“What if today were our last?

I. The California Coast It took 12 hours and 400 miles to drive from Anaheim to San Francisco. I went the long way – two highways, one interstate, and hundreds of miles of coastline. I watched the carpet of fog roll back to reveal the ocean and the horizon. The road, twisting and turning, nestled itself […]

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The Trans-Mongolian Railway

I. In the openness of the train station the sound of my rolling luggage disappears into the muted sound of other passengers hurrying to board with their unwieldy belongings. We are making our way down the Beijing Railway platform and my companion is speaking, but that too dissolves into the intangible –  I’ve glimpsed the […]

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Ulaanbaatar (Red Hero)

Introductions Ulaanbaatar is not a quiet city. It is loud. It is impatient. The clamor of development and collapse gnash relentlessly at your senses. Car horns bray the displeasure of their drivers. You are confronted by the din of construction, the acrid smell of newly tarred roads, and the reflection of post-socialism in the glossy […]

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Conversations With Myself (or, How I Came to Sit at the Memoire Cafe, Enjoying an Iced-Coffee)

June 10, 2011 It was hunger, I think, that finally drove me out of my hot, muggy room, into the hot, muggy Beijing morning. I’d been awake since about 6:30 a.m., and by 8:00 a.m., even I’d had enough of my stalling. Armed with my Chinese phrases for the day (“I don’t understand” and “I’m […]

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