Thursday, 29 October 2009

Whatever happened to romance?

Message on gaydar:
"I am top xxl. 020-6978XXX"
Needless to say no reply from me.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Contact at the highest level

You may have missed the news that the Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, is on a two-day visit to Singapore and was hosted to lunch by Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong.
Mr Lee spoke the following words: (excerpt)


The bilateral relationship between our two countries is a strong and longstanding one. The Netherlands was among the first countries to recognise Singapore's independence and establish diplomatic relations in 1965. We are also indebted to Dutch economist Dr Albert Winsemius, who provided invaluable and wise advice on economic development and invest­ment policy for many years starting in the 1960s, even before Singapore became independent. On the occasion of Prime Minister Balkenende’s visit, I am pleased to announce that we will be naming one of our public roads after Dr Winsemius, in recognition of his contributions to Singapore.

Today, Singapore and the Netherlands are linked in many ways. Our economic relationship is robust and deep. The Netherlands is our third largest European trading partner. It is also our second largest investor, with over S$50 billion worth of assets in Singapore. This is a remarkable figure, showing that size is no impediment to achieving a considerable economic impact. Almost a thousand Dutch firms operate out of Singapore, adding to our economic vibrancy and diversity. On our part, Singapore has investments worth S$3.1 billion in the Netherlands.

Beyond the economic and security spheres, our people-to-people ties remain strong, anchored by a significant Dutch community in Singapore. Many Dutch citizens contribute to our economy and society, just as Dr Albert Winsemius did a generation ago.

May I now invite you to join me in a toast to the continued good health and success of Your Excellency Prime Minister Balkenende; peace and prosperity for the people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; and closer relations between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Singapore.

It is funny that he mentions the "significant Dutch community in Singapore", but chooses to ignore the equally significant Singapore community in the Netherlands. He could have said: "there is also a significant Singapore community in the Netherlands, many of whom are gay men who for various reasons choose to move to the low countries."

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Dutch hope, hamburger with pesto and Spanish in Singapore

Some time ago, MA asked if I wanted to join him and a group of friends to a one-time performance by Freek de Jonge, the surviving half of cabaret duo "Neerlands Hoop" ("Dutch hope") which was very popular in the 1970's and to whose shows I went many times during my high-school years. The theatre was filled with hard-core fans mostly in their 50s and who seemed to know all of the songs and sketches by heart. De Jonge did a great job mixing the old show with contemporary jokes and we all had a good time. I still remember vividly that once, I was on the first row of the theatre in The Hague for one of their performances (must have been around 1978), and he spit in the audience as part of one of the sketches. We all found it very funny then....... but then, these were the wild 70s when we all had long hair and we all dreamt to be free and happy forever.
On Friday I joined MA and HE for drinks in April. HE's ex-bf XX was also there and from the moment we met I could feel there would be drama. XX was drunk and way too touchy-feely with MA and myself, I guess it was his way of getting closer to HE who tried to keep a distance. In the end, there were tears and XX ended up in MA's bear hug for a good 10 minutes. After April we went to Exit Bar and then to Exit which was surprisingly empty. I had had enough but MA wanted to end the night with french fries and he also ordered a hamburger with pesto (??) which we shared and which I regretted the moment I put my teeth in it.
Yesterday I met up with JA who was on a short visit to Amsterdam. He is very happy in Singapore although he lost his job there and is currently looking for something new. I hope he can find something decent soon. Fortunately, he got his PR in Singapore within 8 months after moving there so he has time to make his dreams come true.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A stable mouth

I went to the dentist this morning and after running through my mouth he commented: "looks good, you have a stable mouth". While he was doing his thing, I was thinking if he could see traces of oral activities that I sometimes perform, any dentist reading this please let me know. I have had the same dentist since 1988 - he is my age and we basically are getting older together and most times when he asks "how are you" I reply: "well, six months younger than last time".
The comment about the stable mouth came back to me when I read a link that CO posted on Facebook about a new acronym: the Tired's . The article is about young professionals who have their mid-life crisis in their early 30's, "The mid-life crisis is coming earlier and to a broader range of professional people. Once it was the overworked bankers aged 45-50 but now it is happening to lawyers, journalists, teachers and doctors in their 30s"
The two things ("stable mouth" and "mid-life crisis") put together made me reflect on my life: I have (so far) never been down enough to have a mid-life crisis but on the other hand my life is rather stable now - not many really new experiences or adventures. Some friends of mine are adopting babies, making radical career changes, are experimenting with all kinds of drugs, are turning monogamous overnight or are doing other strange things, perhaps I should make an effort to also do something radically new?
Stamp collecting, anyone?