Chenjiapu Valley, China: A Refreshing Take on the Great Wall

ACCORDING TO GOOGLE MAPS, Chen Yang’s farm is situated in the middle of a patch of complete, unblemished grayness. There is no Street View. Driving directions on his website are an exhausting 368 words long: Jingzang Expressway to Badaling, a tunnel to exit 62, keep right after a U-turn 200 meters after a toll booth at a fork in the road. It’s safe to say … Continue reading Chenjiapu Valley, China: A Refreshing Take on the Great Wall

Busan, South Korea: Texas Street is an Angry, Lonely Place

Let me be clear: the lads only went to see boobs. This is why, after two-and-a-half hours of drinking through one of South Korea’s most notorious and least desirable red light districts—and having eyeballed disappointingly zero nipples—it seemed a good idea to ask the six-foot-two, black-leather-jacketed Russian man stumbling down the street at 2:30 in the morning: “Do you know where a strip bar is?” … Continue reading Busan, South Korea: Texas Street is an Angry, Lonely Place

On Traveler’s Unemployment

ON AUGUST 27, 2013, I will be legally unemployed for the first time since I turned 18, over six years ago, and earned my first steady paycheck. I say “steady” because discovery of some legal document tucked away in an Eglinton Avenue filing cabinet could hypothetically prove that my first-ever paycheck was in fact for Timothy’s Coffee, in the summer of 2005, for roughly $40, or … Continue reading On Traveler’s Unemployment

A Long Way Back

THERE ARE TWO directions from South Korea to Canada: a long way back, and a short one. I’m not speaking in metaphors here: one is literally 10,799 kilometres, while the other is closer to 15,444. According to this online distance calculator, when I tried to drag the location marker across to Toronto from Busan over Europe, by around Iceland it simply suggested flying over the North Pole … Continue reading A Long Way Back