Yulia, a soil science student from the Urals, said one of her most memorable events of 2014 was spontaneously deciding to celebrate Halloween in the dorm with about 10 university friends. While they found constumes, they didn't find pumpkins, so they bought oranges as an alternative. I asked if the dorm guards gave them a hard time: ‘’We weren’t too loud, so the dorm guards didn’t mind.
Another photo of Nikolai, the retired machinery worker who has taken up ice-skating for firs time in decades to stay in shape. Nikolai came to the pond by bicycle.
Nastya, 17, was walking around the center of Minsk taking photos with her school friend. She said she is interested in Japanese culture and has begun studying the language. The biggest event in her life last year was developing a relationship with a Russian youth. She said they first met 3 years agoand mainly kept in touch via Skype, only seeing one another a few times over ghe years. In February 2014, he moved to Minsk to be closer to her.
Artyom & Denis perform chillout and ambient music outside their regular jobs. Artyom said he started experimenting with music while attending a military school and played trance for a while. I asked how he got into these other music genres. "I was resting with a friend by a river early one morning outside Minsk, when we heard ambient music and it inspired us."
After a 75 minute bus ride from Gus Khrustalni to Vladimir, I had 1.5 hours to walk around the historic town before my 2-hr train ride back to Moscow. I went looking for coffee and passed a colorful cafe with big windows that probably opened a year or two ago at most. Paintings were on the wall...it was a place you might find in NYC. As I sat down, I saw a young woman in a NYC shirt with pinkish-rimmed glasses. She had been reading, but was getting ready to leave and I walked over to chat about her studies and dreams. Zhenya said she was finishing her university degree and, after much thought, had finally realized what she wanted to do in life...at least in the mid-term: 'I want to draw, to create something intellectual.' She hoped to continue her studies either in Moscow or abroad, where she felt educational demands and job opportunities would be better than in her native Vladimir. Considering her artistic interests, it was not surprising to find her at home in such a cafe. Notice the artwork on the wall behind her.
Margo was sitting on a bench near Red Square, using her phone when I stopped to ask her about 2014 and plans for next year. She said the most important event in 2014 was her grandfather recovering from an illness. As for next year, she hoped to go visit Prague.