Monday, May 08, 2006

My Job Sucks

Well, not really, it doesn't. I quite like my job, actually. I've been with the same medical software company for just over 12 years now and it's still - for me - a great place to work. It's probably not the highest paying job in the field of computers... and I'm perfectly fine with that. No, not probably, I know it's not. I consider a big portion of my salary to be paid out in "chill" bucks. Intangeable influences that one may not find working for other companies. It gives me peace of mind which, in turn, allows me to enjoy my time away from work all the more thoroughly.

However, I must admit that compared to Anthony Bourdain's current job - my job sucks. Doesn't even come close. I may as well be quarrying stone to build a pyramid.

Thanks to the ingenius development of DVR cable boxes, I had a few episodes of "Anthony Bourdain : No Reservations" stored on my box. I watched them over the weekend and soon found myself daydreaming about a life as a travel show host. But he's not just any travel show host. He enjoys the best of both worlds... Traveling (all paid for by the Travel Channel, I'm assuming) and drinking and Eating. And I don't mean eating, I mean Eating, with a capital E. It's not the typical travel show destinations in each country and it's not the typical food. He gets down and dirty with the locals and is able to witness amazing - and quite personal, in some cases - ceremonies, rituals, and events.

This isn't saying that he doesn't deserve his job and I should be doing it instead. Far from it. As a chef who's lived a tough life toiling in kitchens across the country, along with living like the proverbial rock star, he's earned his lot. And I'm not so sure I'd be as brave as he was... sitting on the kitchen floor of an Inuit family's kitchen with a freshly caught seal split open, ready for dinner. Family members happily grabbing fleshy bits, covered in blood, and popping them into their mouths like boneless buffalo chicken tenders. Grandparents and young children alike, blissfully gnawing the raw meat off freshly picked bones, faces smeared with seal blood. And, of course, they save the majority of the blood for stew. As the honoured guest he was offered the delicacy of the meal, the eyeball, to be split open with a blade and its insides sucked out... much like eating a chocolate covered cherry, avoiding the chocolate.

You have to see it to believe it. And, believe me, once you've seen it - it isn't nearly as nasty as it might sound. Come to think of it, it's not too far removed from Irish black pudding, which I quite enjoyed while in Ireland last spring. For those unaware, it's not a dessert dish. It's a type of sausage made with some mixture of spices, wheat, and sheep's blood. Quite tasty. Actually, who am I kidding - it's miles away from that Inuit feast.

In any case, I'm not sure if I could manage the seal eyeball, the grilled cow stomach lining he so enjoyed while in China, or alot of the other local treats he's encountered - but I'd love to be given the opportunity. And it's not all blood, guts, and nasty bits. He knows alot of chefs around the world and he's treated to some pretty fantastic meals during these trips, as well.

That's the life. Traveling far and wide, off the beaten track, to mingle with the true citizens of each country and enjoying what they enjoy. Then ducking back to the city for a gourmet meal and a night on the town, overindulging on the region's favourite drink - whatever it may be. Only to awaken the next day and do it all over again... some day, perhaps.


emetic sage said...

yes, i agree, that life would be quite appealing. i'd like to go one further, though, and travel around sampling the women of the world.

Viszlát Sjáumst said...

Yeah, that goes without saying, though. Of course, it's not a guarantee. i'm sure it helps if you're a famous chef and writer !