Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Only in Amsterdam.....

Dutch park unveils signs pointing to gay 'cruiser' areas

A PARK near Amsterdam has unveiled information signs pointing out spots where officials say gay men are known to have sex - so no visitors are taken by surprise.
The signs "clearly indicate what is happening in each zone; also those where gay men are known to practice 'cruising'," municipal spokeswoman Manon Koffijberg said. Cruising is a slang word used to describe the act of trawling for casual sex.

"If you don't want to be confronted by a vision of that sort, the signs allow you to avoid specific areas," said Ms Koffijberg.

The De Oeverlanden park in Slotervaart, southwest of Amsterdam, is known as a place where homosexuals from all over the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe go in search of sex partners. The sexual activities of cruisers, she said, kept mostly to the bushes in the park, and the new signs sought to ensure that they stayed there.

"There are various groups of users of the park; people with small children who bathe on the beaches, those who walk their dogs, gays cruising and nature lovers," said Ms Koffijberg. "Things are arranged so that each group can relax in their own area without intruding on each other."

Well, I am not too sure this is good for acceptance of gays.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Going home

I am at Kuala Lumpur Airport transit lounge waiting for my flight back to Amsterdam, and hoping that the flight is as empty as on the way out so that I can stretch out and sleep. It feels strange to be so close to the sweetest man and not have time to see him, but I am needed in the office as both bosses are traveling and there is lots of work.
Vietnam was OK, managed to squeeze in a weekend trip to Halong Bay which was nice. It was a small project only so I don't think I will go back there again soon.
One of my bosses is in Papua New Guinea and it seems the client is happy with the report that I was so worried about, and will give us a lot more work. Quite a relief for me.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Going to Hanoi

We have a small project in Hanoi and I will be going there tomorrow for one week. It is not my favourite city in the world, but I am still looking forward to eating a lot of Phở and meeting BI ("you are very old and ugly to me") But first, 15 hours on bloody planes.

Monday, 13 April 2009

A brilliant Easter day

It is what we call "second Easter day" today, a public holiday, and the weather is just brilliant. Worked in the garden just now and had a nice bike tour earlier. Went out with the gang yesterday from 7pm until 3am so it was good today was not a work day.
Paris was wonderful, I had forgotten how grand and majestic the city is. We were very lucky with our picks for food and drinks, had the most wonderful Tarte Du Citron and Assiette de Fromages. For some reason SI and I always pick some very touristy place to sit down, and order some finger food and wine, and are having a wonderful time. This time the touristy place was the Jardins des Tuileries, the wine was Rose, and the finger food various French cheeses.
After walking around for two full days we gave up on the gay bars after one quick beer.
Tomorrow one busy day at work, and packing my bag again for a work trip....

Le printemps à Paris 2009

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Going to Paris

Tomorrow I will be going to Paris! I have a little work to do there, and also will be meeting the wonderful SI from Hong Kong who is spending the Easter weekend in Europe. It has been long since I was in Paris, I should be going much more often as it is only 4 hours by train.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Falling like dominos.....

Good news:
Sweden will allow gay couples to be legally married from next month. Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to recognise same-sex marriage, becoming the fifth country in Europe to do so.
Across the ocean, the states of Vermont and Iowa in the USA have also allowed same-sex couples to marry.
Even Iowa! I am surprised. But very good news. Now if only the larger European countries (Germany, France, UK) would follow the example of the smaller ones, and Obama would be courageous enough to support gay marriages everywhere in the US, we would be making even swifter progress.

Saving on potatoes

Economic crisis everywhere, if we have to believe the non-stop stories on TV, in the newspapers and on web sites.
So a Dutch newspaper did some research and discovered where the average Dutchman and Dutch-woman is saving money. Here is the list of products that Dutch people spend less money on:
1. Potatoes. Potatoes? The staple food here? The crisis must be bad if people are saving on potatoes.
2. Toothpaste. Toothpaste? So instead of spending a few euros on toothpaste these idiots will spend lots of money on dentists in a few years.
3. Deodorant. Yuck.
4. Fish. This I can understand. Fish has become too expensive in this country.
5. Cosmetics. This I can fully understand. Hehe

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Not a good start of the month

I am working on a tedious assignment at work - trying to make a coherent story out of the contributions of 8 people. Alltogether there are more than 250 pages of blah-blah, written in different styles and formats, and it is my task to make sure that the end result is a nice report. Yesterday I couldn't see myself complete the tasks and for the first time in a long while I developed physical stress. I had to escape from the office and take a walk and breath of fresh air to recover a bit. It didn't help also that I am suffering from a cold and am feeling miserable, I hardly got any sleep last night and had to drag myself to the office this morning.
I hope I feel better tomorrow and make some progress on the report, otherwise I know I won't enjoy the weekend.