Anthony Bourdain and Banh Mi

banh mi lunch

Anthony Bourdain is dead, and I can’t handle it. While browsing Reddit on a fine Friday, waiting for my banh mi and Vietnamese coffee to be served, I found out Tony died at the age of 61 in France. It was hard to keep tears from spilling on the table cloth in the middle of the day, and yet I mustered enough control to avoid it. My nose was sniffing the entire time though.

I am never a sentimental person to people I don’t personally know. I can be cold-hearted with zero empathy for people that are not in my inner circle. And yet, here I am, mourning over a celebrity death. When Robin Williams died, I was sad, but not devastatingly so.

Finding out Tony was dead was like having an arrow speared right through my heart. It was disgustingly heart-wrenching. He was a guy that I could relate with. His dry wit and sarcastic humor and his introspective words gave me joy. His TV shows were one of the few that I could tolerate watching. They were real, raw, with no trace of artificial suspense to increase viewer interest. They were about food, people, and experiences.

He was depressed, and yet, he was still productive, living the life most would only dream of. He connected people in the only way he knew how, through the love of food. Only great minds suffering with depression will ever understand the fragile threads that hold people together. Robin Williams did this through comedy, and Sylvia Plath did it with words.

His was my dream job, but here I am, a housewife who can’t get her life back on track after dealing with mental illness. If he, a successful guy in his 60s, can kill himself, why should I even hang on to life? I am a nothing. I don’t contribute anything else in this world. I am not successful. I don’t have children. I am worthless.

banh mi lunch
Anthony Bourdain unlocked my love for banh mi

How ironic that I found out he’s dead while eating this sandwich and enjoying this coffee. Tony loves Vietnamese coffee. I discovered my love for banh mi when I hunted down a hole in the wall in Hoi An after his suggestion.

I feel sad for his family, but I’m feeling even more sad for the rest of the world. We lost a great person today. Rest in Peace, Tony. Wherever you are, I hope you get an unlimited supply of tasty Vietnamese coffee.


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