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It’s no secret that street food is one of the most direct ways to get to know a place. Whether you’re a bleary-eyed traveler facing down an intimidating language barrier, or simply visiting the next town over, the ease of access remains the same. Simply follow your nose once you pick up a whiff of something pleasant, take your place in a comfortingly long line (trust the masses of discerning locals), point if you have to, and voila, you’re already well on your way to experience any culture’s most important aspect: what people eat.

While street food in America certainly…

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“Current — In Explore 14 Nov 2015” by Thad Zajdowicz — Creative Commons

In March, the world got flatter.

I’m not saying conspiracy theory, flat-earther flat. I mean flat. Everything compressing to points on a line. Two-dimensional. Compressed to a single axis. How else could you explain it?

March was the first time I made a decision based on that virus. On the second weekend, specifically. It was a Saturday night. Someone planned to get together at someone else’s house. A few cases of cheap beer would be wedged into the fridge. Twenty-somethings growing closer to being labeled by their third decade than not, huddled on the yellowing grass of a rental home…

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A Camel Vendor in Fes, Morocco

Wet markets have been experiencing a bit of bad press lately. Perhaps that may be putting it lightly. Although not entirely confirmed, it is widely hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19, first made the leap from animal to human in an open-air market in Wuhan, China. This, as I’m sure you are aware, is now regarded as the epicenter of the pandemic. How this happened exactly is still being debated by those much more qualified than I. Rather than get into the specifics of how, I’ll leave you to your own research. There’s a lot of speculation…

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“Phnom Penh. Shit. What have I got myself into?” David Chang opens in the Cambodia episode of his new show, Breakfast Lunch, and Dinner. Phnom Penh, a city where, I might add, at any given moment, a decent portion of the population is 18-year-old Australian backpackers on gap years.

His sidekick for the episode is noted Cambodian history expert Kate McKinnon. Her reasoning for going to Cambodia, she states, is that “she likes countries that there’s no cohesive American conception of what is there.”

Fascinating.

Look, I get it. At least, kind of. We’re supposed to be watching two people…

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The Alazani Valley, Kakheti Region. Home to a majority of Georgia’s vineyards and wineries.

The country of Georgia has been popping up in headlines quite often these days. Whether it is articles from various publications hailing the small country nestled in the Caucasus as the latest ‘undiscovered’ travel destination, or the June 21st protests that made waves in international coverage as the country thumbed its nose at Putin’s imperialism earlier this year, Georgia has been garnering more attention than in years past. A lot of the attraction from the traveling community is well-deserved: all things considered, it’s an all-around great travel destination. …

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The Second Day of Protests, on the afternoon of Friday, June 21st.

Protests erupted across Georgia on the afternoon of Thursday, June 20th, after a Russian MP, Sergey Gavrilov, was invited to address the Georgian Parliament, which he did in his native Russian. Georgians did not take kindly to this, considering the amount of animosity between the two nations, given that Russia occupies twenty percent of Georgian territory. Word spread quickly about what happened, and thousands of protesters showed up on the steps of the parliament building within hours.

Things took a turn for the worse later in the evening when a group of protestors attempted to storm and occupy the parliament…

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Photo by: David Scott Holloway/CNN

Today marks the first inaugural Bourdain Day. Anthony Bourdain’s birthday was June 25th, and his longtime friends, Eric Ripert and José Andrés are “calling on everyone, anyone, to raise a glass of beer, wine, or perhaps bone marrow sucked from a straw in a Singapore marketplace, Bourdain style — and toast to the man on what would be his 63rd birthday.”

Because of this, I’ve decided to finally post something that I’ve been working on for a long time. I’ve been trying to find the right words for over a year now. I tried to have something written a few…

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Life doesn’t always go how you think it will. Forgive me for being so cliché, but that’s a thought that’s been running through my mind a lot lately.

A few months ago, I was medically separated from the Peace Corps. Throughout the time leading up to the end of my service, along with what came after, I found myself furiously scanning the internet for anyone who went through something similar. I wanted to find something to relate to, not necessarily as a source of comfort, but to use as some sort of gage that I could use to figure out…

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(This story has fairly graphic descriptions of food that might not be so appealing to some.)

I’m not a natural story teller. Whenever it comes time to swap stories during a party, I always seem to be afflicted with an oddly specific case of amnesia that causes me to instantly forget anything interesting that has happened in my life. I’m left grasping at straws while the conversational momentum moves on to someone with a better handle on their past. …

Xavier Quintana

Travel, culture, and food. I spend my days working for a Culinary Incubator Program in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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