Bourdain’s Field Notes

For years there’s been a steady drumbeat of inquiries from Armenian-American fans of the show: “When will you visit Armenia?” “Why haven’t you been to my country?”

They were very legitimate and increasingly troublesome questions. I wanted to go. I had every intention of going. But I had yet to figure out how or—more accurately—through whose eyes, through what perspective I’d look at this very old and very complicated country.

Then, out of the blue, Serj Tankian, the lead singer of the band System of a Down reached out, and I had my answer. Serj, like so many Armenian-Americans, has been trying to reconnect with his roots.

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“I needed an Armenian to push me over the edge, help me find a window, a lens through which to look at a country for some reason I’ve managed to not visit in my travels.”

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