Anthony Bourdain continues (in an episode that premiered Nov. 1 at 9 PM, competing with Natgeo’s “Breakthrough”) his worldwide adventure (that has even included his home state of New Jersey), this time to Borneo, for a repeat visit to the Malaysian side, completing something left open from 1999. And what that yearning was becomes pretty curious and gives this episode an unusual sense of suspense (rivaled only by his visit to Congo). His own link is here.
He starts out in Kuala Lumpur (site for 1999 film “Entrapment”), exploring the food in a modern city, before he gives some hints as to what awaits him on the islands (and it reminds me of the Di Caprio movie “The Beach” back in 2000). There’s a hint when he pulls aside his shirt and shows a relatively innocuous shoulder tattoo from 1999.
He goes up the river, finding much of the island deforested by loggers, before he returns to the native villages, where there will be a three day food-and-drinking party which is bizarre enough. They are off the grid, with no cell phone signals. This is the kind of merriment that intentional communities sell. But he has an appointment, and the episode leads up to it (much like the “Nighthike in one of my sci-fi screenplays, called “Titanium”). At the end, he’s going to get it. A tribesman will pound a sizable tattoo right into his sternum, right above the chakra, where there should be hair, but it’s all gone now, forever. Bourdain, by sacrificing his chess as if a knight in a chess game, has become a symbolic wicker man (but Nicholas Cage would make a better victim, still).
In the long line to get into Town Danceboutique Halloween night, there was a guy, shirt torn open, who had gotten it at some lover’s hands, now already for Borneo, which cannot do him any more wrong.
Wikipedia attribution link for image of illegal settlement in Sabah, easternmost part of Malaysia author by CCFoodTravel, under Creative Commons 2.0 license.
Update: Nov. 5
An a for Direct TV sacrifices an actor's chest for a huge tattoo. The actor definitely "gets it".