Although Veronika Shirobokva (pictured here with Scottie, the School mascot) has travelled extensively in Europe and also visited the UAE, this is the first time she’s ever been to Scotland and the UK. Veronika has recently come to Global School for two weeks after winning a British Council competition in her native Russia.
She likes Edinburgh, but finds the Scottish weather very different from what she’s used to in Russia. Veronika lives in Izhersk, about 1,000 miles east of Moscow, so she’s used to much colder weather than we get here. At home she says that you just put a coat on and keep it on all day, but here the weather changes during the day, so you can start with a coat and then have to take it off as the weather warms up, then put it on again if it starts to rain. At this point, I told her about the English expression, “four seasons in one day”. She laughed and wrote it down so she could remember it!
Veronika is a vegan, so we discussed how easy it is to get vegan food in Scotland. She said she brought some of her own supplies, “just in case”, but in fact she can get almost everything that she wants here. That’s good news if you are a vegan or vegetarian or eat only halal or kosher. We cater for all tastes here!
She had only been in Edinburgh for a few days when we met, but she has had the chance to walk around and look at the parks and gardens in the city. Veronika particularly likes nature and said she really liked strolling about in Princes Street Gardens, looking at the flowers. Over the next few days she hopes to see the Castle and some of the other buildings, but she did admit she’s more interested in the natural world rather than history so she would probably spend more time in the gardens than in museums. However, she has also found some very good second hand bookshops and bought some interesting books.
She really likes the School, telling me, “I love my teacher, she’s very nice and we’ve connected well. Also, the fact that there are only a few students in the advanced class means that we get lots of time to talk and discuss a whole range of different issues”.
Interview by Alastair Blair