It was one of those scenes that screams ‘Russia!’ An old, abandoned redbrick warehouse with no roof or windows stood along the Don River. Inside the building, up to the first storey, was relatively warm water. It was coming from an underground source. Graffiti was written on part of the inside brick walls. And inside the water, a woman was swimming despite the sign saying it was prohibited.
Masha grew up in a village with three residential buildings and 50 people, including her parents and three siblings. Like most tiny villages, there was no plumming, which made a lot of basic chores more difficult. Masha got a scholarship at a university on the Russian mainland, has received another two higher degrees and is working on getting her fourth. She works for one of the largest companies in the world and plans to adopt a child.