Bourdain’s Vietnam House-Hunting, Etc.

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain was quoted in Present Magazine saying he plans to shoot another episode of No Reservations in Vietnam in December where he’ll visit the woman who played his godmother in two previous shows.

While he’s there, he’s going house-hunting because he’s ready to “settle for a while,” and sees himself as the really tall guy with the Italian wife and toddler in a little fishing village.

No word yet on what that means for the future of NR, although he also mentioned “you’ll notice a lot of Italian shows coming up.”

I wonder if he’ll acknowledge Ottavia’s presence in those, or continue to keep her hovering around the edges?

On another front, maybe Bourdain knows it’s time to leave the States and lie low for a while. Hezbollah Tofu has apparently been on hiatus during the summer, but it’s back and still steamed about Tony’s anti-veganism.

Digging for tidbits, I came across this new (old) pic of teenage Tony and his crowning glory, accompanying a reprint of the Cory Streeter interview in the Kansas City Star.

Did Bourdain really worship Tiny Tim?

Did Bourdain really worship Tiny Tim?

On the literary scene, Bourdain just edited The Best American Travel Writing 2008, coming out this month. Among the contributors are David Sedaris, Paul Theroux, and Calvin Trillin.

The next best thing to reading or watching Bourdain himself is reading travel essays he hand-picked – even as we mourn his imminent defection from the U.S. in 2009.

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3 Responses to Bourdain’s Vietnam House-Hunting, Etc.

  1. Bob says:

    NOT Bourdain

    Just watching your VP debate

    OMG,,, Both parties denying health care ????
    SO In the back pocket of money .

    Sarah really takes those speaking points

    Geeze its like Fem freedom on the walk

  2. marylou says:

    See, this is what gets me about Bourdain. Maybe as a writer, Catsworking, you know what I mean. I read that article and when I got to the part about “yeah, me, that tall guy with the Italian wife and the baby in the village, that’s the book I want to write.” To me, this is what’s wrong with him as a writer. I liked KC a lot becuse it seemed to have some genuine emotion in it. But much of what else he writes/does has this air of “me–it’s all about me.” LIke what’s important is the IMAGE he projects (to others or himself) instead of what he is writing about (same problem with his show). Shouldn’t a good writer be focused outside of themselves, on what interests them outside themselves? It’s the same when he always talks about his wife as his “Italian wife”-like what’s important is the label he attaches to her or whatever implied exotic aura being Italian is supposed to give her. I think that was the problem with his first wife–he made her into some kind of character/caricature because it furthered this image he projected about himself. But quite obviously that wasn’t the reality, was it? And sooner or later, you always have to deal with reality. Don’t know if I am making myself clear at all–as you can probably tell, I am NOT a writer!

  3. catsworking says:

    Marylou, you raised a couple of interesting points.

    About the “Italian wife,” that IS the way he usually refers to her. If you read comments on the other Bourdain posts, we have observed that he always seems to talk about Ottavia in a very impersonal way in public, although he’s much more enthusiastic about Ariane, the baby. Maybe that’s just him trying to keep Ottavia out of the public eye and maintain his privacy, but I don’t know. I sense that he’s not ga-ga over Ottavia, but does love being a father and how it raises his stock in the eyes of Ottavia’s parents (maybe belatedly earning acceptance and approval he didn’t get during his rebellious years with his own parents). And he’s always loved Italy.

    But this is all pure speculation on my part.

    His first wife, Nancy, was always a shadowy figure with no personality whatsoever, from what little he wrote about her. Some of my most popular posts have been about her. People want to know what she’s like.

    I just reread Kitchen Confidential, and he seems to mention Nancy several times in passing as his “on again off again girlfriend,” but never by name. He alludes to a stormy relationship, then suddenly starts referring to her as his wife without any explanation.

    So your observation about his self-obsession seems to be pretty accurate. But again, maybe he was trying to respect Nancy’s privacy.

    Now, as one writer evaluating another writer’s work, I find Bourdain’s travel writing simply brilliant. There are times during his voiceovers on No Reservations that he almost brings me to tears. The man can definitely wax poetic about exotic destinations and people, and I do think they touch him on a deep level.

    But then he has to shift back into macho, cynical Bourdain to survive in the real world.

    I admire both sides of him. What a man!

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