PLAYBOY: What advice can you give to a man who wants to impress a woman with his cooking?
BOURDAIN: Learn how to cook a fucking omelet. I mean, what nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast? You look good doing it, and it’s a nice thing to do for somebody you just had sex with. I think it’s good for the world. It’s a good thing all around. It’s easy. If you’re a screaming, fucking asshole a woman would regret sleeping with, then you will probably never be able to make an omelet. The way you make an omelet reveals your character.
“(Here is how presidential primary debates go down in history. The tapes are stored in a moisture-proof vault in a civil defense cave in Indiana. If the world as we know it should come to an end, the surviving members of our species will be able to relive these deeply American contests and pass their knowledge on to their children. Soon, they will go forth and repopulate a world in which all the boys sit around looking smug like Newt Gingrich and all the girls sound like Michele Bachmann. That is what they mean by “the living will envy the dead.”)”—Gail Collins with the parenthetical aside of, oh, fuck it, let’s say the week.
When I was, I think 14, I studied abroad for a few weeks in Switzerland. It was a program at the American School there, and even though I was nonsensically in the Italian part of Switzerland studying French, I got pretty good at the language. Who am I kidding? It was the best my French ever got, because I lived in fear of being embarrassed by the German girls in my class who were better at me AND also spoke English impeccably. Never study a foreign language with Germans, you’ll just get depressed.
At this program, there was a girl from Ecuador who I thought was very cute. I was 14 so it was based on very little; I am sure there were plenty of girls I thought were cute at camp. Probably all of them. Anyway, after pining for awhile, about halfway through the session we ended up sitting in some garden in the middle of this campus, just the two of us. She didn’t really speak English very well so I have no idea what I was saying to her. It was possible that I wasn’t saying anything at all, and I was just being 14 and awkward. It’s what 14 year olds do best.
So we were sitting there, and then from somewhere else on the campus, this orchestral music started up. There must have been a concert, and because it was summer, the doors were open and the music was seeping out across the school. As the music kept swelling and I remember thinking KISS HER KISS HER, but I did nothing of the sort because I was freaked out. Mostly, what freaked me out was that life was making itself cinematic for me and it was just too… overstimulating. There’s not SUPPOSED to be swelling music from out of nowhere, I thought. This doesn’t make sense! The song ended and we went back to join everyone else and that was all there was about that.
I’ve now lived in New York long enough to know that on the contrary, life IS quite cinematic. It’s cinematic all the time. Perhaps it’s strange that I wasn’t able to embrace this fact as a teenager, when teens are for the most part more melodramatic than adults. Yet, here I am, more than willing to accept how much like a movie life can be. I’m always happier when I go with that, over reality.
Also, they had such good breakfast at this school. I mean: delicious.