Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Gifts

For Christmas I got Ryan a new cellphone. He’s always complaining about his old phone – it never gets any reception in the MTR or too far away from downtown, it’s too thick to keep in his pocket and it can’t take pictures. His new phone is super thin, seems to work anywhere – so far – and has a camera.

He got me a box of American artisan cheeses from Byerly’s. That might not sound like the most romantic gift, but I’m from Minnesota – I love cheese! A big block of cheese & a box of crackers and I’m a happy camper. Right now I live in Hong Kong – not the best place in the world for cheese – or crackers. Citysuper has some cheese, but their selection is pretty limited.

Ryan knows that I’ve been feeling homesick this Christmas – especially since I always thought we’d go home at Christmas. He couldn’t take me home so he brought a little slice of home to me – more like several large chunks of home. I have enough cheese to last for months!

I’m looking at blocks of Beecher flagship & Marco Polo, Bellavitano gold & raspberry, gran queso & bambina fontina, sartori asiago, crema casa and Humboldt fog. If any store in Hong Kong sold just one of these I’d be the most loyal customer they’ve ever had.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Frank Sinatra - I'll Be Home for Christmas

Christmas 2011

When we first came to Hong Kong we assumed we’d go home for Christmas, but then we went to Europe in October and spent all our money. Most of Ryan’s family came out here in September, so it’s not like we haven’t seen them in a long time. It would be nice to have a white Christmas with family & friends, but we have new friends here and Ryan & I still have each other.

I miss the snow, but I have to say I don’t miss the cold. It’s actually quite nice in Hong Kong. Yet it doesn’t feel like Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bing Crosby



Tropical Christmas is very different from the white Christmas of Minnesota.

Amsterdam part 7

More pictures from the Europe trip.


The beautiful Vondel Park in the middle of Amsterdam



The floating flower market in downtown Amsterdam



The central train station, mostly under construction

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Amsterdam part 6

More pictures from the Europe trip.






Some of the many canals that run through Amsterdam

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rome part 8

Here are more pix from the Europe trip.


The Spanish Steps in Rome





The Colosseum inside & out

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pastime Paradise

When I came home from work today Ryan was sitting in front of the computer jerking off. He didn’t even try to pretend to stop when I came in. I’ve seen him jerk off before, but that’s usually when we’re together. I know he does it when he’s alone – that’s totally normal. Everybody does it. I often masturbate when I’m in the shower or in bed if Ryan’s not home.

What I found strange about today was that he had no reaction to seeing me. If you’re at the computer you’re going to notice someone coming in the door. There’s no way you can’t see them. Ryan was totally focused on the Asian girl with a bunch of guys. He just kept pounding away until he shot his wad all over the floor. He was pounding on his cock really hard so I guess he was just in the zone.

If I were masturbating when he came home I’d be embarrassed. He wouldn’t – he’d want to join me. When I came home and saw him it never crossed my mind to join him. I guess men & women are just wired differently.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Elephant Song

Ryan is a talented musician & singer. He’s always coming up with catchy melodies, but he can’t write lyrics to save his life. He’s always singing little songs around the apartment and sometimes the words make me stop and think what the hell?

Today he was singing a song about “elephants are sucking my dick”.

That’s my man.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Attack of the Flying Cockroaches

It’s starting to get cooler in Hong Kong, but it’s still nothing like Minnesota. Today was sunny & 20 degrees Celsius – that’s 68F. It’s supposed to get colder & darker the rest of the week. Compare that to Minneapolis. Today was 40F & cloudy – that’s 4C. It’s supposed to get colder & rain the rest of the week. That rain will turn to snow pretty soon. It will never snow in Hong Kong.

The great thing I’ve noticed about cooler weather in Hong Kong is that the bugs all go away. At home having insects in your house is a sign of dirt & poverty. In Hong Kong insects are everywhere. Even the richest people in the most palatial mansions have to deal with mosquitos. What really bugs me is that the cockroaches can fly! I’ve never seen flying cockroaches before in my life. I used to think that the only good think about cockroaches was that they couldn’t fly. Here they can.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Euro Money

There was a time when going to Rome & Amsterdam we’d have to change our Hong Kong dollars into Italian lira and whatever the Dutch money was. Now we only had to change Hong Kong dollars to Euros.

When you travel you’re supposed to look at the exchange rate of wherever you live, but I’m still thinking in American dollars – so if you tell me something costs $10 HK I think of it as $1 American. When we converted our Hong Kong dollars to Euros I didn’t think of it as Hong Kong dollars to Euros, I thought of it as American dollars to Euros. If something in Rome cost 10 Euros I didn’t think of it as $100 HK, I thought of it as $14 American.




American dollars



Hong Kong dollars



Euros

Thursday, December 8, 2011

John Lennon

1940-1980


Standing in the dock at Southampton
Trying to get to Holland or France
The man in the mac said, "You've got to go back"
You know they didn't even give us a chance

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me

Finally made the plane into Paris
Honeymooning down by the Seine
Peter Brown called to say, "You can make it ok
You can get married in Gibraltar near Spain"

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me

Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton
Talking in our beds for a week
The news people said, "Say what you doing in bed"
I said we're only trying to get us some peace

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me

Saving up your money for a rainy day
Giving all your clothes to charity
Last night the wife said
"Oh boy, when you're dead
You don't take nothing with you but your soul, think"

Made a lightning trip to Vienna
Eating chocolate cake in a bag
The newspapers said, "She's gone to his head
They look just like two gurus in a drag"

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me

Caught the early plane back to London
Fifty acorns tied in a sack
The men from the press said, "We wish you success
It's good to have the both of you back"

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me

Pearl Harbor

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

“The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

“It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

“The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

“Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

“As commander in chief of the army and navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

“I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

“Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.

“I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

--President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 12/8/1941



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Amsterdam part 5

After Ryan’s birthday, he wanted to take me to the Red Light District. He went there on his birthday, but said he only looked around – he wasn’t a customer. This seemed kind of hard to believe until I went there myself. In the daytime it’s just like any other area of the city – except there are strip clubs and stores selling porn & sex toys. And in the middle of it all is the oldest church in Amsterdam.

What I didn’t like were some of the signs on some of the clubs. Some of them were pretty graphic. These signs are right on the street. At least the sex museum is indoors – in a controlled environment. You have to pay to get in and children aren’t allowed. The very graphic strip club signs are out in public where anyone can see them. Children & little old ladies walked by the clubs. I guess they’re used to it, but I can’t imagine seeing anything like this in Minnesota.

At night the Red Light District takes on a completely different atmosphere. All the customers come out and all the windows light up with red light bulbs. In each window is a girl in a bikini or lingerie waiting for her next customer. It seemed pretty degrading to me. The girls were like products for sale on display, but I guess it’s safer than hookers walking the streets. It was also a lot more crowded at night. During the day people are going about their business. At night people gawk & linger. We watched one guy pace back & forth getting up the courage to go into one of the rooms.

There seem to be more bars in the Red Light District than anywhere else. Ryan wanted to go to Molly Malone’s Irish pub because he thinks my family is Irish. I keep telling him my ancestors were Highland Scottish, but he always forgets. Instead, we went to a bar that had lots of Dutch, Belgian and German beer. I don’t usually like beer, but this place was pretty good. European beer is thicker, and one of the locals told us that American beer tasted watered down to them.



Just another street by day



Out in the open for all to see



The oldest church in Amsterdam

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Amsterdam part 4

I really didn’t know what to do for Ryan’s birthday until the last minute. We were in Amsterdam, so throwing a surprise party was out of the question. Most of the shopping there is small boutique stores and tourist gift shops. He wouldn’t like any of that. An Amsterdam t-shirt isn’t much of a birthday present, but I did get him a vulgar t-shirt that he absolutely loves. He hasn’t worn it in Hong Kong yet and I’m hoping he never does.



I decided that my gift to him would be a full day where he could do whatever he wanted without any complaints or judgment from me. My only rule was that I didn’t have to be there. So while he went coffee shop hopping – that’s what they call the places where you can buy pot – they’re nothing like Denny’s – I went museum hopping. I wasn’t interested in watching him get stoned and he wasn’t interested in visiting museums.

I went to the Rijksmuseum, which is in the middle of a massive renovation project. Only a tiny fraction of the art is on display, but it was still very impressive. I’d love to go back when they’re finished in a few years and see it in all its glory. I also went to the Van Gogh museum, which is next to the Rijksmuseum. It was pretty impressive. They had a lot of his art displayed in an easily navigated building. Most museums are like mazes. You usually have several different directions you can go. The Van Gogh museum is kind of laid out like Ikea. You start at the beginning and end at the ending.

At the end of the day – late in the night, really – Ryan came back to the hotel happy and wet. It hadn’t been raining, so my guess is he fell in one of the canals. I never asked him about it. I think the less I know, the better.


Rijksmuseum



Concertgeboew @ Museum Square

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nude Beach Day

I went to my first ever nude beach – in Hong Kong of all places. Hong Kong isn’t exactly known as a nudist’s paradise. I’ve seen a lot of naked children at park fountains and pretty much wherever there’s open water – especially in the oppressive heat of summer – but this isn’t a place you’ll ever see naked adults. Even at a regular beach most people cover up as much as they can. I’ve never seen anyone sunbathing in any park. Most of the women seem to do everything they can to keep the sun away. They even use umbrellas on sunny days.

It’s December, but it’s not cold at all. It’s a lot cooler than it was a couple of months ago, but this winter is nothing like winters in Minnesota. I see a lot of locals walking around in the daytime with big coats and hats & scarves, but I’ve never been cold enough for more than a light sweater – and that’s at night. So when Ryan suggested going to the beach, it didn’t seem strange at all. What he didn’t tell me was that it was a nude beach.

There are beaches all over Hong Kong. Most of them are mostly empty, even in the summer. I don’t think the Chinese are big fans of the beach. There’s a small beach near the house in Clear Water Bay where Lily & Kevin stayed in July. I never saw anybody else there.

This nude beach was on Lantau Island and very hard to get to. We work on Lantau, but this was on the other end of the island, way beyond the MTR. I don’t think any buses even go out that far. Ryan borrowed a car from one of his band friends who probably “borrowed” it from someone else. They’re a questionable bunch. We drove out there with a hand drawn map that really wasn’t all that helpful. We probably would’ve had better luck with Mapquest.

We drove around a long time and got lost a few times before we stopped in a tiny little village to ask for directions. I know more Chinese than Ryan, but still not enough to have a conversation with anyone. I know north, south, east & west in Chinese, but that didn’t matter since none of the locals seemed to know what direction anything was in. They didn’t understand our map at all, but they understood the few Chinese words written on it and told us to go down the road they pointed to. It quickly became the only road, and at that point our only options were to turn around and go back or keep going. I was ready to turn around, but Ryan wanted to keep going. He thought the road either had to lead somewhere or just stop dead. I pointed out that this is an island. The road could go in a very large circle.

Not long after the tiny village, we were at a makeshift dirt parking lot. Ryan decided this was it. He’d never been here before, but his friend who drew the map said there was a dirt parking lot. Normally that wouldn’t be specific enough for me, but in Hong Kong any kind of parking lot is rare enough to beat the odds. It turns out they were right. A quick hike from the fake parking lot and we were at a beautiful little beach. There was no one there, so it’s hard to say if it was really the nude beach, but in December you’re not going to find any crowded beaches in Hong Kong.

Ryan was disappointed that no one was there. I think he wanted to go to look at naked girls just as much as he wanted to get naked, but if you want to see naked girls on the beach, don’t go to Hong Kong. I was glad there was no one else there. I brought a bathing suit and wasn’t about to get naked if there were any people around.

Ryan says I need to get over my prudish upbringing and be more comfortable with my body and the human body is beautiful and blah, blah. He’s right. I’d like to be more comfortable with nudity. I went to a great spa on my birthday and my discomfort took something away from the experience. It was great, but it would’ve been better if I was more relaxed. The ladies there weren’t trying to hurt me at all. They only wanted to pamper me.

I also know that the trip to the nude beach wasn’t just so I can gain confidence. Ryan wanted to look at naked girls.

The water was too cold to swim in. I’m never very confident about water quality here anyway. They have a system that tells you if the water’s ok that day, but that just makes me wonder. I’d rather swim where the water never has hazardous days.

Ryan got naked right away. He loved running around with everything hanging out. I stayed in my bathing suit for a while. Eventually I went topless. There was no one around, so I went full monty. It felt nice having the sun all over, but it’s not something I’ll be doing on a regular basis. I’d like to get to the point where I’m comfortable enough to do it with other people around, but we really don’t do much beachgoing in Hong Kong, and this beach was a pain to get to. They say it’s supposed to get colder, so this was probably our last beach trip this year.