Xavier Masson-Leach takes a trip to the North Island in New Zealand.
Sydney is a foreign country again.
A poem by Xavier Masson Leach.
As a child, the first thing I remember thinking about flying was that it doesn’t feel like flying. The final acceleration up the runway was promising, but before we reached anything like the speed I thought we needed to take off, the plane just stepped up into the air. I waited for the sensation that I had never experienced to arrive – the sensation of travelling at high speed across the sky – but the feeling of movement diminished to almost nothing. The stewardess had already clicked out of her restraints and was handing out orange juice and reassuring smiles; the lights were dimmed and the fan above my seat whirred; people walked around the cabin in their socks. I knew we were travelling to the other side of the planet, but when I tried looking out the tiny window it was like peering through an ice cube. Even clear of clouds, the earth was faint and warped, the outlines of ridges and rivers unrecognisable as anything I had seen on a map or from …
Sometimes the work you do gets into your bones.
Xavier Masson-Leach visits an arena that awakens the most basic instinct.
The straightforward truth is elusive in the life of Russian politician Eduard Limonov, but Emmanuel Carrere’s book is so readable it’s difficult to care.
All around the world Persians turn to the poet Hafez to answer their most important questions.
Two Chinese men lean in but don’t look at each other. One is counting notes of different currencies, turning them over as he does. A cigarette rests delicately between his lips, the ash growing longer but he doesn’t touch it. Neither does the other man and his cigarette jiggles in his mouth as he talks, writing subtitles in smoke.
Mercado Sonora, México City. A market that stretches to the edge of the horizon.
There is something strangely intimate about getting a haircut. It is a kind of ritual grooming that can spark unlikely conversations between strangers: perhaps similar to the social ease created between apes picking each other’s fleas.