This week, in a very James Bond episode of Parts Unknown, our hero Anthony Bourdain travels to Jamaica. The overarching question of the episode is: Who gets to go to the beach? Is tourism good for Jamaica? While Bourdain doesn't quite get to the bottom of it, he does go to James Bond author Ian Fleming's estate, hangs out with local billionaires and fishermen, and eats a lot of jerk chicken. Now, on to the Quotable Bourdain: feel free to add your favorites in the comments below.
1: On why Jamaica: "Nearly a year on the road. All those miles, all those airports, infinite variety of awful plumbing, it was time for something low-impact. So, off to Jamaica."
2: On Jamaican traffic laws: "This is the first time I've ever driven on the wrong side of the road. I mean, knowingly."
3: On Jamaican hot sauce: "It's brown, it's murky, and it burns, mommy. It burns."
4: On the nearly-abandoned Trident Hotel: "Expensive, luxurious. Best of all, I'm the only guest."
5: On the hazards of crabbing, part one: "I'm frankly anxious to get this over with, so when the opportunity arises to stick my paw down into a hole where there's probably a pissed-off crab looking to clamp down on my pinkie with his pincers, I could care less."
6: On the hazards of crabbing, part two: "Are those fire ants? Wonderful! Please attack my nutsack."
7: On the lack of tourism in Port Antonio: "Everybody loves reggae. Everybody loves Bob Marley. Everybody loves spicy delicious Jamaican food. What the fuck is the problem?"
8: On the grotto at James Bond author Ian Fleming's estate: "What did every young American boy want? Every red-blooded American male born in 1956? I could tell you: They wanted a grotto."
9: On the actual problems with a grotto: "As I got older, I started to think about things like who exactly was in that grotto before me. It becomes more of a concern as you grow up. Did Ron Jeremy just leave the grotto? Am I the first one in the grotto? Did someone change the water in the grotto?"
10: On Ian Fleming's grotto versus other, more famous grottos: "This is totally better than the Playboy Mansion. You know that the Playboy Mansion totally smells like old man ear stink."
11: On the local breakfast of choice: "A typical hardworking fisherman's breakfast: rum."
12: On the choices for local fishermen: "Which is better? To be your own man, uphold family tradition in a dangerous, ever-shrinking, ever-more difficult business, trying to catch fish in the sea? Or carry a golf bag for a wealthy tourist?"
13: On Jamaica: "Let's accept as a premise that this is as close to paradise as it gets."
14: On beaches: "What we're all looking for, isn't it? The perfect beach. Remote, uncluttered by douchery, cold, local beer."
15: On Caribbean tourism: "Who owns paradise after all? Who gets to own paradise? Use paradise? Or even visit it? That's a question that's probably worth paying attention to."
16: On what it takes to sit by the beach: "How do you do this and be a good person? I don't think you can."
17: On Bond taking vacations: "James Bond doesn't get this. James Bond's a hustler. He gets this for a couple days before he moves on to the next location. The guy who lives here is the Bond villain."
18: On the author of James Bond: "Ian Fleming was much closer to Blofeld or Hugo Drax. Those guys had lots of leisure time, sitting around in hammocks trying to figure out how to take over the fucking world. Lot of downtime in world domination. Bond was a working-class fucker."