Tonight’s our last fresh fix of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations until August but, rest assured, Travel Channel will probably rerun Tony all summer until Andrew Zimmern and Samantha Brown are screaming “Uncle!” in harmony.
Tony returns to Vietnam.
According to his latest blog entry, “How Can I Miss You, When You Won’t Go Away?”, he’ll be house-hunting for a one-year move there some time in mid- to late-2010.
When he mentioned Hoi An, my neck hairs prickled. While Tony was still toiling at Les Halles, I wrote a novel (unpublished), an updated Ship of Fools, with a character who was a Vietnam vet with a taste for Asian women after frequenting brothels in Hoi An.
Now, I know little about Vietnam and did perfunctory research to find a spot where a soldier’s trysts would be believable, but I imbued Hoi An with a magic that transformed this character’s outlook.
And now Bourdain wants to live there. Life imitates art.
His post is uncharacteristically personal and poignant. Giving us a glimpse into his dark mental processes while on the road speaking, as I recently saw in Durham, NC, makes the warmth and charm he has on stage even more amazing.
The effort he put into writing this piece is apparent. It’s elegant and even his punctuation spot-on. There are only 2 strange new compound words (puppy-or and exercise-like) near the end where he means to use em dashes.
But he leaves us eager to see him discover Chile when NR resumes.
Thanks to Ingrid at Room241 and her “inside scoop” on Vietnam, you may read elsewhere that Tony might be writing the “great Vietnamese novel.” True, he may finally finish a novel he’s been working on for several years called No New Messages, but his 3-book deal with Ecco Press calls for a Vietnamese Year in Provence-type memoir that I think would be even better.
Here’s an interesting recap of the Top Chef Season 5 Reunion show (at least Fabio was picked fan favorite) with yet another plea for Bourdain’s return as a judge.
And yet another blogger sings Tony’s praises while she rues his marital status. (Ottavia, if you’re reading, it’s nothing against you. She’s just disappointed he’s not single.)