Parts Unknown

14th June 2022

Only a few years ago, after his passing, I was made aware of Anthony Bourdain. Ever since then, I’ve watched a lot of his television shows, and read quite a bit about him. I’m not sure I’m able to describe him in words, but one of my favourite aspects of him and his work was his focus on real people. Not large population statistics, or generalisations, but individuals.

And now, thanks to Nick Heer, I’m now aware that he used to have a blog on Tumblr. The first post I read, Parts Unknown, has to be one of my favourite blog posts I’ve read.

Here is the beginning of the piece:

Before I set out to travel this world, 12 years ago, I used to believe that the human race as a whole was basically a few steps above wolves.
That given the slightest change in circumstances, we would all, sooner or later, tear each other to shreds. That we were, at root, self-interested, cowardly, envious and potentially dangerous in groups. I have since come to believe – after many meals with many different people in many, many different places – that though there is no shortage of people who would do us harm, we are essentially good.

I think that quote gives you a glimpse into his feelings on people, but I’d still urge you to read the full piece.

I’ve since read more on his blog, and I’m constantly left amazed at his writing. Not only because of the stories he told, but also how he wrote, and the type of things that he wrote about. I wasn’t blogging much in the “good days” when things like Google Reader existed, and when RSS apparently wasn’t dead, but if people’s blogs were anything like his, then I can only imagine how much I missed out.

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