Bourdain’s Field Notes
It is the most relentlessly f*****-over nation in the world, yet it has long been my dream to see the Congo. And for my sins, I got my wish.
It is a country, a subject so large and so complicated as to defy explanation—or any summing up in a sentence, a volume, an hour of television, or even ten hours of television.
Occupying an ungovernable mass of land the size of all Western Europe combined, the Democratic Republic of the Congo should be the richest country in Africa. It possesses the equivalent of trillions of dollars in resources: diamonds, gold, coltan (which the whole world requires for cell phones), minerals, timber, probably oil, uranium, and hydroelectric power. In short, it has everything that the First World needs and desires. This is its curse.