I’ll admit it.
My weekly attempts to find some connection from my own personal adventures to wherever Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations episode takes him is often even more contrived than Bourdain’s insightful monologues at the end of every show.
There. I feel better now.
So, when my latest BFF at the Travel Channel (I must be wearing them out—they keep giving me new contacts) sends me the info on this week’s show on Dubai, I assume any similarity to any place I have been will be a stretch.
That is, until I see there are alpine snow skiing and desert adventures involved.
I think, hey, I go downhill skiing all over the west coast and I have had my share of desert adventures, some more sober than others.
As to any comparison of my skiing experiences to what Tony reveals in this week’s show (see YouTube video, below), well, they both have the name skiing attached, and that’s about it.
If my skiing adventures—which includes clinging to mountains over 10,000 feet in elevation, blinding snowstorms, and sub-zero face-peeling temperatures—have little in common to mall skiing, Dubai-style, then my desert life is even more removed. My sand infused locales have never included hanging out in Five Star hotels and restaurants amidst a field of high-rises, one being the tallest in the world.
That, and I have yet to see a camel out there; although, I have seen a few other strange sights after long nights with recreational pharmaceuticals and too much Tequila.
My idea of an adventure in the desert is more akin to where we used to go camping in very remote Saline Valley, on the east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This is just north of Death Valley in eastern California, about a day’s drive from San Francisco or half-a-day drive out of Los Angeles.
Tony may have even heard about this place, as it has appeared in a New York Times newspaper story which began,
“The woman approaching the hot spring was wearing nothing except for my missing gray ski hat.I didn’t have to look too closely to see that she was freezing.”
Or, maybe Bourdain happened to hear about this desert hideaway in
I only wish it was an exceptional blog post by a famous wannabe global adventure humor writer.
“[For a toilet] we used to carry a 5-gallon paint bucket with no bottom and an old toilet seat with small wooden blocks screwed in to keep it in place. The real trick was not falling off, as the low-flying jet fighters would buzz the hot springs looking for busty sexy, young women sitting up in the soaking pools.”
(Full disclosure: yes, it was by me and, yes, I wish it were exceptional.)
While Tony does offer an intimate look at foodie fodder, he also takes a look at how obscene amounts of money are spent there, probably bolstered every time we fill up our cars and trucks at the gas pump.
The de rigueur Dubai details on this episode are just a click away.
I have always found the desert to be a great place to realize that you actually have another personality living inside of you: one that gets a little crazy and finds it possible to actually live without a cell phone, Facebook, or even a real toilet.
The desert trips I have taken never looked anything like the desert that is Dubai. Then again, I did not have a gabillion, zillion dollars to dump into it…or even a mouth-foaming camel being whipped by a mechanical robot on its back.