Anthony Bourdain was someone who seemingly had this “life on Earth” thing figured out. That was the impression, at least, watching his TV show, as he dropped into whatever dot on the globe that fancied his attention and allowed locals — and his stomach — to guide him ever onward.
In a newly published interview with Popula, Bourdain revealed what the “happiest moments” of his life were. And it had nothing to do with the luxury he experienced while traveling, or the access his fame brought him. Instead, it was spending quiet moments with others.
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If I spend a couple thousand dollars on sushi for two, I don’t feel guilty about that. I do find that my happiest moments on the road are not standing on the balcony of a really nice hotel. That’s a sort of bittersweet — if not melancholy — alienating experience, at best. My happiest moments on the road are always off-camera, generally with my crew, coming back from shooting a scene and finding ourselves in this sort of absurdly beautiful moment, you know, laying on a flatbed on those things that go on the railroad track, with a putt-putt motor, goin’ across like, the rice paddies in Cambodia with headphones on… this is luxury, because I could never have imagined having the freedom or the ability to find myself in such a place, looking at such things.
To sit alone or with a few friends, half-drunk under a full moon, you just understand how lucky you are; it’s a story you can’t tell. It’s a story you almost by definition, can’t share. I’ve learned in real time to look at those things and realize: I just had a really good moment.
That wasn’t all the “Parts Unknown” host shared with interviewer Maria Bustillos. The wide-ranging conversation covered the #MeToo movement, travelers following Bourdain’s episodic itineraries, and his fantasies of how Harvey Weinstein could die (it involves bathtubs and falling). But Bourdain also touched upon smoking weed and how different the drug was from back in the day.
“I can smoke weed at home when I don’t need my brain anymore but like as far as socially interacting with people, or being any situation where I might be called upon to answer the phone or make a decision? I’m not gonna do it!” He also added, “Now the stuff is devastating, you can’t leave bed.