Week in the Life Kirill Dyomin, Moscow student: `What? No cockroaches in the kitchen?'

KIRILL DYOMIN is a poor Moscow teenager. He is working to get into college, not only because he wants to study languages but because he knows that if he fails, the army will conscript him.

I gave him a chance to improve his English by inviting him to visit me on a recent home visit to Yorkshire. He came for a week, in which he left Russia for the first time, had his first flight and, for the first time, saw the sea.

SATURDAY: Kirill, 16, arrived at Humberside airport. The flight had been delayed but he enjoyed the stopover in Amsterdam. "The clouds looked so thick you could ... sleep on them. I picked up a sick-bag to take back as a gift for my English teacher."

SUNDAY: The first thing he noticed on waking in a holiday cottage near Scarborough was that there were no cockroaches in the kitchen. Kirill was stunned at having his own bedroom: at home he sleeps in a room with his two younger brothers. We drove to Scarborough for his first encounter with the sea. Hegazed at the waves; he had not expected the sea to be so vast or so vivid, he said. In Russia he had only ever seen a lake.

MONDAY: Return visit to Scarborough, where Kirill toured the computer- game shops.

By this time he had pocket money but he was just getting ideas, so that back in Moscow he could buy cheaper, pirated versions of the games on Gorbushka market.

TUESDAY: Drove to Runswick Bay, which has a microclimate. Kirill was amazed to see palms, fuchsia and lavender in bloom.

WEDNESDAY: At Sandsend, near Whitby, Kirill had filled his rucksack with pebbles, which he thought he might give to his teacher instead of the sick-bag.

THURSDAY: At Flamborough Head, Kirill was impressed by the lighthouse and white cliffs but the waves were not living up to his expectations.

FRIDAY: Bonfire Night. I asked Kirill if he would like to go to a bonfire party. He said "no". (He later said he feared it would consist of people sitting by a fire telling jokes he could not understand and eating sausages he did not like.) Instead, he asked to go again to see waves. At Scarborough we spotted a bonfire laid on by lifeboatmen. As waves crashed ashore, the men set off fireworks. "It was magic," said Kirill.

SATURDAY: Nature laid on a grand finale in Scarborough. It blew a gale and mighty waves lashed Marine Drive.Kirill prepared to return home. "I missed my friends. I left half my soul in Russia, that is, my friends," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test