Saturday, May 31, 2014

Best-Case Scenario: A Japanese Toilet: Those High-End Toilets That Sprinkle Hot Water in Your Ass

Anthony Bourdain: How to Travel
As told to Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn

The first thing I do is I dress for airports. I dress for security. I dress for the worst-case scenario. Comfortable shoes are important — I like Clarks desert boots because they go off and on very quickly, they're super comfortable, you can beat the hell out of them, and they're cheap.

In my carry-on, I'll have a notebook, yellow legal pads, good headphones. Imodium is important. The necessity for Imodium will probably present itself, and you don't want to be caught without it. I always carry a scrunchy lightweight down jacket; it can be a pillow if I need to sleep on a floor. And the iPad is essential. I load it up with books to be read, videos, films, games, apps, because I'm assuming there will be downtime. You can't count on good films on an airplane.

I check my luggage. I hate the people struggling to cram their luggage in an overhead bin, so I don't want to be one of those people.

On the plane, I like to read fiction set in the location I'm going to. Fiction is in many ways more useful than a guidebook, because it gives you those little details, a sense of the way a place smells, an emotional sense of the place. So, I'll bring Graham Greene's The Quiet American if I'm going to Vietnam. It's good to feel romantic about a destination before you arrive.

Before getting on a flight, I buy a big pile of magazines. And I'm a big fan of airport massages. I'll get a chair massage if there's one available, or a foot massage. If there's food available I'll load up on whatever the local specialty is. In Tokyo I'll get ramen, in Singapore I'll get something from the airport's hawker center. Shake Shack at Kennedy airport is the best, although airport food options in the States are usually really bad.

Read the rest here.

RW note: If you haven't caught Bourdain's show, Parts Unkown, on CNN, you should. There is no politically correct nonsense that is typical of most CNN reporting. It is just Bourdain travelling to different locales around the globe. He is a great story teller and has a beautiful knack for finding the neat nooks and crannies of the people, places and food of the world.

Parts Unkown: Myanmar

Parts Unkown: Tokyo

Parts Unkown: Mississippi


  1. Don't check your luggage if you're going through LAX....unless you don't mind things getting stolen!

  2. Tony is absolutely a great storyteller and highly entertaining. I've seen almost every episode of each show he's ever done, as he avoids all of the typical "touristy" places and shows you the culture behind the food/politics. I've learned a great deal about the rest of the world just by watching his various shows as well as picking up some superb traveling tips a long the way. If you're going to spend 45ish minutes NOT reading a book, it's time well spent watching anything Bourdain has ever done.

  3. Is this true? The airports I fly out of have seem to be alright. I get a bit nervous when I have remotely of value inside checked baggage but I'm more worried about it getting "lost" rather than things being stolen.

  4. that must be a scary thing to think, have to check things most of the time while at airport...