Ruth Ingram on Urumqi’s winter rituals: “Everyone was given a patch to clear and woe betide the slacker who neglected to sweep his rectangle of road.”
There may be no better place, writes Dave Hayton, for the world’s athletes to converge: “Should not the message of the Olympics be that you don’t have to be a Paris or a Los Angeles to host the games?”
“Betong,” writes Aaron Goccia, “is a sleepy little town in southern Thailand, less than 10 minutes from the Malaysian border. Come winter, flights of noisy swallows descend upon the town.”
A dispatch from a Russian funeral: “The man cranked his car to life and backed out of the lot, grazing several mourners with his bumper.”
Brian McKanna on how an unconventional coach is turning a conservative town in northeastern Turkey into a hub for women’s hockey.