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Anthony Bourdain: Love for Vietnam

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Published on Mar 19, 2009

Tony explains his love for Viet Nam, a country devastated by war and isolation, that is turning around to make up for its lost time and to show the world what its rich culture, friendly yet hard-working people and magnificent landscapes are all about ...

Tony: As with the love affair, you don't really realize you're falling in love until it's too late. So, it's after the fact...I mean, I'm sure I fell in love with Vietnam on one trip and I think it was only on a return trip that...that I realized that I was a goner. So, I went first time to South Vietnam, made very good friends, immediately recognized it was an incredibly beautiful country filled with proud cooks and passionate eaters. A place that looked and felt just like the movie. Yes, of course, it was very much what I wanted yet better. A place that still evoked Graham Green's The Quiet American. You know, still all those years later. But it was when I went back the second time with my crew Chris and Lydia. We all went back and I'll never forget...we got off the plane...just walked out of the airport to get into a car. As we're heading into Hanoi, we all burst into tears. I mean we were all weeping. It was just so...so visceral a reaction. We're also grateful. It was so beautiful. It was so good to be back. Why Vietnam? Again like falling in love, you know, you describe the first woman you ever fell in love with. Why did you fall in love? I mean...you can say...because she's beautiful...she's funny... she's brilliant...you know...she can take my '68 Shelby Cobra apart and reconstructed it to the factory specs in 45 minutes. But the fact is it's none of those things. It's something else. It's...maybe felt harmonic. It's ... its' magic and it's probably best not to try to figure it out at all.

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