Bourdain’s Field Notes

“Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.”
—Hassan-i Sabbah

When I was an angry young man, disillusioned with the world, disenchanted with my generation, disappointed by the “counterculture,” and looking for role models, William S. Burroughs’ paranoia and loathing, his antisocial appetites, his caustic, violently surreal wit, and his taste for controlled substances seemed to perfectly mirror my own aspirations.

I wanted to write. I wanted to be apart from everything I grew up with. In short, I wanted to be elsewhere. And the Tangier, the “interzone” that Burroughs described—where he’d found himself exiled, strung out, writing the pages that eventually became Naked Lunch—sounded to my naive young mind like an exotic paradise.

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Travel like Bourdain

“If you were a bad boy of your time and you liked drugs, the kind of sex that was frowned upon at home, and an affordable lifestyle set against an exotic background, Tangier was for you.”

Know Before You Go

Stroll into one of the many famous cafés that are trapped in another time; furnishings unchanged, framed photos of the famous Tangerines—the nickname for Tangier-based expats—still line the walls. What I quickly came to discover is that it’s this trapped-in-time feel that makes this unique city still very much worth exploring.

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