The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. --Ayn Rand


Shanghai grip of death!

Due to severe fog, all flights to and from Beijing were canceled. I am stuck in Shanghai until 9pm SATURDAY. I will NOT be able to party this weekend.

Shanghai must be a woman. Only women are needy enough to screw up your plans.

Also, I found out that my only good friend here--TB--will be leaving in December. When it happens, I hope it won't be a death-blow. But, I also realize that it's very difficult for me to find people I get along with on TB's level. When he leaves I will essentially be back to square one. I will have a handful of acquaintances--a former classmate, a few women, and a my ex-cuddle buddy who I kind of resent for 'dumping' me.

At the same time, similar things have happened in the past.

There was Jason at HMC, but he was more mature than me in several ways. We parted ways suddenly. After that I branched out and made other close friends.

Carrie and Renee at HMC also became my best friends, and while we still are very close, there is now a great distance between us that no amount of communication can mend. Graduation was emotional because of them.

At a few points I was very close to Gabby as well... but there was something in me that kept me from telling him everything. I think I was afraid of another Jason situation. We are still close friends, but he is in a different world now.

And now TB. At least with him I know exactly when things will end, and so I can make the best of the time we have. I foresee cocktails and expensive dinners...


Today I figured out why most Chinese don’t know how to have a good time.

There is a college nearby our client’s building here. On one corner in the center of the college is a marquee. On the half-broken screen, a number in green and yellow refreshes every two seconds, but the units are obscured by the dying LED screen. Finally, I decided to decipher the mystery by stopping and reading the characters.
Noise in the vicinity shall not exceed 70 decibels at any time!

People around the world learn how to have a good time in College—how to be loud, ridiculous and drunk. Basically, we have permission to make an ass of ourselves for four years, after which we learn to have a good time without embarrassing ourselves.

The Chinese have to be quiet at all time during college. The normal surrounding noise of the campus (cars driving by, people walking) is already 50 decibels. That’s only 20 decibels for screaming and drinking. Generally, they have an 11pm curfew, at which points their dormitories lock the doors and they must wait until 5:30am to come back. They are trained to be lame in college, and when they get out of college they still think being lame is fun.

God I hate China....

I had my ticket changed once again. I come back to Beijing on Friday night, just a little too late to go partying, but just late enough to enjoy the following Saturday.


Funny text

The Chinese need to learn which word combos are a no-no.


Also, why does it always smell like fart after Lunch in China?


Our trip has been extended until Saturday morning. I only brought clothes for four days. Starting tomorrow I’m going to look as uncouth as the tank-top and dress shoes wearing typical Chinese. Maybe not that bad.

The last few days I began to feel myself getting more and more boring. It is as though the more I concentrate on my new job, the less I can see myself pursuing one of my previous hobbies. All I see myself doing is going to the gym and sipping coffee while reading the news on my laptop. No ballroom, no rowing, no computer programming, no entrepreneurial stuff, no salt water aquarium, no learning another language, no anything.

I need a hobby... and fast.


I have had a couple of telling dreams in the last few days. I probably dream more than I know, so these are telling more because I thought them important enough to remember after I woke up.

There are really only two scenes that I remember accurately in the two different dreams.

In the first dream, I was in a room—possibly a dance club—with a lot of gay people. There was one short muscle-y guy around my age who I was particularly attracted to. It was dark, but I remember I was standing behind him and then brushed his neck. He cocked his head, then turned slightly and we kissed. The kiss intensified, he turned completely facing me and then I vividly remember taking my hand and pushing up the back of a heavy cotton sweater to press on the nape of his back.

Then he said, “Well hello,” and I awoke.

The next dream was similar, except with an evil twist.

It was night once again. There was a small town surrounded by forest, and everyone was meeting in the central square. I was sitting down with Sylar, cuddling behind him. Everyone was scared—there was a sensation of something satanic. Everyone except for the two of us. We seemed to know what was going to happen.

On the border between the town square and the forest, there was a fenced-off region. It appeared to be a giant bird cage that had been left vacant for years. In the middle was a sink hole. Somehow, it was moaning.

Sylar and I stood up to take a look. No one else was willing to get up close to the sink hole. We stared at it for a while, and something seemed to be pushing up out from the ground. We rushed back to a safe distance and sat down again, me spooning Sylar, and watched.

There was an explosion, people started screaming and running. He turned his head around stuck out his tongue, and we flicked our tongues, smiling. Sylar and I were happy.

After a few days, some of the specifics are blurry, but there seem to be two important messages to extract.

First, I’m horny, and apparently kissing someone from behind is particularly appealing to me.

Second, I think I want a boy to be evil with me.


My head feels like death

I arrived in Shanghai at 2pm. After arguing with a guard and a taxi driver about what hotel I was going to, I finally arrived at an executive suite at a place called the Parkyard hotel. Once I saw how nice the room was, my main question was, “why can’t I fly in business or first class and have a slightly crappier room?”

Then I discovered exactly what part of Shanghai I was in—the boonies. It takes one hour by subway to get into the city center. So, Sunday night I bought a bottle of baijiu, poured it into a coca-cola bottle and drank on my way to gay town. The rest of the night was similarly sketchy. I’m just glad I didn’t do anything too stupid (and it’s unlikely I’ll see these people soon).

The next day at work was expectedly horrible. The Chinese language isn’t easy on a hangover. As soon as I got out of my meetings I hid in my room with the lights off eating a bag of chips.

So far Shanghai has been rather dull. This is a business trip, after all. Wednesday night I plan to gay it up once again, and hopefully I’ll leave with a good impression.

Right now I have an unbearable urge to eat a fresh chocolate chip cookie.


Drew versus China

I am sitting at the airport getting ready to head to Shanghai for four days to participate in software training for Fair Isaac. I hope to socialize every night and meet the weekday Shanghai drunks. It should be fabulous.

But recently my days haven't all been kittens and rainbows. The last week has been fairly horrible. Work has been stressful, but that is not really what put me on edge. After work I would get home between 6 and 8pm and just want to hide away in bed. I would close my door and around 9pm just go to sleep while my roommates wondered what happened to me. Each night I realized more and more that besides TB, I don't have any close friends here. Only one person I can rely on to see during the week.

On Friday, when I arrived at work, I discovered that my work visa application was rejected. I nearly screamed. My whole trip to HongKong that I had planned needed to be rescheduled. Plus, I don't have too long to leave the country before my current visa expires.

Around 3pm I had calmed down a bit. We found a new agent, and I think everything should proceed smoothly. I left work at 5pm still frazzled and hid in starbucks with my computer for the next two and a half hours. When I emerged I felt satisfied and refreshed. I forgot just how much I coffee shops mean to my future. It's an integral part of my future dream.

That is to say, one of my requirements for a future home is that I can find a cafe/shop/kiosk where I can escape and relax for hours a day. Me sitting in a small cafe with a computer sipping moca for three hours a day is pretty important for my future health.

Speaking of health, I joined a gym recently. It was extremely expesive, but in the end worth it. Good facilities, nice atmosphere, few people but they are all cute. I will try to go every day.


Seoul Sex

I came to Seoul for China's National Holiday, also known as "Golden Week." So far, Seoul beats out Beijing in a few ways.

1. Very little pollution
2. Everyone is dressed fabulously
3. People here are smart and friendly

Besides the clean, cool weather, Seoul also has a pretty happening--yet closeted--gay community. Add to that both a huge US Army population and a decent number of expats teaching English, and you get Drew's first night in Seoul with a southern teacher and a puerto rican soldier.

That's about triple the fun of Beijing so far...