Tom Pellman

 Tom Pellman lives in Beijing and is fiction editor of the Anthill

Posts by Tom Pellman

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Car No. 2

Taking in Guizhou from the tinted windows of an Audi A6

 

I came to Xiaohuang village in Car No. 2, an immaculately clean Audi A6 that Mr Qian kept temperature controlled at 22.5ºC. He and his wife were on holiday from Guangzhou and, in the spirit of adventure that travelling through rural Guizhou inspires, were sight-sighting as part of an eight-sedan caravan of friends. Each car was equipped with a walkie-talkie, so Car No. 1 would often radio back the scenery and road conditions up ahead.

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Black Shadows

Harrowing new evidence from the underworld

 

Geng Longyue is 6.8 years old and says she has exactly 26 secrets. I met her during the long, middle stretch of an 18-hour train ride from Kunming into Sichuan where she and her parents were going to visit Chengdu for the first time. Longyue and I sat opposite a small, plastic table beside the window and gazed out at the morning landscape – rubble-strewn mountains, rice paddies, damp red-brown clay trails and leather-skinned peasants bent over in the muck. The rail line between the provinces weaves through countless tunnels and it was after one of those 30-second dips into darkness, as Longyue and I squinted at each other back in the sunlight, that she asked if I had ever heard of a Black Shadow.

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The Boss of Houhai

 

A hutong mafiosa in pajamas – by Tom Pellman

 

He sits on a wooden bench outside the hot dog and burger stand at the corner of Nanluoguxiang and Jingyang hutong, near Houhai lake, dragging hard on his cigarette with the coolness of a Mafia boss. He’s wearing flannel pajamas, flip-flops and a thick gold chain around his neck, a pack of Yuxi’s drooping low in his breast pocket. His nose looks like it’s been broken and he has a prominent black mole that extends from the corner of his right eye like a fat tear.

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