Sunday, 4 December 2011


A couple of weeks ago, at BR's 40th birthday bash, I met SF again. He is a good friend of my friend FR, I have known him for a couple of years and it is always fun to chat with him. SF is from Germany, living in Amsterdam and running a small ladies' bags store. His German accent is so cute, and he is an over-the-top bear queen. Two days later I bumped into him again at Taboo bar, where he told me the next day he would go on holiday to Gran Canaria and he was so happy as he hadn't been away for 3 years.
More than a week later I got a message from FR that he had just found SF dead in his apartment... FR was SF's best friend, and he had messaged SF a few times asking how his holiday was. No reply. He called. Voicemail. After a week he was so worried that he called the police and the police broke into his apartment where he was found. He must have been dead for a week (as otherwise he would have left for Gran Canaria) and it was not a pretty sight. The police told FR that he might not want to look at his friend. SF was 46 years old only, and he will be missed.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Cyber love

Another friend is in love without even having met the object of his desire: BR posted "BR is in love" on Facebook and from the comments I learned that he has just chatted on-line with his "love" and will meet face-to-face for the first time later this month. Well, miracles do happen and I sincerely hope that BR will not be disappointed, however the chances of BR knowing that this will be his "real love" are slim.
I have never fallen in love on-line (yet?). My closest experience was back in the late 1980's, when Internet and Internet dating didn't exist yet, and we were all using the telephone chatboxes. You'd call a number for gay chatting, would be connected to a "room" with some 10 other guys, people would introduce themselves ("Hi, good evening, my name is happyamsguy and I am 27 years old") and when two people liked each other from the first few sentences you could dial a number for an operator (a real human) to come to the room and you would ask if Mr X and Y could get a private room. And so it happened that I "met" a guy from Rotterdam. We liked each other and exchanged telephone numbers (the chatboxes were ridiculously expensive) and for the next few months we called each other almost every night. After a few days I proposed that we'd meet in person, but he didn't want that and suggested we would go on a "blind date holiday". First I didn't like the idea but he convinced me and we booked a bus tour to Prague some months later.
Our telephone conversations continued and it was all good and fun. I wasn't in love, but I was always looking forward to our frequent talks on the phone.
Time passed and the day arrived that we would meet. The bus would leave from a place close to my house and we agreed hat he'd arrive at my place an hour before we had to be at the bus station. As soon as I opened the door we both knew that this wasn't going to work. We were just not each other's type. Most of the time in Prague we went our separate ways, and only on the way back were we able to chat and talk about our adventure. Back in Amsterdam we said goodbye and never spoke to each other again.
Cyber love? I am sure it exists, but I am not a believer.

Monday, 27 June 2011


Today is WI's 48th birthday and last night we were out in force to celebrate at Taboo bar. It was a balmy summer night so we were on the street in front of the bar from 730pm until after midnight. As my own birthday is coming up later this week, a lot of people mentioned the big number that I will (hopefully) be reaching. I talked with HE, who will be 52 soon, and mentioned to him that I had been thinking that such a large part of my life is over and done with. After all, on average (if you are a bit lucky) most people are healthy (defined as mobile, able to do stuff, independent) until they are approximately 75 years old, so using that yardstick two-thirds of the pleasant part of my life are behind me.
HE said that he had been thinking similarly, but convinced himself (fooled himself?) that another comparison is better. He said "think about all you have done between ages 25 and 50, the people you have met, the loves and fucks, the movies you have seen, the parties you have been to, and then imagine you will have another similar period of all of the above". I must admit this made me feel better. I'll sign up for another 25 years of such fun! Cheers!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Pain, pain go away

As a result of either a wrong posture on the long plane ride last Sunday night (I was tired and slept in my economy class seat for some 7 hours in the same position) or else an unprofessional massage in Bangkok, I have had bad pains since Tuesday. (strange, as after I arrived home on Monday everything was fine) First they were in my lower back, but ever since Thursday they are in my left upper leg only. The pains are worst when I rest (sit or lay down), which is bad for sleeping and every night I have woken up around 4am and I need to take painkillers to sleep again. Yesterday I smoked a joint before sleeping hoping that would be relaxing and would make me sleep easier, it worked a bit but not any better than the paracetamol.
I was afraid of "economy class syndrome" or deep vein thrombosis and went to see my doctor who checked the leg and did some tests. No worries, he said, it is some kind of muscle strain and the pain will disappear. The big question now is: when?

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Showing that someone is special

How do you show someone that he is special to you? The question came back to me during my recent trip.
Should it be done in words (saying "I love you" regularly) or do actions (visiting as often as you can) speak louder than words? What if someone refuses to see the positive signs of admiration, and focuses on what he thinks are other loved ones in your life? How can I prove that someone is special to me - much more special than other friends that I have.

Likewise, how do you know what someone feels for you? Should I take his words literally - even if the words would hurt me, or should I read between the lines and put the words in the context of his personality? But then I am playing amateur-psychologist and I may be totally wrong in my conclusions. Or should I base my interpretation of his feelings on his actions which are so much more positive than his words?

And how to reconcile my doubts about his feelings with my attraction to his personality: the fact that he is not an easy book to read adds to his attractiveness. Would he be like me, I might have been bored with him - the fact that I need to keep working hard for his attention keeps it interesting.

And finally: if there are other friends or fucks how can we prove that they are just that: friends or fucks. Infinitely less important than someone who is a friend AND a fuck AND a soulmate.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Je l'amais

They were showing French movie Je l'amais ("I loved her") on TV tonight. I read the summary: "An older man tells his daughter-in-law the story of the love of his life: a woman with who he had a
passionate affair for several years - but he was too afraid to give up his life's certainties (job, wife and children) and to follow his heart" and I just had to see the movie.
Pierre (played by Daniel Auteuil) is a married man in his 40's who travels to Hong Kong for work where he meets his (French) interpreter, beautiful Mathilde (Marie-Josée Croze). It is love at first sight (a cute scene in which the Chinese businessmen talk in Chinese: "He is falling in love with the interpreter!", "A French guy in love is dangerous!", "Let's stop the meeting and continue tomorrow") Pierre and Mathilde start a passionate relationship, meeting as often as they can and clearly are meant for each other. However, Pierre can't decide to leave his wife and children, a decision he will regret for the rest of his life. Mathilde gets pregnant and decides that, as much as she loves Pierre, she can't continue the affair. When he tells the story to his daughter-in-law more than 10 years later, he says: "I have everything. Everything. A home. A summer cottage in the mountains, Money, A wife. Two children. But I am dead. Dead".

I have so much to think about. So much.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


Biking home today I remembered a line from Queer as folk: "It is bad to go home alone after a night out - but it is much worse to go home alone when your best friend is not alone". More in general, I think one's happiness depends to some extent on the relative happiness compared to one's friends, so I was thinking about the lifes of some of my (gay) friends compared to mine:

Friend nr. 1: Early 40's, single now and has been single all his life. Owns a nice apartment. He has a busy, good job and an extremely busy social life (culture, sports, dinners, trips,...) with mostly straight (many female) friends. He has very little (almost no) sex - he doesn't like gay bars, doesn't do on-line dating, he still hopes to meet the man of his life at work or at a birthday party.

Friend nr. 2: Mid 40's, partnered for more than 20 years, he and his boyfriend match well and I think they are happy together. They own a nice, large house. My friend and his bf don't have sex anymore, my friend travels to various European cities regularly for sex parties (his bf knows). He has an OK job, and a nice social network: trips, dinners, culture,...

Friend nr. 3: Late 30's, single now. He has odd little jobs only, lives with his mother. He has the most interesting sex life of all my friends: I think he has more sex than all my other friends together. Social life is OK I think.

Friend nr. 4 : Late 40's, partnered for more than 15 years, he and his bf have not much in common and don't have sex anymore. He owns a nice apartment. This friend is co-owner of a successful business, busy job, and has an OK social life. Travels twice a year to another continent where he has a lover - these 6 weeks a year are the highlights of his year.

Friend nr. 5: Early 50's, single now after a few relationships. In his own words: "I am not good at relationships, I better stay single". Owns a small apartment. Has an interesting job. OK social network. Considered attractive and is enjoying his sex life again.

Friend nr. 6: Late 40's. He and his bf are partnered for some 20 years. They adopted a child. Own a nice house. Good, busy job. Very, very busy social life with family and friends. Not sure if he and his bf still have sex - probably not. Don't think he has sex elsewhere either.

Not sure why I wrote this. :-) I guess nobody's situation is perfect. and I don't have to be jealous of any of these friends. :-)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Miguel is a married fisherman whose wife is about to give birth to their first child. Unknown to their small fishing community, he is having an affair with Santiago, a painter who temporarily resides on the beach "to paint", but in fact is totally in love with Miguel.
One day, Santiago drowns but his soul is haunting Miguel who thinks about Santiago all the time and can't forget him. When a local youth discovers the nude paintings that Santiago made of Miguel, the gossip circuit does its job and Miguel's wife finds out about her husband's affair.
Will Miguel be a real man and be honest to his wife and new-born son, and will he execute Santiago's final wish? A beautiful movie.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Occasional sexual activity bad for the heart

Exercise is generally considered good for you as it decreases your overall risk of heart disease and generally makes you healthier.

But the new research suggests that spikes in physical activity – such as during sex – can also have the opposite effect – triggering heart attacks and cardiac arrests.

Hmmm - so should I be having more sex, or no sex at all?

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Those blunt Dutch

As I wrote before, the gay clubs in Amsterdam are slowly re-opening and today we got the news that the Cockring, which was closed last year because staff and management were dealing in hard drugs, will re-open soon under a new management and a new name Club Fuxxx.
I am not sure about the new name: a bit too direct if you ask me, but maybe it is appropriate for this era in which it is the (political) culture to be very blunt and outspoken.
So perhaps Club Fuxxx will be big competition for Club Church. Although I have never been, I like it when my friends ask me if I want to go to church tonight. ;)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Horny ducks

On my way back from work this afternoon, the bicycle path was occupied by a group of ducks: one female and three males. The males were trying to convince the female to have sex with them - or if they were not successful I am sure they were about to rape her. The horny animals didn't pay attention to traffic - me and a lady approaching from the other side. We almost ran into the ducks and it was a narrow escape for one of them or he would have been run over.
The event reminded me of my teenage years: our house at that time had a small river in the back yard - and there were many waterbirds living there. Every Spring, we had many ducks having sex in our garden, and for whatever reason there seemed to be far more male ducks than females, so we witnessed many a rape scene every year. My mom would feel solidarity with the females and she would run into the garden to chase away the male ducks, while the rest of our household (my father, my two brothers and I) would comment: "Mom, leave them alone, it's nature" with smiles on our faces. Of course, my mom's efforts were a waste of time - as soon as she was back in the house the ducks re-appeared and we were back to watching life porn.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

The Boys Are Back

During the last year or so, almost all the bars and clubs that once made Amsterdam's Reguliersdwarsstraat one of the most famous gay streets in the world have closed. Only one bar, Taboo, survived and my friends and I often found ourselves wondering where everybody had gone. Our group was one of the few surviving groups of people that were still going out to party and have a drink, but many people, especially from the younger generation seemed to have disappeared from the scene. We often blamed the Internet and the ease of getting sex-hook-ups on-line for the lack of younger gays in the bar.
The reason for the closure of all the bars was mis-management by the owner which lead to problems with the brewers, the owner's suicide in June of last year and the bankruptcy of his estate. The trustees are now slowly solving all the financial problems and we expect that most bars will re-open between now and this summer. Last Thursday, Soho was the first bar to re-open. Our group went on Friday and our first impression of the new Soho is good. They have cut away a piece of the actual bar and some other unnecessary furniture, and the bar looks and feels bigger now. And, surprisingly, the young crowd is back! There were many young guys out and about yesterday (some as young as 16 or 17), all looking so insecure and vulnerable in their fashionable clothes and hairstyles. While most of us would like to be young again, I certainly don't miss the insecurity and vulnerability of that age group. But anyway it is nice that The Boys Are Back.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


My daily commute takes me around 35 minutes one-way (on a bicycle), so every day I have about 70 minutes of private "thinking time". It is a great way to wake up in the morning (especially the last few days as it was sunny and around minus 5C), and to switch-off from work in the evening. But sometimes I can't help to reflect on the day at work that has just passed, and today was one of those days. I was thinking to myself that "without me, this company would have been bankrupt long ago" but also that "with me, this company will be bankrupt soon". Once again we are running out of money and without fresh investments by the owners we will have spent all our cash before the end of March. And the big question is: will the owners inject fresh funds this time?
It is easy to see what mistakes have been made in the past. We have been spending loads of money on people with a quick talk and a sexy story, and my bosses are extremely gullible, don't do background checks and don't check these stories, so we have been attracting con-artists disguised as reliable business partners as honey attracts bees. I have warned my bosses innumerable times, played "devil's advocate" every other day, and sometimes they listen but most of the time they don't. Hence the piles of money we have been losing.
We currently have 5 marketing type alpha-males in our office, and one more conservative person (me), so it is hard for me to steer all their ridiculous plans in the right direction. They are great at making plans, networking, getting people together, and are tireless in designing half-baked new business initiatives. The strategy of the company changes every 15 minutes and depends mostly on the latest con-artist they have spoken with.
It is true: these kinds of people are needed in every company - but we have too many of them. The skills they have I lack: I hate networking with people I don't like and I am conservative with spending money on "new stuff", and they easily allocate tens of thousands of euros to unproven and highly doubtful business ideas. Time will tell who is right: if I am out of a job by this time next month I guess I was right after all.

Monday, 7 February 2011

"In sickness and in health"

This song was a big hit by Dutch group Doe Maar in the 1980's mainly for its lyrics that most Dutch of my generation will be able to sing along: "If you win, you have friends queueing up". The lyrics are about how easy it is to make friends when all is going well: when you are handsome, or sexy, or young, or healthy, or rich, or successful, or -even better- all of the above.
I remembered this song cycling back from Sunday night out in the bars yesterday. Few people turned up, and only MA, HE, XX and I shared the drinks. I hadn't seen XX for a while after he had an achilles tendon rupture while playing volleyball. He needed an operation and is still walking with the help of crutches.
His latest boyfriend didn't have time for him when he was in hospital so XX dumped him. And his best friend (or so he thought) and drinking-buddy GW promised to fetch him from hospital and transport him home, but when XX called from the hospital to agree the exact time to pick him up, GW informed him that it was inconvenient and he was busy. So in the end XX's reliable ex-bf had to arrange transport and accompany XX home from the hospital.
So once again someone learned the old lesson that many of our so-called "friends" are only friends in good times and can not be relied upon when sickness or disaster strikes. As the lyrics of the song go, it is easy to have "friends" when you "win". But are they really friends?
There is truth in the marriage vow "in sickness and in health". When you are in hospital or in prison you get to know your real friends.

Friday, 4 February 2011


Uxbal is in an unhappy marriage, separated from his schizofrenic wife, and trying to take care of his children when his doctor tells him he has prostate cancer and a few months to live. "How long do I have?" "A few months" "Months?"
He is a businessman in the grey economy in Barcelona: buying handbags from Chinese illegal immigrants who run a small factory where they employ some 25 Chinese workers/slaves, and selling the bags to African illegal immigrants who are in a constant cat-and-mouse game with the police and who are trying to sell the handbags.
All groups are trying to survive and make some money: our friend Uxbal needs to buy as cheaply as possible, and sell at a profit, bribe the police to leave the Chinese and Africans alone, and hopefully have some money left to pay his rent and buy food for the children.
Then things go wrong: the Africans are arrested and get beaten up and are expelled from Spain, the Chinese factory workers all die in the badly ventilated basement where they sleep, and Uxbal's illness progresses rapidly which means he can't hide his imminent death from his children.
After seeing this movie I realized how blessed everybody is who is in good health, has a roof above his head and money to buy food. This movie makes you vote socialist.
Biutiful is beautiful.

Friday, 21 January 2011

No energy

The third week of January is known to be the most depressing week of the year. This week I was suffering from a complete lack of energy: after work I only was able to watch some TV and even then I managed to fall asleep on the couch. The weather was really dark, grey and rainy on Monday and Tuesday but fortunately improved a bit on Wednesday. I am busy at work, and the new secretary is hard working and a fun girl, so I shouldn't complain too much. It doesn't help that I don't have any travel plans and all the friends are planning trips and sending me e-mails with itineraries etc.
Once I retire I really should make sure that I am away from here between October and March!