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A Postcard from Erenhot Somewhat Perverted Strange Tourism 

A Postcard from Erenhot

Two small dogs are attacking a homeless man, while I’m nursing my lingering fever with sidewalk kebabs and a bottle of Yanjing beer. One of them bites at his ankle, and he hobbles away, cursing while diners beside me laugh, and the wind picks up again. I shield my face from the sand. This is Erenhot, or Erlian (二连), Erlianhaote (二连浩特), Eriyen, or Ereen… a town on the Chinese/Mongolian border with too many names. Every passerby stares at me, and every child shouts “Hello” as I pass. One stranger steals…

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Chasing the Shaman in Mongolia What The Fortune Teller Told Me 

Chasing the Shaman in Mongolia

"I don't think you can see the Shamen," the fixer murmured. He watched his cup, the table, a fly, anything that wasn't our eyes. "They are far from here. In the mountains. It would take a long time to see them." He traced a line along a creased map of Mongolia. "Maybe four days drive. Then five days on horseback. It's not so safe." With every reason he offered not to chase the Shamen, it became more of a mission. "Can we fly there?," someone asked. He took a slow…

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Mystery, Intrigue, Trans-Siberian Express Uncategorized 

Mystery, Intrigue, Trans-Siberian Express

To get from Beijing to Mongolia, you have a few choices.  A flight takes just over an hour.  The Trans-Siberian Express, meanwhile, offers a rugged thirty-hour ride through cities, towns, barren landscapes, desert, and finally the capital of Chingghis Khan. It's a famously hard ride.  I pictured drunk Russians and fiery Mongols and live chickens and illegal cargo.  Border police and bribes and human trafficking.  Vodka and filterless smokes and mystery and intrigue.  So, dressed in a t-shirt with red hearts and the huge word "KITTENS," I climbed aboard, ready…

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