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The place holders
In 2013, Alexander Grand flew to Belarus with a rather odd mission. He wanted to bottle the scent of Minsk. “If you ask most people to describe the scent of Minsk, they’ll say it smells like cut grass, or maybe sour cranberries in sugar,” he says. “But Minsk is a rational city, very cool, very clinical. It’s a city of engineers and IT professionals. It should smell like the colour of a wide blue sky.”
Being Nakhane Touré
It only takes Nakhane about thirty seconds to drop something weirdly profound. “I’m in Lisbon at the moment. I wanted to be lonely and write some songs, and Lisbon’s beautiful in a post-grandeur, dilapidated, cracking sort of way. There’s something sad about it. Although coming from a country once colonised by Portugal, I don’t know how sad I can be.”
How to fight zombies
Sounds far-fetched, but you’d be surprised. It turns out well-credentialed scientists have been wondering how humanity might react to a shambling, implacable, brain-hankering zombie horde. Can science devise an optimal Zombie Survival Plan? Or should we all just go to the Winchester, have a cold pint, and wait for all this to blow over?
The Verdict | Saint Dreux
The queues at Saint Dreux resemble the pitchfork-wielding ones that gather outside pharmacies during an apocalypse. Things can turn ugly. Everyone’s keenly aware that there’s not enough katsu to go around. By 1 pm the café is usually stripped bare—nothing left but a couple of wobbling plates and the lingering smell of pork.
Turning up the volume
Nice evening in the Punjab, Pakistan. The sun’s going down behind the spires of Badshahi Mosque, settling into a hazy purple twilight, and on the roof of an ice cream parlour in downtown Lahore, two guys are installing a turntable and complicated mixing gear. Down on the streets, the city’s red-light district, Heera Mandi, is starting to flicker...
The well of death
Indian fairs are pretty much like fairs everywhere. Been there, done that, bought the sari. But there’s one building here that stands out. It looks like a low-budget Colosseum, built from rough timber planks with a metal gantry running around the top. From inside comes the angry buzz of a thousand mechanical hornets...