On last night's episode of his CNN travelogue Parts Unknown, host Anthony Bourdain embarks upon an adventure to Tanzania. The episode starts in unusual Bourdain fashion — without a word from the quippy host. Instead, the first look at Tanzania focuses on the sounds of the country, from the gurgles of underwater breathing to the crunch of gravel caused by a Masai man running. But as Bourdain travels through the country, turns out he has tons to say: about the Zanzibar region's famous street food, about the high comforts of his safari resort (complete with "dry sherry from a cut-glass decanter"), and about hippopotamus penises. Here now, the 21 best Bourdain quotes from the episode:
1) On the 1964 Zanzibar revolution: "Whatever your feelings on revolutions, it is probably worth remembering that they start in places like this, people talking. And when they are won, they are often won by people who sat at the feet of the original planners."
2) On the pleasures of octopus on a stick: "Say you're going to Zanzibar and people will tell you about the street food: It's pretty impressive. In Stone Town's Forodhani Gardens, every night, vendors set up an insane variety of every iteration of seafood snack."
3) On why he won't share his dish, speaking to a nearby cat: "It's too spicy for you, man. Believe me, only one of us is going to be shitting like a mink tonight, and it's not gonna be you."
4) On the famous Zanzibar pizza, an arepa-like item stuffed with onion, beef, tomato, cheese, egg, and mayonnaise: "It's weird and... wonderful. Goddamn."
5) On the perils of sharing a resort with wild animals: "I'm not supposed to wander around at night here unescorted. There's like, lions and hyenas and elephants and stuff. And while I'm told the baboons get rapey, no one knocks on the door."
6) On how he feels about safari game hunting: "I know what you're thinking already: 'You're not gonna do what I think you're gonna do, are you? You're not gonna go out there and shoot some beautiful animal in the brain?' Answer: No. What kind of sick [bleep] wants to shoot an elephant?"
7) On the stellar view from his suite's toilet: "Idyllic natural setting and good plumbing? It's pretty much paradise."
8) On the unrivaled expertise of his safari tour guide: "He knows this area like I know the deli counter at Barney Greengrass."
9) On gazing at the "ever-more massive" herds of animals: "Stadium-sized crowds of wildebeest; a Phish concert of these unkept-looking things every few hundred yards. All that's missing is a hacky sack."
10) On how nature can cause one to lose his appetite: "I don't know about you, but whenever I have cause to reflect on a pack of hyenas tunneling into an ass and ripping out the guts, I think, ‘You know what? I could really go for some pesto right now.'"
11) On his not-so-indigenous safari lunch: "Oh, look — brownies!"
12) On the stealth dangers of hippopotami: "Just get between them and their mud hole, and they'll be all over you like Justin Bieber's bodyguards. It can get ugly."
13) On hippo anatomy, to his tour guide: "What do hippo penises look like? Are they big? A hippo never emerges from the water with like, a raging hippo hard-on?"
14) On the bad-assery of the Masai people: "It might be worth noting that between their nearly 100 percent protein diet of meat, blood, and dairy, the Masai have near-superhuman cardio... [they] can basically kick your ass at near any physical contest, given half the chance."
15) On development and wildlife: "Here we run into the kind of existential conflict we'll be seeing more and more of as the world decides what they value most: Unspoiled expanses of nature, populated still with magnificent, wild, but aggressively protected animals? Or the indigenous people?"
16) On why he'd make a terrible lion preservationist: "My cat hates me."
17) On the act of killing a goat: "I try and be a good guest. I eat what my hosts put in front of me. I try to take responsibility if something dies for my dinner. So when the chief asks if I'd care to do the honors, and tells me how it has to be done, I'm not happy. In fact, as I close up its air passages, I'm struggling not to throw up on myself."
18) On the bloodless slaughtering method: "The Masai traditionally kill their goats by suffocation, for very good reason, it turns out: To keep the blood, which is a vital component for the Masai diet, intact and abundant in the chest cavity."
19) On a taste of fresh, raw goat kidney: "It's sweet. Actually, it's good. I like them better like this than cooked."
20) On the essential nature of cookout booze: "Even on the Serengeti, it ain't a barbecue if there ain't some kind of beer."
21) On Africa: "Whatever image we have of Africa tends to be formed by whatever films we've seen. All of those romantic notions: I wanna see magnificent landscapes, incredible animals, extraordinary vistas, magnificent people, the Other in all of its diversity and beauty and strangeness, Tanzania's got that. All that stuff you thought you wanted, the most jaw-dropping moments; it's here."