READ Curator’s note: Continuing from our previous post, this piece is the second instalment of a 3-part short story. The last instalment will be posted soon, so do check back for more!  A short story by DANIEL LEE. The next day in Venice, Xin Ying asked me if I wanted to ride in a gondola with her. I was mildly surprised; she had never been one to splurge on such frivolous things. But I had secretly wanted to fulfil that dream shared by millions of tourists. What was the harm, except to our wallets? We leaned back on the varnished wooden seats. The cushion below us was leather, and our legs stretched along the cool hull. Our gondolier was a muscular young man with a neatly shaven face. He wore a white shirt with black stripes, and he planted one boot on the tip of the bow, working the oar…Continue Reading

Longkang (Part 2)

READ Curator’s note: This post is the first instalment of a 3-part short story. Subsequent instalments will be posted later, so do check back for more!  A short story by DANIEL LEE. I’d hoped she wouldn’t mention it, but it was inevitable, when we were surrounded by so much water. “Reminds me of the longkang[1],” she said. “Just that it’s slightly prettier.” We were standing on a bridge which arched over a narrow canal. It cut deep through the crowd of buildings which seemed to spill from the platforms, two of the hundred or so islands that made up the island of Venice. The walls of the buildings which flanked the canal were pastel yellow and pink, chipped at the edges, bald in some spots. Along the canal floated several small boats, old wooden longboats with a single motor attached to the back. In the distance, a gondola was approaching…Continue Reading