Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Born on 29 February

Tomorrow we will celebrate a colleague's birthday. She was born in 1968 and has only had 9 birthdays so far. AY was born on 29 February.

February 29th, or bissextile day, is the 60th day of a leap year in the Gregorian Calendar. A year which has a February 29 is, by definition, a leap year. This date only occurs every four years, in years evenly divisible by 4, such as 1988, 1996, or 2008, with the exceptions in century years not divisible by 400, such as 1900.

Those who are born on this day usually celebrate their birthdays on February 28th or March 1 during non-leap years. In the UK those born before noon on the 29th have their birth certificate dated the 28th, those born after noon are dated 1st March. I find that strange, why not just date the birth certificate February 29th?

There is a quaint tradition that women may make a proposal of marriage to men only on February 29; this is a tightening of an older tradition that such proposals may only occur in leap years. In 1288 the Scottish parliament legislated that any woman could propose in Leap Year. Another component of this tradition was that if the man rejects the proposal, he should soften the blow by providing a kiss, one pound currency and a pair of gloves (some later sources say a silk gown). There were similar notions in France and Switzerland.

AY promised to bake two cakes so I am already looking forward to the yummie sweets tomorrow.

AY is the second person I know who was born on February 29. I had a schoolmate at University who also looked much older than her age.

How many people do you know that were born on February 29?

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Hotel Abba, Amsterdam

This is Hotel Abba in Amsterdam where I stayed in February and March 1988. I had just joined the company I still work for, and as I lived in Groningen at that time, they offered to pay for hotel accommodation until I had found a suitable home in Amsterdam.

So why would I write about this hotel 19 years later? AN probably thinks that I did a hotel fuck there today, but I have to disappoint you. I don't do hotel fucks with ugly strangers in hotels that I can only find after a 2nd call hehe.

The real reason I write about Hotel Abba is RK. I know RK from University, and by pure coincidence he started work for the same company on the same day as me. And he also lived in Groningen, so the company made him the same lodging offer. So we decided to stay in the same hotel. Somehow, RK managed to find Hotel Abba (this was before the Internet existed) and made reservations for two single rooms. For two months we had breakfast together before going to work, and dinner together when we came back from work. We were both totally new in Amsterdam and didn't have any friends there. After we both found our own houses, we stayed in touch and even went on holiday together to the Indian Himalayas in 1990, but slowly we grew apart and must have lost contact in 1991 or 1992.

That is, until last Friday. After work, I was walking towards the bicycle "garage" when I suddenly heard my name, looked back and saw RK. We chatted for a bit and decided to do lunch, which happened today. He told me he left the company 7 years ago to become an independent consultant, and is now back on some lucrative consultancy contract. He also moved to another town, found a girlfriend and produced 3 children.

It was good to catch up with RK and remember our time in Hotel Abba. Which, by the way, used to be and probably still is a lousy 1 star hotel. At that time, we were still very careful with the company's money......

Love at second sight

As I posted earlier in one of my "Is this going too far?" posts, Dutch TV is currently running a dating show for people with a visible handicap. Tonight was the first episode of "Love at second sight" in which the 8 candidates (shown on this picture) were introduced.

I must say the show was done with a certain style, and I was impressed with the positive attitude that all of the candidates showed. They are full of life, trying to make the best of it, and are longing for a life partner.

One of the candidates reminded me of a (French - Cambodian) guy with a handicap who I dated long ago. He had one lame arm, but all other parts of his body functioned very well hehe. I visited him in Paris and he wouldn't allow me to help him prepare dinner, or clean up after dinner. He did everything with one arm only, and I felt awkward not helping him, but he just wouldn't let me. I didn't mind at all about his handicap, reason we stopped dating was that he only spoke French and Cambodian, and as my French is only about 60% our conversations were not up to the standard that I wanted.

No sex for 77 years: very healthy!

A 107-year-old Hong Kong villager, who still enjoys an occasional smoke, has attributed his longevity in part to decades of sexual abstinence, a newspaper said on Sunday.

"I don't know why I have lived this long," Chan Chi -- one of Hong Kong's oldest people -- was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post during an annual feast for the city's elders.

"Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have lived a sex-less life for many years -- since I was 30," said Chan, a widower whose youthful bride perished during the Japanese invasion in World War Two.

Monday, 26 February 2007

A naked gym

A gym in the small Dutch town of Heteren will start gym sessions next week for people who want to train naked (yes, totally without any clothes on). The so-called "Nudifit" days will be open to anyone from the age of 18 who "doesn't have sexual intentions". Well, at least that will keep the gays away. Hehe

Interesting concept. But I am already worried about certain body parts that could easily get stuck between the many moving parts of most gym equipment. Ouch

Sunday, 25 February 2007

A weekend with weed

On Friday evening I felt like going out. Most of my friends are traveling, but I managed to find one to have a drink with, so we (KE and I) agreed to meet in April. Another friend of KE (A New Zealander whose name I always forget) also joined. Now you must know that KE always brings some pot to the bars, so we shared a few joints. The beer also flowed as if there was no tomorrow. Around midnight KE told me his dog was home alone, and had not been out all day, and I offered to join him to walk the dog. So I found myself sitting on a park bench at 1am sharing another joint (which we bought at coffeeshop Stix (picture)) with KE and playing with his dog..........

I raced home on my bicycle a bit later, thinking about more important things and writing poetry in my head.

The next morning I woke up early as OS was making noises in the shower. I felt OK and decided to make it an early day. Which turned out to be a bad decision: the energy level quickly dropped and in the end I didn't do much more than read the newspapers, do some grocery shopping, prepare dinner and watch TV. A lazy, lazy Saturday.

Today I finally watched Babel. (just before it is going to win some Oscars tonight)
Babel, through a series of misunderstandings, interweaves the unfortunate circumstances of a Moroccan, an American, a Mexican and a Japanese family. A Moroccan family acquires a rifle to protect their goats. An American woman, on a bus tour with her husband, is accidentally shot, which is in turn grossly exaggerated by the press who are quick to label the incident as a "terrorist attack". The same couple's children accompany their long-time caretaker to Mexico to attend her son's wedding, and upon re-entering the United States face problems. A Japanese widower confronts difficulties in communicating with his deaf teenage daughter whom simply craves human contact. A great movie by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu. The scenes from Morocco reminded me of my hiking trip there in 1995, of which I have fond memories. We climbed Mount Toubkal (4165m), the highest mountain in North Africa. Anyway, the movie entertained and looked very real, and deserves to win an Oscar.

My structure........??????

Another message from a secrete admirer today. hehe

Hello friend!!!!!!!!
I saw your structure and have decided to write to you. My name is XXXX. I write to you from Russia. I hope that I have made a correct choice and have written to you. We can find much in common. We can create friendship. To me 31 year. You can look my photo on a site. I dream of good relations. I hope that my dreams will be a success. If I have a little interested you write to me on mine Email:
When you write to me, I shall send you a photo.
I shall look forward to hearing from you with impatience.

He is actually not bad looking. Maybe I should send him a message and ask him for more details about his structure?

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Travelling queens

What would the travel industry be without homosexuals on the road and in the air? Just was thinking about my friends currently (or soon) on the road:

MA, JE, RO, HE, WI, GO and KA are all in Cambodia at this moment after a trip through other parts of SE Asia;
AL is in Kuching going back to Singapore tomorrow;
AF just arrived in Perth;
AN is in Malaysia with his mum;
AR is visiting his family in Indonesia;
HU just arrived back in Singapore from New York, well he is a trolly dolly so doesn't count hehe;
KE just back from Singapore in Amsterdam;
CH and FR are in Singapore as we speak;
AA was in Asia, now in London and coming to Amsterdam soon;
MI is going to France for winter sports soon.

We should get a huge discount for keeping the world economy afloat!


I am jealous
I am jealous

I am jealous
We are
I am jealous

I am jealous
You met
another guy
of course
you deserve
to meet
a nice man
I am jealous

I am jealous
He is
not even
your type
too fat
too old
I am jealous

I am jealous
I shouldn't
I wouldn't
I couldn't
be jealous

Thursday, 22 February 2007

A new government

The new Dutch government was sworn in by Queen Beatrix today. The Netherlands has proportional representation in it's electoral system, which means that with a total of 150 seats in parliament a political party only needs 0.666% of the votes to get one seat in parliament. No single political party has ever had a majority in parliament which means that all our governments have always been coalition governments. After the 22 November 2006 elections we have 10 political parties represented in parliament, ranging from the far-left Socialist Party to the far-right and xenofobic Freedom Party. Our new government consists of the centrist Christian-Democratic Party, the left-centrist Labour Party and the economically left-centrist and morally conservative Christian Union.

Prime Minister will again be Mr. Jan-Peter Balkenende who is also known as Harry Potter. An intelligent, very decent but quite clumsy man. He is not a natural leader, he is not very charismatic, but slowly he has won the trust of many Dutch people.

Vice Prime-Minister and Minister of Finance will be Labour Party leader Mr. Wouter Bos. He used to be extremely popular, also with women and some gay men, mainly because of the size and shape of his backside. He has lived and worked for a few years in Hong Kong so he knows a bit what Asia is all about.

The previous government had an openly gay (male) Minister. No male gays in this cabinet, but the Minister for Agriculture will be Ms. Gerda Verburg who is openly lesbian.

All in all I have faith that this government will do a decent job.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Younger gays and older gays

I have installed "sitemeter" on my blog that keeps track of the number of visits to my site. It also allows me to see how people got to my site, for instance as a result of a search for a certain topic or word.

I noticed that quite a few people search for "older gays", and as I had one post dedicated to these people I get many hits.

So this post is an experiment. By using the words "younger gays" in the title of this post, let's see how many hits my site will get!

Restaurant La Strada, Amsterdam

I had dinner tonight with MI, and we decided to go to one of our favourite restaurants "La Strada" which used to be gay-owned and run, and used to have wonderful vegetarian and other "alternative" dishes and great, friendly service. The older waiter who has been there forever always called us "boys" and would put a hand on your shoulder while taking orders.

Horror of horrors, when we arrived we found out that the restaurant has been sold while keeping the same name. It is now a very mediocre steak house. The sole waiter was friendly enough, but the quality of the food won't bring us back any time soon.

I have known MI since 1990 or such. We met at a discussion group of the COC (the Dutch gay organization). These groups were meant to give people the opportunity to discuss all kinds of issues related to coming out, being gay, etc., but of course in practice were dating opportunities. MI and I share the same kind of jokes and we never have a problem finding topics to talk about. MI doesn't like gay bars and doesn't do Internet dating, which results in him always falling in love with the wrong guys such as heterosexual colleagues at work............

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

A monogram relationship

I received this on

hello i find u and ur profile very interesting, i am new to online dating and iam
hoping to make friends and maybe a partner if possible but first i welcome
friendship then maybe something intimate maybe along , i am XXXXX 34
years old quater mixed guy from a africa background althougth my dad is
british , and i was born in uk,i am a surgical {Rn} nurse , i am down to earth
and honest guy who is looking for friendshipi, lover ,monogram relationship and
looking for a guy that willing to take time to make things rigth ., i am new to
online dating and i am hoping and wishinhg to find a partner if possible but
first i welcome friendship , . pls if read my profile and if u find it appealling, u
can hit me backand i can send more pics while i reply with mine and more information
about me and we can get to explot together, i believe in love and i hope to find
real love i mean to be loved and to love back in return.pls hit me back if u want to know more

Singapore in the news

It is not often that I find anything about Singapore in the local newspapers here, so I immediately noticed when I saw a full-page article "Singapore only cares about itself" in a serious, well-read Dutch newspaper today. The article describes how relations between Singapore and Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are very bad, mostly caused by Singapore's "economic imperialism" towards its neighbours.

Of course the article talks about Temasek's ("run by the prime minister's wife") investment in Shin Corp Thailand and how it triggered the fall of Thai prime minister Thaksin. It also gives a detailed account of the money laundering done in Singapore by Indonesia's mostly ethnically Chinese elite. I had already read in the Singapore on-line media that Indonesia has stopped delivering sand to Singapore, but I didn't know that the Indonesians have sent 5 war ships to check possible illegal deliveries.

Once again, an article that is mostly negative about Singapore. I had already noticed that most of my friends, relatives and colleagues use words like "boring, bland, and totally money-oriented" when they talk about Singapore. I often find myself defending Singapore, and tell my friends about my positive experiences there.

I wonder how many Singaporeans know about the bad image of their country abroad. If you only read the State's (hehe) Times or watch ChannelNewsAsia, definitely you will only get a very particular version of the truth.

And perhaps the Singapore government should realize that yes, you can run a country like a company, but at the same time don't be surprised that other countries would want you to go bankrupt.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Executive Decision

After all those intelligent conversations over the weekend, it was time to see an action movie for which the brain could be switched off: Executive Decision, a 1996 Stuart Baird production.

Terrorists take over a 747 bound from Athens to Washington D.C., supposedly to effect the release of their leader. Intelligence expert David Grant suspects another reason and convinces the military that the plane should not be allowed to enter U.S. airspace. An assault mission is devised, using a specially equipped plane designed for mid-air crew transfers, and Grant finds himself aboard the 747 with a team of military anti-terrorists who have to defuse a bomb and overpower the terrorists.

An entertaining movie starring Halle Berry and Kurt Russell. Interesting to see that already in 1996 the movie industry had some vision of a 9/11 - like event. And also very typical that our team of all American heroes includes a black guy, a black girl, a Latino and an Asian-American. All united to fight the bad Arab terrorists.

Apple pie weekend

So what did I do during the weekend?

On Saturday, bought two nice slices of apple pie to bring to SU and have my usual Saturday noon coffee at his place.

The weather was so nice and Spring is in the air. It is amazing how everybody in Amsterdam is in a good mood as soon as the sun comes out this time of the year. Big smiles and happy faces to be seen. Walked around and did some shopping myself.

In the evening I met with SA and EL in April. Lots of SA's Thai friends were there as well. I had planned to go home early, but just as I was finishing my last beer (at least that was the plan), GO and TH appeared. I have known GO for many years, he is such a fun and good-looking guy, of course all I can do is dream about him...... TH I have just met on New Year's Eve, he is a friend of a friend, blond 23 years old, and very, very cute. We get along very well so more drooling from my part haha. Long story short: they convinced me to come along to Exit, and 7 or 8 beers and 4 hours later I was home to wake up on


with a headache, and just in time to make my way to my brother's house to celebrate a couple of birthdays in their family. More (home made) apple pie, yummie.

In the evening went to the East West party in Cockring. More talking with DAZ, BA , SA and EL. It struck me how many older white guys there were sitting all alone by themselves. I didn't get sex either, but at least I have a few good friends to talk to!

恭喜发财 and Chúc mừng năm mới

To all my Chinese and Vietnamese friends: Happy Lunar New Year! May the Year of the Pig be full of happiness, joy, prosperity and good health.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

McDonalds and Cuckoo's nest

A colleague suggested to have lunch at McDonalds yesterday (see picture for the branch we went to) and suddenly we all got very excited. Even colleagues who normally never join for lunch decided to participate in the fun. So there we were with a group of office workers in between the teenagers who normally populate the big M. So funny that 3 colleagues mentioned "I can never mention this to my wife". What kind of marriage is that?

In the evening I went to Cuckoo's Nest which is a sleazy bar in Amsterdam. There were a few guys interested in me but they were not my type. And the ones that I liked didn't want me. Fortunately I ran into DAS who I hadn't seen in ages. I had a short fling with him in 1998 (?) and ever since we have been bumping into each other in the bars. Good to talk with him and hear that everything is ok. After DAS left I decided to not waste more time in Cuckoo's Nest and help myself at home. Haha. A wise decision.

Friday, 16 February 2007

Sex is culture

The entertainment at the Sexyland peep show in Amsterdam’s Red Light District can also be defined as a “theatre performance”.

This means that Sexyland can be waived the regular 19 percent VAT, and obliged to pay only the “cultural institution” rate of 6 percent, the court of Amsterdam ruled.

Sexyland has two stages with a girl dancing on each, replaced by a new girl every four minutes. Around the dance hall, fifteen individual cabins are scattered, providing a view of the stages and a row of video screens showing porn films. Many other businesses involved in the sex industry profit from the flexible tax system. Sex cinemas, for example, have been paying the same low taxes as regular cinemas for a long time already.

Things changing in China!

China’s gays call for same sex marriage

During a busy lunch hour on Valentine’s Day in Beijing’s central business district, six lesbians and gays handed out 200 red carnations wrapped in leaflets calling for the acceptance of gay love and marriage.

“We're doing it now because there are now so many lesbians ready to come out and to stand up for their rights,” she said. “When we started organising this we had no trouble at all finding people. In fact we had trouble finding boys.” Only one gay man helped hand out flowers.

Hehe. As long as the boys can fuck and suck, they are happy.

Now I wonder: when will Singapore gays be brave enough to fight for their rights? After all, anal and oral sex between men is still illegal in Singapore. Can I hope to see the first demonstrations against the highly discrimatory Singapore laws soon?

Thursday, 15 February 2007


I had lunch with AL today (my friend who had appendicitis and needed 3 operations to get better). We were eating our eggs in the company canteen when I spotted TO. I used to work with TO who is a funny and clever guy. At one point he ended up with a shitty job and a wife and a bunch of kids, so for the rest of his life he may be stuck at the company if he doesn't take action soon. Also, looking around I saw so many "grijze muizen" (literally: grey mice, a Dutch expression for boring men in suits with no life), that I decided that I need to leave the company soon. Only if they offer me a fantastic, interesting and challenging job before the end of April I will stay.

So yes, I decided to spice up my life a little bit by taking DA up on his offer to drive from East Coast to West Coast USA roughly following Interstate 80. In early April we will take some 7 days to do this trip. DA has relatives in Salt Lake City and I am already excited to visit states like Wyoming, Indiana and Nebraska. This is fly-over country that normal tourists would not often visit. I will also throw in a visit to my relatives in Canada as well as a weekend in San Francisco.

Big Fish

I watched Big Fish, a 2003 Tim Burton movie, tonight. The film follows the life story of Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor/Albert Finney) and his strained relationship with his son, Will (Billy Crudup). Will hasn't talked to his father for years, following an incident that strengthened his belief that his father was a liar who didn't care about his family. He approaches him again only after he learns that his father is dying.

I liked the movie which entertains and tries to tell a story about small people trying to become big. And it is hard to argue with a line like this: "Dying is the worst thing that ever happened to me".

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

My blog summary

One of the blogs I read is
He alerted me to a site where they will take words from your website to create a summary.

So if you are too busy to read my blog, just enter my blog address in snapshirts and you will get this. Bloody hell, even Alain Souchon made it to the summary......

Is this going too far? (3)

As I wrote earlier, there were plans that a group of young gay boys and girls (between the ages of 11 and 16) would participate in this year's Amsterdam gay pride. After the plan was made public by a 14 1/2 year old boy who took the initiative there have been lots of discussions in the newspapers and on TV whether this is a good idea or not. In the process, the 14 1/2 year old guy called Danny became a national celebrity as he (and his parents) appeared on many TV talk shows. Danny has a website at

In the end, it was decided that the teenagers will participate in the gay parade under the following conditions:
- parents will have to express consent that their children participate
- parents will join the boys and girls on the boats (Amsterdam's gay pride is a floating parade)
- there will be no nudity or sexually explicit scenes on the boat and on any other boats close to the teenager's boat.

I have seen Danny on TV and I must say that he seemed very mature and that he had good arguments why he wants to participate. But still I have mixed feelings. Conservative sections of society may use the young teen's participation to link homosexuality and pedofilia.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Valentine's day

Saint Valentine's Day or Valentine's Day is today. It is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other; sending cards, candy, or donations to charities, often anonymously. It is very common to present flowers on Valentine's Day. The holiday is named after two men, both Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

I didn't sent any cards or flowers this year. But this is a Valentine's message for you only. Still 99.4%

Saint Valentine of Temi and his disciples (14th century)

The last King of Scotland

I watched The Last King of Scotland tonight. A good and impressive movie.

A Scottish doctor on a Ugandan medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world’s most barbaric figures: Idi Amin. Impressed by Dr. Garrigan’s brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly self-appointed Ugandan President Amin hand picks him as his personal physician and closest confidante. Though Garrigan is at first flattered and fascinated by his new position, he soon awakens to Amin’s savagery--and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and escape Uganda alive.

Much has been said about Forest Whitaker's brilliant acting as Idi Amin. However, I found James McAvoy at least as good as Dr. Nicholas Garrigan. Having worked a lot in developing countries, I can totally understand Dr. Garrigan's actions and behaviour. I have seen so many white guys who go to a poor country to "steal and fuck", as Idi says in the movie.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Travel plans

...or rather: no travel plans yet. I am kind of in between jobs and don't want to make plans until I know more about my future.

But these are some of the places I want to visit this year: (in no particular order)

1. Singapore. For very obvious reasons.

2. Calgary, Canada. I have older relatives there and I feel like visiting them.

3. Chitchen Itza, Mexico. My father passed away (heart attack) in 1993 while on holiday there. My brother called and asked if I want to join him and his daughter to visit.

4. London. To visit AA, MAR and PE.

5. USA. Road trip to San Francisco with DA.

6. Barcelona. SA and EL are going in August and asked me to join.

7. New York. Plans to visit in May/June with MA and JE.

Probably too much to do it all. Unless I just quit my job, get the golden handshake and start travelling. Decisions, decisions........

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Bush preparing his next war?


The U.S. military Sunday presented evidence it says shows an elite Iranian force under the command of Iran's supreme leader is behind bombings that have killed at least 170 U.S. troops in Iraq.

U.S. officials have made general statements in the past year about Iranian involvement in Iraq, but haven't provided many details. The charges came at a Baghdad briefing by a senior defense official, a senior defense analyst and an explosives expert, all of whom asked to remain unnamed.

The officials focused on EFPs, or explosively formed penetrators, as evidence that Iran is involved in arming Iraqi insurgents. EFPs can punch through heavily armored vehicles.

The U.S. military officials said EFPs are manufactured in such a specific way that they can be traced to Iran. Also, the U.S. military says 81 mm mortar shells used in deadly attacks in Iraq can also be directly traced to Iran.

Does anyone still believe the Americans when they come up with "evidence" like this? It looks like Bush is willing to sacrifice many more lifes to save his political future.

Sven Kramer

This is Sven Kramer the new world champion speed skating. He is so cute, I used to watch speed skating a lot when I was young (it is a very popular sport in the Netherlands), but kind of lost interest until Sven appeared on the skating rinks. He is 20 years old and unfortunately has a girlfriend. He has such a perfect body and a cute smile, and he is funny too when he is interviewed. A great new champion. Congratulations, Sven!

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Overheard in the supermarket

Supermarket employee with fresh supplies: Excuse me, may I please pass?
Little boy: Hello, what's your name?
Supermarket employee: Hello, I am Mohamed. What's your name?
Little boy: I am Rogier. I am five years old, going to be six soon.
Mohamed: And is that your sister?
Rogier: Yes, she is only two.
Mohamed: Well, you better take good care of your sister then. And also be good to your mum and dad.
Rogier: We don't have a dad. We have two mammas.
Mohamed: I see. How is that possible?
Rogier: My mom loves my other mom.
Mohamed: (mumbles and walks away)

Feeling young again - hehe

I was planning to stay home and be a couch potato last night (remember - I am old), until SA called and asked if I'd want to have a beer with him in April bar. I hadn't seen SA since March last year when we both were in Bangkok at the same time (he lives in the South of the Netherlands so he is not often in Amsterdam) so it was a nice reason to get on my feet.

I was early and this is what happened after I walked into April bar:

1. A cute guy with a goatee and beautiful eyes looks at me and keeps staring at me while I order my beer. He looks Middle eastern and not very friendly, so I decide to ignore him. For the rest of the evening he keeps staring at me.

2. I go to the toilet and when I leave I almost bump into a white guy. He smiles, and when he leaves the toilet a little bit later he smiles again, stops close to where I am sitting, looks, hesitates to say something, and decides to proceed.

3. A muscular Chinese guy looks and smiles at me and I look back and smile. Too bad he is with four white guys but we continue to exchange looks during the evening.

4. A young, slim very cute guy (mixed race, darker skin) walks in and we exchange smiles. He looks around the bar and within a minute he is back to the place where I am sitting:
He: Hi, how are you?
Me: Fine thanks, and you?
He: OK
Me: Are you looking for someone? (meaning: you were walking around just now, so are you waiting for a friend?)
He: No, I am going out. (obviously interpreting my question as: shall we fuck tonight?)
And he leaves......

At that time SA walks in and I am feeling so young again!

Good to catch up with SA. He and his partner have been together for more than 22 years and they were one of the first same-sex couples who got married.

We proceed to Soho bar, have a few more beers, and when I am home around 3am I go to bed a happy man.

Friday, 9 February 2007

World press photo

This is the World Press Photo 2007. A group of Lebanese youth are touring a neighbourhood in Beirout which was destroyed by Israeli bombs. The picture was taken by American photographer Spencer Platt. Not only does it show the contrast between these fashionable people in their nice car with the destroyed buildings in the background, the photo also provides us with a good illustration of the gap between rich and poor. Closing that gap will be one of the main challenges for politicans to work on during the next decade or so. The income (in)equality in an economy can be measured by the Gini coefficient. The lower the Gini coefficient, the more equal income is distributed. For instance the Netherlands has a Gini coefficient of 30.9, Singapore 42.5 and the USA 40.8.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Supertramp - Hide in your shell - LIVE

Was listening to so many songs from my youth this evening....
This is a beauty. I was 16 or 17 when we played this song at our high school parties.

Getting old

It hit suddenly, this morning. Because it was snowing I drove to work. I always park my car in the Amsterdam Arena, the big Ajax Amsterdam football stadium. From there, it is a 5 minute walk to work underneath the Bijlmer train station.

Looking at all the people around me, I suddenly realized that almost everyone was younger than I. Maybe not so strange, as there is a University in that area, and more young people take public transport so they are over-represented in a train station. But still it hit hard: I am getting old and youth is around me, but also behind me. A weird feeling.

After exercising tonight, I also noticed in the shower that my grey chest hairs have a fertility rate that would make the Singapore government happy. Any defence seems to be futile.

Until very recently I still felt like 18 - or 20 - or 27 - whatever: I felt young. Not anymore, I am afraid.

First snow of the winter

We had the first snow of this winter today. And it is already 8 February! Global warming is here to stay, definitely.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

My Singapore bed

This is my bed from Singapore that arrived today. I am sure I will sleep well tonight and have many sweet (and other?? hehe) dreams. Busy day re-arranging the house, throwing away the old stuff to make place for some of the furniture, kitchen ware and ornaments from Singapore. A blend of two houses!

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

A sparkling personality

I had an interview with a lady and a guy from an executive search firm today. I had the feeling it all went well and we had a pleasant discussion for more than an hour. When we were almost done, the lady said: "When you walked in, I had the feeling you were a very bland and grey person. I was happy to discover that in reality you are a very sparkling personality." Needless to say that she made my day. (I am so easy to please!)
In other news, Time Magazine reports on some hugely important scientific research that proves that 8% of all male sheep are gay. The article is well written and is worth reading:,9171,1582336,00.html

Finally, SI from HK called to tell me he has accepted a new job that sounds fantastic. And in even better news, a previous lover from way back when (1999-2000) re-established contact with SI and it looks like they are going to be back together again. And as if this isn't enough good news, he won a flat-screen TV in a lucky draw last week! You go girl, 2007 is gonna be a fantastic year!

Monday, 5 February 2007

Kissing Queens

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visited the Netherlands today. Here you can see our Queen Beatrix giving a welcome kiss to her royal guest.

Lizzy was in the Netherlands to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the English church at the Begijnhof in Amsterdam. In 1607 this church of the Beguines was given to the English Presbyterians by the municipality of Amsterdam. In 1650 the church has been enlarged with a southern side-aisle.

The Begijnhof is one of my favourite places in Amsterdam: so tranquil and peaceful.