O n one of our first dates—we lasted for about two weeks in July of —we met up in New York's West Village for dinner. I walked West 11th Street to get here, he said. Do you think it's out of our reach, to live there? My heart caught in my ribs. Oh, I said, without explaining. It's not out of our reach. It's our destiny. He seemed to accept this. We were both drunk. For a long time, living on West 11th was my dream—and while its power over me came from Grace Paley having lived there, the brick buildings were low, so there was beautiful light, and from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson Highway, these beautiful rooms full of books and art suggested lives that mesmerized me as I walked by.
One of my very favorite writers once did me the compliment of naming someone in one of her stories, published in the New Yorker , after me—and giving him a home on West 11th. The closest I will ever get to this dream. I think it was this moment that pierced me, but there were many, really. He was that sort of dangerous beauty with a knack for knowing just what I dreamed about. In retrospect I should have guessed: He reminded me of a friend from college who had studied Chinese and Korean, practiced Chinese calligraphy, trained in tae kwon do, and dated Korean women almost exclusively.
A friend who'd once said to me, I'm half-Korean, too. Just, inside. On one of our first dates, he came over to my apartment and told me about the books I'd just been given by my grandfather, the jokbo for our family. I'm the oldest male in my generation, the 42nd, and by Korean tradition, we are given them. The books are kept in an antiquated Chinese script, and I am unable to read them, but he could read them.
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It was the sort of thing that shamed me regularly for the sort of upbringing I'd had—my father had committed us to assimilation and had not wanted us to speak Korean. He may not know this, but his stories really inspire me to enjoy my life with an open mind and stop caring about irrelevant opinions of the surrounding crowd. And then come the memories, I took part in organizing 2 oversea trips as a member of the traveling committee, I went on my first skiing trip, I wore a jaguar onesie to a Halloween party, I puked during a beer relay game on a weekend trip, I got to see the beauty of Dutch countryside in a treasure hunt event.
I treasure the friendships and the memories I have made so far. In addition, I have also had some experience with gay sport clubs in Amsterdam. I played badminton at Amsterdam Gay badminton club for one summer and took part in a big Europe gay badminton tournament in Amsterdam. The club has a really warming, friendly and sporty environment. I guess that is why even though the club does not have a lot of players, the people who run it work really hard to maintain it and the people who plays there do not want to leave.
That was a very interesting learning experience, after which I had so much respect for synchronize swimmers. Besides all the fun stuff, I volunteered for Aids Healthcare Foundation in Amsterdam for 3 years not saying that this is not fun, but it is more of a work. I got to learn how to deliver HIV tests, to educate people about AIDS, to go to different gay prides in Europe to hand out condoms, to be strangely surrounded by heavy-metal gay fans in a club, and to take a photo of Conchita Wurst. And above all, I learn about giving back to my own community. So my message is that there are tons of activities for gay people here.
If you are looking for a place where you can truly be yourself while doing your favourite activities, then Amsterdam provides just that and more. Of course when we talk about Amsterdam, we have to talk about the gay scene here, which is pretty awesome I would say. There is a long list of gay bars and clubs that cater to all the different needs of the nighters. Another wonderful thing is that there are also a lot of straight people in gay bars and clubs in Amsterdam.
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The word GAY does not stop any Amsterdamers to enjoy a good night out at a good bar. Needless to say, Amsterdam is where the little Vietnamese nerdy me had his first clubbing experience. Certainly I will talk about my dating experience in Amsterdam. The dating scene is great with a diversity of colours and sizes, however the dating culture is unfortunately not so pretty sometimes. Some people call it preference, others call it racism. I don't know and i don't wanna judge.
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But yes, even though I do see myself as a tough dog, it does damage my confidence over time. But as hard as it is to accept, it is the reality everywhere, not only Amsterdam. As proven by studies, for whatever reasons, Asian guys are least wanted while Asian women are most wanted. Having said all that, Amsterdam has given me my first true love and my first true heartbreak.
Hence, I believe life, no matter where, is basically a bunch of doors and we just have to keep on opening doors whenever one shuts. So yes, perhaps Amsterdam is not so perfect after all, gay or not; however, if u come here with an open mind, I am sure you will enjoy it no matter what. I hope you enjoy this personal story of mine. Do you have any questions or something to share? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
Exploring the options and Packing the packages. If you are not convinced yet about how great Amsterdam or Holland can be, then check out my rowing story , my marathon story , and my Monday routine. Home Sitemap visit us on: Search Site only in current section.
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Advanced Search…. About Holland Although small in size, Holland has a rich cultural tradition. Dutch higher education High quality in an international setting. High quality education Get education that meets the highest standards. Degrees You can pursue a bachelor's, master's or PhD degree in Holland. The Dutch way of teaching Develop an open mind through interactive learning.
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Number of international students In Holland hosted , international students. Find study programmes Check our database of English-taught courses. Financing your studies There are many sources of funding for studying here. Scholarships An overview of scholarships available for studying in Holland.
What is it like to be a Vietnamese gay student in Amsterdam?
Tuition fees and cost of living Tuition fees are low and life is comparatively cheap. You'll see a nice photo of a guy, then you scroll down and see him saying he's not into a certain race. David can be chatting to a guy on an app for days or even weeks before he's suddenly cut off. And the conversation ends there. You don't get any justification of why," David says.
When an Asian is compared to a Caucasian, are they less attractive? It's a question Asian Australian filmmaker Tony Ayres highlighted 20 years ago in his documentary China Dolls, during an era when guys used to hook up through published personals ads.
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As a teenager, I remember watching China Dolls on late night television. It made me question my own place in the world. For many gay guys, especially in an image-conscious city like Sydney, it's hard not to feel the pressure of being like the hypermasculine men at the gym, walking around, shaking bottles of protein supplements.
Yes it has, when you don't want to be seen as a particular stereotype. Eric has been on the dating scene for a couple of years and has become more ripped since I first met him several years ago.