• Americana

    It's Like Vietnam All Over Again - Full Length

    The Vietnam War has typically been forbidden territory for war reenactors, but reenactment groups around the country have begun collecting their rice hats and period-appropriate M16s for pretend skirmishes with fake Viet Cong.

  • Global Food Poisoning in Italy

    Bra is the sort of town where old women really do wear all black to signify their widowhood and where the stores are closed for three, sometimes four, hours every afternoon. I went there to study Piedmontese regional food culture but instead found a surprisingly globalized coteri…

  • Fighting Wildfires in Western Idaho

    As we get to the ridge, the forest opens up into a clearing and we see the valley stretch out before us. Blue-green smoke covers the hills as far as we can see. The fire hasn't burned this side of the ridge, and it's quiet and cool in the morning.

  • Americana

    It's Like Vietnam All Over Again - Part 1

    Over the last 50 years war reenactment has gone from something guys at the Elks Club did on the weekend to get away from their wives to a full-blown obsession among history buffs with enough free time to make the experience as true to life as possible. The Vietnam War has typical…

  • Christmas in Palestine

    I spent Christmas in Bethlehem, Christ's birthplace, first in the international tourist hotspot of Manger Square, then in the hills surrounding it where there's fewer Nativity scenes and more posters honoring Palestinian martyrs and Fatah graffiti.

  • Running on Empty

    Mother Nature is one bad bitch who can shake Homo sapiens off her topsoil like a nasty case of dandruff. In recognition of this inevitable outcome, we asked our international offices to find out what resources their countries were running out of the fastest.

  • Me and My North Korean Minder, Ms. Song

    “Gunfire and the sounds of revolutionary struggle were his lullaby,” proclaimed the beautiful Ms. Song (not her real name). She was one of the official monitors assigned to accompany me throughout my stay in North Korea. The government selects only the most attractive women to re…

  • The Walkabout Is Cambodia's Sleaziest Bar

    There’s something kind of heartening in the fact that there's one thing that can make the taxi girls, the motodops, and the Venn diagram of wildly divergent expat groups overlap in the middle of a hooker bar: a garbage bag filled with money.

  • All the PDA in Salerno

    Public displays of affection are part of the daily fabric of life in Italy. In America we are typically guarded when we publically express our affection for others, and it reads as petty and self-involved. Italians are not afflicted this way: Lovers barrel over each other in a gr…

  • A Weekend in the Desert with No More Deaths

    “The nature of the border itself makes it a strange place, causing confusion, dissimulation. No one really knows the truth of what really goes on there, we can only reconstruct it based on what we find,” volunteer Geoff Boyce told me.

  • This Florida Cracker Lives in the Old bin Laden Mansion

    About 20 miles from Disney’s Magic Kingdom sits another Florida kingdom of sorts, a 1928-built concrete block stucco mansion that looks straight out of a Billy Wilder film. It is surrounded by 13 acres of “Old Florida” views and has a bass-filled lake that would make an angler’s…

  • Fringes

    Bush League Rebels

    On my first day embedded with the UN stabilization force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I visited a camp in the city of Goma set up to house rebel combatants who had recently surrendered. The facility was split along ethnic and administrative lines, with only a chain-li…

  • White Girl Immigration Problems

    The oppression of a language barrier is not to be underestimated. As privileged white American people who idly study Spanish as a second language in public school, we take this for granted. Especially if you are, like me, decently educated and electively (though unsuccessfully) s…

  • I Tried to Have a Spiritual Experience in the Desert

    I'm not a very spiritual person, and am frequently jealous of those who are, so I decided to head to Arizona to explore some energy vortexes in an attempt to have a spiritual awakening. Lucky for me, there are multiple companies in Sedona willing to take your money in exchange fo…