Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Getting all Big Brother

It's been a while since my friends and colleagues have gotten together for a fun-filled margarita-soaked fiesta. With Chinese New Year barely weeks behind us and the ever-cheerful return to the work grind, it's taken some time for us to organize a get-together since our schedules never seem to mesh well.

Thank God for birthdays then - which gives us the perfect opportunity to lift up a glass of alcohol in celebration - or at least for me tonight, a glass of ice lemon tea. With my debilitating illness not too far back, I decided not to tempt fate by getting utterly soused. Unlike me, Shameless Shalom saw no objection to several pints of the good stuff and ended up all flushed, giggly and sophomoric - something terribly unlike her. Obviously made of sterner stuff, Handsome Hui managed to knock back a few without blurting out any of his deep, dark secrets.

One of my junior colleagues, Reedy Reba ( who actually just completed her internship two months ago ) finally turns 26 and nothing makes me feel more the big brother than watching a fresh, young intern step into a new role in her working career. I know the actual gap between our chronological years isn't all that wide but somehow a year in medical life seems almost like a lifetime!

As you guys know, all my life I've always been the tagging kid brother so I actually relish the chance to play the elder role for once :) Sure, feeling all wrinkled, crotchety and ancient beside all these youthful whippersnappers certainly dulls the shine but still it's great to recount nightmarish tales of the horrors us old folks have gone through at work.

And yeah, even crack a joke over some of the terrifying experiences we've had with our patients. Exploding blood bags and swooning relatives certainly didn't feel like any laughing matter at that time.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Wedding pacts II The Return of the Killer Bride

You know what they say about scary monsters under the bed. Just when you think it's finally gone, dead and buried ( with that handy hatchet you keep by your bedside ), the one thing you fear the most resurfaces from the ground with its hand clawing the dirt.

Months back, I mentioned a wedding pact with one of my oldest friends, Graceless Grace. Since her last blubbering confession on my shoulders, she has remained thankfully silent on the subject of our projected wedding plans. Desperately hoping that she had permanently dismissed our so-called engagement ( in her head anyway ) - and since it seemed to do no harm for her to have her own funny fantasies, I have kept my peace.

What freaking wedding!
Maybe if I hold her tight enough, she'll forget the damned wedding...

Obviously I should have said something earlier. Although she hasn't gotten my consent yet, she has obviously somehow taken my frowning silence as assent since she brought it up again today. It's quite obvious that Grace hasn't been having the best dating record recently judging from the comments I've gotten from her. Somehow or rather crazed sex maniacs and commitment-phobic men don't seem like the marriageable sort. Then again, something else we have in common actually. This afternoon, a surprising message from her had me literally screaming as she asked me to check out the price of garden weddings.

Not sure what the hell she meant by that but I was as shocked by her message as I was by the price of garden weddings. A freaking 25 thousand for about fifteen tables for a themed garden wedding, imagine that! Now, how am I gonna swing that with my measly salary? It would take half a year for me to save that much - if I ate only rice wih tofu and cycled to work. Sure, I could do a striptease for a male burlesque but I doubt I could earn as much as Big Boy Barry of the Kayu Jatis - since honestly, who would pay to see me! Perhaps I could earn more by opening a private clinic.

Damn. What the fuck am I saying? I'm certainly not getting married to her! Don't get me wrong. She's a lovely lady and any heterosexual man who can actually live with her intolerable idiosyncrasies can be counted a lucky man. And God knows I love weddings. But I actually prefer my women a little taller, darker - and manlier.

Told her just that and although she laughed merrily - probably thinking I was making some hokey joke, I don't think she really understood that I meant what I said. Doubt she'd have believed it if I'd waved a rainbow thong right in her nose.

Luckily she added a small caveat this time and added a year to the contract, thereby giving me time - and space - to breathe. Till then, I need to get me a man!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Delivery

It's been two days since and it's taken that long for me to recover from the trauma of delivery. Seriously. I didn't dare mention it yesterday for fear of bringing back bad memories :)

Rest assured, I haven't suddenly asked for a transfer to OBGYN. God forbid. Although obstetrics is a mandatory posting for all of us in medicine - and I did enjoy my time there with the screaming, occasionally rabidly psychotic ( understandable, I should think ) mothers-to-be and the equally harassed staff in the delivery suite, I've relegated most of my obstetrics experience to the back of my mind as things to be forgotten since it's highly unlikely I'd be caught between the naked thighs of a screaming, hyperventilating woman anytime soon.

Frequently we see bloody gory scenes of delivery highlighted on television - with the prerequisite scene of the anxious father-to-be fainting over the indescribable sight to canned laughter. The blood and the gore is unfortunately true but although more than a few women subscribe to such dramatic hysterics when faced with the unbearable pain, they actually remain in the minority.

Instead of remaining crouched at the end of the table as the doctor awaiting the baby, I finally got the opportunity to be on the other side for once. You'll be forgiven for imagining all sorts of lurid National Enquirer conclusions - I would have imagined pretty much the same myself. It's not true though. I haven't traded my subscription to Gay Times for FHM as yet and despite my vague desires to be a father, the lady isn't the unfortunate surrogate mother of my unborn child either.

A close colleague of mine, let's call her Silently Screaming Mimi for today, had her unwelcome contractions during the day that I was on-call and an epidural was placed to allay her pains - and her obvious distress. There was no way to ascertain whether her epidural worked since she replied to every question with an unintelligible, monosyllabic grunt - akin to my Neanderthal phone conversations.

Later in the midst of my relatively busy call, I came over for a review around midnight - to check on her epidural - only to find her bearing down for delivery and I was dragged in by the obstetrician ( who's no longer any friend of mine! ) to provide moral support - in lieu of her errant husband who's unsurprisingly AWOL. In retrospect, I guess I was the best choice since as a gay man, I wouldn't be in the least bit interested in her bloody bits.

Thankfully Screaming Mimi did no verbal abuse / bashing of any sort - confining her acute distress to heated glares at any males in close contact and the occasional grunt of suppressed anger during her contractions - but my beautiful 100% cotton shirt isn't going to look the same anymore after the way she tore at my collar. Still I managed to maintain my composure as best I could while yelling at the top of my voice for her to bloody hell push.

Obviously coaching and moral support works since there's a three kg bouncing baby somewhere in town right now being nursed. After her stoic and silent experience, Mimi was surprisingly calm after delivery, and thanked me profusely for being there - but after my unprecedented and possibly unwelcome appearance at such a private moment, I don't know how we're gonna face each other tomorrow :)

The coach
Certainly wouldn't mind him as a coach...

Certainly not to undermine the essential role mothers play but it actually left me with a far more appreciative outlook on the fathers' role. Although it's wonderful to have the fathers physically present at the delivery, they unfortunately do seem almost superfluous in such a setting and I've always wondered what goes through their minds as they watch the delibery of their baby. Horror? Fear? Relief? Do they worry about the impact they're gonna have on the new life? Do they feel the sudden enormous responsibility weigh heavy on their shoulders? Do they wonder whether the oozing gore will permanently gonna stain their shirts?

Still despite feeling terribly awkward being there, I think I made a relatively good coach :)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Breakfast at Paul's

It's not often that I get to have a slow, lazy breakfast in the morning. Other than the times when I'm blissfully on holiday ( where I pig out at breakfast buffets for hours since it's urban myth that calories on holiday don't count ), I usually spend my breakfasts desperately on the go - meaning hastily slapped together PB & J sandwiches ( yeah, my tastes haven't changed much since I was back in primary! ) or drowned muesli just before I rush to join the other career-minded rats in the race.

I didn't get to have my breakfast today either. Well, technically it can't be called breakfast snce I actually had it at about three in the afternoon but we shall just keep that between us. Yesterday's on-call was particularly tiring - and I even helped deliver one of my colleagues at work! - and I conked off like Rip Van Winkle for six hours straight when I reached home.

Woke up feeling far more refreshed - and slightly more civilized after my shower - and also damned hungry since the last meal I had was almost 20 hours ago. Snce it was my breakfast of sorts, I decided to make pancakes.

Feeling awfully Nigella Lawson domestic-goddess like, I made my way to my beautifully appointed but rarely used kitchen in my pyjamas only to find that I was actually short of eggs. Well, my woefully bare larder was actually short of anything even remotely involved with cooking ( other than a veritable cornucopia of preprocessed packaged foods such as the instant noodles I mentioned before ) but let's not go there, shall we. Even now, the thought makes me cringe. Fortunately, my home is tucked in between a gaggle of chattering spinsters who have fridges thankfully stocked up with supplies and it was simple enough to borrow an egg - or two. The neighbourly thing to do after all.

Shopping for breakfast
Bet his larder isn't empty...

Armed with my eggs, I managed to make pancakes enough for two. And slathered in butter and maple syrup, it was sinfully delicious. Paired with the single cup of coffee that I allowed myself ( and my morning newspaper ), it was heaven.

And that was my breakfast at three in the afternoon. Doctors certainly have the weirdest time schedules so take pity on us. Egg and flour donations are always welcome!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A late bite

Finished real late after work today - ending with a brain-bender of a tutorial that left me exhausted, both mentally and physically. For a moment in the parking lot, I actually found myself disoriented not knowing where I'd parked my car. Felt totally dude, where's my car. It's actually hard to think of anything when your poor brain's been squashed and pressed through a grinder for relevant information - so it was with some relief that I got the message from Big Bicep Barry to join him for a bite. Otherwise I'd probably have gone home for some homecooked instant noodles.

Hot man eating
Mmm... yum.... pre-cooked processed food...

Like I said before, the man has been having work problems of his own which he explained fully as he worked his way through a bowl of Tom Yum noodles ( yes! No alfalfa roots for once! ). Yeah, no smirking - especially all you guys in the back! - but when I'm not being particularly flirtatious / flighty, I can actually be quite a sensible, level-headed guy. Makes me the perfect shoulder to cry on for a number of the females that I know, sobbing their poor little hearts out as bastards AKA men stomp all over them.

Sadly none of the males I know have availed themselves of the open invite as yet. Not sure what I'm doing wrong but eventhough Barry did seem a little teary over the Tom Yum, he didn't seem to be in a hurry to bawl on my shoulders either.

Even as the man's stuffing his face with prawns ( GASP! The calories! ) and noodles, he gets the stares. You're just not that easily dismissed when you have shoulders like his. Always makes me wonder what it's like to be ogled. Unfortunately since I'm not particularly gifted in the genetic stakes, I only get the disbelieving stares when I have a ginormous pimple on my forehead.

Barry : You're imagining things.
Paul : When you flexed your arm to get the chopstick, that girl almost walked into that pillar.
Barry : You think I'm that cute?
Paul : Angling for compliments, Mr Bicep?
Barry : Hey, I'll take all that I can get.
( A pause as he actually stuck his tongue out playfully. Too weird. ) Worked hard enough to get it.

For that, he got a fried wantan in his face. Still, the man certainly knew how to put a smile on my face. Sometime during dinner, he reached down to his bag and pulled out a beautifully wrapped gift with a large bow on top. As much as I like gifts, sudden surprises immediately puts cynical me on my guard.

Paul : It's not my birthday.
Barry : It's not a bomb. Take it.
Paul : What is it?
Barry : It's not from me. She's leaving for Taiwan next week. Wanted you to have this as a thank you.
Paul : Who?
Barry : Betty of course.
Paul : Bountiful Betty?
( looking appropriately puzzled ) : Bountiful Betty? Bountiful?
Paul : It's nothing. Just a cute pet name.

Hey, what didja expect? Well, of course he doesn't call her Bountiful Betty but I couldn't very well blab her real name everywhere after I've viciously maligned her silicone-pumped character, could I? Afterward, Barry watched me with some suspicion but decided to refrain from commenting since I had this huge mentally insane Joker smile on my face.

BTW Betty bought me a real nice CD. Real big ( bountiful? ) of her.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Jogging memories

Isn't it weird how our memories work?

There are so many things I can't recall in my past - so many tiny details that have slipped my absent-minded memory. Prior to the age of twelve, I can barely recall anything ( seriously! ) so a large part of my primary school life is a hazy sepia-toned memory from yesterday. Only small fading pictures remain that prove that I actually was a small kid who went to that primary school with his lunch of pb & j sandwiches.

With senility fast approaching though, it hasn't been all that easy trying to keep all those memories intact. Doesn't help that I'm terribly busy cramming dry, dull anaesthetic facts into my already packed brain ( and let's not hear anything about using only a tiny fraction of our brains, I'm happy using my small percentage, thanks very much! :) ). At the rate I'm stuffing myself, certainly wondering why I haven't seen daunting information start falling out of my ears yet.

Still every once in a while, something happens to jog the memories to life. A sound. A taste. A scent. And the memory comes back alive and vibrant in my mind.

Face to face
Look at me...

Bear with the cheesy metaphors please :) After all the song that brought a fond memory to mind was Get Here by Oleta Adams, remixed by an eager contestant on the American Idol. Such an ancient oldie, I'm sure - and I bet the clubkids around here haven't even heard of it :) Still I recall a lazy, rainy weekend, the music playing in the background and a sweet ( though currently terribly wicked and insignificant ) guy who danced with me.

Gave him a sappy call to watch the tv.

My ISO : Fucking sappy guy. You always get this way when you're sick. ( Pause ) By God, she sucks. She's spoiling the song!

Damned bastard. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


The neverending phlegm is almost gone and there's no fever but now I'm in the draggy post-illness funk that hits just after. Makes you feel like you've just completed a damned marathon up the Everest. Compounded with my horrible 24 hour call last night, it's almost a fucking miracle that I could crawl out of the rec room at the hospital today.

Showering ice cubesYet with some superhuman reserves, I somehow managed just that. Despite the shower spewing out ice cubes from River Torne, even managed to clean up a little since I hate looking like a freaking slob after work. Slicked up with my tie and white coat, I felt almost human again until about 10 in the morning, when I suffered a debilitating relapse and had to dash home for the restorative touch of Hypnos.

Instead of commiserating with my illness - and offering tea, sympathy and hot men, some of my friends have seen fit to proffer bits of advice.

My ever helpful ISO : Aiyo. Sick again. Lots of fluids, vitamins and hot mansex. Guaranteed cure.

Seriously. If I had the hot mansex on the tap, I certainly wouldn't be half as desperate :)

Big Bicep Barry : You could try sweating it out at the gym. It could help.
Not surprised that the big guy would offer such advice since he's an avid fan of dumbbells ( and evidently dumb belles too but let's not talk bad of our fellow creatures, shall we ). But honestly in my state of exhaustion, unless the man offers a naked backrub after the fact, I'm not stepping near the gym.

Shameless Shalom : Aren't the antibiotics working yet?!
It has but why is it taking so long! Like all of us modern age types who have no patience to wait, I demand immediate release from such misery!

In times of trouble such as this, luckily I have sweet Charming Calvin - one guy I'm having my eye on lately - to commiserate with. He hasn't been feeling all that well lately and we've been sharing pathetic tales of medical woe. Definitely some virulent bug making its rounds over here but at least he's well enough to start ironing clothes this afternoon ( since he does it all the time... some odd fetish, I'm sure! )!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My Gay Dad

Although I have the suffering phlegm I mentioned in my last post, it has cleared up some - thanks to the miracle of modern medicine - and I spent last night taking care of my niece since I'm obviously a reasonably responsible sort. Despite the fact that I had a woozy head - probably also due to my meds, I handled myself accountably well throughout the evening while she played around with her toys, helped herself to some of my charcoals ( from the days I entertained notions of joining an art college! Didn't even know I still had those around! ) and went through several oddly entertaining reruns of Barney, the monstrous purple cushion, and his two illegitimate dinokids.

There were times during the evening when I even gave in to the blissful notion of having a house, a husband and a passel of kids running about ( well perhaps two, any more than that and I'd be the old lady in the Manolos ). Although I might have the occasional brain fritz over Chris Evans slicked up in oil, I've never actually been all that interested in the stereotypical fabulous gay life, the thumpa-thumpa disco music or hanging out in bars drooling hopelessly over the pretty boys. Probably gonna be in the ostracized minority over here but in keeping with my Stepford housefrau dreams, I've always wanted a child of my own. Yeah, I can see the number of prospective boyfriends dwindling down to zero right about now :) Other gay men might freak over taking care of the dirt, the spittle and the drool but that's always been alright with me since I've seen much worse at work. And I can always dryclean that Armani suit.

Father and baby
The indescribable mystery of children

That was of course before I had the pleasure of putting my niece to sleep. It wasn't the first time I've gotten her to sleep but it was obviously that time of the month. Tucking her in wasn't the problem actually... keeping her there turned out to be the start of my woes. At some ungodly hour of the night, my niece somehow woke up with the urge to stage a loud, stand-up protest from her cot beside my room. From a happily chattering child, she metamorphosed into some screaming, wailing demon from hell that practically trashed my child monitor with her vociferous million-decibel protests.

Knowing her uncle's a soft-hearted twat beneath that steely exterior, she knew I'd be up and running ( albeit a bit groggily in the dark and slamming my foot on the door frame ) the minute the damned monitor beeped.

Even for a reasonably resourceful guy like me, I was simply at a loss to what to do with the pint-sized termagant as she waved her fists at me, miniscule tears dripping out of her teensy eyes. I've fed her, I've bathed her, I've changed her diapers, I've read stories to her. What the hell else did she want me to do? Unsurprisingly sensible reasoning didn't weigh much with her and the terms I placed on the discussion table for her ceasefire were met with virulent screams of rage. Only after ten minutes of trying to cajole her with several delicious treats - and racking my skull thinking of child-rearing theories, I finally managed to ascertain through her childish babble what she wanted of me.

Which actually turned out to be an hour of cradling her in my arms while I stalked around the room dressed in my ratty pyjamas.

Don't know how other dads do it but there were times I felt like slamming my head on the wall for being such a failure. The other half the time I actually felt like raising my voice to shake the rafters. That was in between wishing that I actually had some sedatives around. Good God. Obviously I need my future boyfriend to be a better father!

Still the lil angel woke up this morning happy as a clam ready to face a new day while my head ached sadly. Obviously last night wasn't as bitterly traumatic for her.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Blue List

First of all, I've gotta say bravo to all antibiotics! Sure, God knows I hate taking the damned things ( as a medical practitioner I shouldn't be saying such sacrilegious blasphemy but we'll just keep it quiet, shall we? ) but every once in a while, I just get damned tired of hacking out half a lung and I need some lovely drugs to help my immune system along.

Although I'm still not feeling up to fighting form yet, I believe right now I'd be able to at least give Chris Evans a thorough tongue wash if he should ever come by knocking at my door - since I'm a nice, hospitable fella and all. Whether I'd be able to perform far more vigorous carnal acts all depends on how long the bacteria / virus stays down.

Chris Evans!
Damn, I keep hearing about this bloke called Paul wanting to give me a tongue wash?

Still the short ceasefire did give me time to flip through the Lonely Planet's Blue List - a thoughtful gift from a wicked ex boyfriend. Knowing my odd penchant for travel and my obsession for reading, my ISO decided to combine the two and get me a wonderful book that's sure to make me guilty enough to actually buy him something in return for his birthday. I'm not fooled though. The bastard probably already read the book in the plane.

But there's nothing like the Blue List to get someone like me dreaming of travel again. Each time I get a lovely little stamp on my passport, I feel a little secret thrill. Not as big a thrill as getting frenched in the London-Brighton Express train but still it's almost similar - that little secret pleasure that snakes up the spine at the thought of a new indescribable experience to be enjoyed.

Somehow when I was a kid, it never occurred to me that I'd actually be able to travel to all these exotic destinations. Endlessly twirling the globe in my room, I'd dream of the places I'd go, the people I'd meet ( yeah, I know.. the MenmEnmeN ) - and yes, the things I'd buy. However short of being an employee of a multinational airline or the legitimate heiress of a worldwide hotel chain, it hardly seemed possible to jet off to foreign destinations at the drop of a hat. Certainly not even in my wildest dreams could I imagine that I'd actually be able to travel - and yet the past few years I've been lucky enough to visit little bits of the world ( barring the Americas - the long long long flight is a deterrence for me unfortunately but dammit, I shall make it there one day nevertheless ).

At the moment, my bank account might be absolutely pitiful - surely to the horror of my long suffering brother - but at least I'll have some exotic souvenirs to hock. Lacquerware from Myanmar, anyone? Surely some Venetian hand-blown glass could turn a buck.

Just an anecdote but something amusing occurred to me as I flipped through the Blue List. Somehow or rather throughout my travels, I managed to visit at least six of the greatest markets in the world. Who knew! Obviously my yet unsurpassed shopping instincts are right on target. I'll leave it to you guys to figure out which six.

Tsukiji Fish market, Japan
Khan Al-Khalili, Egypt
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chatuchak, Thailand
Kashgar, China

Temple St, Hong Kong
Grand Bazaar, Turkey
Aleppo, Syria
Pike Place Market, USA
Camden, England

Now all I'd have to do is nail down the other four! Anyone up for the challenge?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday Night Fever

Last night I rolled, tossed and turned all over the cotton sheets hoping to find the most comfortable position, drenched in testosterone and sweat with my mind full of feverish unspoken desires. My throat ached painfully even as I struggled to breathe carefully without losing my breath. Unfortunately, it wasn't Chris Evans I was hoping to fill my burning throat but the lozenges I'd downed earlier. The paracetamol and the antibiotics hadn't kicked in yet and I felt utterly miserable fighting the bloody virus / bacteria that had somehow gotten the better of me.

Jugs of hot tea and vitamins didn't help much even today as I rushed through my ward rounds. Practically crawled home after begging for some time off and drove dangerously through the streets back home. The fever racked my mind and it was difficult to even think of accepting a generous offfer to meet some of the bloggers in Kuala Lumpur - not to mention missing out on a medical conference there. Alas, the spirit was fucking willing but the flesh was too damned weak. As I lay on my sofa hacking up half of my lung, I doubt I could have gotten it up even for Chris Evans blissfully naked ( as God must have intended ) and covered in baby oil ( as I intended ).

In my bed!
Damn, it's getting hot in here...

It's at times like these that living alone as a fabulous singleton doesn't seem all that great. Sure, the hot apple tea, the cold compress and the antibiotics aren't exactly beyond my diminished capabilities - I can do that on my own - but it would have been wonderful to have someone sweet and wonderful ask me how my poor head's doing. Or if he's similarly situated, to cuddle up with tissues, dripping phlegm and warm blankets over reruns of FRIENDS.

Fortunately during my recent trip to Bangkok, I managed to get my hands on a whole slew of gay oriented DVDs - not hardcore porn! - such as Queer as Folk and Six Feet Under. Guess the trials of Michael and Brian will be keeping me up through the weekend as I struggle through my antibiotic course ( can I say that pills always tastes horrible? ).

Said it before and I'll say it again, but why hasn't some sexy egg-headed genius found the secret panacea for the common cold yet?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Danger Zone

We all know how much I hate coming back to work after a long break so I shan't reiterate. It's a drag and we all know it :)

The indescribable magic of Bangkok - and the effects of the really excellent full bodily massage I received - is slowly wearing away as I get down to the sad, harsh reality of work. Still I managed to lug back a ton of loot that will have the nice guys at VISA screaming with joy - since I obviously charged my card like an insane tai-tai on a post-divorce spree. And each time I open a tiny little present ( since I actually wrapped all my stuff ), I get back that little sprinkle of magic.

God, was that gay or what?

Asian hunk!
Damn, I should be finding my way to Malacca to be with my husband...

Which brings me to my next point - yes, I do have one! A certain sexy elf's courage in coming out to his brother made me wonder how much longer it would take before my parents said anything about my state of bachelorhood. Of late, my mother's sheer tenacity in getting me happily married off has become almost rabid and I'm just waiting for the day I find a mail-order Vietnamese bride knocking politely at my door with wedding certificate in hand. Would be a pity though if the bride wasn't tall, dark and hunky.

As I offloaded my stash of magazines, it amazed me that even my parents didn't say anything. I mean, come on. Details. Genre. Gay Times. Even.. whoops, the name card from a skanky bar in Silom with an obvious rainbow splashed across the front.

Come on, could I be anymore gay? As we all know, times are a-changing and perhaps my parents would understand - eventhough they would surely be disappointed since it's a hard, difficult path I have chosen for myself. I'm sure my mother would throw out a dozen humanist theories to counter anything I said - which explains the need to parade a red-blooded boyfriend in front of her. I know it shouldn't be anyone's business who I fuck ( except mine ) but there are times when I do wish I could be free enough to hold my man's hands in public, to peck him on the cheek as I say goodbye. And it would be nice to have my man sitting beside me at the dinner table.

But of course, first I'd have to get a real life boyfriend to prove the point!

The closest thing I had to a boyfriend of any sort, my wicked ISO, sent me a naughty sms and an online JPEG of a calla lily ( the flowers I want for my wedding! ) for Valentine. Bastard. I am so hitting him for an expensive dinner when he comes back.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Real Thing

Just a continuation from my previous post - and yeah, the title comes from another Gwen Stefani song...

Left some of my last minute souvenir shopping for the end so it was late evening by the time I managed to finally make my way to the famous Erawan Shrine for my offering. For those who're utterly stumped, the Erawan Shrine is dedicated to the four-headed image of Brahma and it's located right smack in Chidlom, one of the most congested commercial districts in Bangkok . Only in Thailand do you see the contrasts - Thai classical dancers performing for the god amidst burning incense and offerings in the serene temple right at the corner of a bustling cross junction beneath a modern monorail system.

Say a little prayerWishes and offerings have been made there - and according to local folklore, more than a few have been granted which has made the small shrine a significant draw for devotees from arund the region. An infamous legend even has it that a lady once danced in the nude under the moonlight after her boon was met.

Inspired by an article in a daily newspaper, I made my way there to make my plea. When I reached the shrine with the hundreds of devotees clamouring for their own boons, it came to me that it was alarmingly fitting that I should make a wish for a mate just on the eve of Valentine's! I'd actually forgotten the date but over here in Thailand, it's practically impossible to get away from talk of Valentine's since it's literally plastered everywhere.

Thena gain, perhaps it was a sign of some sort and I prayed for the best. Wars are being fought, people are dying of disease and yet here I am asking for a boyfriend. Talk about the pathetically lovelorn ( or possibly insanely self-absorbed :) ). Feeling more than a little foolish and self-conscious - and yet desperately earnest, I made my wish nevertheless and gave my offerings to Brahma.

So if it actually comes true - and I'm truly with a mate that I can love who actually loves me in return by next year, I shall have to make another pilgrimage there. So to the hitherto unknown prince Brahma picks for me, I suggest you make a mark on that calendar. Don't worry. I promise no naked dances by the moonlight.

Cool weather

Obviously someone up there must have been reading my blog post yesterday about the sweltering heat since it rained like cats and dogs yesterday evening. Drenched any ideas I had about trolling down to the temples for a photo shoot - especially since the last time I actually did something vaguely touristy ( apart from crazy relentless shopping ) was years back when I was still a kid.

Still I managed to drag poor Pete through a mind-boggling array of shops, focusing on books and interior design ( like brown paper packages, simply two of my favourite things ) that must have utterly bored the poor guy out of his skull. Our tastes in men differ greatly and there was a moment in front of Siam Paragon when I found myself literally transfixed by a clan of shirtless, break-dancing young Thai fellas ( some with enviable six-packs and thankfully quite eager to show them off ) while Pete was practically oblivious to their existence. Still, with his packed schedule, it was nice of him to take me around. :)

Evening took me to the seamier by night Silom district where I ogled the gyrating, half-naked boys - and also some of the sexier farangs watching them - while biting into some delicious pork cutlets that I purchased from a stall nearby. Frankly the meat in my mouth sometimes tasted better since I could imagine what the poor dancing boys were thinking of in their heads. Probably watching the drooling foreigners in derision while thinking of their next paycheck - or the fact that their pesky G-string is climbing up their pert arse.

It always surprises me when some guys read my blog and come to the horrifyingly erroneous conclusion that I'm inundated by lewd sexual propositions from husky, athletically built gods on a daily basis. Trust me, I haven't had any. If that were true, this blog would surely be far more interesting - and possibly filled with anatomically impossible back-breaking sexcapades - since let's face it, unless I'm committed to a relationship, I don't think I could say no to a Chris Evans lookalike. Unfortunately for me, handsome, intelligent guys ala Chris Evans only look as me as a witty mate with a shoulder to cry on - or even worse an invisible man.

So that's me, living in a life of quiet desperation. All of which inspires my next move actually. An article written in the Nation has prompted my next outing today which is to visit the Erawan Shrine. Imagine that, the gay columnist Nat makes a trip to the shrine to make an offering to the god and gets a heavenly boyfriend in return. Not bad for a day's trip, I say!

Little monk!
Is very good idea, sir!

By the by for those interested if you read the titles of my last few posts, you'd get the song titles from Gwen Stefani's debut album.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Hollaback Guy

If yesterday was pure luxurious decadence with the odd bit of incest thrown in, today was pure sweat, heat and half-naked bodies all around.

Unfortunately - in spite of my wildest wet dreams, I didn't spend my day surrounded by a trio of half-naked, muscular go-go boys ( the Kayu Jatis? :) ) performing illegal sex acts in my marble bathtub. Still shopping comes a really close second behind sexy men in thongs - and I spent my morning slugging it out with other crazy tourists at the infamous shopping mecca / steaming hellhole called Chatuchak Weekend Market.

Is it hot in here?

Despite the sweltering heat - surely enough to fry an egg on the tar - I edged my way through the bewildering maze of vendors and stalls hawking everything from domestic animals to wild undergarments. Armed with my Thai phrasebook, a crumpled map and a bag of delicious cream puffs to sustain me, I sweated, negotiated and bargained for a slew of items from a pair of really excellent Thai teak musicians to a pair of colourful retro underwear! Even managed to purchase the intricately carved wooden birdcage I've been having my eye on - that would actually look absolutely charming close to my bedroom window.

It wasn't all running about though. I did take a rest during the hectic shopping to slurp some iced water and feast my eyes on the handsome specimens all slick with sweat and testosterone.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Luxurious decadence

I think I've just enjoyed the most relaxing day ever.

It began beautifully with the sight of young, well-built boys sweating on a basketball court as they played sepak takraw - think volleyball with legs - below my balcony. It certainly increased my wicked appetite for succulent meat which was somewhat appeased during breakfast.

Shirtless players!
Swear from a distance they all looked like this...

After my light breakfast - thankfully provided the hotel, I had the most delicious spa treatment ever ( almost as good as sex ) where the plain but husky masseuse practically lulled me to sleep at times. Hate to disappoint you guys but he didn't resemble Chris Evans in the least but he had the most amazing hands - I would marry him for those hands alone! At the end of his indescribable magic, I could feel my bones practically melt onto the floor and it was all I could do to slide over into the tuk tuk for a ride to the mall.

Over at the mall I treated myself to a decadent chocolate orgy that would have obsessive dieters such as alfalfa munching vegetarian wannabe Big Bicep Barry going into an apoplexy of guilt. There's nothing quite as luxurious as drinking Godawful expensive but heavenly chocolate while lounging on a shady Balinese daybed generously provided with silk throw pillows. No one cooks - or provides impeccable service - as beautifully as the Thais do and even my lunch was an experience all by itself.

There were times that I wished I had someone to share with - but I've surely griped quite enough about my sorry single state. Watching Valentine banners go up everywhere over here with the ubiquitous farang / local SPG couple walking by made me feel a pang of envy. Some of the other Thais might look at such couples askance ( exploitation of their women and all that but not gonna get up on my soapbox today since my knees are still rubbery after the massage ) but there are times that I actually wished I was in their slinky, slutty stilettos. Not that I'm suddenly revealing a hitherto buried penchant for cross-dressing ( NEVER! ) but it would be nice to have a cute, sexy farang gaze into my eyes with such naked adoration. No matter how fickle or fleeting that feeling might be.

By the by, I'm gonna say something extremely shallow for a while. Some of the farangs are absofuckinglutely delicious but for some obscure reason, the SPGs by their side certainly didn't match their golden Caucasian godliness. Instead of the dark-eyed beauties we'd expect, they're usually paired with dumpy, flat-nosed wannabes straight out of the reject country farm. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder but hell, even I look better with my hideous homely features.

That didn't spoil my mood in the least though since I was still in a massage / chocolate high and it certainly helped when something extremely odd and vaguely incestuous happened during dinner. Even with my hideous homely features, somehow when I'm abroad I get the occasional pheromone injection which renders me temporarily irresistible to some of my more susceptible victims. Witness my past Istanbul fling.

So what happens when an overly amorous cousin - let's call him Tipsy Tik - bends over at the end of dinner and slips you some tongue? Sure, I can be the physically affectionate sort but swapping spit with a cousin seems to spill dangerously over into the borders of incest. Doesn't it? Still, I was too stunned by his actions - and overcome by my earlier expiations that I didn't bruise his pretty chin ( yes, he did get both his - and obviously my share - of the sexy hot Thai boy looks ).

Still, it was kinda weird.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

One Night in Bangkok

I know the title of the post is such a cliche but I just couldn't help it!

It was with some trepidation that I accepted my uncle's suggestion that he book a hotel room since his curiously odd eccentricities are quite well known in the family. It is quite likely that I'd end up at a little disreputable shack with a dodgy leaking roof ( run by a leather-wearing mama and her lusty concubines ) in the shadiest district of Bangkok. Even worse he might persuade the lusty concubines to perform some unimaginable sex act for me - since he wouldn't be privy to the fact that I'd prefer them to be hot, hunky and male.

It was with some delight that I found out that I'd been proven quite wrong since it turns out that my uncle has quite impeccable taste in hotels. Not only is the room wide enough for three king-sized beds and fitted with wireless broadband, I think it's quite possible that I could host an entire marine platoon in the marble-sized bathtub ( which I am, btw, gonna use soon since the hotel has thoughtfully provided me with aromatic bath salts ). After that I've booked myself the indispensable foot massage before I sleep.

Yes. I meant uncle. And the blood-relation uncle not the uncle who tickles one in the nether regions and offers wads of cash after the deed is done ( although I certainly wouldn't mind having one of those either ). I'm half-Thai but I don't look it at all. When they were passing the genes around, I somehow missed out on the sexy hot Thai boy looks. Damn.

Despite checking out some of the fine dark-eyed specimens of Thai manhood around ( especially their notoriously sexy, fit police officers ), I shall refrain from meaningless sexual one-night-stands no matter how hot they may be. I'm looking for love and commitment. Yes. Yes. Must remind myself of that!

A short break

Every once in a while, I just need to take a break. It happens almost periodically after every two to three months when the work starts to get on my irritable nerves, the course workload seems a little too much ( damn, how did I think I'd be able to handle studying all over again with all the work I have to do! )and my restless legs just needs space to move. Just a short break to relax, take my mind off things and just to re-energize. In the short term, the delicious shopping mall performs the same duties for me ( it would be better if I had a delicious boyfriend to perform the same role but I don't! ) but every once in a while, I just get this irresistible yen to travel.

Didn't mention anything about my short break before since I only got confirmation of my leave a week back and didn't want to jinx it. Thankfully now that AirAsia has given everyone the enviable ability to fly, I've gotten my precious tickets free :) Which is quite a relief since my bank balance hasn't fully recovered from the recent Istanbul fling. Also a tip, a little winged fairy has whispered in my ear that the young pilots are damned hot so I'll certainly be keeping my eyes wide open during the flight - especially since there wouldn't be any light snacks or other forms of entertainment onboard. Wonder whether the hot pilots still give guided tours of their cockpits :P

Despite my brother's frequent assurances that planes are essentially safe ( and I really should believe him since he's a terribly methodical, conscientious creature ), I still get the occasional heebie-jeebies whenever I fly. Certainly isn't the first time I'd board a plane but each time the plane takes off from the ground, I get nervous. Despite the occasional earthquake/tremor, I'm one insecure guy who prefers to have his feet planted on terra firma. Which is why I need my stack of magazines ( which I'll have to buy this time since AirAsia is utterly no-frills ) to take my mind off the amazing tincan just floating in the sky.

Ah, this is the life...
Ah... this is the life...

So the next time you're reading this, hopefully I should be writing from some exotic South East Asian destination - perhaps even with a gorgeous, husky dark-eyed hunk ( yummy ) kneading my naked back with sweet-smelling essential oils. It'll be my time to grab a few bites of delicious food, put up my tired heels and flip through several mindless, torrid paperbacks.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Dare ya

As reticent as I've been with Big Bicep Barry especially with the avoidance maneuvers I've been practicing lately ( well, as reticent as an unrestrained loudmouth like me can be! ), there are times when the impulsively wicked devil in me shows its horns.

Talking on the phone has always been one of my anathemas - especially lately - and I've actually become quite addicted to sending short mesages through my mobile. So much simpler, far more private than yelling into a bad connection and it doesn't cause a hue and cry in the hospital. And anyway hell, I'm better at expressing myself in writing. Over the phone, I'm usually a grumpy, monosyllabic Neanderthal grunter but over short messages, I can be funny, witty and almost endearingly charming - in spite of my hideous homely features. At least I hope so... Sexy shaggable elves, malay uncles and dreaming pilgrims will have to attest to this.

Man on the phoneAs oblivious as the man can be, even Barry has gotten the message that I'm a closet phone monster. Somehow all the urbane charm I possess ( limited amount though it is ) gets flushed down the drain the minute I answer a phone.

His short, infrequent, occasionally curt messages at certain hours finally made sense a few days ago when I inadvertently stumbled over a message ( sent by mistake to me ) detailing his financial woes. Did you all know that messages have peak and off-peak hours? :O I know. I can be such a brainless himbo sometimes.

Lately the poor, overworked man has been busy working hard for his money - trying to drum up reluctant clients for his family business - which means slogging away for more than 12 hours a day on weekdays ( and somehow squeeze in his insanely torturous gym routine to destress after his full workday by tossing dumbbells about ) and the occasional weekends. The inevitable pitfalls of a relentless Chinese family-run enterprise, I'm sure. Serving his clients doesn't leave him much free time lately but he does send the occasional gripe to let me know he's still solidly in the land of the living.

Barry : Damn, you know of any good fast money schemes?
Paul : Burn and sell pirated DVDS! Corral all your hot Vietnamese migrant workers and have them dance naked for a private audience.
Barry : Not many beefcakes around. Won't sell tickets.
Paul : Perhaps you could be the male burlesque headliner. Big Boy Barry of the Kayu Jatis. I'd get an audience for you and charge tickets.
Barry : Funny. Maybe I could sell my kidneys.
Paul : Think stripshow. Much less painful.

Even the occasionally voluble Barry found it nigh impossible to make a reply.

A wise friend of mine once said I should let Barry and my ISO read my blog. Can you imagine that impossibility? I'd probably have to move permanently to the furthest reaches of the Alaskan territories ( draped in a shapeless purdah lest I be recognized ) and camp out alone ala Brokeback to avoid the sheer embarassment!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Thinking straight

With all my talk of licking Chris Evans from head to toe, I've certainly left no doubt that I'm a screaming fag. But there are days when I do wish that I'd actually turned out as my parents - and obviously society at large - expects of all seemingly normal red-blooded males which is hopelessly heterosexual. It would have been so much simpler to be straight - I'd probably be happily married with three lusty children by now.

Don't be shocked. Yeah, sometimes I do think straight. Today isn't one of those days however.

I do have a large number of female friends, more than a few actually which has given rise to the occasional rumours bubbling in the hospital although we all know it's absolutely baseless of course. Since I've been the object of speculation for years, I've learnt not to bother much about mindless gossip. It's the essential oil that keeps the cogwheels of the hospital running smoothly after all - without it, I bet we'd be at each other's throats in seconds. Nothing like a lil bit of gossip to ease some tension.

More than a few of my female friends are still resolutely single. And sometimes when I see how fabulous and wonderful they are, it frequently makes me wonder what's wrong with the straight men out there! Damn, if I were straight, I'd be making out with more than half of them myself. Then I see this article in the papers.

Holding handsThere are girls in their thirties out there who actually want to be alone. Choosing to be alone? Seriously? I know the girls are independent, I know they are intelligent, I know they can stand on their on two feet. No one's doubting their innate resourcefulness but that isn't the point at all, is it?

Hell, I do know I can stand alone on my own two feet but it's always nice to have a partner, someone out there that I can count on during the days I just need to lean for a while, someone with shoulders broad enough for me to weep silly tears, someone with a kind ear to listen when I have something funny to say ( and even sometimes when I have nothing much to say :) ). There's no shame at all in walking alone but to hide from all the opportunities out there is plain cowardice. Coping alone isn't all that difficult - hell I've done it for months now. It's actually far more difficult sharing your life and feelings with someone else. Still quite a shock to wake up and realize someone else's toothbrush and boxers has invaded your closet space!

Sure, I might have had a failed relationship in the past but that certainly hasn't given me a skewed view of men in general. There are some horrible bastards ( more than a few actually ) out there but somewhere in the morass of jerks and scumbags, there are a few unpolished gems that are just waiting to be picked up.

And I'm gonna grab that chance the minute I see it.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Families are certainly something, aren't they? Unlike the friends that we choose, they're the people God has somehow seen fit to throw together in a Government approved cohesive unit. :) Love them or hate them, most of our siblings have been around one way or another in our lives. Just this morning, something a friend of mine said about the way he was treated by his siblings left me thinking of my own relationship with my elder brother.

Me and my brother...
Me and my dorky brother...guess which one I am!

Most of the time, I find my brother an agreeable, convivial sort - the kind of guy you wouldn't mind buying a pint for in a joint. Let's face it, I have never been all that close to my older - and only - brother. Perhaps our enforced closeness when we were kids - due to the fact that we actually only had each other and we shared almost every damned thing - led to us growing apart as the terrible teen years approached. Hell, even now I can still feel the hair on the back of my neck prickling as I think of his gnashing teeth in the night - and I bet he'd have similar horror stories about my infrequent bouts of insomnia.

Still, I'd buy that pint for him... I just wouldn't hang around for more than an hour since we'd run out of conversation if his wife wasn't around. Although we do share similar views and opinions on certain issues most of the time, when it comes to our likes and dislikes, we seem to have almost nothing in common. He's into technological gadgets and financial planning while I'm heavily into interior decorating and books ( and you all know what a technohimbo I am, right? ). Despite popular opinion, neither of us were the most popular in school but we were far from social outcasts either. We had our own clique of friends in school that rarely mixed, despite sitting just two tables apart during recess. Although we're only two years apart, when we were kids he used to lord it over me as the elder brother but as we grew older, I managed to convince him to stop - threats, blackmail and some amount of bruising helped remarkably in the proceedings.

This is a guy who's shared a room with me far longer than even my longest relationship and there's no doubt that he has his suspicions about my prolonged bachelorhood. Various photobooks displaying half-naked men on my desk must have rung a few warning bells in his heterosexual brain. There are times that I've thought of coming out to him - and yet there are times when he's signalled to me that he knows and understands. Not only is he an extremely vocal proponent of gay rights during our weekly family discussions ( oddly enough! ), so far he's the only one in the family who hasn't pressured me into engaging the affections of every available single lady in a 10 mile radius.

Even now, we still share our weekly dinners and our lives - but rarely our private thoughts - but I can swear there's no one else I'd rather turn to in a spot of trouble. Although I assume he once thought I was a flighty, feckless sort, I think his opinions have changed vastly since then. The fact that he frequently entrusts his precious infant daughter to my care proves the point, I think.

What does all this seeming meaningless blather mean? All I have to tell my friend is this... even though I'm no longer privy to my brother's inner thoughts ( that's for my sister-in-law to marvel at ), I do know him and I do love him. And he feels the same oddly fraternal feelings for me - and please, I don't think the responsible fella would ever leave me stranded ( with no available means of transport ) at home without the keys to his car. The man's not stupid, he knows I'm a vengeful Scorpio. We don't get mad. We get even.

And let's face it, he's my brother after all.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Workback Mountain

Coming back to work after a relatively long break is always a drag. Not only have I gotten used to waking up at an unseasonable hour, I've also gotten used to dressing like a drunken, unkempt slob ( the vodka! ) at home. Really. At home, I actually schlep around in shorts and scruffy tees, and I keep a permanent stubble. Don't tell anyone.

Grumble... grumble...
Grumble... grumble...

Took a while for me to get up today - and an even longer while before I could finally match my screamingly lavender tie to my shirt - since I actually spent a good ten minutes grumbling incessantly over my meaningless life. Seriously. When is my Prince Charming gonna gallop up my doorstep and give me the domestic househusband life that I need? Thoughts like these didn't help much when I'm struggling with knotting my tie which led me to stumble groggily down the stairs only to realize that all that insane purple only served to make me look terribly gay Elton John - so I ran up to change.

During the leisurely drive through the empty roads, I found out that most of the schools are still out - and since everyone's still choked up with mandarins, obviously no one's going back to work yet! What made it worse was making my way into the hospital only to realize to my horror that everyone else is still on their break - and the parking spaces are all empty. Damn the happily holidaying 'hos. As I hiked to the wards, the nurses walked by giving me pitying looks like I'm the chosen sacrifice for the new year. How dare my Chinese colleagues leave me totally unaware of the fact that everyone's still on a break!

Still, it turned out to be a relatively uneventful work day ( obviously even the patients were taking a break ) and I spent my time reading the papers ( along with my prerequisite cup of morning coffee ), sending skanky messages to my friends and chatting up a new patient in their intensive care unit. It was a female patient just in case you're thinking I finally found my dream patient by the name of Chris Evans. Hell, if I had Chris Evans in the hospital, would I even be home writing this? I'd be glued to his side as his obsessed love slave!

Since I was a little disgruntled over the fact that I'd gone to work needlessly, I took the time to present my gripes to a friend only to find out that the grass isn't actually all that green on the other side :)

Paul : Is it wrong to hate my work?
Barry : Yes, it is. I started at 8 in the morning and I have a pile of work that will probably finish by 8 at night, if not later. You're having tea and sending messages at 4.
Paul : Oops.
Barry : I am jealous.
Paul : Hey, I am jealous of your big biceps.
Barry : You would have that too if you'd go to the gym. And it might not be that big anymore since I've missed five days.
Paul : Uhh...Is that a long time?
Barry : YES!

So the grass is actually a crummy burnt brown on the other side. At least it's not lavender.