Saturday, 31 March 2007

An ASEAN meeting

Watched a part of I not stupid, a Singapore movie, yesterday at KE's house. Quite funny especially the Singlish spoken. I will borrow the DVD to watch the entire movie soon. Around 11:30pm I made my way to April where I found HO (from Vietnam), CH (from Singapore) and SA (from Thailand) so we were joking about having an ASEAN meeting. By the way did you know that this is the ASEAN flag? I had never seen it before. MA and HE joined so I had to be careful with my alcohol intake. For every two beers they drank I had one beer and one water me so clever lah! I think MA misses GI because he kept on asking "when are we going to Asia again?" The gang is planning for a trip in September, but I think I can't join as I start the new job in May and don't want to take loads of leave so soon. Was home around 3am; took another route home and marveled at the beauty of Amsterdam on a clear Spring night.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Restaurant Dynasty, Amsterdam

We had our official "closing down of business" dinner yesterday. Everyone that was employed by our department at the time that the closure was announced in August 2006 had been invited and 22 colleagues showed up. It was so good to talk about the bizarre way some of our bosses operated, and about the weird characters that we have worked with over the years. Lots of stories about sex and alcohol. For sure, when you send people half-way across the world to work in some developing country it doesn't always bring out the most noble character traits in them.......

Restaurant Dynasty was great as always. It is a fusion Asian restaurant (mostly Thai and Chinese dishes) and the quality of their beef and fish is amazing.

Cycled home with AY who is happy in her new job.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Dutch Beggar in Bangkok

If my new job doesn't work out.....

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Masturbation and 2 hour wanks

sgboy wrote in his blog that he had a two hour wank. He also needs porn for inspiration. I am so different. I seldom need more than two minutes, and I just refer to previous sexual experiences to get inspired. Saves a lot of time and effort......

Anyway, a small poll: how often do you masturbate and when? Me: almost every day, before going to sleep.

While searching a picture for this post, I found this website:
Lots of videos and pictures that may get you hard!

Restaurant Het Wijn en Spijslokaal van Bilthoven

I had dinner with MR and RB tonight in this restaurant. They moved to a new house about a year ago and this was the first time I was there. They have huge plans for renovation and it will take another year at least before the house is ready. MR and RB are one of those couples that are constantly renovating their home. I have known them since 1991 and I have never been in their house without building works in progress. What would be a nightmare for me seems to be their hobby.

Small is beautiful (2)

I found this in an article commenting a book by a certain Dr. Dikotter on racism in (ancient) China:

"The human race, according to a Chinese legend, was created by a divine potter who left his clay figure of a man too long in the kiln. When it came out burned and black, he threw it away as far as he could - and it landed in Africa. The second one he pulled out too soon: It was too white. So he threw that one away, more gently, and it landed in Europe. Now he knew the correct timing. The third man was a gorgeous yellow, and from him the East Asian races descended.

Such fanciful tales are found in many cultures. They assert the primitive, if understandable, proposition that one's own skin color is best. Until recently, many white Westerners have presumed that they are more guilty of such racial prejudices than are the other races of Asia and Africa.

Research is only now showing what Westerners living in the Third World had guessed: that the formation of racial perceptions, stereotypes and prejudices is common to all civilizations.

Mr. Dikotter tells how ugly the Chinese found the "ash white" skin and indelicate hairiness of Europeans. Their large genitals were also noted with disapprobation, and perhaps with envy."


Monday, 26 March 2007

Small is beautiful

I had a bad day at work. The company I work for makes several billion € profit every year, but it is so inefficient, bureaucratic and badly organized. You need dozens of badly-designed forms for everything, and when you call to inquire why your telephone number hasn't been moved yet from room #1 to room #2 after an internal move there is nobody who can help you. Nobody is responsible for anything, every individual only controls a tiny part of any procedure. Chaos is the result. In short: I have had it with this company and it is really, really time to move.

Almost certainly I will soon work for a small start-up company and I am so looking forward to not having to deal with internal bureaucracy. I am sure there will be other challenges and problems in my new job (such as having to worry if they can pay my salary at the end of the month), but everything is better than staying with my current employer. Enough is enough.

I was reminded of the book that I read when I was in high school and made a big impression on me at the time: "Small is beautiful" by E.F. Schumacher. (first published in 1973) Schumacher was a respected economist who opposed the neo-classical economics by declaring that single-minded concentration on output and technology was dehumanizing, that one's workplace should be dignified and meaningful first, efficient second, and that nature is priceless. Schumacher proposed the idea of "smallness within bigness"; in other words, a specific form of decentralization: for a large organization to work it must behave like a related group of small organizations. Schumacher's work coincided with the growth of ecological concerns and with the birth of environmentalism.

Some quotes from the book that are even more true today than they were 34 years ago:

"Ever bigger machines, entailing ever bigger concentrations of economic power and exerting ever greater violence against the environment, do not represent progress: they are a denial of wisdom. Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology towards the organic, the gentle, the non-violent, the elegant and beautiful."

"Greed and envy demand continuous and limitless economic growth of a material kind, without proper regard for conservation, and this type of growth cannot possibly fit into a finite environment. We must therefore study the essential nature of the private enterprise system and the possibilities of evolving an alternative system which might fit the new situation."

I sincerely believe that mankind is destroying the planet: another 100 years, maybe 200, and this planet will be uninhabitable. And even a thousand Al Gore's will not be able to stop this process: human nature is all about greed and envy, as Schumacher wrote, and the process of consuming more, and more, and more, and......, will be very difficult to stop.

Singapore propaganda in action

Singapore's propaganda machine never ceases to surprise me:

"The strong tripartite relationship which Singapore enjoys today will be affected if good and capable political leaders are not retained, says labour chief Lim Swee Say. To retain these top talents in political office, salaries need to be increased to remain competitive, adds the NTUC Secretary General."

So here's the country's top labour leader supporting the increase of the elite's salaries. Shouldn't he be worrying about the absence of a minimum wage or the lack of a social security safety net?

What's next? The Singapore Vegetarian Society asking us to eat more meat? A joint statement by Singapore's churches to have more gay sex, preferably SM sex?

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Perfume: story of a murderer

This was a nice Sunday evening. Had dinner in (Chinese) restaurant New King with OS and DAZ, proceeded to April where just about everybody that I know in gay Amsterdam was present, had 3 drinks (in case you are interested : one beer and two waters!) and went to watch Perfume: story of murderer.

I read the book by Patrick Suskind a couple of years ago and it was such a page-turner. The movie, directed by Tom Tykwer, is also excellent. The story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille's birth, early youth and young adulthood is told vividly with scenes of 18th century Paris in which you can almost smell the stench. Ben Whishaw is good as our murderer Jean-Baptiste Grenouille; he is totally obsessed by catching and preserving the scent of young beautiful women. Beautiful shots of the French countryside complete a nice movie.

Opposites attract

Last Friday in the bar RO got cruised by a big, fat, white guy. Now you must know that RO is into real slim, dark skin young men, so he was not thrilled by the attention. The big guy was not planning to back off easily, and it was funny to see how RO felt very uneasy and didn't know how to handle the situation. But in the end, his face showed sufficient disgust for the big man to give up.
Thinking about such situations (yes, they have happened to me too), I always welcome the attention and will at least have a chat with the admirer, even if he is not my type. Only when they can't keep their hands to themselves will I send them on their way.

Just now ER asked the question why I drink more in Amsterdam than in Singapore. There are several reasons:
1) In Singapore, too, I was drinking a lot sometimes. Ask AN. I believe when ER is around he has a good influence on my alcohol consumption;
2) Drinks are more expensive in Singapore, which has a (small) effect on alcohol intake;
3) It is a custom in my group of friends in Amsterdam to buy a round of beer for each other. So if we have a group of 10 (which is usually the case) , and everyone buys a round, that's 10 beers for all already;
4) Happy hour. Normally we wait for happy hour to order our drinks. So multiply the number of beers in the previous line by 2;
5) CH and FR have the habit of ordering lots of beers just before the end of happy hour. So suddenly there are 30 beers on the table.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Dangerous religious nuts

Another example of the hatred and lies the church is spreading.

Granny just parked the car

Friday, 23 March 2007

Young people

There is hope. When I am old and my sorry arse needs to be wiped, chances are that it will be done by a cute young nurse:

"Despite the ageing of the population, the Netherlands will have one of the most youthful populations in Europe in the year 2050. 27 of every 100 inhabitants will be under 25 at that time. Only Luxembourg will surpass the Netherlands with more under-25s, the European statistical bureau Eurostat reported on Friday. The bureau has found that the proportion of youth in the total population is decreasing throughout the EU. While the Netherlands will see a decrease from 30 to 27 under-25s per 100 inhabitants, the EU as a whole the average will decrease from 29 to 23 percent in 2050."

We are so popular........

The number of applications from Iraqi asylum seekers in the industrialised countries increased 77 percent in 2006 compared to the previous year. Most of these applications – some 9,000 - were made in Sweden. The Netherlands was the second most popular country for the Iraqis, with 2,800 applications. The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced these figures on Friday on the basis of information submitted by the governments of the industrialised countries.

Can we send these people straight to the White House? After all, that's where the man is who created the mess that caused the poor Iraqis to move abroad.

Man of the Year

While in Singapore, I also watched Man of the Year, a movie directed by Barry Levinson. Robin Williams stars as comedian Tom Dobbs who decides to run for President of the USA, and, to everyone's surprise, wins the election. Trouble is he owes his victory to a computer glitch in the national touch-screen voting system marketed by Delacroy, a private company with a rising stock price. To protect their fortune, Delacroy executives want to keep the glitch a secret, but one programmer, Eleanor Green, wants Dobbs to know the truth.

A so-so movie, quite entertaining but also quite forgetable. The movie also stars Christopher Walken who I have seen in umpteen other movies......

The History Boys

Yes, I know, I am a sentimental faggot, but some tears flowed when I watched The History Boys, a 2006 British movie directed by Nicholas Hytner. The movie is based on the popular play with the same name written by Alan Bennett.

The film tells the story of a small group of intelligent high school students as they prepare for getting into Oxford or Cambridge. They are guided by some teachers who are trying to teach them more than just facts, but the Headmaster of the school is more interested in the final exam results than in preparing the students for life. In the mean time, sex and love come into play, and the teacher for "General Studies" can't keep his hands to himself. Asked to define history, one of the students says: "History. It's just one bloody thing after another." Hehe.

Dominic Cooper plays Dakin who is the cutest of the group. And the rather stereotypical gay boy of the group (who of course is head over heels with Dakin) is played by Samuel Barnett.

A nice movie. Go and see it if you can.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Singapore Ministers to get more money

Singapore civil service salaries are set to go up and details of this will be announced in Parliament on the 9th of April. This was revealed by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Administrative Service dinner on Thursday. In his speech, Mr Lee said the government is also reviewing salaries for the political, judicial and statutory appointment holders. He added that it is critical for Singapore to keep their salaries competitive so that the country can bring in a continuing flow of able and successful people to be ministers and judges.

Singapore Ministers are currently earning only about S$ 100,000 (US$ 65,000 / € 50,000) per month, so it is about time that their salaries are raised. It is perfectly normal that a Singapore minister makes much more that the President of the USA, or the Prime Minister of the UK, or the Prime Minister of Australia. Think about the air conditioning bill (it is SO hot in Singapore) which is much higher than Tony Blair's, or the car prices which are so much higher than George Bush is paying, or having to deal with Chinese and Malay and Indian and foreign talent which is much more difficult than running a purely homogeneous country like Australia...........


Theo van Gogh gets a statue

A sculpture entitled The Scream was unveiled in the Ooster Park in Amsterdam Sunday as a tribute to filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was killed by a religious extremist three years ago. Created by Jeroen Henneman, the stainless steel sculpture depicts a face with its mouth closed morphing into one that is screaming. It is meant to portray freedom of expression and how the filmmaker's voice was silenced.

Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan citizen, ambushed Van Gogh on an Amsterdam street and then shot, stabbed and slit his throat. Bouyeri then thrust a manifesto into the filmmaker's chest on the point of his knife. Bouyeri was sentenced to life in prison for killing Van Gogh, whose great-grandfather was the brother of the famed Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.

I always pass the Ooster Park on my way from home to the city. I have fond memories of the park: it is one of the two parks where I have had sex. A few years ago on a balmy summer night with SA. I like the statue and should have a look at it soon.

Minister Klink wants to cancel happy hours

From the news: "Christian democrat CDA Public Health Minister Ab Klink (picture) wants to put a quick stop to happy hours and other campaigns involving cheap drinks at bars and cafes."

What are you doing, dear Minister? Micro-managing our lifes? I would think that a public health minister would have more important things to do than ban happy hours.

It looks like the new government is full of moralistic Calvinists who are trying to ban fun. The good news is that I don't think that the ban that Mr. Klink wants will ever materialize. After all, we are still a capitalist society where the bar owners, and not the government, set the prices for drinks.

Water sports

Interesting article in Holland Herald, the in-flight magazine of KLM:

"Porcupine passion

Most unlikely courtship ritual? The male porcupine douses the female in his urine and continues showering her until she submits to his advances"

The Elizabeth Hotel, Singapore

On check-out from this hotel, I was given a customer comment form. You know, one of those forms where you mark the various aspects of the hotel from 1 (very poor) to 5 (excellent). On average, I think I gave a 2. And in the "other comments" box I wrote: "room was dirty, found blood (?) stains on the bed sheets, construction works next door woke us up early in the morning". So it makes perfect sense that I received this e-mail from The Elizabeth Hotel:

"Thank you for taking the time to complete our guest questionaire form. It gives us great pleasure to read that you were pleased with our services and facilities.

Far East Hospitality and all of us at The Elizabeth Singapore take pride in providing our guests with the highest standards in hospitality. We look forward to hearing our guests' comments in order that we may maintain or improve our services and facilities.

Best regards,

Confidential Secretary to Area General Manager"

Chantel may be a "confidential secretary", but for sure she can't read.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Back in Amsterdam

Landed at Schiphol at 6:25am after a good flight. Just before departure, the stewardess asked me to follow her and gave me two seats with no neighbours! The Platinum Flying Blue card is worth something after all! Slept 7 hours, read my book, and listened to my iPod.

It was nice to be back in Singapore. Thanks for your friendship. Will write more later, shower now and work is waiting for me.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

A quick update

So Saturday came and went. Played tennis with AN around 4pm in the Singapore heat which was a bad idea. It DOES make a difference playing in the sun or after dark. Was sweating worse than ever and lost 6-3, 6-0 and no chance for revenge any time soon. Grrrrr.

Had dinner at DA's place who also had an Irish guy visiting and PL from England. (more about him later). The Irish guy was drinking like a fish and as a result was already difficult to understand during dinner. DA is a good cook and PL bought some yummie deserts. ER joined after work and finally we were all ready to go to Tantric around midnight.

Tantric was very full and I saw some of the regulars there. Also CO was there which was a nice surprise. All the Asian boys were drooling over PL, I must admit he is good-looking but nobody had a chance as he has a boyfriend.

Went to Maxwell with AN and JO for some porridge. As soon as I reached the hotel I fell into a deep comatose sleep.

An now in Far East Internet cafe again and will have lunch with AL soon.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Internet shop @ Far East Shopping, Singapore

I am in Singapore!

Had a good flight. Long distance economy class travel is only bearable when the plane is not full, so I was happy to see that the seat next to me was empty so I could stretch out a bit. Managed to sleep 6 plus (see! I am even writing Singlish now!) hours, and read the first two chapters of Conny Palmen's new novel Lucifer. Very good so far. At Changi, the immigration officer, seeing my PR stamp, said: "Welcome home." Hehe.

After a quick shower at The Elizabeth Hotel I made my way to ER's shop. So nice to see him again! And so good to see that the shop is doing OK, at least this morning there were lots of customers.

Was not planning to go to Backstage yesterday, but AL texted and ordered me to go there. All the good friends were there (ER, AN, JO, AL, PA and his new bf RA, CL) and it was as if I had never been away.

Am now waiting for AN to confirm tennis (most probably he is still sleeping and / or having sex with someone that he will soon regret having had sex with haha), and will have dinner at DA's place tonight.

Now can someone please invent a cheap and very fast mode of transport between AMS and SIN?

Thursday, 15 March 2007

At the airport

I am in the KLM Crown Lounge at Schiphol Airport. So nice they give us free Internet access. And free drinks, I think I will help myself to some nice ones, so that sleep will come easier later.

Had a rather emotional discussion with my boss in the morning. I think he now understands why some of the remaining staff are so unhappy. It is all a matter of fairness. Maybe he felt guilty; at 4pm he asked everybody to join him in a nearby bar and treated us to a few beers.

Singapore, here I come!

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Boarding number 13

Boarding number 13
Internet check-in
This time tomorrow
Superstitious, am I?

Was it a good idea?
Go far, go soon
Another chapter?
Or close a book?

Am looking forward
With fear
What to expect?
So far, so near

A hug, a kiss
Will we glow?
And shine?

Boarding number 13

Miscellaneous bad news

1) Roman Giertych, Poland's controversial Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, is preparing legislation to sanction school principals who allow members of gay rights organisations to speak with pupils, a Polish education ministry spokesperson confirmed Tuesday. Giertych recently stirred controversy in Heidelberg, Germany, during a meeting of EU education ministers when he openly criticized abortion rights and what he termed "homosexual propaganda". "The propaganda of homosexuality is reaching ever younger children." Giertych said in the Heidelberg speech.

2) The top military commander in the US said he believed homosexual acts were "immoral". Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he backed the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding homosexuality. The policy bans homosexual acts between members of the military.
"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," Gen Pace told the Chicago Tribune. "As an individual, I would not want [acceptance of gay behaviour] to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behaviour," he said.

The Supreme Court in France declared the first and only marriage between two men in France null and void.

4) Bonaire refuses same-sex marriage. Benito Dirksz, political leader of Partido Pro Desaryo Boneiru (PRO), thinks that the government party UPB should demand a guarantee that the Dutch law on same-sex marriage will not come into effect on Bonaire.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Das Leben der Anderen

I went to see Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) tonight, the German winner of the 2007 best foreign language Oscar.

East Berlin, November 1984. Five years before its downfall, the communist East-German government ensured its claim to power with a ruthless system of control and surveillance. Party-loyalist Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Muehe) hopes to boost his career when given the job of collecting evidence against the playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his girlfriend, the celebrated theater actress Christa-Maria Sieland. (Martina Gedeck) After all, the "operation" is backed by the highest political circles. What he didn't anticipate, however, was that submerging oneself into the world of the target also changes the surveillance agent. The immersion in the lives of others--in love, literature, free thinking and speech--makes Wiesler acutely aware of the meagerness of his own existence and opens to him a completely new way of life which he has ever more trouble resisting. But the system, once started, cannot be stopped. A dangerous game has begun.

A great movie by director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck illustrating the importance of freedom. As a student during the early to mid-1980's I visited the German Democratic Republic three times . I could relive the drab atmosphere of that country, and the lack of any freedom that you could feel with every step, in this movie. It was during those visits that I realized how important freedom is, and that I should be thankful to have been born in one of the relatively few free countries in this world.

The New York City tourism campaign

New York City will soon place ads in foreign newspapers to attract more tourists to the Big Apple. Here are some samples, including the one for Singapore. Can somebody tell these New Yorkers that Singapore does have gay sex? Lots of it.

Singapore Air to become even more elitist

The Singapore Girl is becoming more choosy about whom she pampers. Singapore Airlines (SIA) is re-looking its exclusive Priority Passenger Service (PPS) Club and may make it more difficult for air travellers to qualify for this elite list and the privileges that come with membership.

However, travellers who ultimately retain their membership to these loyalty programmes could enjoy even better perks. A source close to the airline said: "What the airline is trying to do is make it difficult to get into the scheme, but once you get in, you're treated like a god."

I am a PPS Club member myself but will soon lose this status. I never felt as if I was "treated like a god". Singapore Airlines is no better than most other airlines, they just have this image of being the best because they are good at marketing and tell us all the time how good they are.

Aaahhhhh - soon it will be back to the back of the bus where all of us are treated like shit.

I guess Singapore Airlines is just adapting to Singapore society at large where the leadership wants the peasants to get out of their elite, uncaring faces. Hehe

Monday, 12 March 2007

Work ethics

My first summer job must have been in 1976 or 1977. I worked for 4 or 5 weeks in a steel factory in my little home town of that time, 's-Gravenzande. I still vividly remember my first day at work. Together with another guy our task was to lift heavy steel bars into a machine, push a big red button, and the machine would punch holes in the steel bar. The other guy was a full-time employee of that company, perhaps 22 years old, and a real man whose main interests were football, women and beer. Which of these three was top of mind mainly depended on the time of the day.

10 minutes into my new job the other guy stopped me. "You are working way too hard. Think about this: you will be out of here in 4 weeks, I will still be here in 40 years. So I will decide how hard we work. Capisce?"

I think my work ethics are pretty strong. When some company hires me for 40 hours a week, I will give them 40 hours of hard work as long as they pay my salary and treat me decently. An employee is a whore to the company: they pay you and you do as they like.

Many people have a very different attitude to work. They will screw the company if they can.

I currently work for a department of a large company that is winding down. There are 8 of us left, and even though the department will be closing there is still some work to do. 5 out of the 8 remaining employees refuse to do any work. They are like whores that take the money but refuse to provide the services.

Today one of the project assistants came to my office. She was completely pissed-off that she, and I and one other guy are still working more or less normally, and the others are on a paid unofficial vacation. We talked for a long time and concluded that we have strong work ethics. We are not better than the others, just different. We wouldn't feel good if we behaved like they do. We are too righteous for our own good.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

A quiet and decent weekend

Sunday 10pm, I just got back from a family day to celebrate my mom's 77th birthday. Everyone was present (well, except my 20 year old nephew who has other priorities in life than visiting his grandma) to wish her a happy birthday and many happy returns. We had a long walk on the Terhorsterzand where we stumbled upon 3 large snakes that were basking in the Spring sunshine. Who says there is no wildlife in the Netherlands? We had a great Scandinavian buffet dinner in De Warrel. (picture) I am usually not a big fan of buffet dinners, but they did a great job. I especially liked the Swedish bean and carrot salad in mustard sauce and the Norwegian beetroot salad. Yummie.

Most of yesterday was spent shopping for gifts. My uncle and aunt from Canada sent me a letter by snail mail asking me to get them several items that can not be bought in Canada. Such as a Dutch book first published in 1935 and a certain French soap whose name returned zero results on google....... So you can imagine it took me many hours of shopping in obscure little bookshops and soapshops (I never knew that Amsterdam has so many soapshops) to find the gifts. And I found the book! For the soap, however, I am afraid I need to go to Paris soon.....

Poor Italy, so close to the Vatican

A church (this time the Catholic one) showed its ugly face again, this time in Italy. The Italian government had promised to introduce a form of registered partnership for gay couples, but under the influence of the Vatican and other conservative forces there is a substantial chance that the bill will be shot down in parliament. Yesterday, a large group of people led by Italian gay-rights group Arcigay held a demonstration against the interference of the Vatican in Italian politics.

They are all hypocrites, these Catholic priests. As if we don't know that most of them are gay themselves. "There is no worse enemy of gays than closeted gays."

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Spring is in the air

This is something that people from tropical climates don't know. Every year, come March/April, the Northern hemisphere wakes up from the dark, misty, depressing, gloomy winter time. I felt it last night when I was cycling home around 2am: Spring is in the air. The air so crisp, so full of oxygen.

Was out to have ONE beer with MA, HE, SA and EL. I really did not want to go out but they convinced me to join them. Anyway, I managed to stop in time - just.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

In memoriam: John Inman

English actor John Inman died this morning. Now I must admit that his name didn't ring a bell immediately when I heard the news. Mr Inman was much better known as Mr Humphries, the queeny Head of Men's Wear in "Are you being served?", the excellent British TV comedy show from the 1970's and early 1980's. His catchphrase "I am free" was one of the many highlights of the show.

'I'm free!,' shrieks Mr Humphries from menswear as, tape measure in trembling hand, he makes a beeline across the shop floor towards an unsuspecting male inside leg; meanwhile Mrs Slocombe, sporting an outrageously dyed bouffant, wonders aloud whether anyone has seen her pussy (she was, of course, referring to her cat) - and the British nation knew what it was in for: half an hour of sub-Carry On innuendo, sauntering alongside rather than attached to the accompanying plot. Broad, rude, crude and offensive were just a few of the criticisms levelled at this scatological sitcom, but the show had the perfect response to such highbrow jibes: ratings. It was loved by the public and they watched it in huge numbers, culminating in over 22 million viewers for a 1979 episode. To date, it remains phenomenally popular in re-runs.

I am a great fan of English humour in general, and English comedy shows in particular. They are so much funnier than their American counterparts. I have watched so many episodes of Are you being served?, Fawlty Towers, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Dad's Army, Blackadder, Yes Minister, Absolutely Fabulous, Little Britain, 'Allo 'Allo, Mr Bean, Keeping Up Appearances, Man About the House, George and Mildred, and I am sure I forget a few.

Mr Inman was gay, but unfortunately never came out during his lifetime. Mr Inman's partner of more than 30 years is said to be devastated at his death. May Mr Inman rest in peace.

Grand Ecole

Every first Wednesday of the month, one of the largest cinemas in Amsterdam will show a gay-themed movie. To make the evening different, they will give everyone a glass of champagne before the film, and they have teamed up with nearby bar April to have a happy hour (2 drinks for the price of one) after the movie.

Yesterday's movie was Grand Ecole, a 2004 French film directed by Robert Salis. It was nice for about an hour with lots of cute bodies to be seen (the waterpolo team!), but I got irritated by the endless discussions and philosophying, which would never happen between real people. Sometimes these European directors, aiming to make a "different", "sophisticated" movie just lose touch with reality. So I focused on the handsome men who were shown in full nudity throughout the film, especially Jocelyn Quivrin as Louis-Arnault and Salim Kechiouche as Mecir.
The gang who were on holiday in SE Asia for 4 weeks were back in town, so the beer flowed freely in April and it was good to hear all of their stories.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Eat chocolate? Go to prison

I guess we have our fair share of lunatics with good intentions in this country:

A Dutch journalist asked an Amsterdam court on Friday to convict him for eating chocolate, saying by doing so he was benefiting from child slavery on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast.

Teun van de Keuken, 35, is seeking a jail sentence to raise consumer awareness and force the cocoa and chocolate industry to take tougher measures to stamp out child labour.

"If I am found guilty of this crime, any chocolate consumer can be prosecuted after that. I hope that people would stop buying chocolate and thus hurt the sales of big corporations and make them do something about the problem," Van de Keuken said.

Ivory Coast, the world's No. 1 cocoa producer, has been racked by instability since a brief 2002 civil war. International rights groups contend that children are working as slaves on its cocoa plantations.

Van de Keuken launched his attempt to be charged for eating chocolate two years ago when the Dutch public prosecutor ruled that it was not a case for the courts and that the journalist was not directly involved with the cocoa business.

On Friday, he appealed against the prosecutor's decision before a court which is expected to rule in April.

Next week on Dutch TV: the MASTURBATE-A-THON

A British documentary about the Masturbate-a-thon will be shown on Dutch TV next week.


For the very first time the Masturbate-a-thon is coming to the UK. After six successful years in San Francisco the event has finally arrived in Europe, and will this year take place in London, on Saturday 5th August 2006.

This is a charity event, intended to encourage people to explore safer sex, talk about masturbation and lift the taboos that still surround the subject, by coming to a public place and coming in a public place!

All money raised supports charities in the campaign for greater public understanding of and better services in HIV and sexual health.
Participants ask friends, colleagues and loved ones to sponsor them. The amount you raise will be determined by how many minutes you masturbate and/or how many orgasms you achieve. You can even ask sponsors to support you by making a single payment just for having the courage to come along on the day and take part.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Know the competition: Bruce Willis

Every Asian guy that I know is in love with Bruce Willis. So when I realized that Dutch TV was showing "Die Hard: With a Vengeance", a 1995 movie starring my strongest competitor, I just had to watch. The verdict: well, Bruce is not bad looking, but I still don't understand why all these cute Asian men get dreamy eyes when they see him. An average gay bar in Amsterdam has tons of guys that look better than Bruce. Hehe

Nudifit is open!

And this is how it looks. So many photographers showed up that the ladies didn't dare to show their tits in the gym. Only some brave guys.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

A trashy Sunday

Morning: my exercises 45 minutes, a bit of Internet browsing 45 minutes, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom 2.5 hours (I am such a good housewife sometimes)
Afternoon: more cleaning (1 hour), shower and go to city (45 minutes), movie "Night at the Museum" (2 hours)

The only highlight of Night at the Museum is Rami Malek who is so cute. This picture doesn't do him justice......

Evening: drinks at April (2.5 hours) A lot of acquaintances there, such as NO and GE whom ER and I met in the breakfast room of the Pinnacle Hotel in Bangkok in November, and KU and XX (why do I always forget the names of guys that don't interest me?) who are going to get married soon. KU is such a nice and funny guy. He is a Malay guy from Singapore and is so full of life. He told me he and his bf went to the Singapore Consulate to arrange for some papers they need in order to get married. They were quite open about their same-sex marriage and apparently the Singapore Consulate cooperated without hesitation. I told KU that he should write to the Straits Times as they may be the first same-sex married couple where one of the partners is Singaporean.
Too drunk to go to a decent restaurant so dinner at Burger King. (20 minutes) A whopper menu with fries and coke light (who am I fooling?)

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Restaurant 't Fornuis, Amsterdam

My friend JM was in Amsterdam for business meetings and called to ask if he could stay with me for the night. We went into town for dinner and looking around we thought we'd have to go to McDonalds or Burgerking because all the restaurants around Rembrandtplein were full! The economy must really be doing well if you can't even eat decently without booking ahead.

Anyway, we found a table in 't Fornuis which I had been to a couple of times. Good food, good service, and nice wines, but I noticed JM had something on his mind that was bothering him. Finally he told me that his wife told him that she may be pregnant again! They already have two children aged 12 and 9, and decided to not have more, so his wife's phone call came as a big surprise. I can imagine that having another baby at their age is turning their world upside-down. I also told him about DAZ' child and how, after seeing DAZ with his son, for the first time in my life I actually thought about producing a child myself.

After dinner, JM wanted to see today's bar scene in Amsterdam, so we went to all kinds of hip student hangouts. Everyone was at least 20 years younger than us. Drank too much (and (stupid me) mixed beer, wine, drambuie, coke and juice). JM was drooling over the blond girls, and I realized that men in gay bars are prettier than those in straight bars.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Speaking English: high risk!

Dutch children are most spoilt in the world

Although the UNICEF report calls it "happiest", it being a children's foundation and all, I know what they really mean, as would anyone else would who has spent more than 2 seconds in the presence of Dutch children.

It's official. According to a study by the UN children's organisation, UNICEF, Dutch children are the happiest and enjoy the greatest well-being.

The study looked at the children of 21 wealthy western countries and The Netherlands came out on top, ahead of predictable Scandinavian stalwarts Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

At the other end of the spectrum, the unhappiest children in the western world can be found in the US, in 20th place, and the UK, right at the bottom of the pile in 21st place.

Finally: male prostitutes in Red Light District

Men will soon be standing in the windows of the famous red light district in Amsterdam. A number of male prostitutes will be "on display" in the windows when the district holds its second annual "open house" day on 31 March. Organiser of the publicity event, Mariska Majoor, of the Prostitution Information Centre, announced this on Thursday.

Just like last year, visitors will be given a glimpse behind the scenes at brothels and peep show theatres. The aim is to improve the neighbourhood's image.

Three men have already signed up to work the windows on the open day. One of them currently works as an escort, the other two do not have any experience yet but would like to start work as male prostitutes. Majoors hopes to have about six men working the open day, but because of all the publicity it can be difficult to find enough willing candidates.

The men of easy virtue will be on the Oudekerksplein. The open day will also mark the unveiling of a statue honouring prostitutes worldwide. Prostitutes from abroad will also be attending the unveiling.

Of course, many men are working already as prostitutes in the Red Light District, but so far they were dressed as women. Apparently, there is a market for girls with dicks.