As we were on the subject of Anthony Bourdain, I thought it would be interesting to talk about his recent experience in Beirut while filming an episode of his new show “No Reservations”. Definitely some good old-fashioned excitement for this blog.
This happened in July, when Israel started bombing Beirut, and Tony and his crew found themselves smack in the middle of it. He watched the bombings unfold from his hotel balcony, found himself face to face with the Hezbollah, and finally was dramatically evacuated by a very sympathetic (according to Tony) US marine force.
Upon their return to the States after being trapped in Beirut for weeks, Bourdain was interviewed by the Washington Post. Here are some of the most interesting quotes from the interview:
“As it happened, I was standing with a Sunni, Shiite and a Christian when Hezbollah supporters started to fire automatic weapons in the air celebrating the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers as a few supporters drove by the three people I was with all instantaneously took on a look of shame and embarrassment as if a dangerous and unstable little brother had once again brought the whole family into peril. At no time during my 10 days in Beirut did I ever hear an anti-Semitic or even explicitly anti-Israeli statement. ”
“To the contrary, there was a universal sense of grim resignation and inevitability to what Israel’s reaction would be. Dating to the first seconds after Hezbollah started firing in the air, we were a largely Jewish crew. The last person to leave us as Lebanese fled in droves, was the Shiite from south Beirut. We had to plead with him to leave us and join his family. His house was later destroyed.”
“I can’t possibly say enough good things about the U.S. Marine Corps or enough bad things about the embassy and the State Department”
“There are times in one’s life when tuna noodle casserole and macaroni and cheese speak directly to the heart.”
The last quote was Tony referring to US Navy food where they spent a few days en route back home.