Parts Unknown

anthony b

Anthony Bourdain seems to be everywhere, not just everywhere in the world but everywhere on TV. He’s the center of ABC’s The Taste, the Travel Channel, PBS’ Mind of a Chef and now CNN’s Parts Unknown. The series premiered with Bourdain heading to Myanmar, a country I’ve wanted to visit for years and years, but couldn’t as I didn’t want to support that military.

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

In episode 1, Bourdain travels to Myanmar, a.k.a. Burma. As you’d expect he meets up with interesting folk over enticing food. Many of his interview subjects had been imprisoned when the military was keeping tighter constraints and they openly discussed politics, their experiences and their expectations for the future.

After a few days in the capital, Bourdain and his mentor take a clunky slow train to Bagan. The town of Bagan looked so inviting and untouched. Yet the train ride seemed so risky. Perhaps when/if I visit Myanmar, I’ll skip the trains, though air travel isn’t much safer.

The episode was fascinating and Bourdain’s insights were wry and wise.

The series is off to a good start, though I’m not sure I’d spend the time on the second episode, which is L.A. Yeah, L.A. has its bizarro pockets and its elegance and diversity, but who doesn’t know that? I watch travel shows to discover places I can’t easily get to myself.

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