Saturday, July 23, 2011

ad sense

okay. The thing you see on the right side there....I am only trying this for the experience so don't think i've sold my soul to the devil.
I'll take it down in due time.

Who should pay for dates?

So, the top headline of the "feminist" online magazine Jezebel today is that Kelly Ripa apparently argued that women picking up the check on dates are "gross", and because women give birth men should pick up the check.

Here you can see the jezebel article and the video of the whole thing.

There has been a whole discussion underneath it arguing one way or the other.
Surprisingly, many women argue that "If you ask a women out on a date, you should pay. I would pay if I asked a guy out"

But let's think about this a bit more. Why do women expect men to pay for dates in some cultures?
Ask, answers that men should pay most of the dates till month 3, and then wean off to every third time during the following month.
The reason for this is because
"The first two months provide guys the opportunity to prove they’re solvent, capable and understand the social conventions of dating -- and all are three important qualities ladies will be looking for in a date."

Sounds fair enough... but why don't the guys try to find that quality in a women, to see if the WOMEN are solvent and capable etc??

Another example....
So a friend of mine in Korea who has also lived in the States for a long period of time, when she went out on dates she wouldn't even take her wallet/purse with her. She expected the guy to pick her up from home, take her out - wine, dine the whole shebang - and then bring her back safe and sound.
But I ask, she makes quite alot of money herself, then isn't it unfair? No, she argues, because she spends time and money to make herself pretty and gets ready for the date.
In that sense, guys are investing their money for a hot chick returns?

But I mean it is not really sensible nor is it sustainable. Unless the guy is rather rich, he cannot afford to pay for everything, or else he would be broke or in debt rather quickly, or you won't have any dates due to it. Ofcourse I've seen in some case in Korea that women would thus give their boyfriends large chunks of money in private so that he can indeed pay for her in public. Thus are the norms of chivarly.

How is it done here - in the Netherlands/Germany? In many cases even on first dates, regardless who asked who out, you split the check. Sometimes I know it is not fair given that I've only had the main course and you the three course meal, but hey that's how it goes. Sometimes one person may pay for the whole thing than you pay for the next round. Also, even have lived in several countries I always had the pleasure of dating guys who did not feel threatened at all when I paid for them. Actually, in many cases I had more doe then them so I paid alot for many of my past boyfriends. Even now, in my relationship I am officially win the bigger chunk of the bread and spoil my partner with extravagant parties and gifts.

But let's try to understand some other points here. You pay because I give birth?
This is silly in many ways.
1. I do not give birth to the spawn of all the men I've dated and paid for my dinner. If you follow your logic, it would lead to "Since I paid you should give birth (to my child)"
2. As someone in the discussion at Jezebel pointed out, its not like we can pay for the guys dinners and they give birth.
3. Why is reproduction and financial contribution to a relationship even related??
Also for those who said men should pay for the dates since they asked them out- it seems that the they also assume that guys also should ask them out on the first dates as well. I really genuinely want to ask them, how many times have they asked guys out and what is that in proportion to how many times you've been on dates in total?
I believe that both parties should pay, and actually the party who is earning more or had more to eat should pay more because that would actually make sense.

The most important issue is that this type of thinking, that guys should pay for girls etc. re-enforces the view that men should be earning more. For example, in the recent case suit again Wallmart for its sexist corporate policies, it has been shown that Wallmart pays its male employees more because "they have families to support."

Thus, in no countries, yes even the gender egalitarian Scandinavian countries, is gender pay gap overcome. On average in Europe women earn about 1/5th less than their male counterparts.

Here are a list of European countries with their respective pay gap. For more information about gender pay gap and EU's response
I am not going to expand on why there is a gender pay gap. If you want, come to one of my gender wage gap classes. ;)

But one thing that is clear is that although many of these women mentioned above would be furious about men being paid more than women, but their minds are still stuck in Victorian times when they talk about paying for dates, and when the issue turns into relationship related.
I think alot of this comes from the fact that rationally we believe in equal rights for both genders but emotionally, it is hard to fully embrace the progressive views on relationships. This is because we've been socialised in a conservative way, not only by our parents but society and not to mention mass media and the film industry (which is very conservative). Chick flicks, romantic comedies, even childrens animation with any romantic connotation are all based on the idea of old fashion chivalry where men take charge, protect women physically and financially.
Thus it may be easier to promote gender equality amongst your colleagues and friends, when it comes to the intimate relationships with your partner you may loose that sense of progressiveness and fall into the trap of "romance" defined by others.

I'm not saying all women are like this, but many are and by no means am I completely exempted from this as well. It is a continuous fight, and if we want to win in the bigger front, we need to also be aware and alert in the homefront.

panic attacks

All throughout my life, or as long as I can remember, I had panic attacks during sleep. The first ones I can remember started as early as when I was only 6 or 7, and I still have them on occasions. They all share the similarity that they happen when I am asleep, and that despite the fact that the reason behind the attacks are associated to the various situations that were appropriate in that phase of life, the feeling of the attacks are the same. This great urgency feeling that I am not doing whatever I am/was supposed to be doing, that I failed to do what I was expected to do in the greater scheme of things, whatever that was.

When I was 6, and thus the first attacks I remember, was almost always during my naps. As this blog title shows I was quite insatiable. I wanted to do everything, and more than the rest of my peers. The only way to do that, at the age of 6 and also later on, was to skip some of the things one was expected to do. Since I was not a patient person, ever, I needed to fast forward or skip altogether some steps/tasks one needed to do. One of that was the afternoon nap. I carefully calculated, as a young child, that if I would skip my noon naps, than I could read all the books I wanted to read that day ( I was a voracious reader at that age, a habit I "overcame" during my puberty) AND be able to play outside with my mates. Ofcourse, despite my high hopes I was not able to do this, and I, with my ever heavy eye lid, feel hostage of the mid-day slumber fairy that forced us into the deep hazy pool of slumber. During these times I would have the panic attacks, and these were attributed to my want or need to play with my friends outside, and my inability to do so due to the fatigue that I have been infected with.
Even with the panic attacks, I would fail to tumble into the waking world. After a struggle with my urges to play and the fairy's spell of slumber, the spell would always win and I would only awake when it was too late to go and play.
However, I would always remember these attacks and always be dissapointed in myself that I was not able to fight the very simple urges of fatigue and sleep.

The second round of attacks came during my last years of high school. They happened when I fell into my food coma states after dinner (which would've been actually the fourth warm meal of the day). My voracious appetite for books and words had morphed into my appetite for food. These were quite clear to me as well. They had to do with the fact that I was living in a culture where a strict regime of not sleeping apparently was thought as the key to one's academic success. As it was known then at the time "4 fail 3 succeed". This meant that if you slept 4 hours a day(at night), you will fail your college entrance exam, and you will succeed if you were to sleep only 3. Thus were the great ideals that made korea into what it is...
Anyhow, if you are that age, eating great deal amount of food and not being able to sleep proper during nights, it does happen that you wake up at random times during your naps in frantic panic... "s*** I should be studying"

For awhile these attacks seem to go away, but came back occasionally - for example, when I was in Edinburgh - which seem to be linked with my brain not registering that I've actually moved a continent away from home. I also had them again when I started a relationship with my boyfriend in berlin, and till now on occasion.

However, they were now very irritating due to that my conscious had failed to link with the unconscious attacks on finding the appropriate reason behind these spells.

Now even worse, and the real freaky thing is that I do them without noticing. Apparently I also make very clear audible sentences while I have these attacks. Last one seem to come with a sentence "Hey! (insert name here)! Weren't you supposed to give me something?" - apparently I did this while looking at (insert name here) - and yes in the middle of the night. Luckily enough my partner is not known to be freaked out easily.

After a long thought, I am still quite curious... what is it. is it, a baby?? Is that what my body is doing? Attacking my partner that he hasn't gotten me knocked up already, that behind my back(or my conscious self)?
That would be quite funny though, if I had some sort of alter ego that comes out in very sporadic moments - while I have no control over my self (read sleep)- to express my inner thoughts. hmmm. ofcourse if this were to grow out of proportion, I would either end up schitzo or like this guy who I know, who ended up in the laundry room in the basement of his apartment complex totally naked not knowing why how and when he came down there in such manner.
Thank god that hasn't happened (knock wood)
The best i got till now is singing silly songs and accusing people of not giving me things.

Ofcourse there was this one time when I was sharing a room with another friend who talks in her sleep and we were having full on in sleep conversations until she started giving me too random answers that didn't fit right in my dream.... but anyways.

(half of this blog entry was written on the 5th of april, 2010 and the other half on the 23rd of July 2011)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Amsterdam Insider's Tip: Drinks

So, I should be working, but I realised I haven't written anything in my blog for awhile. Thus decided to provide the world abit more of my good will and wisdom ;) before the year is completely over.
Also, I am terribly unproductive during the month of July - although my garden is growing like a jungle.

Anyhow, the first edition of Amsterdam's insider's tip is where to go drinking.
Abit background. I've lived in the Netherlands for 6 years now, but actually my trips to Amsterdam date back from when I lived in Edinburgh, but dated an Amsterdammer (which is btw what the rest of the Netherlands call a taller glass of beer)
Another background of why Drinking is put here as the first, is because Amsterdam is better in terms of drinking than food.(but food I will come back to later.)

Anyhow, here are my favourites in themes but first some rules.

1. First Rule
DO NOT DRINK neither at LEISEPLEIN nor Rembrandtplein.
Seriously, these are the most touristy places in Amsterdam and the beer sometimes cost twice as much as you would usually pay. Rather go to nieuwemarkt, jordaan, and really just anywhere but there.(having said this some places not smack inside these areas but in the surrounding areas are quite alright)

2. Second rule
Order a Vaasje otherwise you will get a fluitje - which is like a shot of beer.

3. Third rule
you DON'T have to tip waiters/waitresses at bars, and also when they bring you beer/drinks you would usually round it up. Don't change this culture by bringing your own tipping culture into this world - yes I am looking at you guys Americans!
(but ofcourse you can tip for good service)

So the thematic places.

Breweries and distilleries

*Brouwerij 't IJ : is the Amsterdam home grown organic beer at the East side, with their own traditional windmill!! They have one of the most delicious beers you can find, and hey you drink it from the source. It also has a nice terras(beer garden) right next to the waters. What else do you want? - the bars that are open right next to the brewery opens from 3~8pm so don't be late! Don't forget to try their sausages and cheese with the beer.

*Wynand-Fockink: is a liqueur distillery in the heart of Amsterdam. they have several different liqueurs starting from lemon, blue berry to some strange names, such as attic ?? The tasting room also opens from 3pm to 9pm, so go there early! The shots are about 1.5euros each and they really fill it up to the top!

For the hipsters/artsies

*Cafe Brecht: vintage furniture, all sorts of Germany beers and an lounge like atmosphere with a piano inside. IT looks like something out of Prenzlauer Berg. Also they have poetry reading nights. A Great place for book worms.

*W139: This bar/club gallery space which used to be a squat is a hipster central of Amsterdam. Every weekend it looks like someone threw up hipster all of the street. Very artsy group of people.

* Kriterion: A bar next to the student run artsy/alternative cinema Kriterion provide another alternative bar scene for students but also a wide range of people. They have DJs during weekends and it becomes quite crowded.

For the Punks
Go to squats - such as OCCII, OT 301, Joe's garage and Blijvertje.
Otherwise.. here are some alternatives.

* Sound garden: this is probably the only punkish bar in amsterdam. Yeah, Amsterdam doesn't do punk. There is a pool table and a wonderful beer garden next to the waters which draws alot of punkish alternative crowds but also very international crowds.

* Pacfic Parc: okay this isn't really punk, but still the closest you get to it. It has a nice outside area next to waters and has really good music events.

Terrases and water
Amsterdam is well known for having nice places to hang next to the waters.
Here are my favourites

* Noorderlicht: This is right on the NDSM island, which you have to take a ferry to get to. This looks like a converted green house that changed its function into a bar/restaurant. When the weather is nice, they have nice bbqs and really comfy couches just outside next to the water. This cannot even be counted as a terras since its just outside in the "wild" so to say. During the evenings they also have parties/djs and live music. however, don't forget the last ferry back to civilization leaves around midnight!

*Cafe Hesp: is right next to the Amsterdam Amstel River. Thus it has the advantage of having this massive terras next to the river.It also has its own brewed beer. Perfect place to catch that bit of afternoon sun while lounging next to the river.

cozy areas

There are loads of cozy bars around Amsterdam, in the centre.
however, here are some that are even extra cozy.

Cafe Langereis: This is smack in the centre but still has that extra cozy sweet living room feeling to it without having to pay for the extra costs.

Cafe Skek: This is a student run cafe/bar, which has music evenings during Thrusday to Sunday. Also has nice foods. Check out its cozy attic like room, where you really can fit 6 persons or so, and a window looking towards the stage area.

Cafe Zeppos: This place has a nice winter garden, with all the flowers and plants inside!
They also provide some nice food and good quality jazz music during weekends.

I strongly believe that too much choices makes one depressed as well, so I stop here but I must say that there are quite alot of places I haven't really mentioned but are nice... so try the others out as well!