really enjoying the Magic Tree House series.
When I went to Japan I bought a lot of them at the BookOff store.

Tell us about the past year in India. What have you learned?
It was hard at the start to learn English. But I had good teachers at my school in Gurgaon, and we also went to extra classes. So slowly I could learn to speak, read and write better.
I think that Indian people are nice. I went to many birthday parties of my classmates and we got to see how many people lived. We saw a lot of the New Delhi area, and went to Jaipur and Agra/Taj Mahal. These places are so different from other places I have seen so far.
I really loved Thailand. The beaches were great. But I didn't like getting sick.
It was fun to go to Sri Lanka because we could see many different places. I went with my classmates on a school trip for the first time -- no mommy and daddy -- so I felt a bit freer to do what I liked with my friends.
Being ten years old is good.
I think I will miss India a lot. I liked all the religious festivals and the local delicious fruits, and all the animals everywhere.

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