Friday, 31 August 2007

Gays' real enemy: closeted gays

I have said it before and I will say it again: real heterosexuals have no problem with gay people, it is the closeted homosexuals that we should be afraid of. Here is another example from the US: "Larry Craig, (picture) an Idaho Republican, is the latest conservative politician to be caught with his pants down. According to media reports, Craig had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Aug 8 after he was arrested on June 11 by an undercover officer investigating civilian complaints about sexual activity in the men’s rooms in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport." I had to laugh when I read this: "Karsnia’s report stated: “At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognised this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area.” So funny: "To use the restroom for its intended use", which US law says I can only pee and poo in a restroom?

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Sloggi: great marketing

A wonderful idea from Sloggi underwear: the world's most beautiful bum contest. Everyone can participate.

Interview with LKY

Interesting interview with LKY in which he makes some sensible comments.
"So, can we survive? The question is still unanswered. We have survived so far, 42 years. Will we survive for another 42? It depends upon world conditions. It doesn't depend on us alone. If there were no international law and order, and big fish eat small fish and small fish eat shrimps, we wouldn't exist. Our armed forces can withstand an attack and inflict damage for two weeks, three weeks, but a siege? (laughs)"
"For the top 20 percent of the population, there are no constraints there. I would say . . . top 20 percent, the educated population. They're educated abroad, at university. So, they know the wide world and they are on the Internet and they've got friends, they e-mail them. They travel. Every year, about 50 percent of Singaporeans travel by air. So, this is not a closed society. But at the same time, we try to maintain a certain balance with the people who are not finding it so comfortable to suddenly find the world changed, their world, their sense of place, their sense of position in society. We call them the heartlanders in the HDB estates [government housing developments], the people who live in three- and four-room flats. Three and four rooms are the lowest end. Five rooms and the executives are the upper end."
"Like gays, we take an ambiguous position. We say, O.K., leave them alone but let's leave the law as it is for the time being and let's have no gay parades."

Free investment advice

Since selling a portion of my stocks at the right moment in July some people have come to me for investment advice. So here we go: we need a further correction with another 10% drop of major indices (Dow Jones below 12,000, AEX around 450) before I will start thinking about investing in equity again.

I am so popular with the guys from Africaland!

"Hello sir, I am called Femi. I come from Ghana (Africaland).I am a good student. I am a very active and a very funny chappie. I am funny. I like going to all sorts of entertainment and I also simply adore listening to music sounds as well also too (also). Please contact me and we can fuck. email"

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

The Perfect Secretary

So today all the girls in our office were on leave so the only ones there were my bosses and I, making me the most junior person around. And of course we had lots of visitors who all wanted something. It started with a foreign guest who wanted to change his flight so I thought easy - one call to the travel agent. And the travel agent says "sorry can't help you as we didn't issue the ticket - just call KLM" and KLM says "sorry we can't help you as the ticket was issued by United Airlines" and United Airlines says "sorry we can't help you as it is a paper ticket, you need to come to the ticketing desk and by the way, the only UA ticketing desk is at the airport and they are closing in 45 minutes" so I rush to the airport to get the ticket changed and the UA girl doesn't know how to do it and tries to send me to KLM but I make her change the ticket as I don't want her to escape and the ticket desk to be closed while I am queueing at KLM. Back to the office they ask me "please can you arrange take-out lunch for 5 persons?" so out I go again and get lunch. And the entire afternoon questions like "you know the telephone number for XYZ?", "where can I find paperclips?", "what is our customer number for DHL?" etc etc etc. To add insult to injury I should have paid my own salary today but the company doesn't have money on the accounts, well hopefully later this week that problem will be solved. At least my bosses thanked me for all the trouble when I left. Maybe tomorrow I will wear a nice skirt.

Monday, 27 August 2007

I was cruised in a dream.....

A very clear dream. My father, mother, one of my brothers and I are staying in a hotel in Ireland. To reach the hotel we need to go through a railway station. There is very strict security at the railway station and while waiting in a queue there is this tall Indian guy who is cruising me. Then it is my turn for inspection and they think I am a terrorist but they can't find the bomb. The room in the hotel is very difficult to reach via impossible stairs, but finally we can enjoy the view of the mountains which unfortunately are covered in fog.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Full moon weekend

Just came home and walking back from the tram stop I realized it is full moon. I also realized it is getting chillier in the evening, and it is already dark around 9:15pm. Nature is slowly preparing for the winter, although it is still summer now and we had a great sunny weekend. Had lunch with SA on Saturday who told me all about his trip to Thailand with his rich Belgian lover. Everything 5 or 6 star.... Went to the "Uitmarkt", the opening of the cultural season with RO, FA and MA on Saturday evening which was OK. Also visited the new Amsterdam library which is big and modern and offers great views of the city from the restaurant at the top floor. Today slept in very late (I still feel skipping one night this week (on the plane)), cleaned the house and read the old newspapers, and went to see everyone for Happy Hour at April. MT from London was also in town, a nice surprise.

Eat or be eaten....

Amazing video.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

News that makes me smile

Think about this: "A fire broke out Wednesday evening at a crematorium located in the community of Hibat Tzion in the Sharon region. Firefighters dispatched to the scene extinguished the flames; no injuries were reported." So damn funny if you ask me........

Bearforce1 - I know some guys who will like this!

"The world's first Bear band" they even have a website at

Preparing for Hurricane Dean, Cancun, Mexico

The Caribbean at Tulum, Mexico

On the road near Pichucalco, Mexico

Canyon del Sumidero, Mexico

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

Templo de Santo Domingo, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

Fine for littering: 90 minimum wages

Misol-Ha Waterfalls - Mexico

Palenque - Mexico

A typical street in Campeche - Mexico

Walking down Uxmal temple - Mexico

A lesser known part of Uxmal - Mexico

A forgotten church in rural Yucatan - Mexico

Chichén Itza - Mexico

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Finally going home

So in the end the Hurricane passed far South of us and we were hardly affected. There were very strong winds and lots of rain but I slept right through it. When we visited the beach on Tuesday afternoon it was impossible to face the sea as the wind blew sand in our eyes. We will be picked up in two hours to go to the airport for a 4pm Wednesday departure for Amsterdam. I must say I am ready to go home!

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico - Monday 10pm

Until one hour ago I thought: Hurricane Dean - much ado about nothing. But now the storm and the rains have started and wow, the roof of the restaurant where we were eating was making very, very strange noises. Our travel agent decided this morning to take us to Cancun (city center) as the projected landfall of Dean is some 250km South near Chetumal. We should be safe here but having seen the first rains and winds I am not as relaxed as earlier today. They expect electricity will be cut in an hour so without aircon it is going to be a stuffy night. Not sure when everything will be back to normal (supermarkets were very crowded today with people buying lots of water and food) and I hope the town of Chetumal will remain relatively unharmed. Good news: the restaurant broke the law and served beer!

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Hurricane Dean leads to evacuation

We were just informed by the representative of our travel agent that our flight from Cancun to Amsterdam scheduled for Monday has been cancelled and that they are going to evacuate us to a place inland to be safe from Hurricane Dean. Tomorrow morning a bus will pick us up and transfer us to a place yet unknown. It is also not clear when the airport in Cancun will re-open and when Martinair will have a plane there to take us home. Earliest Wednesday, they say.
Our snorkeling and sailing excursions were also cancelled so the last few days of our Mexico trip have not been the nicest. A Ley seco ("dry law") has been put in force so no alcohol is available for sale. The town is now changing into a ghost town as more and more tourists and locals are leaving and businesses are closing down.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Preparing for Hurricane Dean

It is Saturday 1130am here in Playa del Carmen and the entire town is preparing for Hurricane Dean. Lots of workers out on the streets and at the hotels to put hardboard at windows, strenghten loose structures etc. Some tourists (mostly the Mexicans who arrived by car) are already leaving. Latest forecast is that Dean will hit this area Monday evening so it will be a close call if our flight will leave Monday 630pm. Well, there is nothing we can do so we´ll sit it out I guess.
In other news we found a tiny gay bar and they told us there even is a gay disco that we will check out tonight.

Friday, 17 August 2007


Our flight is scheduled to depart Cancun Monday 630pm.....
Hurricane Dean gained strength as it headed into the Caribbean on Thursday. Around 11 p.m. ET, rain from Hurricane Dean was pounding the Windward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles chain that divides the Caribbean from the Atlantic. The storm is forecast to reach the Yucatan late Monday, still as a Category 4, then re-enter the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 2 storm. Some computer models show Dean reaching Category 5 strength.

Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

So after two days of almost non-stop driving (800 km) we arrived in Playa del Carmen today in the afternoon. We had a few problems finding a hotel with vacancy but finally succeeded. The hotel is full with cute young Italians - in fact, the entire town is. What surprises me about Mexico is that all the tourists are Europeans, lots of Spanish, Italians, French, a few Germans, Dutch and Brits. And no Americans whatsoever. Strange.
The Caribbean is as blue as you would imagine and we are going to do some sailing and snorkeling trips. The town is also nice and we found a nice beach-side bar with a friendly owner, cool beers and 70´s and 80´s music. ´Fat cool´ as my niece would say. No more drama so far so I just hope everything will be quiet for the rest of this trip.

Monday, 13 August 2007

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

So here I am around 2pm in a Cyber cafe in downtown SCDLC. A very neat town, very different from what I expected. Bigger and much more touristy; I would say this is the most touristy place in Mexico we have been after Cancun. The locals are not as friendly as in other parts of the country - quite typical for mountain people. It is only about 20C here and I regret not having taken a sweater or jacket with me. Tomorrow we will visit a nearby canyon and then head back to the Playas of the Caribbean coast, which is a two or maybe three day drive. So far the interaction in our little group was fine, but finally yesterday there was some tension between my brother and OS, hopefully they can both behave themselves for the remainder of the trip. My niece and I are definitely the easy-going people in our group......
O, so far I forgot to tell DA in SF that we are driving a Jeep very similar to the one we were driving in the USA. Very useful here as the roads are sometimes bad and the "topes" (speed breakers) are sometimes nerve wrecking.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Palenque,Chiapas, Mexico

It is Saturday 330pm here in the back-packing town of Palenque. This morning we visited the temples here which are in a beautiful foothill setting. It reminded me a lot of Angkor Wat in Cambodia (old ruins overgrown with tropical vegetation). I also realized how priviliged I am to have been able to visit both Angkor and Palenque, so far from each other and yet so similar.
Tomorrow we will proceed to San Cristobal de las Casas, made famous by the Zapatista Liberation Army in the 1990s. All is said to be quiet in this region (the poorest of Mexico) at this time.
In other news, I spotted two very handsome young construction workers near the pool of our hotel. Mexicans are a bit like Indians, when young many are good-looking but they don't age well. Another very cute guy we saw in the temple area turned out to be a Dutch tourist.......

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Ticul, Mexico

It is Wednesday afternoon 5pm and this sleepy Mexican town has just woken up from its siesta. And they really need a siesta here as it is very, very hot and humid. This town is our base to explore the temples of Uxmal tomorrow morning. Today we left Valladolid early to visit the temples of Chichen Itza which are impressive. After the temples we visited some caves with Maya relics (and very little oxygen once we got to the deepest area) and proceeded to the hotel where my dad passed away 14 years ago. The hotel looked very much like how my mom had described it. We explained the situation to the girl at the reception who didn´t hesitate to give us the key to the actual room where my father died. It was an emotional moment for my brother and me, and we called my mom from the hotel.
Mexico is a fun country with good food and very nice people. We have now left the touristy part of Yucatan and have been to very sleepy towns and villages with few facilities and no other tourists. Cancun has a nice beach and great blue ocean water, but is way too big, built-up and touristy for my liking. Compared to Cancun Phuket looks like a small sleepy fishing village!
Tomorrow after Uxmal we´ll proceed South to Campeche.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Going to Mexico

It is Monday morning early and in a few hours I will be boarding Martinair flight MP 639 non-stop from Amsterdam to Cancun. This will be a special holiday: my father passed away while on holiday in Mexico 14 years ago (heart attack). My brother called early in the year if I wanted to join him on a trip there and I said yes. We'll be in Mexico for two weeks, mostly touring around by rental car. We will be going to the hotel where my dad died (my mother still has the original documents so we even know the room number), and will visit old colonial towns, Maya temples and hopefully spend a few days at a nice beach. My Lonely Planet Yucatan tells me there are Internet cafes all over the place so I'll try to do regular updates on this site.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

A good gay pride

Just arrived home from the last day of Gay Pride 2007. All of us went to the party outside the Stopera (Amsterdam's City Hall cum Opera) today. Bad music (why do they have all these artists that nobody has ever heard about before?) but the atmosphere and weather were excellent and we drank, danced and chatted from 4pm until 9pm. These kind of parties are nice if you are with a group of friends, and I am happy that I have this rather large group of gays that I always hang out with.

Sad sad Singapore government

And at the same time Amsterdam celebrates diversity (there was even a "Straight solidarity with gays" boat in the parade yesterday), Singapore takes a few steps back yet again.
Singapore authorities ban lecture on gay sex laws by Canadian professor
Following a widely publicised ban of a photographic exhibition depicting same-sex couples kissing, a scheduled lecture by a Canadian law professor on anti-gay laws has been banned by the authorities. Reason: "Our laws are an expression and reflection of the values of our society; the discourse over a domestic issue such as the laws that govern homosexuality in Singapore must be reserved for Singaporeans. Indeed there have been public forums where Singaporeans have debated and discussed the issue of homosexuality at length. Singapore's domestic politics is the domain for Singaporeans and foreigners should refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Singapore."
What nonsense. These are universal human rights. So every human being has the right if not the duty to voice his opinion.

The Amsterdam Canal Parade 2007

This was the first time I was actually on a boat during Amsterdam Gay Pride. We were not in the official list of participants (73 boats were), but we managed to follow the last "official" boats and sailed for 3 hours through Amsterdam's canals. It was a beautiful day - sunny and warm - and almost half a million people came to watch the parade. What I like about Amsterdam's gay pride is that most of the visitors are straight - a typical comment is that "you will never see so many good looking men together" which attracts the girls of course. Picture below is our boat, you can see a glimpse of me waving to the photographer.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Versatile doctors

One of my colleagues is in Uganda and he sent me this picture. I wish our doctors here in Europe would be as versatile as Dr. Juma.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Learning Chinese

AL from Singapore sent me this today. What a coincidence as just yesterday I registered for a Mandarin Chinese language beginners course with the Chinese School Amsterdam. I do not live under the illusion that 12 times 3 hours classes will make me fluent in Chinese; however, I should know by then if I'd like to continue or if I positively hate it. The FAQ of the school is not very encouraging: Q: Is Chinese a difficult language to learn for Westerners? A: Yes.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Amsterdam Gay Pride Weekend

Coming up: Amsterdam Gay Pride Weekend. (always the first weekend of August) I remember 10 (?) years ago when they started with the Canal Parade it was a small event. Now, they have parties, cultural events, etc. for four days (Thursday - Sunday) and still the canal parade on Saturday. Today, the buzz started and I received SMS's, e-mails and calls from friends planning our get-togethers. MA called around 7pm today for pre-Gay pride drinks which I declined - I am afraid the four days will already be sufficient for my alcohol intake. On Friday the gang will watch a drag queen show at the Dutch party at Amstel, on Saturday all of us will have brunch at WI and GO's place before watching the parade from a small boat that WI has arranged. The weather forecast is perfect: sunny and 23C. Sunday the grand-mother of all Dutch gays, Willeke Alberti (picture below) will sing her gay-favourite song "Samen zijn" ("Being together") and everyone will sing to these lines:

Samen zijn
Is samen lachen, samen huilen
Leven door dichtbij elkaar te zijn
Samen zijn
Is sterker dan de sterkste storm
Gekleurder dan 't grauwe om je heen
Want samen zijn
Ja samen zijn
Dat wil toch iedereen

Being together
Is laughing together, crying together
Living by being close to each other
Being together
Is stronger than the strongest storm
More coloured than the greyness around you
Because being together
Yes, being together
Is what everybody wants

The world's first nail biting clinic

Leave it to the Dutch to create a problem and then make money from it: The Dutch town of Venlo will soon be home to the first treatment centre in the world for nail biters. Director Alain-Raymond van Abbe of the Institute for Pathological Onychophagy (IPO) announced this on Wednesday. His expertise centre has developed a health aid over the past two years that is fitted to the individual and makes nail biting impossible. The so-called O-Centre (Onychophagy Centre) will be the first clinic in the world aimed specifically at helping nail biters and will be the first to use the specially designed health aid, according to the centre's founders. The centre starts operation this month but will not be officially open until September. There is a long waiting list of nail biters who hope to get treatment. Van Abbe says that the Netherlands has about 2 million nail biters. Recent studies show that about 15 percent of adults, 33 percent of young children and 45 percent of adolescents bite their nails. A "health aid that makes nail biting impossible?" Rubber gloves maybe? This entire O-centre smells like a scam with which Mr. Van Abbe is going to make a lot of money. And I wouldn't be surprised if he manages to convince the health ministry that treating onychophagy should really be paid by our national health insurance.......