WELCOME STRANGER

Before there were guidebooks, 18th- and 19th-century authors wrote “stranger’s guides” personal, eccentric and intimate portrayals of place. Stranger’s Guide is a modern version of that idea—a publication that reveals the intricacies of places across the globe, through both local and foreign eyes.

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WELCOME STRANGER

Global

Behind The Mask

In the wake of a pandemic like SARS or Coronavirus, the surgical mask is a misunderstood accessory.

In the West, the surgical mask is a required part of the doctor’s toolkit, a must-have protection for the laborer, and even a sometime fashion accessory. In the East it protects against pollution, catching communicable diseases, and is a function of politeness to stop the wearer from transmitting a cold or flu to others. But despite its functional, varied uses, never has the mask been more misunderstood. With the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, mask-wearers have become targets of xenophobia. Why is the surgical mask so thoroughly misjudged?   The practice of wearing a surgical mask in public first became widespread in...

United States

Consider the Diner

Greasy spoon cafes are the must-visit destination for reporters on the campaign trail

Consider the diner. It has been with us for a century or so, offering a reliable...

Ireland

Brexit’s Collateral

The stories of people on the Irish border affected by Brexit

Photographs by Lorcan Doherty It has been likened by some commentators to a slow-motion car crash—but...

India

Are Delhiites being taken for a ride?

The Delhi government’s pink ticket scheme lets women ride for free—but not everyone is pleased

“Think it’s going to change anything?” a friend asked me when news of the Delhi government’s...

Indonesia

How Tourism Changed Bali

The Indonesian island reconsiders development at any cost

There are few places in the world so deeply connected to and dependent on tourism as...

United States

Consider the Diner

Greasy spoon cafes are the must-visit destination for reporters on the campaign trail

Consider the diner. It has been with us for a century or so, offering a reliable...

Did You Know?

Global

Silk Road Sects

Merchants negotiating the legendary Silk Road between the second century AD and the eighteenth Century weren’t just carrying silks and spices—they traded political, cultural and religious ideas as well, throwing Buddhism, Christianity and other faiths into a melting pot of time and place. These religions and spiritual beliefs were adapted by the people who encountered them to fit their culture, and today there are still relics of this cultural mixing: In Kyrgyzstan, there’s a Christian cemetery with gravestones marked with crosses from the early Christian Nestorian sect, another overlaid with a lotus blossom and one inscribed with the Chinese Zodiac year of the sheep.

Encounters that take you there.

Before there were guidebooks, 18th- and 19th-century authors wrote “stranger’s guides” to cities and countries, pamphlets and books that combined helpful tips with particular and offbeat advice and context: the best boarding houses alongside bits of history, preferred brothels as well as ways to avoid pickpockets. These guides were far removed from a modern, sanitized Fodor’s—rather they were personal, eccentric and intimate portrayals of place.

Stranger’s Guide is a modern version of that idea—a publication that reveals the intricacies of places across the globe, through both local and foreign eyes.