Sunday, 30 September 2007

Internal alarm clock

I woke up this morning because the alarm clock went off - I wanted to switch it off but realized that I dreamt about an alarm clock going off. As this is not the first time, I believe I have an internal alarm clock. So even on a Sunday they want me to wake up early.....
Today MA and JE are flying to Manila; they are the first to leave of our group who are going to Asia. WI and HE will fly next Thursday, me and myself Thursday a week later, and RO on that Friday.

Pear wine

I went to this conference on Friday where they served pear wine, which definitely is the most filthy drink I ever had. It was a conference about international development aid, full of what my boss calls "good-do-ers" for which in Dutch we have this untranslatable word "geitenwollensokkentypes" meaning softies from the 60's, ex-hippies. Still, the conference was nice as they had two comedians who had funny sketches about things that go wrong in development aid: "we watched all these documentaries about hungry people in Africa. So we thought we'd start a restaurant there. Nobody came!"
In the evening had a long talk with RO and MA. RO is a bit sad, he is in love with FA from Malaysia. In order to be able to stay here, FA has to learn Dutch, but he is very lazy and hardly making the effort. Now RO also told us FA refuses to have sex with him....He is still hoping FA will change and will become an active, educated man but MA and I told him people don't change and either he accepts FA's laziness or he'd better dump him. And refusing to have sex is not the best start when you are beginning a new life with a new partner in a new country... The funny part is that when I first knew FA I didn't like him at all, but now that I know him a bit better I have changed my opinion.
Yesterday we had a family dinner which was nice. Drove 400km in very bad weather so was tired when I got home and decided against going out.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Feeling sad for the Burmese

All the news about the riots and brutal crackdown of the people's uprising in Burma / Myanmar is making me sad. I have been to Burma 3 times: in 1987, 2002 and 2004. Here are some pictures of that beautiful country that I took during my last visit.

Creative idea to make money

So what do you do when you live in Eexterveenschekanaal, Netherlands (believe me, this is a small little town full of nothing in the middle of nowhere), you have a shitty job and want to make some money? You invent the "Fun Bury". For only € 75, customers get a fake burial and may stay in a coffin for up to an hour. The coffin is really lowered into a grave and a huge block of concrete is put on top of the coffin to make sure you can't get out. There is a panic button for those who panic while looking at the worms, and air vents to make sure that the real burial is not too soon after the fun burial. Oh, and apparently the wife can finally watch her favourite soap opera undisturbed by the husband complaining that he wants to watch football.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007


Hello everybody I just want to show off! We learned the days of the week in Chinese today. (and many other things) Normally my classes are on 星期一, but as I was sick I changed to today. The teacher on 星期三 is even worse than the one on 星期一. Listening to the students' pronunciation was also interesting today, as there are so many nationalities in the class. But I find the classes a lot of fun and my Chinese friends will very soon be sick of me asking them "你 叫 什 么 名 字?", "你 是 哪 国 人?" and "对不起﹐现在几点了?".
My bosses are now dumping lots of shit on my plate so I am very busy. I left work at 6:15pm today and when I just checked e-mail at 11pm there were 14 e-mails from one of my bosses "can you make a contract for XYZ?", "is the budget for ABC ready?", "please check ZZZ with the lawyer", "don't forget to pay the bills to QWE but deduct the VAT that needs to go to ASD", etc., etc. I'll do what I can do but at the end of the day it is....well, the end of the day!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

No gays in Iran, says Ahmadinejad

It would be funny if he didn't kill gays at the same time.....

Monday, 24 September 2007

Swedish TV makes presenter sick

After the puke she explains that she has some menstruation pains.

Gym to be paid by health insurance

In the news today: several health insurers, including mine, are going to pay for gym membership under their basic insurance package. Everybody who is overweight will be able to get a free gym membership provided the family doctor believes that visits to the gym will improve the person's health. A plan that seems to make sense: a small investment in the gym fees might result in big health care savings. Now I only need to convince my doctor. Last time I spoke with him (in January), he only wanted to know if I cycle to work every day. When I answered in the affirmative, he just said "you keep on doing that".

Sick, sicker, sickest

This was the worst weekend of the year: I have a bad flu and was in bed all weekend and will also stay home today. Fever, headache, throat pain, coughing.....I believe I got the flu when cycling to work on Thursday: it was raining and I arrived at work totally wet.
Dreamt about web-camming with ER, AN and DA (all from Singapore) - we were all happily chatting and DA showed his dick which was painful (he said); the strange thing that he was on Orchard Road and lots of people were watching.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Hillary Clinton is not a lesbian

It is official! Hillary Clinton has told The Advocate magazine that she is not lesbian.

"The animosity is such that as soon as her husband was inaugurated in 1993, rumors started circulating that she was a lesbian, Lattimore recalls. “Where that came from, I just could never figure out,” he says. “It was so ridiculous.” One man would call the press office repeatedly, posing as a reporter for different newspapers, seeking comment on his scoop that Clinton was gay. Lattimore eventually transferred him to the Secret Service, letting them deal with him. “I never talked to Mrs. Clinton about it, but we had to be responsive to that question in a way that didn’t make it sound like being a lesbian was a bad thing,” he says. “No, she’s not a lesbian, move on. Next story.”

No one is ever courteous enough to ask Clinton directly how she feels about the lesbian chatter. So I do.

“People say a lot of things about me, so I really don’t pay any attention to it,” she responds. “It’s not true, but it is something that I have no control over. People will say what they want to say.”"

Well I never gave the topic much thought, but now that I think about it I'd sooner believe Hillary is lesbian than I'd believe Bill would be gay. Hehe

In other news, I have been busy with stupid things at work (not a good week) and I came down with a flu and went to bed at 9:30 last night. Not feeling at my prime......

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Finally, an honest American

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan admitted that the Iraq war is really about oil. Well, all of us knew this already, but good that a senior government official is now finally admitting it.

And Singapore was in the news, too

I don't know why every Dutch newspaper had the news today that Singapore is legalizing anal and oral sex between heterosexuals. (I thought that was old news?)
I think all the newspapers used the same news agency report as all of them referred to "the conservative city-state in South East Asia" and made a point of mentioning that "homosexual sex will remain illegal".

In the mean time in The Hague.....

Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos (picture) presented the 2008 government budget to Parliament in The Hague today. The plans are rather unspectacular: we have a left wing government so relatively rich people like me will pay more taxes, and the money will be used to help poorer people and neighbourhoods. This page has the major budget measures for 2008, including: EUR 2.5 million for emancipation of homosexuals and addressing violence.
As every year on the third Tuesday in September, the Queen was driven around in the Golden Carriage before she bowed to the flag and delivered the Budget Speech in Parliament.

Amsterdam Gay pride pictures on Straits Times' forum!

So finally there is a sensible letter on gay rights in Singapore ("Gay teacher's outing a milestone in debate") and all these closeted gay bigots react to the article. One of them even comments "Perhaps this is Dr Goh's idea of coming out of the closet:" and links to pictures of the Amsterdam Gay Pride! Thanks, rufuswuffy! I am quite sure you got hard while looking at these pictures.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Gevulde koeken

Some of the faithful readers of this blog may have wondered why there haven't been any updates on my diet since I announced it a few months back. The main reason is that I have been eating like a pig and drinking like a fish. Last Monday, I finally had the courage to step on the scale again, and I was surprised that I didn't gain weight and even lost a little. Anyway, I still need/want to get rid of some 10 kgs so I re-started exercising yesterday. I have one of these thingies that measures calories used and I was happy to burn 459 calories which is one-fifth of an average male's daily intake, so not too bad. After the exercises I went to April where I had 6 beers, continued to New King for oysters and shrimps with rice, and proceeded to the Asian Disco Night for another 3 beers. Finally, while waiting for the train home I couldn't resist the temptation to get a "gevulde koek" from the vending machine (who could for only 80 cents?). I studied the packaging on the train and read that one bloody gevulde koek is 460 calories. This way my exercises will never lead to the desired result. Even worse, one of our guests today at work brought a big box of gevulde koeken in so I was tempted again.
In other news, my Chinese classes are more and more fun. The teacher smiles about our bad pronunciation of Chinese, but we can also smile about her bad pronunciation of Dutch.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Furball next Friday

I still discover developments that I missed because I was away in Singapore in 2005-6. One of them is the Furball (parties for hairy gay men) that has become very popular recently. Next Friday is the next party, perhaps I should go. Click here for some pictures of the men to be found at the Furball.

New glasses

I just came home from picking up two new pairs of glasses. The shop where I ordered them two weeks ago had a "two for one" deal so now I can choose which pair to wear depending on my mood. As always, I need to get used to the new outlook on life, but no doubt within a few days I won't even notice that I have new spectacles.
It is a beautiful day so I worked in the garden a bit this morning, at the same time getting rid of a hangover caused by a strong joint that I smoked last night. I don't smoke often, but I do notice that some joints are so much stronger than others and you always need to be careful. Chatted long with PO from Thailand in a bar last night, I think he wants more but he is too young (he says he is 26 but he looks 20) and skinny for my taste.
Tonight we have our card playing sessions with RE, ERV and HA at RE's place. He lives about 15 km away and as the weather is so nice I will go on bicycle which means that I can drink alcohol.

Anti-terrorist unit in trouble because of lack of work

More news that makes me smile here:
"AMSTERDAM – The anti-terrorist unit DSI – the special intervention service - is facing difficulties. This national unit was established last year and is already facing a shortage of personnel. Employees are also leaving the service because they are not being deployed enough."

Thursday, 13 September 2007

And yet again: Singapore government raises it's ugly head

This story deserves to be read by everyone. Finally, a Singapore teacher comes out (in a very dignified way, I must say) and these stupid dynosaur idiots of the Singapore government silence him. Sickening.
At the same time, they let this evil guy spread his evil message.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

The Marriott Zamalek, Cairo

So it is 10:38pm on Wednesday evening and I am just back from dinner with my colleague AS. I have known her for 7 years and have met her in places around the world. Always nice to catch up and she always takes great pride in updating me on the progress made by her grandson in kindergarten. You know, I am one of those guys that older ladies feel comfortable with. Today we had a totally Kafkaeske meeting that is all too common in developing countries. The chairman of the meeting only showed up 2 and a half hours late, ignored everything that was discussed until then, and decided in 10 minutes how to go forward. Slowly I realize that I have had enough of third world countries, I used to like traveling to poor places that I found exciting but I think I have had an overdose and really prefer to be in the civilized world. So I am happy that AS's driver Mohammed will pick me up at midnight to drive me to the airport for a 3am departure to Amsterdam. Mohammed is one of the (very) few cute Egyptians I have seen so I am sad that all he will do to me is drive me to Cairo airport.......

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Going to Cairo

So they make me go to one meeting in Cairo and I will be on a plane for 9 hours and miss two nights of sleep. And it is September 11, too, well I was on a plane on September 11, 2001, as well and in 2003 and 2005 too so I am used to flying on 9/11. The only good thing is that they let me fly business class so at least I will be getting lots of airmiles to be used later for a trip to a more pleasant destination.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

The Chain Bridge and down-town Pest

View from Fishermen's Bastion

Still a few Trabants in Budapest

The Kiraly Baths, Budapest

So I am back from Budapest. The weather was better than expected so I was able to spend a lot of time outside soaking up the atmosphere and sights of the city. Walked a lot on Saturday and took a Danube cruise today. Also on Saturday I went to the Kiraly Baths. The place looks as if it hasn't been cleaned since 1874, and it is also one of these places where you think: "if I am the youngest and cutest one around, there must be something wrong here." Needless to say that nothing happened. This blogger does quite a good description of the Kiraly baths. On Friday evening I was too tired to go out (and I enjoyed reading my very good book until late anyway), but on Saturday I managed to stay awake and go to Club coXx. Not a bad place, they have a huge darkroom and there were quite a few good-looking guys. Anyway, again nothing happened as the 2 Asians that I liked were too young for my taste and they didn't look at me anyway. Not sure if I decided that they were too young before or after I noticed that they were not interested. Hehe.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Going to Budapest

In 2003 - 2004 I flew Cathay Pacific many, many times from Amsterdam via Hong Kong to Hanoi where we had a project. I have spent my last CX miles on a Malev Hungarian Airlines ticket to Budapest and today is the day! I have been to Budapest in 1981 and 1987 (during communist times), and the last time was in 1996 with my American friend TR. The city should have changed after 18 years of capitalism and 3 years of EU accession. The weather forecast is not good, so perhaps I'll spent some time in Budapest's famous baths?

Thursday, 6 September 2007

5% fall asleep during sex

Another interesting survey today showed that 5% of Dutch women fall asleep during sex. Well, that would never happen between gay men, and definitely not with a sexy man like me. Hehe

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Feeling good, looking good, or just cheapskates?

A survey indicates that Dutch people spend very little on body care products. I am not surprised as I myself spend close to zero on those kind of products. When you feel good inside, you don't need to spend money on the outside. Or am I just a cheapskate?
Anyway, had dinner with MI at Thai restaurant Sawadee Ka which is owned by CH. He took good care of us. The conversation flowed well; we talked about work, travelling, friends and politics. We cycled home very slowly and I marvelled at the cool and calm evening skies.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007


Yesterday my beginners course in Mandarin Chinese started. We are a group of about 20 students. To my surprise a third of them are ethnically Chinese - born here and not speaking a word of Chinese just like me. The teacher is a youngish woman from China, I don't think she is very experienced and her Dutch is so-so which is not ideal as she can not explain everything easily. I always believe that to study a language as a beginner it is better to have a teacher from your own country (non-native speaker of the foreign language), as they know much better what is difficult for the students and how to overcome these difficulties. When you reach a more advanced level it is better to have a native speaker as a teacher.
Anyway, it was funny to see that the teacher expected more from the ethnically Chinese people in our class. You could see her think: "Of course these hairy big-nosed white devils don't know a word of Chinese, but these Chinese people should know more." After a while one of the Chinese guys got irritated and snipped to her: "If I spoke Chinese I wouldn't be here, or would I?"

The Netherlands is world's biggest producer of animal porn

I learned something new today: we are even more degenerated than I thought......
"The Netherlands is a hub for the animal porn industry. Sixty-five percent of animal pornography is coming from this country. Currently sex with animals is only a criminal offence if it is evident that animals are suffering and animal abuse is proven. Labour party Member of Parliament Harm Evert Waalkens wants this legislation scrapped and bestiality to become a sex offence. “It is simply in violation of the prevailing morals,” Waalkens said. The distribution of photos or films of bestiality via the internet is not yet a punishable offence either. This also holds for the possession of films and photos as these kinds of images were never regarded as a criminal offence."
By the way, my apologies to CO for borrowing this picture.....

Restaurant Het Tuynhuys, Amsterdam

I have been a bit of a lazy blogger which was caused by lots of work, lots of alcohol and a new activity. (more later) The weekend was for the lots of alcohol part, especially Friday evening which caused some inactivity on Saturday, and Sunday evening when I had dinner with GO, WI and KA at this restaurant. Once a year the more expensive restaurants in Amsterdam open their doors for people who want to eat well for not so much money. It is hugely popular and GO booked a table several weeks ago. The food was OK but nothing special, and because it was cheap we could afford to drink lots of wine. I vaguely remember French-kissing some guys in the bar later that evening, and I clearly remember taking a taxi home in the middle of the night. Good that work was so busy on Monday otherwise I would have fallen asleep behind my computer.