Midnight Jolt Run

Caffeine tastes better when the city's asleep

Parts Unknown

Posted by Fiss on June 8, 2018


I took a walk through this beautiful world
Felt the cool rain on my shoulders
I took a walk through this beautiful world
I felt the rain getting colder

It became a ritual for me. Every weekend I would head to the liquor store, obtain a bottle of Jack Daniels, and set my torrent program to seek out the bytes needed to assemble the latest episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.

I would drink deeply and with abandon as I traveled to a new place to experience the peoples, the cultures, the food and the art of that particular location. Sometimes it would be in an exotic endangered green pocket of a rain forest, or the war-torn streets of civilization’s raggedy edge. Maybe the heights of Russian hospitality, or the street food of Hong-Kong or the urban gardens of Chicago. I would wake up hung over and sad that my little ritual was over, but rarely did I forget the journey, even if I wondered once in a while where my pants were.  I cried a few times, cheered often, and found myself daydreaming endlessly of putting knobby tyres on my motorcycle, cashing out of the rat-race, and finding and endless trail of little pit-stops as I zipped to and fro across the world.

Anthony Bourdain took thousands of us with him as he travelled, as he learned, as he became family and friends with a host of peoples most of us could only remember as Wikipedia articles or headlines in the news. I’d like to think we were light luggage, as evident with the obvious joy and (sometimes gallows) humour he shared with us. He was a storyteller of the highest calibre, fuelled by curiosity in what seemed a perfect combination.

I woke up today and learned of his passing. Apparent suicide at the age of 61 years. Details of his death are sure to come out of the woodwork, and there was a small part of me that hoped…strangely…for this to be the start of a story that ended with his murderers revealed and brought to justice. Maybe one of the long list of tyrants and monarchs and warmongers and criminals he had pissed off over the years decided to enact their rage upon Anthony. Apparent suicide can mean a lot of things…they say that the man who leaked the CIA’s involvement with bringing cocaine to black America died of apparent suicide. Two bullet holes to the back of the skull suicide. But deep down, I know the truth likely isn’t so fantastic. And that’s alright.

The world doesn’t need every moment to make sense. Every action may require an equal and opposite reaction, but in the human soul exists a universe of its own making. Its own rules. It’s own dizzying joys and unfathomable sadnesses. It’s shameful to believe that it can all be distilled down to something that makes sense. As much as I would have loved to learn the burdens a man like Anthony Bourdain carried were light, the truth is much more important than a feel-good ending to his story.

Like every good story, though, this one will keep going long after The End. Reading the reactions on the internet, on the news, on social media, I am reminded just how many other souls were inspired by his travels, his passions and his words. People I never would have thought fans of his work have voiced their deepest sadness at his passing. The number of people who went out into the world and found their own ways into their own adventures because of him grows daily. We should all be so lucky to leave such a legacy behind.

For years, I have advocated Bourdain as the ideal ambassador for humanity. Should an alien race ever contact us and desire a single point of contact, I had hoped he would be the one to represent us. To show the diversity and beauty of our mad world and our silly species. A force of exploration, curiosity, humanity and snark that was quick to find the soul of any location he was in.  I have no doubt in my mind he has inspired the next person who I will hope will represent us should the occasion ever occur.

For twenty years, he carried us with him and shared the wonder of this planet, this people, and this time. I can only hope his luggage is now much lighter and his travels are pleasant.

So the next time you are on a layover, travelling to parts unknown with no reservations, I invite you to raise a glass of whatever the locals recommend and toast those who helped you on your own adventure. I know I will, and Bourdain’s name will be at the top of my list for a long while.


Studio Shinnyo 2018.  Khattam-Shud, EOF.
Posted under Colapost

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