Thursday, March 30, 2006

Photos during The CW Period 英聯邦運動會期間的照片 コマンウエフの間の写真

Southgate Area at Night
The red thing is a temporary seating structure for the CW games
The beachcomber cafe at St Kilda with JJ
Melbourne Museum
Festival Melbourne Culinary Competition
Malaysian flag at the Culinary Competition Mas vs Eng
More pics at my Online Photo album.....

Out with Friends...與朋友的日記 。 。 。 友達との遊び日記

Just posting on some of the things i've been up to for the past few weeks....
On a Friday, went with a Penang friend for lunch at this Japanese place on Flinders Lane. It is VERY well hidden and in fact, the entrance has no signs indicating that there is a restaurant there and so u really would NOT even notice this restaurant if it were not by introduction from a friend. Well, he brought me there and we were lucky that we got a seat cos this place requires booking in advance but i guess the fact that i said お願いしますto the japanese staff there must have helped somewhat in getting a place.....there is no menu in terms of the restaurant has a set menu in advance for every month and u can actually get a copy to see what is going to be served on a specific day cos they only serve a certain set meal on certain days so there is only one choice per day. The day we went, we had the buckwheat noodles with three coloured rice set on offer for that day and it was pretty sumptious....a nice experience given i have never eaten at such a reclusive place with a fixed menu before. We then had chocolate waffles with chocolate drinks at Max Brenner(see pic above!!) and a good chat too....the conversation ranged from women's rights to gays and lesbians and my friend is surprisingly liberal when it comes to both despite being a church going Christian...hehehe, i always seem to bring up topics that interest me in my conversations with friends....

photo i took at Docklands all the cards collected that day

On the 19th Sunday, went to see the Marathon at the MCG with my Taiwanese friend D. We went there early in the morning to catch the marathon runners passing by and i got a pic with them~then after that went to Docklands for the 1st time (yes it was my first time despite being in melb for so long!!!) It was a nice place and we had lunch at this place beside the river called 'Berth'. I had steak which was good given that i haven't had steak in a long was really really cold that day....after we took the City Circle tram and then to St Kilda Sunday Market. Nothing much really but there was a large outdoor screen broadcasting the CW Games there...I had ice-cream at Seven Apples on Acland St and we both bought sunglasses as well...yes i now have this cool looking sunglasses,hehehe....saw these cute gum packs one saying 'Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them' another 'gay gum' ,and another 'I love my penis' , so that was interesting...went to melbourne museum and saw the exhibition on the CW opening ceremony and took more photos and then had dinner at Vina Vietnamese on Lygon Street. Then we went to Crown and Southgate for a stroll, SO CROWDED! The day was a fulfilling one but my legs were exhausted by the end of that day.....

Went to Melbourne Museum to watch the Melbourne Festival Culinary Competition on one of the days. It was England vs Malaysia and guess who won? Malaysia!!!! The English team was just SOOO Bad that malaysia just had to win....i mean the english cook was so slow that the time had to be extended to allow him to finish....

I have something to tell my readers, well i didn't mention it before but....i have a Korean friend!! He is a student here in melbourne studying english and just finished military service in South Korea. I will call him JJ. JJ is from Incheon and studied in Yonsei University in Seoul which is one of the best universities in SK apparently....i have known him for awhile now but just never thought of mentioning him..anyways, we had dinner at Hungry Jacks last week and went for a stroll at St Kilda pier and then went to this nice cafe/restaurant by St Kilda Beach called
'Beachcombe Cafe' situated just outside the St Kilda Seabaths.....we had ice chocolate and garlic bread...anyways the cultural difference b/w us once again surfaced as i found that it was true that korean guys are much more confident with their sexuality cos JJ would often comment on the looks of korean actors like 'he has a good body' or that he wants to know good looking guys...he also explained that in korea, it was ok for guys to comment that another guy was really 'good looking and attractive' from the standpoint of admiration and jealousy. the rationale for wanting to be friends with good looking guys was cos they are often surrounded by pretty girls and so u can get introduced to alot of pretty girls....i had to explain to him that in western and also in chinese culture, men CANNOT say out loud that another guy is good looking and saying he wanted to be friends with good looking men would immediately set off the alarm bells 'he IS gay!' it was interesting this cultural difference...and JJ is NOT gay, he keeps on asking me to intro nice aussie girls cos he wants a caucasian girlfriend... and no, i don't like him 'in that way' despite my korean obsession...when i talk about korean men in my blog, please don't think i would fall for any korean guy cos i am just saying only and i actually think korean men wouldn't be suitable for me given the vast language and cultural difference, its just that i am extremely attracted to them sexually (shy...)but that does not equal to love...and so JJ is just a friend to me, i actually don't even feel attracted to him, which is as it should be, friends shouldn't be attracted to each other 'in that way' anyways....hehe...

more updates coming soon.....

Hope lives on...全 力 以 赴 永 不 言 棄 。 。 。 最後まで希望を捨てないでください。。。

A friend of mine is recently going thru some tough times, i am writing this post to give CK some words of encouragement. First of all, i apologise that whenever u sms me, i am always out with friends and cannot reply as soon as i would like to. I do hope u understand. Also, i hope ur family situation improves and everything goes well.......with regards to 'that guy u like', well i don't know what to say except that u will just have to get over him in time, as he is attached already and he obviously loves his other half and his other half also loves him, so there is nothing that can be done. It is not ur fault for falling for him as love can come so suddenly and swiftly that its really out of anyone's control.....thats the good and bad thing about love i guess....u just have to try to forget him.......i am however glad to know u are trying to better urself and start a fresh chapter in life which is good, i am looking forward to seeing an improved u......hope u achieve what u aim for!

On my other friend Jeff, he has recently switched to a new job and i hope everything is going well for him! He is such a nice friend and as we both like the feeling of sending and receiving traditional posts and letters, we correspond thru letters and he is the first person to send me a Valentines Card this yr! (the above letter and card is from him!)How sweet of him......and before u ppl start to speculate on our relationship, WE ARE JUST FRIENDS....he sends all his single friends handmade cards cos it can be lonely being single on sweet of him...waiting for your next letter Jeff!

Controversy 爭論 争論

Been some time since i last blogged cos i have just been so busy in the past couple of weeks going to some of the CW Games free Festival Melbourne events and being too much of a 'social butterfly'...i will post about the CW Games soon and also put up some pics when i have the time... am soooo behind my readings...catching up NOW....anyways, i wanted to post about the controversy that erupted on my post on Korean men earlier. I did not expect so many ppl to leave comments, i have got 40 comments incl mine so far, something u see only on those super popular blogs!!!I simply did not expect such a simple post to generate so much controversy with alot of anon commenters (must have come from the korea-related blogs) simply attacking koreans and even pretending to be korean and then going out of their way to be racist to give koreans a bad name. I have had to change my comment settings such that from now on, all comments have to be approved by me first and i have also deleted some of the unacceptable racist comments left in my blog. Some are such attention seekers posting things they know will get them attention...well i am NOT going to play into their game, and from now on ALL RACIST and UNACCEPTABLE comments will simply not get published and so they might as well not waste their time....anyways, i just find it funny how some ppl just go out of their way to take on an identity to look credible when i can see that they are just pretending....
on another note, i thought i should mention my Gay History Buddy (GHB) . He is a gay friend of mine and we share a common interest in history which is what i like about him...he seems really intelligent and is very well learnt in many aspects of history. For example, when he found out that i was Hunanese (chinese ppl usually know where their ancestors originate from, eg cantonese, hokkien, shanghainese,beijinger, shaanxi,etc) he immediately said isn't that where Chairman Mao is from....not many ppl outside China would know that fact and further most malaysians would NOT be aware of that. In fact, i doubt most malaysians even know that there is a province called Hunan in China, Canton and Fujian province being where the majority of Malaysian Chinese come from. He is smart and is abit different from the stereotypical image of gay men being just interested in other men and sex (though he is too!) However, his blog posts on men seem to garner the most comments whilst his posts on history seem to get less attention....i hope this doesn't reflect on the intelligence and depth of the average gay male! And of course, he has such a nice voice....haha...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Commonwealth Games Celerations on Yarra 英聯邦運動會in墨爾本 コマンウエフゲームスinメルボルン

above is the malaysian dessert 'ice kacang' stall found in the Queen Victoria night market.....i found it interesting and so i took a pic...
Above pic is of the Cheongsam/Chinese dress girl i took...
Above is the fireworks along the Yarra River, as u can tell, my flash was not working properly...damn!!
I went to the Commonwealth Games celebrations along the Yarra River today and just got was fantastic, esp the fireworks display!!! Really crowded too! There were big screens at many locations screening what was going on inside the MCG Stadium and there was a line of artificial fish displays representing each participating country along the Yarra river......and also quite alot of korean tourists too,hehehe, i just can't seem to not mention koreans somehow, and did i mention about how cute some of the korean guys were too?hehe....the girls were good looking too actually, ANYWAYS, i shall not be distracted by the cute korean guys and ramble on about them, it was a great experience and my digicam went down on battery!! so hopefully my friends brought their handphones and digital cameras so i will get the photos off them...these photos are the ones i took b4 my battery went flat....i also saw a girl in a cheongsam! took a photo of her,hehehe....the one above.....a fantastic evening to be remembered. Before the CW event, i went to the Queen Victoria Night Market with my friend (who's from Penang as well) and we ate some stuff there and looked at the handicrafts being sold there and really liked these hand-made paper desk lamps but abit too expensive....BUT guess what i came across....a yukata stall!!! Yukata is the summer version of the kimono so basically the same thing but the material is abit thinner....AND it was selling 2nd hand yukata for both guys and girls for only $10!!!!! That is SUPER SUPER SUPER cheap considering that i couldn't buy it in Tokyo cos they cost at least 10,000 yen (mayb Aussie$150?) or aussie$50 at least for a 2nd hand one so i was OVERJOYED and guess what, i bought myself a yukata, my first yukata/kimono and i was surprised how good i looked in it when i came home to try it on, i have decided that i shall go to the Japan Festival coming to melbourne wearing the yukata, i mean what other chance do i have to wear it besides Japanese festivals?? Really glad to have found such a bargain,i mean its even cheaper than ur average western for those of u who live in melbourne and who don't know or haven't been to the QV night market, it is ending next week (on weds only), so go visit and have a look at the yukata stall whilst u r there!!
What an eventful day it was today!

Moomba festival 幕 芭 遊 行 ムンバーフエスチバル

Went to the Moomba Parade on was really nice and took many photos. It went thru Swanston St and started at around 10am....will post up more photos of Moomba on my online photo album when i have the time.....

Blogs I Read 閱 讀 的 部 落 客 訪ねるブログ

This post is basically to introduce just some of the blogs i won't introduce all the ones i read which are in my links section and it does not mean that the ones i did not introduce specifically are not good enough cos if there is a link,they are good, but cos of time limitations, i will only point out some:
(1) The Plunge: Fantastic Korea related blog written by a Westerner married with a Korean wife. His blog is the ONLY one in english i've come across so far whose ideas and thinking i almost completely agree with! in fact, he is one of the very few westerners who is so concerned about the Japan and WW2 issue that his 'all important posts' links are all related to japanese apology and compensation for WW2 issues....he basically supports the chinese/korean viewpoint on japanese lack of sincerety on the war fact all that he has written on his blog about japan and WW2 I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH so please go and have a look at his arguements cos they represent mine as well and it saves me from writing about it when someone else can write it better for me...and yes i am deeply passionate about the Japanese war atrocity issue though i haven't written much about it lately....and he has also been very kind to write 2 posts recommending my blog to others on his own blog somethin which has increased my readership, so pls go and take a look at his blog sometime, in the 'korea blogs' link section below.

(2) kimcafe: fantastic japanese language blog showcasing where to find cheap and delicious food in Japan and the rest of Asia from the writer's personal travels....nice pics too..

(3) What does the world look like/Clayton/Alexander: Three blogs which are incredibly frank and filled with the real emotions of the authors....

(4) Bedtime stories/Confetti in the Wind: Bedtime Stories is the authoritative blog for blogs representing a certain community, the tongzhi community, so check it out, the other blog is also an interesting read and written by a pilot...(note i have explained what tongzhi means in my archives so go check if u dun know the meaning)

(5) beijing or bust: Intelligently written by a social activist in beijing who is quite popular in the blogsphere, also has a taiwanese boyfriend which is always nice given that i am half-taiwanese myself.....

(6)Asia pages: one of my favourite korea blogs written by an intelligent and insightful korean-american woman currently living in Pusan...just love reading about all the topics she writes about...

(7) ESWN blog: Very important news source for english translations of chinese media sources...

(8) Gay Japan News: an extremely useful website for info on gay news around the globe in Japanese....

(9) Multi-Colour dreams of Krungthep: Thai-Malaysian blog which is funny, witty and hilarious at times giving some insight into a certain community and their life.....

(10) Nanking Atrocities/Korean council for comfort women: Informative sites on Japanese war atrocities during WW2....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Kawasaki Saiwai Ward 2006 川崎市的幸區2006年 川崎市幸区2006年

Kids frolic on a mountain of thanks
Children had a rare chance to play in snow in Kawasaki's Saiwai Ward on Sunday morning after a 72-year-old man trucked in 300 tons of the stuff from the former village of Yamakoshi in Niigata Prefecture. (Takeshi Tokitsu/The Asahi Shimbun)
I found this on the Asahi website front page some weeks back and was pleasantly surprised given that Kawasaki's Saiwai Ward was exactly the place i lived in whilst in Tokyo in 2005. I mean not only is it the same city Kawasaki City which is big anyway, its the same Ward and i think i even recognise the tall buildings behind in the picture, could they be the buildings close to JR Shin-Kawasaki Station?? (This was the station i used most frequently to travel around and also to get to Keio University in Mita campus which is where i went despite my apart being like 15 mins walk to its Hiyoshi Campus BUT i am so glad all the classes were at Mita cos its right in the Tokyo metro area and i got to travel almost daily using the busiest inner Tokyo Yamanote train line circle.How i miss Tokyo life.......戻りたいなあ。。。東京)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Gay Korea Column (2)同志韓國(二) ゲイ韓国(二)

Been awhile since i last posted so i will post a few more posts as is my habit to post alot after a loooong lull. I hope more people leave comments, as u can tell my blog has a variety of posts relating to all kinds of topics of interest to me and so it can't really be classified into any of the conventional categories for blogs such as 'korea blogs' or 'chinese blogs' or 'history blogs' or 'women's blogs' cos i post on a range of issues....u can find all different kinds of posts dealing with issues ranging from women's rights, the chinese dress, japanese war compensation and apology, to korea and south korea's current trends and film reviews and gay u can find everything here whereas in other blogs they will prob only deal with one specific issue only...such as gay stuff for 'gay blogs' and korea stuff for 'korea blogs'...yes i know i am shameless and conceited but i am proud of my little blog here so pls feel free to comment liberally, all constructive comments are welcome....The few posts below are part of my continuing series on 'Homosexuality in Asia' and part of the 'Gay Korea' series which is to inform the greater public on the gay side of South Korea given that i have interest in both South Korea and gay issues, i thought of matching the two up and given the dire lack of info on gay korea (as opposed to gay china and gay japan) out there in english...hope u find it interesting!.

Group Denounces Abuse of Gay Conscript Chosun Ilbo Article (February 16 2006)
A coalition of civic groups has denounced the treatment of gays in the Korean military. The leader of Solidarity for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Human Rights of Korea, one of the groups, on Wednesday told reporters of the case of one private who asked to speak to his superiors about his homosexuality and was asked to bring photographic evidence showing him having sex with another man (ridiculous lar!) He was in effect the victim of sexual harassment, the leader said.
The Human Rights Network called on the government to resolve the issue, saying the incident was a clear example that the military is in a blind spot in terms of human rights abuses, and demonstrates just how serious human rights abuses of homosexual soldiers have become. A spokesman for the military said the forces await for the outcome of an inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission. He said the private petitioned the NHRC on Feb. 9, and the watchdog has been investigating the facts at the unit where the incident took place since Tuesday. Depending on the results, the military will decide whether to launch its own investigation.

HIV-Positive Man Held for Endangering Sex Partners Chosun Ilbo Article (13th March 2006)
An HIV-positive man has been arrested for having sex with other men without warning them that he was infected with the virus, police said Friday. Incheon Metropolitan Police said the 24-year old, who contracted the virus through homosexual contact in 2002, is charged with having high-risk sex with seven men he met through an Internet forum in 2004.
Police said the man had sex with another, whom he had met online, at a hotel in Incheon as recently as a week ago. Police quoted him as saying he was unable to suppress his sexual urges and had sex “even though I knew I shouldn’t.”
The arrest came as part of a crackdown on obscene websites( in S.Korea laws banning dangerous sites for children and minors have been used to shut down certain korean gay sites and restrict access to others by requiring keying in ID no and 21 yrs above requirement as 'gay material' is considered 'harmful' to children and minors) Police have asked health authorities to test the man’s sexual partners for the virus and are determining whether there were others.

A Good Time for Gay Movies in East and West Chosun Ilbo Article (March 13 2006)
Planning on “coming out?” Now might be a good time, as a slew of recent hot-topic movies produced and released in Korea, the U.S. and Japan are drawing attention to the topic of same-sex love affairs and perhaps making the idea more accessible to the conservative masses.
Above all, the recent hit Korean movie "The King and the Clown" just became the biggest blockbuster of all time here by attracting more than 11.8 million viewers nationwide as of last week( this has been the talk of town in South Korea for the past few months and is ground-breaking given that it is a gay themed film and a gay themed film has become South Korea's No1 Box Office in its entire 60 yr history smashing even the well known 'Taegukki' by JDG and Won Bin, i will post more on this film when i have a chance to see it when it comes to the korean DVD rental here which i am sure it will most definitely). It focuses on King Yeonsan (Chung Jin-young) and his love for the clown Gong-gil (Lee Joon-ki). The milestone puts the movie ahead of patriotic blockbusters like "Silmido" or "Taegukgi." Homosexual themes, however, are fairly discreetly woven into the tapestry of the film, even if the original Korean title itself -- which translates as “The King’s Man” -- is fairly unequivocal in its connotations.
In Hollywood, "Brokeback Mountain" directed by Ang Lee has been no stranger to public controversy either. Set on a ranch in Wyoming, the movie deals with the love shared between two cowboys -- not an icon one would usually associate with homosexuality. Its commercial success, too, has gone beyond all expectations, with the film picking up four Golden Globes and Lee’s winning the Oscar for Best Director. Back in the East, "La Maison de Himiko," which deals with a gay man in love with a straight woman, an unusual topic even for an art film, drew some 30,000 viewers in three months since its release in Japan in October.
So far, homosexuality has been dealt with mostly in independent movies. In Korean society, which traditionally doesn’t look to kindly on gay relationships, the success of "The King and the Clown" therefore seems an even more exceptional feat. The major force of the movie lies in its solid storyline, but the kiss scene between Chung Jin-young and Lee Joon-ki( LJK has become immensely popular in SK from being a nobody to many a high school girl's dream boy, he is part of the new wave 'pretty boy' look popular with some korean girls, indeed he looks ALOT like a woman, many a western expat from the korea blogs have commented 'why the heck would any guy wanna look like him?' i admit he isn't my cup of tea too but i always think the greater the diversity the better! the West should pick up this trend of 'pretty boys' which is popular in South Korea and also Japan for the sake of giving women more options.)seems so natural that viewers almost forget to squirm. That such stories have moved into the mainstream can be attributed to the watchwords of cultural diversity and political tolerance of the early 2000s. The film critic Shim Young-seop says the result has been mighty step forward for Korea, which now seems able to approach homosexuals as human beings.
(this just goes to show how much times have changed, i mean would anyone in their right minds have ever thought a mere 10 yrs back that a gay themed movie could become deeply Christian and Confucianist South Korea's No1 Box Office hit of all time ...i think NOT!)

Below is my translation on a Japanese piece dealing with Gays in Korea's Military (note its just a summary translation of the gist of the article, not a word for word one, and i am proud i have come to be able to read Japanese articles, newspapers, novels,etc esp after my exchange in Tokyo last year, sad to say the same can't be said about my speaking skills which are like still at primary level,hehe)

ニュース from Gay Japan Web (a very useful Japanese language resource by the way)
韓国:2005年に8人のゲイ兵士が除隊させられる2006/03/01 18:57
韓国LGBT人権連合(Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea)のファン・ジャンクォン氏は、今月の初めに一人のゲイ兵士から助けを求められていたことを明らかにした。その兵士は、ゲイであることを証明するために性交渉の際の写真を強制的に提出させられただけでなく、同意無しにエイズ検査も受けさせられ、軍当局は彼のプライバシーを保護しなかったという。彼は除隊を望んでおり、同連合も彼を早期に除隊させる方向で動いているという。
韓国性暴力救済センター(Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center)もまた、軍隊内でのゲイ兵士に対する差別を激しく非難しており、ゲイ兵士を任務から除外する規定を変更するよう要求している。厳格な儒教とカトリックの影響の強い韓国において同性愛がある程度受け入れられてきたのはここ数年のことである。韓国では現在、独裁的な王と2人の道化師を巻き込んだゲイの三角関係を描いた映画『王の男』が大ヒットを記録し話題を呼んでいる。
English Translation: In 2005, the Korean military has admitted that 8 gay soldiers were expelled from the korean military on the grounds of their homosexuality which was first reported in a local media. This is the 1st time that the Korean military has publicly revealed that it does keep a record of the number of soldiers expelled from the military on the grounds of homosexuality. Although the Korean Military Law does not allow for gay men's entry into the military, due to the compulsory national service in SK, all men must do 2 yrs compulsory service. The military officials have to talk with men who proclaim that they are gay as well as seek the advice of medical professionals to ascertain whether or not those who say they are gay are genuine cases or merely attempting to escape from military service. A Korean NGO has said this month, there was a case of a private who was asked to produce photographic evidence of him havinf sex with another man to prove his homosexuality as well as forced to take an AIDS test, thus the military having failed to protect his privacy. The KSVRC has severely criticised discrimination against gays in the korean military and have requested that the rules whereby gay soldiers must be expelled be amended. In strongly Confucianistic and Catholic South Korea, the acceptance of gays to a certain level has only occured in these few yrs. In South Korea currently, the film about a ruthless dictatorial King and his gay relationship with 2 clowns has become a huge hit.
Ok one thought i have is how does the military decide who is gay and who isn't? Do they just pick out the effeminate looking ones? I mean how do they found out or do gay soldiers just volunteer the information? I remember reading somewhere that the famous Korean transgendered singer HaRiSoo managed to skip NS by getting a doctor to write that she had 'severe mental problems' which is one of the only ways to get exempted given the korean military doesn't like exempting ppl. This definition in itself is a problem given that by categorizing gays as those with 'severe mental problems' they are put in a similar category as to schizos and deranged people...
Well, hope the above gave my readers some more insight into Gay Korea and gay related issue currently in South Korea.......
AND LASTLY....PrinzJ i still have no reply from u, dun u wanna know ur senior in law school?i realised like what u said there aren't alot of malaysians in law school as compared to sg, least even if u refuse to give an email, have the courtesy to reply and give me some dumbass excuse, but not replying at all is NOT going to give me a good impression, still like a contact but dun wanna lose a loyal either give me a contact or give me a dumbass excuse, either way a reply means u will continue to be very welcome to leave comments here, not replying however will be just the opposite.....this shall be my last attempt....