On last night's episode of Parts Unknown, host Anthony Bourdain indulged his inner William S. Burroughs fan and headed of to Tangier. There, he drank a whole bunch of mint tea, ate purported aphrodisiacs, didn't smoke any hash (on camera), and convinced a group of masked men to show him how to make traditional candy that gets you stoned. There was very nearly a chicken beheaded on screen, also. Now, on to the Quotable Bourdain — feel free to add your picks in the comments below.
1: On who, historically, goes to Tangier: "If you were a bad boy of your time, you liked drugs, the kind of sex that was frowned upon at home, and an affordable lifestyle set against an exotic background, Tangier was for you."
2: On what people say about Tangier: "Everybody who comes here to do an article does the same article."
3: On "boner-inspiring" dishes: "If every dish I've been told over the years was going to make me strong worked, I'd have a permanent pup tent going on down there."
4: On a restaurant owner who chants in the dining room: "He's freaking me out man. He's like that guy when you're tripping who keeps going like this to you." (Bourdain puts his hand in front of the camera a few times, see above.)
5: On the local diet: "I haven't had so much fruits and nuts since Altamont. I told Mick, I said Mick, this is a bad crowd. Let's go back to the chopper. But he was all like yeah man, we can't disappoint the fans. Ah, memories."
6: On William S. Burroughs: "He was a heroin addict, a homosexual, and an inspiration to those proto-hipsters who came to be known as the beats. Burroughs, however, was not a hipster. There was nothing beatnik about him. He was a somewhat stuffy, well-dressed, St. Louis son of a good family gone wrong. He was also to my mind the greatest writer of the whole damn bunch. On the Road, you can have it."
7: On majoun, a Moroccan candy made with kief: "I was of course fascinated by this product since reading about it, and inquired of some local contacts who shall necessarily go unnamed."
8: On the circumstances under which he might get high on camera: "Of course, network standards and practices prohibit me from even tasting this delicious and reportedly mind-altering treat. I'm guessing, anyway. So until I see Chris, John and Wolf doing bong rips in the Situation Room, I will of course abide by these rules, because that's the kind of guy I am."
9: On Cafe Baba: "Sweet mint tea and a thick, slow-moving haze of smoke. It smells like my dorm room, 1972."
10: On people getting high: "Others in this room, however? Well, don't give me that innocent look you young punks, I know somebody in here's smoking reefer."
11: On contact highs: "The thing about Cafe Baba, just sitting here, taking in the atmosphere, you begin to appreciate the place. Contact high? Whoa, I'm hungry."
12: On the Spanish tortilla guy: "Oh yeah, the eggs. The egg man. I am me and we are you and where's my fucking omelet dude? Cause I am hungry."
13: On rock pilgrimages: "For years, if you were a rock god, you had to come here. Dig the crazy percussion and strings and pipes that took you to another place. It's intricate, hypnotic, beautiful, and if you're in the right, uh, frame of mind? Mesmerizing."
14: On feeling like Humphrey Bogart: "You can walk around inside the movie in your head, play the Bogey character you never were, all against an all too willing, all to genuine backdrop."
15: On why one goes to Morocco: "It is a station of the cross for bad boys of culture."
16: To a group of ex-pats who are all older than him, some significantly so: "Who smokes hashish at this table, will you please raise your hand?"
17: On Morocco today: "The days of predatory poets in search of literary inspiration and young flesh are probably over for good. Hippies can just as easily get their bong rips in Portland or Peoria. But the good stuff, the real good stuff, the sounds and smells and the look of Tangier, what you see and hear when you look out the window and take it all in, that's here to stay."
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