as much as i love each member of the trifecta of traveling, eating men whose names begin with 'a', anthony bourdain has had my heart -- and my undying lust -- for as long as i can remember (sorry, adam richman and andrew zimmern). he's one of the few men i'd probably give a limb to spend an evening with...and DEFINITELY the only one over 50 (sorry, hugh laurie). as my hilar mom so succinctly summarized my intrigue with tony,
"you love anthony bourdain because he's a manly man, he's a drunk, he smokes, and he's always eating. but he's witty."
probably couldn't have said it better myself. and as i watch the "no reservations" marathon on this lovely labor day in preparation for the 100th episode, i decided to reflect on the few actual things i learned from mr. bourdain when i wasn't too busy rolling off the couch laughing at his latest witticism.
1. the best food ever is always sold on the street.
tony's in ecuador. he's eating tripe stew that was slung off of a random cart! tony's in puerto rico. he's chowing down on mofongo that was apparently whipped up in a pick-up truck! i don't know if it's the addition of dirt, grime, and gasoline that give these dishes an extra kick, but hey, if a world-class chef is eating it, it's gotta be good. right?
2. the nether regions of animals are impossibly delicious.
i didn't realize it until i started watching the show, but eating bull testicles and cow penises and the like is at least somewhat common in other countries. either that or bourdain just has a strange fetish for twigs and berries. and from his apparent enjoyment of these, uh, delicacies, they look like they taste pretty darn good. bucket list item? perhaps.
3. you should have a friend in every single country, ever.
yes, i know that travel channel probably arranges for most of these international "hosts" in every episode that whisk tony around, invite him to dinner in their mud huts and force him to endure at least one strange physical challenge per visit. but he totally plays it off like he's known these randoms forever - telling dirty jokes, taking a genuine interest in their stories, etc. etc. and why not? i'd love to be able to jump from place to place with the promise of a total cultural immersion with crazy strangers i'd never met before.
you keep on keepin' on, tony.