How Backpacking Changed the Way I Looked

When I quit my job in New York to go backpacking in South America, I agonized over what to pack. I couldn’t, for instance, not bring my Ferragamo flats, even if it meant ruining their soles on dirt paths and crumbling cobblestones. I certainly couldn’t leave behind my beloved red lipstick—I wanted it for nights out… »6/17/15 5:00pm6/17/15 5:00pm

The Ambivalent Visitor's Guide to the Killing Fields 


What am I doing here? The question had lodged itself in my brain when I arrived in Southeast Asia two months ago, and it’d been reverberating in my skull ever since. I should have stayed in D.C., I thought, working on improving my GPA and hunting for a job post-graduation. Instead, I’d accepted a study-abroad spot in… »4/27/15 1:50pm4/27/15 1:50pm

Unmarried and in Your Mid-Twenties? Congratulations, You're Leftovers!

I wouldn't call myself a flag-waving jingoist, but there are times I'm pretty happy to be American — while watching that YouTube clip of Whitney Houston singing the Star Spangled Banner in windpants before the Super Bowl or eating a hot dog while keeping score at a baseball game or stalking the White House's Flickr… »7/11/13 2:00pm7/11/13 2:00pm

I Can't Stop Looking at These South Korean Women Who've Had Plastic Surgery

There's a full-length mirror and a scale on every single floor of the all-girls high school where Julia Lurie works. She's an American teaching English in South Korea, the country with the highest per capita rate of plastic surgery in the world. One in five women in Seoul have undergone some kind of procedure. Most… »1/16/13 6:00pm1/16/13 6:00pm

Japan Might Rescind Their 1993 Apology To World War II's 'Comfort Women'

Japan's current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a stern conservative and nationalist who stepped down from his post in 2007 only to re-emerge this year, might be taking back a 1993 apology that the nation issued to World War II "comfort women," thousands of female citizens who were forced into brothels across Asia to… »12/29/12 1:30pm12/29/12 1:30pm

Elderly Chinese Parents Can Now Take their Adult Children to Court for Not Visiting Enough

Today, China's national legislature passed a new law that, once enacted, will require citizens to visit their elderly parents "often," or go to court. This law is so, so ripe for 1980's style stand up jokes about mothers in law, or a very special episode of Married... With Chidren where someone gets bumped on the head… »12/28/12 7:10pm12/28/12 7:10pm