Friday, April 23, 2010


Alicia, over the phone: What are you doing?

Me: I'm in the library, trying to get some work done...but I'm not feeling up to it...

Alicia: How come?

Me: I miss my friends back home. I'm looking through their facebook profiles. There was a birthday party for one fo them and I wish I was there.

Alicia: I guess the photos they posted look like lots of fun?

Me: Ya, they were in a bar and starting drawing on everything...

Alicia: Hmmm....I'm assuming this is someone only you really appreciate.

Me: Probably.

This was drawn by Mike. It says rigamortis boner. I laughed a lot.
This IS probably something only I find funny.

Facebook always makes everyone seem like there having such a fun amazing time, even though that's only because people post fun photos of each other/themselves.

Scratch that - some people post very boring things on facebook too. Their profiles tend to make me cringe.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Hostels notoriously have random things hiding under the beds in dorms or in the lockers, accidentally (or intentionally?) left behind by others. Socks, shirts, papers, jewelery, batteries, shoes are some of the typical finds.

Plenty of the things are surprisingly useful, so naturally end up taking them with me, when I leave for my next destination. After 2+ months of traveling though, my collecting has gotten rather annoying, because my bag's getting overfilled with junk. I can't just throw the stuff away though...I feel bad about doing that! Even after I finish reading a book, I feel bad not taking it with me because I love the image of being able to place the book in some future library shelves of my own, whilst being able to look over all the books Ive read.

Things I've added to my backpack thus far:

- a 2-person tent, from northern Tasmania

- 5 books, from various places

- snorkeling mask/snorkel, from eastern Tasmania

- a tarp, from Melbourne

- an umbrella, from Melbourne

By far, my most favorite acquisition was actually my first: in Hobart, the a Japanese girl offered me a free microphone so that I could talk with my boss over Skype. I was very happy to accept anything that is both immediately useful and free, so this girl ran off to her room and came back in a few minutes with what I imaged was a microphone headset. In this wonderfully stereotypical moment, she instead handed me a full sized karaoke microphone.

My meeting a few days later began with my boss telling me my voice sounded funny:

Boss: Is that an echo I can hear from your voice?

Me: Uhh..... no (followed by the fading no-no-no-no echo). I looked down at the microphone and decided to keep the "echo" setting on.

The only web camera photo I have ever taken with my computer, to commemorate the microphone.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Are You Fucking Kidding Me!?"

Anger is extremely motivational; at least it is for me.

When situations manage to really get under my skin and push me close or over that breaking point, it's as if some deep reserves of energy, focus and determination open up inside of me. At points like that, nothing will stop me from finishing what I want to do. If someone's to blame for me getting that angry, they had best run because this raged-motivation has been a source for me carrying my revenge on that person.
I know my ex-roomie is one person who was once the cause and ultimate target of my angry motivation. I recall I also once tried to strangle Tim until he passed out, for waking me up by rubbing his balls on my face...

But, this post isn't about them! - it's about me and my recent brief experience of tapping that dangerous source of motivational power.

Last week I attempted the 7-day Great Ocean Walk, a ~100km hiking and camping trek along the ocean's edge, south-west of Melbourne. I was doing it on my own. I had all the my food, water, clothes and equipment in my backpack and I would be carrying it the whole way with me.

The first day I started hiking, everything was beautiful, but every day after that was rain. My jacket and basic supply of clothes were decent quality, and I was managing to myself and my things relatively dry, but I can only do that successfully for so long. Into the 4th day of my trek, I was getting a little frustrated.

I was trying to double-time my hike so that I could get to the end of the track an additional day early - I had already managed to walk 5 days worth of distance in only 4 days. On that 4th day. the rain was manageable in the morning, but then it started getting a lot heavier in the afternoon just as I had to do a 2 km hike across an open, shelter-less beach. Since no vegetation for shelter on a beach = getting incredibly soaked, I decided to pull out my tent's tarp and attached it to some trees to give me a nice shelter to wait out the worst of the storm; no point in getting more soaked for no reason.

So I waited for the rain to cut down a bit.

....And I waited....

....and waited.

Two hours of sitting under my make-shift roof, attempting to pretend I was still interested in my book was enough: I needed to move.

The rain finally cut down slightly, so I decided this was my chance. I pulled down my tarp and decided to wrap it around me as added protection from the rain on the open beach.

10 minutes into my beach crossing, I thought my tarp-jacket idea was amazing - and then it started: the weather gods gave me the big finger. The wind picked up incredibly against me, turning my tarp into a kite that was pulling me in the opposite direction of my hike. The rain also become really intense, so I didn't want to put away the tarp. I tried hurrying across the beach but walking on sand with a giant backpack is hard, especially with the water-bogged sand.

The sheer force of the wind was pulling against the tarp to strong that it ripped the tarp into pieces, even as I held onto it. Without the tarp's protection, the clothes I was wearing and everything in my bag was being saturated with water. I also realized that with a shredded tarp, there was no chance that I would be getting any sleep as the water would seeped through my tent.

As I finally got close to the end of the beach, I saw there was now river crossing - an unbridged river crossing that I had to wade through. I wasn't about to stop and think about it - I just jumped into the water, walked through the river to the other side and followed the signs.

The closest camp site was suppose to be right after the beach, but it turns out it was at the top of a practically tree-less, water-drenched hill. So I walked up a muddy hill, still being harassed by the wind and rain, with pieces of my shredded tarp across my body in an attempt to ward off the rain.

During the whole hour-long ordeal, all I could do was yell out to myself "Are you fucking kidding me!?" over and over, while keep walking.

Finally, I got to the camp site and walked over to wooden shelter, the only real dry area left where some other hikers were sitting.

I tried to keep calm, but I was pissed. I felt like every possible natural element had conspired against me. As I tried to relax, I realized that I hadn't taken into account of everything the wind and rain had done: As I took off my shoes, I realized the dye of the utterly drenched green shoes has run and dyed my socks and feet green. Wanting to take a bittersweet photo, I took out my camera and realized that somehow during the beach crossing, the camera had been broken and no longer worked.

Wanting to keep calm, I told myself to look through my bag to find my extra [hopefully dry] shirt. With the bag wide open, the wind suddenly gusted, lifted up the shirt I was eyeing, flew it through the air and sailed it off the cliff, over the ocean.

Another hiker soon came over to me and said:
"Wow, I was watching you from the lookout of the beach - you sure moved fast across that beach!"

I looked at her, took a deep breath, faked a smile and replied:
"Ya...I felt motivated."

I slowly walked over to my packed-up tent & shredded up tarp, whilst considered throwing them off the same cliff, into the ocean, just to be done with it all.

Oh man, I was feeling ssssssssoooooooooooooooooooooooo angry....and motivated.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

YouTube Kissed a Boy and People Liked It

I don't typically like reposting YouTube videos featured on the website Towleroad, since by the time videos gets featured there, they has been very exposed or you who read my blog have probably already seen it before. This time I am making an exception because:

1) I really liked the video, especially when you consider who the creators are; and

2) Towleroad, and the website they took to original reference from, didn't give the directors proper credit. The video was taken from the original creators' account and reposted on the one of those accounts that collect/compiles lots of gay-themed videos.

Four British 17 year old guys made the music video for I Kissed a Boy and I Liked It (originally by the group Cobra Starship, as a parody to Katee Perry's I Kissed a Girl) as part of a media project at this high school. Knowing that, it's a fucking great video:

An interesting information to know is that those kids are actually straight and although the song and music video are homoerotic, it's from a straight guy's perspective (just like the song writers intended). Listen to the lyrics and you'll realize that it's all about being macho and impressing women. The kissing a guy part is sort of secondary.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Backpacker Culture

Me: “Ya, our hostel in Hobart was right next door to a gay club. Then, in Launceston, the downstairs bar of the hostel was hosting some sort of homo-night.”

Alicia: “Hahaha, wow, Australia must be your gay awakening!”

Me: “Um, ya...well not yet...”

Alicia: “What do you mean?”


There's an odd balance between the backpacking experience and being gay.

As a backpacker, when you arrive somewhere new, as a complete stranger to the place and people, you meet lots of other travelers from different parts of the world. You’re eager to make friends, talk, hangout and so are they; you’re all in the same boat.

For the most part it’s all amazing. You share your experiences with one-another and also talk about your own little part of the world. Often you poke fun of one-another’s stereotypes: for example the French, Belgians and Swiss love to say how funny and cute the French Canadian accent is when speaking French.

I wanted to makeout with the German on the left.

When it comes to sharing your own experiences though, I only go so far. I hold back the parts of "My ex used to say that all the time. He would..." because people are offput by the idea that your gay. They want to meet new people and have fun, but most often you want to find people that are different in a non-threatening way. Who wants to put effort into challenging their own preconceptions of gay people when they can just ignore the gay person and instead take some shots with the hilarious British guys.

Has this bothered me much? Well, not really....but it's still there.

I've had opportunities to check out a local gay bar, but because I rented a car with some backpackers, I opted to hangout with them instead of walking away and risk explaining to them why they later saw me grinding with some guy. Would I really want to feel the tension of sitting in a car with 3 other people that feel awkard around me? Oh course not. Don't get the wrong, those temporary travel mates were awesome but I knew by their jokes that they weren't going to feel completely as ease with a gay guy.

The Dutch, the Swiss, the Italian

Would my view of this be different if I wasn't traveling alone but instead with a friend from back home? Who knows.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shocked Awakening

I open my eyes.

Wait, when did I come back to my bed?, I think to myself.

I look over at my clock: 7:40am.

I look around my room in the hostel: everyone's asleep.

I look down at myself: I'm completely naked on my bed.

Oh god, it happened again! Another black-out, when drinking the night before and then waking up on my bed naked!

Just as I started to worry about what I might have done the night before (for god's sake, I'm naked on my bed, sleeping in a room with 6 other people!) a friend walks into my room looking for me. I pull the covers over my waist just in time.

Friend: Get up Jon, we need to catch the ferry! I was wrong, we need to be there fore 8 am, not 11 am.

Without thinking about what she's talking about, I reply:
Okay, I'll be out in a second!

She leaves the room and I start rummaging for clothes.
No time to think about what embarrassing/awkward/amazing things I might have done......God, I hope I didn't freak out the cute German guys I flirting with.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Goodbye Canada

One week ago I left Canada for Australia.

In my last week of canadian-hood, I was running around trying to see my friends as much as possible. The theory was that if we saw each other enough, we'd get sick of one-another, therefore making my continental absence for 10 months okay a little less noticeable. It didn't work - seeing so many people over such a short period made me want to hangout even more.

Tim, Mike, Xav, Liz, Kieran each got their individual moments with me. In each respective case, we just hung out their apartments. It was great.

I also had a party downtown, with over 30 friends and acquaintances showing up. The night was amazing, albeit my memory is disappointingly fuzzy. Everyone was feeding me drinks, so my brain sort of cut out around 1am. I do have a great image of sitting in a taxi, with Mike and Mike's Girlfriend of either of my sides, with Mike's Girlfriend holding her purse open in front of me saying:

"Ìf you need to puke, just do it in my purse."

She's a definitely a keeper.

Alicia and I confirmed the details of my arrival in Sydney. I'll be staying with her for a bit, and probably intermittently, while I'm in Australia. We're both incredibly excited to hangout together, as we used to do back when she lived in Montreal.

My last full day in this city was spent at home with family. We didn't do anything, but talk and hangout. Mom and Dad were mostly reminiscing of when they had gone on long trips. For my Dad, it's when he left England to attend grad school in Canada. He accentuated how he never actually went back home. My Mom spoke about he backpacking trips in Europe. She insisted, while holding back some tears in her eyes, that we needed to stay in touch otherwise she feels like we would lose the closeness we had developed since I moved back home.

They both agreed that it's going to very different at home, without me.

The morning of my flight, they both brought me to the airport and waited with me as I got the tickets and checked my bags. They walked me to the customs door, where only people boarding flgiths could continue. We hugged. I looked my Mom in the eyes and she started crying. I don't consider my self a crier, well not at least infront of others, but I started crying too.

Then I walked away and tried not to be sad - since I'm starting an amazing experience. It somewhat worked.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No One Actually Takes Baths There

Let me start off this experience with a preface: bathhouses in general creep me out. Random sex with strangers, no knowledge at all about the STD status of partners and just the whole unreal environment of public sex is definitely not for me. In Montreal, there are 20-30 bathhouses. They mostly cater to "straight" tourists who come here to cheat on their wives and then go home, although there's obviously a big "out-gay" presence there. An acquaintance that works for the CLSC in the Gay Village says that half the people who test positive for an STD and whom also openly self-identify as being gay/queer say they go to bathhouses. (CLSC is a government-run public health clinic that does a lot of things, including free STD tests)

So, a few weeks ago I went to a bathhouse.

The subject of bathhouses came up in a conversation with Guy-I'm-dating; he wondered if I had ever gone to one. My answer was no, since random hook-ups with strangers is not my thing - that and STDs ain't my cup of tea. Knowing me, he was amazed that I had never even ventured into one to see the wacky world that's held inside. If I like to speak past security guards to illegally explore industrial buildings, how could I not just pay 5 bucks to see what's going on in a bathhouse?

From that, he decided we were going to a bathhouse in Quebec City. It took him a while to sell me on the idea, but I eventually caved. We weren't going there to fool around with anyone or even each other, it was just so that I knew what went on inside those walls. He also wasn't hoping to push me into anything beyond that, since I know he's also pretty nervous of unsafe sex and diseases.

If you've ever seen adds for bathhouses, they're all pretty much along the lines of the above pic: the hot, young dude in a towel. I love them because I like to pretend that some people genuinely believe that bathhouse patrons look like that. I, on the other hand, am not tricked so easily. In fact, I can now confirm it's nothing like that.

We walked into the bathhouse around 11pm. The cashier said a few sentences in French, then immediately switched to perfect English when he realized that our accents were from out of town. Hearing perfect English (or English at all) in Quebec City is rare, unless it's a business aimed at tourists. Stereotype confirmed: bathhouses are for people from out of town.

Guy-I'm-dating took the lead in exploring, since he had been in bathhouses before and clearly sensed I was uncomfortable. Straight from the start, an older guy was following us. As we both changed in the lockeroom, he quasi-watched us from around the corner, while masturbating himself. As we checked out the 3 levels of the building, he followed us. We sat in the dry sauna for a bit; the guy felt the need to hangout there too, though he seemed to cut out the masturbating a bit...but not giving up completely.

I thought it was creepy, but at the same time I knew this was all sort of normal for a bathhouse (damn you Queer As Folk!). People play the subtle game of trading glances before hooking up with one-another. They follow one-another, play hard-to-get, and get comfortable that way before hooking up - it's just the way it is.

I felt a little bad for the guy though. It's not because he's was in a bathhouse, but instead because he never had a chance with Guy-I'm-dating or myself that night. Oh, we're such [unintentional] teases! We weren't there for fooling around, but even if we were we'd probably want to do the deed with someone close to our age, skinny and good-looking, as opposed to some fat, ugly guy who's the same age as my dad. He wasn't the only guy who fell into that category though. From my perspective, everyone there was old, out of shape and ugly. Stereotyped confirmed: bathhouses are filled with older, not-so-pretty men.

After 20 minutes of refusing eye contact and ignoring him, he gave up. We found his "brother" in the wet sauna, whispering weird things to us although we didn't stick around enough to really understand. Instead, we hung out in the jacuzzi for 20 minutes and watched the strangers walk by. Oh, and made out a bit.

The clientele aside, the bathhouse itself was actually really nice and clean. It was surprisingly huge and empty, which means we probably just came on an off-night. I had assumed that the place would be dirty and the floors would be covered in mysterious liquids, but it was nothing like that. It felt like some sort of spa...with naked men having sex. Stereotype unconfirmed: bathhouses are not dirty.

We were both starving after our short stay, so we changed back and the lockers an headed to the lobby. The cashier seemed happy to see us again, but a little down that we were leaving so soon. I think he has been hoping for a show.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Last Minute Relationship

As you might be able to tell from my last post, I've accidentally started dating a guy. Funny how these things develop at the least opportune times, eh? I'm leaving for Australia in 14 days and yet I've already hit the mental stage of needing to consciously refrain from mentioning the guy-I'm-dating's name in every conversation topic with friends, regardless how unrelated it is, just because it makes me feel all giddy and gooey inside. Yup, I'm the most annoying type of friend-who's-just-begun-seeing-someone.

It just goes to show how making some new gay friends can be very helpful for meeting interesting guys.

I'm surprised by how well the last 3 weeks have gone. He likes mocking everything, including himself. I like mocking everything, including him...oh and me too. I'm not typically a physical touchy-feely type of person, but when we're not around others I just love to constantly have one hand on his arm, leg, back, *throat clearing*...or parts... I'm going arbitrarily say that it's his Frenchness that brings it out all this cuddling. He also gets along great with my friends, and on his own, - so there's no need watch over him when we're in a big group.

Earlier this week I was in Quebec City with him, for his school. He has 2 days of school there per week, but spends every other day in Montreal with his friends and I. It's an odd routine from my stand-point, but hey, I like it. While he was in class, I explored the old city and worked a bit. Oh the perks of just picking up my laptop and working from where-ever I want.

That being said, it's not like I did much work. I mostly explored during the day and spent time with him at night.

Oh, and I mocked his gay magazine collection a lot.

He has known since the start that I'm leaving for Australia. I've held it in the back of my mind too, as a reminder to not fall too much for him and just keep it light-hearted fun. He'll be in Canada when I get back next fall/winter, so we already know we'll meet up again. No promises of anything beyond that though, which we're both happy with.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Him: You think too much.

Me: Ya, I know...

Him: It's not good for you. Just go with it.

I laugh awkwardly - it seems to be turning into my standard response when I don't know what to say. He's caught onto that pretty quickly.

Him: I never feel shameful. There's no point; why should I care about what other people think?

I smile.

Me: Ya, I noticed that...something about you shoving me into your bedroom without warning and all my friends going silent from the hilariousness of it all.

He keeps staring at me. He quickly looks down at my lips then back at my eyes.

So we kiss in the bar.

Him: Bisou?

Me: Bisou.

We kiss some more.

I wish I could show you the hilarious awkward look we're giving one-another.