Saturday, March 29, 2008

Say It Out Loud: Journey of a Real Cowboy (book)

Written by Adam Sutton and Neil McMahon

Thanks Peter Holmes for giving me your copy of this book last year. I think it is the first edition. Sorry, it took this long for me to read it.

The book is sad although it tries to be hopeful. I know many people think that this is special because he is a cowboy--he is in a situation where men should not be sucking dicks. I guess for a person who has spent most of his life knowing what and who he is, this story is not that special. But then there are tons of gay men out there who are still very afraid to come to terms with their sexuality.

Many gay men can relate to his constant pursuit for love. I, myself, am guilty of it far too many times. Maybe, I should set down my head on the dirt and let a group of brumbies trample on it. I just never learn.

Too bad that Adam Sutton's story is far for over. He is still a young man. I think he is still in his early 30s--very near my age.

The language is very simple and the journey very easy to follow. It can be very graphic at times but sometimes, it is contrived. Oftentimes, I wonder which one is speaking: Adam (the cowboy) or Neil (the writer).

I just wish that this bloke would find his love soon. I can also wish the same for myself.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Oz 2008: Canberra Pics 1

Wild kangaroos in Canberra

Lake George

Me in Lake George

On the way to Canberra

Hampden Bridge

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oz 2008: Sydney Pics 1

These are pics of my first week in Sydney. Some of which were taken during the Mardi Gras Parade. Click here to view the rest of the set.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oz 2008: Qantas (SYD to BKK)

Peter Holmes swore that this is the best airline in the world. Unfortunately, they had some problems with their inflight entertainment during my flight. The controls on the arm rests look very modern and the screen clearer but the passengers had no control over the videos or even the music. It is either you have to watch it then or you have to wait for the movie to finish. It was actually unbearable because people do need their bathroom breaks.

The food is better than British Airways'. Surprisingly, they had lamb although they were just bits and pieces of the animal. It could have been another kind of meat but that is OK. The second meal included pasta so it was really heavy.

The cabin crew members were easy to confuse though. I asked for something to munch on and the staff gave it to me half an hour after. They were not as perky as the Virgin Blue employees but the Thai crew are definitely younger-looking.

But one of the Thai crew members definitely had too much plastic surgery on his face. It was distracting: eyelid job and a nose job. It looks swollen still. Thank god they did not serve sausages on board. Perhaps, that is the reason why they cannot smile that much--possible recovery period from a surgery.

The plane landed smoothly although it was a Boeing 747. I just cannot forget the flight attendant's face.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Oz 2008: Virgin Blue (CBR-MELB, MELB-ADL, ADL-CBR)

First of all, it was easy booking for this flight. There were a huge number of selection. Some are cheaper and longer. Some are a bit more expensive but shorter. But just the same, the prices are very reasonable.

The flights were generally on time. There was one time it was 5 minutes early. Boarding is done in a hurry though. I wonder how they manage to prepare the seats for the next set of passengers.

The attendants are so gay. Some of them can be swishy. Some of them are a bit butch. But many of them are fit and muscular. It goes to show that some flight attendants do not spend their free time hooking up. Most probably, they spend their free time in the gym and hooking up in the gym.

They are also very friendly and funny. One of them said to me, "I am sorry, dear passengers, we do not serve Hungry Jacks on this flight" and she glared at me while I was munching on my burger. She added, "It is impolite to have Hungry Jacks for yourself and not give any to the staff." I offered her my burger.

She shrieked, "Oh no you already bit on it!"

As the plane positioned itself for take off, I heard from the speakers, "Smoking in the toilets are not allowed and doing so entails a hefty fine and you will be asked to step out of the plane so that you can think of your action."

I love Virgin Blue!

Oz 2008: British Airways (Bangkok to Sydney)

This is the longest flight I have ever been in. At the same time, I have only been flying budget or economy for the past few years. That means my expectations were pretty low.

There was a good number of movies and I guess for ordinary people, it is enough. But for me, it was not. I have seen many of the movies already. There were some radio programs but very few are interesting. I do not know if it was a standard but the quality of the screen is really bad.

Some of the flight attendants can be a bit too intimidating. There was a big man who sounded like he was harassing people everytime he asked us if we wanted a drink. I think anyone sleeping on that flight would have definitely woken up. By the way, some of them can be very old.

Ah the food--I thought I was going to have more. The serving for the dinner was far from adequate. Breakfast was horrible. They only served bread, butter and coffee or tea. I wanted to eat one passenger but none of them was appetizing.

I was able to get drunk though with half a tiny bottle of red wine. It did not help me sleep but it helped me in warming myself up.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Oz 2008: Gay Saunas in Sydney

I was able to visit 357 and KKK only. I am not going to write anything about the clientele because I visited these saunas once only.

I was told that 357 is the best one in the country. Sadly, 357 is much worse than the worst gay sauna I have visited in Bangkok (Sauna Mania). 357 (by Bangkok standards) is small and the mazes are very basic and unchallenging.

KKK is much smaller and there is absolutely no maze. The floor plan is so flat that even a retard will not get lost in it. The cubicles are so tiny that I myself cannot lay on the sad cushions.

But there are some important things that impress me with the saunas in Australia. They are all clean and they provide an endless supply of condoms and water-based lube. The Babylon in Bangkok provides only two condoms and one tiny sachet of lube.

The walls are also covered with posters that encourage people to use condoms and get themselves tested for various STIs/STDs. Australia might not have the most exciting saunas in the world but they provide safe venues to play in.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Oz 2008: Food

The servings here are just too big. No wonder many Aussies are big. Fortunately, I have been losing weight but then it is not entirely good. I am losing muscle tone.

My favorite so far is the kangaroo meat that Peter served. It was a casserole dish. At first, I thought it was beef. It was very tender and tasty. Everyone Peter invited for dinner asked for seconds.

The Australian hamburger is a feast in a packet. It had the burger, bacon, egg, onion, pineapple, beet root, onion, lettuce and tomato--all in one. I felt exhausted eating it that I sprawled on the grass in Mittagong while magpies stared at me. Probably, they were wondering if I would die so that they can eat the pot-bellied me.

I visited Hungry Jacks and McDonald's and I am surprised to see that they are actually a little bit cheaper than (or the same price) in Bangkok. They are not the best food source but they are quick and cheap by Aussie standards.

I used to know Barramundi as a tribe in Survivor: Outback but I was able to try it out as a fish. It is a freshwater fish served with butter sauce. I had it near the Sydney Opera House.

My vacation here is nearly coming to a close and I do not want to go back to Bangkok.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oz 2008: Friday night in Adelaide's gay venues

I was introduced to a lot of men that night. I was brought to Hampshire first which was going to change to a straight pub next week. The place looks dilapidated but I think the local gay community needs this pub. I do not know why they are closing it down. There are not that many gay venues in this city of 1.1 million.

Then I was led to Mars Bar, a mixed staight-gay club. I chatted with many people here. Some are gay and some claim to be straight. It is funny to see 20-year old struggle with their sexuality. It is also very touching to meet people who feel comfortable talking to me quite openly and easily.

It feels really strange here. It is a city and yet people do not behave like typical city-dwellers. They are fun and love talking a lot even in clubs. They are not hesitant to approach new people and enjoy their company. I really would like to return to this city and discover more.

Oz 2008: Afternoon Spent Alone in Adelaide

Adelaide is in the middle of a heat wave and yet the beach was full of people at noon. I did not go for a swim because I thought it would be unsafe for me to leave my clothes on the shore. My host Kerry Seebohm assured me that it is quite safe here.

I rode the tram and fell asleep. I woke up before the Rundle Mall station. It just amazes me how different these cities can be from each other.

Adelaide is a city that has 1.1 million people. How can so few people make up a city? Well, I definitely saw most of them in Rundle Mall. The students just got off from school and they were loud in the city center. There were street performers. I was impressed with a young Irish comedian so I gave him my change. Too bad he did not get that much as most of his audience were not yet working.

As I tried to find Kerry, I saw aboriginal people sleeping in the park. It is sad that they live in such awful condition and they are supposed to be the natives of this country. Definitely, the present system is not working for them. They are in one of the richest countries in the world and yet they are unproductive. Something is wrong. I wonder when I will fully grasp this important part of Australian society.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oz 2008: Unusual Temptation

Andrew and I went to The Peel last weekend. It is a popular gay club in Melbourne with an interesting mix of straight women, lesbians, old gay men, young gay men and underaged gay boys. They also have very sexy go go boys.

My attention was drawn to a straight couple. They were both wearing a matching red and black leather outfits. The man's ass was sticking out and the woman's pierced nipples were sticking out as well and they were higher than her armpits.

But Andrew is braver than I am so he approached the couple. They looked interested in talking to him and I could not make out what it was about. I decided to approach them but then the man and the woman stood up and cornered me.

The man said "She has thirteen piercings--one, two, three...thirteen". He pointed to her nipples and down to her vagina. "You like her breasts? Touch them"

And guess what I did? Yes, gentlemen and ladies, I squeezed them. They offered me to come with them but I refused. The man waved his butt across my face but I said no. All that time, I was squeezing Andrew's hand.

I must admit that I was tempted to say "yes" and I do not know why. What could have happened if I came there alone.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Oz 2008: Crazy in Melbourne

It is hard to come up with something sensible right now. I have lost Andrew Mclean's apartment key. I have been late in some of my LYC appointments. I hope nobody is mad at me. But one thing is for sure, I am enjoying my time with Andrew.

We have been going to lots of gay establishments in Melbourne: The Peel, Sircuit and The Laird. Sircuit's cruising floor is nice. They have OK cubicles and movie rooms. I found The Laird very interesting because they have a lot of real men and not just boys. The Peel is excellent as they have men of all ages and the black go go boy is hot. It was my first time to see a non-Asian go go boy.

The trams here are nice and convenient. The trains are also very helpful in helping me get around the city. The ticketing system is also very easy to understand. Here in Melbourne, I do not have a guide who can tell me in detail what everything is about. I miss Peter.

I am sorry there is no theme right now. There is no one coherent topic. I am just enjoying my time here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Oz 2008: Nudity

I love the nude beaches here. It is so relaxing and they are free. You do not even have to buy a fancy swimming costume.

Peter and I went to Obelisk in Sydney where I saw lots of gay men and one woman sprawled out on the sand with nothing on but a smile. I felt very relaxed and at home.

We also went to a beach along Murrumbridgee River in Canberra. I hiked and climbed the borders without any clothes on. I saw some gay men cruising but that did not bother me. I just hiked some more. And there were also (I assume) some straight men and it does not bother them that many gay men are around the area.

At the Intercon, I also had a conversation with a man while both of us were in the nude. I do not know if the is gay or not but then it does not matter. It seems many people here are very comfortable with their bodies.

Hmmm....maybe I should have long conversations in the nude in my Bangkok gym.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Oz 2008: Wars and a Veteran

I have known Peter for a very long time and it was only today that I have seen him cry. We went to the war memorial in Canberra and went inside a place used to remember unnamed men who have died in war. My friend broke down and cried and I have an idea why. He is a Vietnam war veteran and it is the only topic that we cannot talk about.

I saw the young vulnerable man that he was but then he has done so many things for his community. He has not stop being a public servant even when he retired a few years ago. I am really proud of meeting my friend.

We went deeper in the building and I was amazed with the details and size of the place and the things displayed in it. There were uniforms, weapons and dioramas. But my jaw dropped when I saw jeep, tanks, helicopters and even bomber planes on display. They are not replicas but real ones. And to top it off, there were two sound and light shows that mimic the big machines in combat. I had goose bumps while watching these. But all of these highlight that people have died in wars. War is definitely far from beautiful.

Obviously, so much money was spent on this building and yet it is for free. It is even free for tourists. Now I cannot wait to visit an aboriginal museum.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Oz 2008: Aussie Museums

I thought most people who would be in Museums were foreign tourists but they are mostly Australians from different parts of the country. In Thailand and in the Philippines, most locals are forced to visit the museums because they are either required in school or friends asked them to show them around. On the other hand, it seems many Aussies are very keen on knowing about their history and their culture.

One would see prehistoric artefacts like tools. There are also tons of objects from the first settlers. But what surprises me the most is the presence of the gay community in their own national museum. The Mardi Gras is there!

My friends do not know that I actually cried when I realized how integrated is the gay community in the culture and history of this country. I wish my own country gave that much importance to us. In the Philippines, gay people are regarded as abnormal people and sinners. We have no importance back then.

This is a great deal for me. I love the things I am learning so far about this country.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Rainbow Boys (novel)

I have not read a book for a very long time. Here is one book that I started reading on the way to Suvarnabhumi Airport and finished it a day before the Mardi Gras. This is also the first teenage gay book I have ever read. Thanks to Alex Sanchez for giving me a free copy of the first book of his trilogy.

Like most teenage novels, this coming of age story has a very linear presentation. The language is very simple and very current so there is no need to open the dictionary to hunt for unfamiliar words. The physical characteristics of the main people in the story are detailed but these are faces that are common in US high schools.

For gay adults like me, there is nothing new to the story but I am sure it can create quite an impact to teenagers who are still searching for their true identities. It also gives a very sensitive yet realistic view of how parents react when their children come out to them.

It is embarrassing to admit that I did cry in some of the chapters. It brought a lot of happy memories when I was only a teenager.

This is a must-have for any gay teenager or any gay man who wants to revisit those years that having pimples are a big thing. I wonder if Alex would give me the succeeding publications. Hint hint.

Oz 2008: From Sydney to Canberra

We took the scenic route from Sydney to Canberra. My friends and I left the Intercon early and had breakfast at the beach. The sun was bright but the wind was cool.

Peter drove his car from the sands of Sydney towards the Australian National Park. It is huge and its roads were lined with tall trees. I had my hand out the window and it felt like a brook was running in between my fingers.

Hours passed and the temperature rose as we sped our way inland. Some trees were still tall. Some plants are mere bushes as the wind grows stronger. St. George's Lake is awesome. It just shows how much empty space this country has.

So much space. I got used to crowded places. where people are only inches away from you yet you do not mind them. People in Australia are very far apart and yet they treat each other with courtesy and respect. People here may have different jobs and yet they hold them with dignity.

Nobody is really low. Nobody is really better than the one next to him/her.

There is still so much to learn about this country.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Oz 2008: the Sydney Mardi Gras

Peter, Bobby and I were walking around the gate of the parade for more than one hour. I was already feeling sad that time because I thought I was going to miss the parade. It was almost impossible to get to our good spot (a shop that is directly above the starting parade) when luck started being on our side. The gates were open and we were able to cross the road where the parade was going to be.

It was a parade of beautiful bodies and huge smiles. I was surprised to see so many government organizations, a few churches and the governor of Sydney on the parade. The usual bikini-clad people were there. There were topless women, their kids, some straight parents. There were people from the Philippines, the US, Thailand, Indonesia and even the Middle East.

I even saw my favorite porn star, Chris Geary, and his Filipino boyfriend. I was screaming and howling. I planned on proposing marriage but I forgot everything. I just went mad!

And mad was the crowd. Everyone (straight man, girls, boys, infants, old people) was gay for a night. They wore wigs, feather boas, wings, heels, etc.

I am also impressed at how much gays and lesbians are integrated into each others' communities. You can see them together in the parade. I even saw many of them in a gay bar. It was a wonderful night and a wonderful city. Everyone was just gay and loving it!