Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ave, Joe!

Joe McPherson (whom I finally met five years ago) has written a heartfelt tribute to Anthony Bourdain. This is a June 9 blog post that I only just saw. Here's an excerpt:

I myself had lived a year in Germany before college. I had regretted returning after just a year. Once one lives overseas, it’s hard to move back to the suburban life you knew. The people around you don’t understand what you’ve seen or experienced. They don’t know how large the world is and how small their worlds are. It’s like getting a taste of the most amazing succulent, spice-filled exotic dish and then returning to a life of unsalted mashed potatoes–surrounded by others who think unsalted mashed potatoes are just fine and dandy.

Watching Bourdain passionately break into a durian, munch on crispy frog skins in Chiang Mai, and kick around an inflated [pig's] bladder in Spain while the rest of the porcine fellow was being divided and cooked—it woke me back up. I had to get out of my mashed potatoes existence. I had to do THAT.

I was thinking of returning to Europe, but Korea had been calling at me. I had studied Korean history in college, and I was really into Korean culture. But I was still not sure about moving my ass to Asia. It was that push from Bourdain’s show and his book Kitchen Confidential that made me say, “Fuck it. Let’s go.”

As the guy says in John Scalzi's Old Man's War: "Sometimes, you just gotta hit the road."

UPDATE: Joe's June 16 followup post is here.

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