Celebrity encounters are always awkward (they often involve the non-damous person saying something like, "hi, I know you but you don't know me!"), but Shivana's conversation was both successful and meaningful.
Shivana proceeded to tell Bourdain about her parents' home country, Trinidad & Tobago, and he was not only receptive, but enthusiastic.
He spent the ten minutes listening to me talk about the home country of my parents, Trinidad & Tobago, with the utmost engagement. Like an ambassador studying up, ready to go.— shivana (to scale) (@toastasaurus) June 8, 2018
I wanted him so badly to visit there. I felt I could trust him to see what I saw in Trinidad, as if the heart of the country would be safe in his hands as a person and traveler. You trusted him with Your Heritage.— shivana (to scale) (@toastasaurus) June 8, 2018
We left the line with longanisa in hand. He clinked his beer bottle to mine and thanked me for my time like he'd had an appointment with me all along. I watched him slope off to happily try another line hoping so hard he'd visit my people.— shivana (to scale) (@toastasaurus) June 8, 2018
He did, ultimately. My whole family watched it. Practically the whole island did. It was like the president visiting your home country. We all watched as Tony Bourdain spoke of the island as if he'd fallen in love with it. I hope he did.— shivana (to scale) (@toastasaurus) June 8, 2018
I think many of us trusted him to do that, to fall in love with the places we came from and to understand why we lived there or why we left there. We trusted him to see us as people first. Not curiosities.— shivana (to scale) (@toastasaurus) June 8, 2018
Sometimes I like to pretend that my ten minutes convinced him to visit. But that was his charm, really, that he met passion with passion. That he understood the complexity of people just as well as he understood the complexity of food.— shivana (to scale) (@toastasaurus) June 8, 2018
Sometimes the strange thing about the architecture of fame is that you almost feel someone you admire is the totality of their being. The parts of them that change you are the parts you focus on, and whatever pain he battled was not part of that.— shivana (to scale) (@toastasaurus) June 8, 2018
I'm sorry that such levels of pain is a country we shared. We have all lost an ambassador today. Anyways, I guess that's all I wanted to say.— shivana (to scale) (@toastasaurus) June 8, 2018
Goodbye, Anthony Bourdain. Thank you for visiting my beloved island.
People found the story to be a moving tribute that truly captured his essence and goodness.
this is as good a summing up of bourdain's special talents as a food and travel journalist as i have read.— Daniel M. Gold (@unrealDMGold) June 8, 2018
Shit, this one did me in. Legit crying now. Thank you so much for sharing— Sonia Leticia (@SoniaPwnYa) June 8, 2018
It’s a great loss for the world. Thank you for sharing your story! He had a life so deserving of celebration. He was an an artist and a humanitarian, and just an all around great guy.— Beornsbeard (@beornsbeard) June 8, 2018
Thank you, Anthony.
[If you or somebody you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources]