Anthony Bourdain, I Love You
“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” Gilbert K. Chesterton
I am obsessed with Parts Unknown starring Anthony Bourdain. He goes to places that I have been and loved like Peru , Myanmar and Canada or are on my wish list like Colombia. He goes to places I am afraid to go to like Libya, but wish I was brave enough because it looks fascinating.
I never cared for him until this show. He seemed like a pompous, obnoxious, watch me eat a two-headed tarantula on a stick for fame and attention kind of guy. Being a complete germaphobe /food and water police traveler, I admire his food fearlessness.
I hope it doesn’t end up being a Paula Deen thing where he has hidden the fact that he has contracted a fatal parasite and only has a few months to live….. but watch him eat this fried dough with the flies around it in Tangiers before he goes.
I love the show itself – the way it tells the stories, history and current events of these interesting countries, and of course the food. Sometimes the food is the focus. Sometimes it is the events.
My obsession with the show started in the first episode. I had been to Myanmar. I opted to fly around the country. Bourdain was far more obnoxious, impatient and mean as a Top Chef judge then he was on a nineteen hour train ride in Myanmar. (Though I would like to see the uncut footage). He went with the flow and ate something weird when he could. (Not hard to do in Burma) He wasn’t afraid to talk about the politics and “black zones.” He showed it the way it is.
I know that this is an obsession because after the first show (which I have seen a few times) I liked their facebook page. I might have even written comments a few times – ok, every time. I think I watched some of the videos they post as well. “My friend” may have read all the comments.
I have learned how to make drugs in Tangiers while wearing a mask. I’m rereading William Burroughs. I have cried when looking at the photos taped on a wall of the war victims in Libya. I found out that the planes I flew on in Myanmar are called “flying coffins.” (I knew they weren’t federally regulated but I’m glad I didn’t hear that until I returned). I worried about the overweight, nice Canadians who were eating all that meat and fois gras. I planned my trip to Colombia when watching this episode.
I have learned some things about Anthony Bourdain. He was a drug addict. He has a bracelet from the Congo given to him by an African King. He likes shamans. He doesn’t like people with guns around him. He does have a heart. He acts like he needs a cigarette at all times – not sure if he still smokes. He tried some weird driving thing in East LA that I have never seen before, and I live here. He probably doesn’t like vegetarians unless they live in third world countries. The man can eat anything under any circumstances.( I can’t wait for them to do Afghanistan.) He is a chef with a food career traveling around the world doing cool, interesting things and not cooking.
“Who smokes hashish at this table?” And if so, fly safe,
Hey Jayne !!! My daughter Devon and I are also obsessed with Anthony Bourdain. I love his clever take on things he sees, his love of good food wherever it may be made. His raunchy sense of humor and his ground level idea of how life should be lead…. He is friends with Jerry Stahl a writer that lives in L.A. , who also was an addict and , who I know as well. Anthony does still battle with drink ! I think anyway. Still I hope his health manages to maintain well enough to keep him plugging along, educating, entertaining, and charming us for some time to come. Mutual fan club member,
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Hi Jayne, And I’m sure he’d love you – you are a true, even if you don’t believe it, adventurer yourself. Harv
Best wishes for a happy new year filled with travel and fun
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