by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
The fifth season of CNN’s travel show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown premiered Sunday night, opening the episode with a scene of Bourdain nursing a bottle of soju alone at a pochangmacha, or a street food vendor.
“So, we begin at the end. After a wild week in Seoul, there was, I believe, something called ‘soju’ involved,” Bourdain says, retracing the previous evening’s activities as the entire episode plays in reverse, Memento-style. “Like returning a dog returning to its own vomit, I keep flashing back to—what was it, last night? The night before?”
During his epic weeklong trip to South Korea, Bourdain eats a couple of adventurous dishes, including beondegi (silkworm larva) and sannakji (live octopus), as well as some all-time favorites like Korean-style fried chicken, barbecue and budaejjigae (army base stew). Needless to say, endless glasses of soju and beer were consumed.
In the episode, the host also partakes in mukbang (eating live-streams), sings karaoke with a group of salarymen and plays an online game in a PC bang.
“PC bang sounds like a male porn star, I know,” Bourdain says, as his Red Riding Hood avatar gets slaughtered during an online gameplay. “But this one has a smoking lounge and a well-stocked snack bar.”
As for what he believes defines Korean culture, the host tells the viewers that it is “the drive to succeed–a churning engine fueled by decades of han, a remarkable ability and a remarkable willingness to anticipate the future.”
You can watch the full episode below:
To learn how to make budaejjigae, watch Bourdain cook the dish for Anderson Cooper below:
All images courtesy of CNN