Monday, August 13, 2007

My weekly date with Anthony and Andrew...

Monday nights are Travel Channel night at our house. That means two of my favorite shows are on- No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.

If you aren't familiar with either show, allow me to introduce you... Anthony Bourdain is a chef and author. His published titles include A Cooks Tour: Global Adventure and Extreme Cuisines

and The Nasty Bits

Anthony's dark sense of humor with its sarcastic edge appeals to me. It's especially interesting considering his overall lifestyle is at complete odds with mine, but I like him anyway. One thing I especially like his approach to travel- eat what the locals eat and hang out with real people. This is travel versus tourism. And I'm big on travel.

Bizarre Foods follows Andrew Zimmern as he travels the world eating strange and frequently disgusting foods. Foods like bugs, testicles, worms, and all variety of rotten meats. Again I enjoy the travel portion of the show and we've already established my penchant for armchair adventure, but my fascination with this show is more of the train-wreck-drive-by variety. Watching the show is a strange combination of morbid fascination and revulsion- and I can't stop watching...

It leads me to think about my own travel experiences. I've been a tourist in the US, Europe, and Israel. But I've also been a traveler in Romania and Africa. On these trips we have been fortunate to eat as guests in people's homes. These are people who can't afford to host a group of Americans for dinner, but insist on it, as their only means of saying thank you. Knowing that to decline would be highly insulting, we've gone and we've eaten amazing meals with even more amazing people.

I think that's what real travel is all about- and fortunately for me, there were no worms or nasty bits on the menu.

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