Thursday, May 12, 2005

Be Very Wary of Ice Baths, Judy Collins & The Khmer Rouge

I love Anthony Bourdain's description of going from a sauna to an icy lake in A Cook's Tour, "... my brain screamed, my eyeballs did the best they could to pop out of my skull".

He describes the ultimate auditory torture, driving through endless desert in Morocco:

Abdul owned one cassette tape: Judy Collins's Greatest Hits. I tried sleeping. I tried shutting it out, but, in the end, the soulless trilling and warbling of 'Both Sides Now' slowly ground me down to a state of near-hysterical desperation. The road to Risani seemed to go on forever - especially with Kidu exercising her pipes.

And a small update on some bad guys of yore:

'The Khmer Rouge is in the casino business now!'

Casinos? Run by the most vicious, hard-core Commie mass murderers in history? Well, why not check it out? I thought. Satan's Vegas: lounge acts, strippers, maybe a few casinos surrounded by razor wire and militia...The last outpost for international adventurers, spies, speculators, smugglers, mercenaries, and lovers of vast reasonably priced buffets...How were they reconciling their formerly stated hopes for a Stone Age agrarian Maoist Valhalla with the logistical necessities and showbiz glitter of running a profitable casino?

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