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Rivka, the observer

In 2016 when she was five years old, Rivka gave her first interview for the Humans of Kyiv. Today we photographed her on film and asked about her love for the city.

"I want to become an artist or a film producer. I would like to go to an art school because I love to paint. Sometimes it is difficult to choose what to paint with and on what surface because a true artist paints everything with any materials available. Like Taras Shevchenko: he used chalk and coal. If I painted Kyiv, I would definitely depict the Motherland monument. It is unlikely to convey the city’s emotion if you draw just one park or street.

For me, Kyiv smells like gasoline. It also sounds like cars, police, and noise. On a typical weekend morning, when I walk my dog, I only hear myself: "How tired I am of having to walk a dog." However, If I`m being serious, in the morning, Kyiv sounds like birds and the rustle of fresh grass. Moreover, someone usually breaks the wicket. Almost every weekend, a neighbor slams this wicket so that it almost falls off.

I want our city to be built not just with paper, money, a lot of fuss and cars, and everything stinking of gasoline. I want to see wheat fields and forests around.

I saw it in the pictures - so beautiful! No matter what skyscraper you live in, you will still be upset by something: possibly by a noisy neighbor who is renovating something. People have to live in the woods — with no neighbors to bother them, except for maybe the cuckoo.

I love Kyiv because we have plenty of old houses and beautiful landscapes. I have never seen such a beautiful city before, but I cannot claim this word as accurate because I have not been to many countries and places, so I have no right to judge. Nevertheless, it still seems that Kyiv is the most beautiful city out there. Moreover, I want to fly to Odesa someday. They say it’s a beautiful city famous for its buns and gingerbread.

My favorite route in Kyiv goes through Peizazhna alley — you can buy fresh buns and walk the new lighted staircase. I also enjoy walking Gogolivska and Alla Gorska streets.

My father used to live on Gogolivska Street. My old house was there, and I was very attached to it. I also love Shevchenko Park, where you can pick delicious pancakes. However, I do not like the abandoned, unassembled houses painted with spray cans with obscenities and “fucks”. Damn, I don't like it.

I would make people pay fines for that if I were a prosecutor. I also do not like that in Kyiv, or, in Ukraine in general, we do not help the homeless. These people exist, and it’s not a big deal if they die. I understand that politics is not my cup of tea, but I express my opinion. It’s a part of what I know. I just wish the President would care about this as well.

When I grow up, I want to travel, have a child, and travel together around different countries, if there is money for it. I want to work for three or four years, gain a sound financial plan and income, collect a bit, help my mom and dad financially, and send them money on a card.

It seems to me that love is warm energy that can be transmitted only through words, care, kindness, truth, and honesty.

There are different kinds of love: special love for mom and dad, love towards a boy, some other types of love...sorry, I will say this, it doesn't matter. Sexual love? I never fell in love. I only felt something more like sympathy. And when I feel it, I try to distance myself from the person so that he notices... Just like a boy, who pulls ponytails, you know? I do not want to give presents because of love. I don`t like buying people. Who needs a DYI gift when you can get iPhone 12, and it will be a thousand times better? If a stranger comes up to me and gives me some handicrafts, and someone I love comes up at the same time and gives me iPhone 12, I will definitely choose iPhone 12 over a gift from an unknown person. But if the situation is the opposite: an acquaintance comes to me with a gift made with his own hands, and a stranger with iPhone 12, then, of course, I will choose a DYI gift.

I loved giving gifts made with my own hands, but now I have stopped. My friends don't appreciate it, and I don't have as many friends after all. I only like giving hand-crafted presents to my mother."

November 2016

"Most of all, I would like to be a ballerina. I do ballet seriously, and It’s not about playing games. Of course, I am very nervous before the performances. I am afraid that I will do something wrong, will fail. I don't know how not to be can just pull your finger — that's what I do. Moreover, if I change my mind, I will become a producer, like mom and dad. They think a lot and manage the whole do I explain it...the team.

My grandmother says that I could be a doctor because I once prescribed a treatment for my nanny, who had angina: get a good night's sleep, drink a lot of tea, gargle and keep the throat closed and warm. The nanny recovered.

Usually, I get up, brush my teeth, change my clothes, have breakfast, change again, go to school, then someone picks me up from school, I have a nap, then go for a walk, do my homework, have dinner, and sleep. Oh, there are also piano and ballet classes. Oh my God, how much more to tell! But my favorite part of the day is when I go to my grandmother's. It doesn’t happen every day, but she prepares such delicious pancakes.

I think love is a feeling you need to experience and fall for instantly. You feel tenderness, kindness, and you want to see that person and hold him in your arms. You can help a person fall in love — for example, draw a beautiful picture for a boy, give all sorts of lollipops. And if he doesn't love you back, fall in love with another one, and that’s all. It's different with my mom: she is always happy with my presents.

I am a good girl, I know how to ask politely, and I love everyone. I am fun and kind, just like my mom.

My dad is pampered. He canoodles my cheeks. I love him because we can play monster together, and I can ask him to buy me ice cream. I can even beg him to wake up and then push him with my head like a goat. My mom, on the other hand, doesn't like to run and cannot tell fairy tales, like dad, she just reads them. I don't know why I love her...just for no reason in particular.

I find Harry Potter movies a bit boring. Those moments when they just live in the castle, and nothing happens are dull. But it's entertaining when they fight with magic wands, and something terrible happens. If I had a magic wand, I would have invented the pill, and people wouldn't have died. I would give everyone a lollipop, a lot of sweets, and make everyone live in castles with beautiful beds. I'm not allowed to eat a lot of sweets - I can get chubby and won’t fit through the door. It is also harmful to your teeth. Sometimes I am allowed to eat Mozart candies, but I probably won’t get any today because I already ate a sweet cheese danish. Although I would very much like to...

When I have children, I will allow them everything. After all, can you make an exception once?"

April 2021

Rivka, the observer


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