ULAN-UDE, EASTERN SIBERIA: Chris, 16, was walking in the center of Ulan-Ude dressed in big, black boots and black leather coat with silver spikes. She was carrying a yellow schoolbag that was in the form of a cartoon character.
Chris said she wanted to be a “certified heart surgeon” and hoped to study abroad, potentially in Finland. She said she thought the level of medical education would be higher in Europe.
I asked why a heart surgeon. “It is an amazing feeling to hold a beating heart in your hands,” she said with passion, holding her hands together as if she actually had a heart. Chris added she had visited a morgue in town and “didn’t experience any fear” as she walked past corpses.
Chris then kindly offered to call a friend whom she thought was worth interviewing for my project. She waited with me a few minutes until the friend arrived, intoduced him and then left to finish her day.