While in Khabarovsk, I poppoed into a new ‘hipster’ bar called Beer Beard and met some of the interesting patrons. Elizaveta, 18, was with her friend Zoya at the bar. She lives in a village of about 600 people some 30km from Khabarovsk. She studies at two universities in Khabarovsk and gets up between 5am and 6am to prepare for classes.
She said she has been working since 11 – after her father passed away – to help her mom, a village school teacher. Her mom saved up and sent Elizaveta to the Black Sea in the south of Russia last summer for her 18th birthday – the first time Elizaveta flew on a plane and saw the sea. “I cried from happiness – like a child,” she said of the experience. Elizaveta – like many other young people I met in the Far East – would like to move to St. Petersburg. “It is an amazing city…romantic..each street full of history.”