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Among The Tuna Merchants: Pre-Dawn at the Osaka Fish Market

You’re in a cold warehouse about the size of your high school gymnasium. It’s still dark outside. Enormous tuna fish lie in rows in the middle. They are whole but are missing their heads. A small slice of flesh has been cut from the tail of each, and placed beside it. Signs in Japanese give the origin. […]

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The Heroes of Nanjie-Cun Square

In 2012, motivated by an article in the New York Times and a tantalizing hint in the Lonely Planet guidebook, myself and my traveling companion Tiho Mijatov set out from Beijing to discover the small village of Najie-cun, which claims to be China’s last genuine Maoist collective. Thanks to a sweaty Beijing taxi driver who […]

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Under the Red Sky in China

Earlier this year I spent a semester studying Chinese at a university in Chengdu, South West China. The key ‘attraction’ of our university was the 操场, “sports ground,” an artificial running track surrounded on all four sides by towering apartment blocks. Myself and handful of other foreigners would often sit on the dusty grandstand in the evening, […]

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Beauty on the Edge of Ukraine

It had been almost a year of travelling Europe after 3 months hopping the Greyhounds around Australia. I thought myself a pretty polished traveller, but although I’d turned 18 on the road, I was still very much a kid. Gradually, as the cities visited piled up and the distance from home and family became greater, things […]

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The Road to Nashville

I was in New York and was going to Alabama to see Jason Isbell in concert. The plan was to ride the Greyhounds to Nashville and hang out there soaking up the music (and Jack Daniels) for a few days before heading across to Birmingham. I’d spent three months as a kid riding the Greyhounds around […]

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