Anthony Bourdain has one of the best jobs out there, anywhere.
I’ve long been a fan of his show, No Reservations, but his recent visit to Sri Lanka got my attention, and I tuned in eagerly to watch his experience of the place where I was born. For those who know Bourdain’s style, he doesn’t mince words and he doesn’t sugar coat things … a quality I appreciate. So, to have him not completely tear into a country, its people and its food is a small victory in itself. You either love or hate Bourdain for his brutal honesty. Sri Lanka made out fairly well considering, and though I might have done a few things differently, I enjoyed his romp through Colombo and neighboring towns testing out the hospitality and cuisine.
Romania on the other hand, which Bourdain also visited recently, didn’t fare so well. In his blog post, Romania: What the hell happened?, he recounts his experience (and his somewhat brutal review) but makes no apologies:
“To describe Romania as particularly friendly? Not really. I’ve been all over the world. Over 50 countries. On the friendly scale? Romania not exactly in the top 40. The food — on camera, off camera? Didn’t matter. It was mostly pretty primitive. Soups may taste good — but they don’t make interesting television. I could lie. But I ain’t gonna.”
That blog post alone received over 2000 comments from fans and outraged Romanians alike.
Considering the tact and diplomacy that most of us need to maintain in our day jobs, Bourdain’s got a pretty good gig. Travel and good food — yes, but most travel show hosts have that. License to be brutally honest and make no apologies for it? That’s rare in a job description.