Monday, January 15, 2007

Do you shave your balls?

Interesting chat up line, don’t you think?

I was sitting at the bar at the Amstel Tavern; the Troubled Diva, Mike, had popped off to the toilets. A rather interesting-looking man had given me a meaningful look before sitting down next to me a few minutes earlier. When Mike got up to go to the toilet, I had another look at him.

He fist said it in Dutch before realising that I didn’t understand him.

‘No, I don’t,’ I said.

‘Why not?’

‘I’m far too lazy for that sort of thing.’

Nothing came of it, possibly because I turned away from him to chat to Mike on his return. Shortly after that we moved on to Amsterdam’s newest gay bar, ‘Prik’.

It was great having Mike here for the weekend as we got to do and see a lot. On Friday, we started off at the trendier, twinkier places before ending up at the Cockring. Saturday started off at the cheesier, less trendy places. We landed up at the Cockring again.

But it wasn’t gay bars all weekend despite Mike saying, late yesterday afternoon, that he needed a good dose of the straights after feeling all ‘gayed out’. We also did the social thing and the cultural thing.

Saturday didn’t actually start off at various gay bars as we met Caroline for lunch that afternoon. Mike and Caroline, one of the original bloggers and inventor of the ‘permalink’, have known each other for several years now. He ‘cyber-introduced’ us soon after I arrived in Amsterdam but thought a real-life introduction would be so much better. We met up at De Waag for coffee then strolled over the square to a small Chinese/Japanese ‘fusion’ restaurant. While chatting about all sorts of things, we pigged ourselves on delicious dim sum. Conversation flowed smoothly without any alcoholic lubrication. Caroline may have been suffering from a really bad migraine but you’d never have known it. I’ll have to pluck up the ‘courage’ to meet up with her again soon.

Afterwards, a brisk walk in which we were buffeted by Arctic blasts took us to the Stedelijk Museum. Both of us were equally despairing about the crap masquerading as the cutting edge of visual art. It redeemed itself with two excellent photographic projects by two photographers, Broomberg & Chanarin. One looks at apartheid ten years after the end of apartheid, the other concerns the never-ending conflict in Israel. Each consisted of powerful, disturbing images that would never have been commissioned by the respective tourist boards of the two countries. So many years after the demise of apartheid and Israel’s issues are still being portrayed alongside South Africa’s inequalities.

And yesterday, it was the Rijksmuseum. Ongoing renovations have severely restricted the exhibition space but in a way that is perfect for an infrequent museum visitor like myself. Holland’s ‘Golden Age’ was sumptuously portrayed in about 15 large rooms, enough to summarise the history of the period while showing off the creativity that flourished at the time. Had there been more to see, my tired feet and fuzzy head would have united in anguished protest.

Mike left at 7 yesterday evening – his plane back to Nottingham was leaving at 9. I was already in bed by then!


Blogger mike said...

I'm glad you wrote that - it saves me the effort! Great to see you, and thanks for being such an accommodating and considerate host.

10:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun time - how are you settling in?

11:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be suffering from a bit of culture overload. Nothing a shorn scrotum can't cure, I'm sure.

7:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be suffering from a bit of culture overload. Nothing a shorn scrotum can't cure, I'm sure.

7:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haste to say I didn't exactly invent the permalink, but did look on quite valiantly as others implemented it. It was on their to-do list, but my request for the feature speeded up matters somewhat.

9:28 am  
Anonymous buddess said...

Hi Nomad. It has been a while since I visited you and boy you have been busy!!! I want to wish you luck in your new venture and it just all sounds so magical.

Mag al jou drome waar word in Amsterdam!!

9:57 am  
Anonymous ooermissus said...

He fist said!!!?

12:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the darkroom...

12:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Occasionally I do. At the moment they are. But that's perhaps more than you needed to know!

6:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who's read my spookily parallel posting can probably guess my view on this post's title :-). I'm happy to be shaved down there as long as it's not me who does the shaving!

GB xxx

10:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And my blog was the one being blocked because of 'undesirable material'! :) What a great pickup line.

Great posts. I'll definitely be back!

7:56 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

mike: It was a pleasure – it was great having you here so come back again soon.

rhino75: With Mike’s help, quite well. Work is still taking time to adjust to.

kyknoord: Surely that would just overload it more? Perhaps beyond the tipping point.

cvodb: Ah well, perhaps I should have referred to you as a co-founder of the permalink.

Never mind, it sounds better as it is so I won’t correct it. :-)

buddess: Thanks and don’t stay away so long this time.

Ooermissus: Oops, pardon the typo. However, it seems vaguely appropriate, so I’ll leave it there. ;-)

JP: What of the darkroom? I didn’t venture there.

DougZAR: Too much info!!!

Gay banker: But you’re still going to have to put up with the itching unless your shaver shaves you regularly.

BlondebutBright: Welcome to my odd little world. I think I’ve worked out why your blog was being blocked – it initiates a popup that sometimes advertising dodgy stuff. Come back again.

9:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sheesh dude- they couldn't choose more obvious or tongue in cheek names for their gay bars could they!?!
as for shaving your balls- why not rather use hair removal cream...?
what a weekend!

6:21 pm  
Anonymous radio on the Internet said...

What kind of question is that lol. I bet everyone does that but not any other person confesses that he really does it. You really increased my mood right now, thank you so so much for this post, that just totally made my day!

1:30 pm  
Anonymous price per head said...

I really admire this, I mean it really looks interesting! Very nice write up. Anyways, its a Great post

12:53 am  

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