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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • March 18, 2006


    Bali/Denpasar, Indonesia (1)

    I was sorting through my pictures and recovered a stack of which I took in Bali, Indonesia. That was December 2004. A friend of mine egged me on to the trip since I was already going to Hong Kong on an annual pilgrimage to the all-city-light-up show and the sales. So I squeezed my last-minute Bali itinerary into the Asia trip without any preparation. I didn't even have a Lonely Planet guide except for a hotel reservation at Puri Santrian Hotel. The impromptu booking with Singapore Airlines put me in a spacious Boeing 777-200 that was less than half full that landed in Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport at 7:05 pm. As in most Southeast Asian countries, predatory scams greeted me solicitously at the arrival hall offering all kinds of overpriced transportation services. A momentary taxi ride to the hotel that normally costs 40,000 rupiahs (US$1 = 9200 rupiahs) can become 200,000 rupiahs! Pretend to be confident and cogitant even if you're not sure what you're doing.

    Anyway the Bali trip was quite uneventful but pleasant. Everything was spontaneous. I woke up every morning with no idea of what I was going to do. I usually sat by the pool nibbling my breakfast until noon! Then I insouciantly took a stroll around the Semiayak area and tried to meet some of the locals. Most Bali visitors probably wake up to the Kuta beach, which is no more than 5 minutes away by walking so it was very accessible. Usually I thrive to look for a more out-of-the-way, secluded spot to sit down and read in order to avoid some of the on-spot grooming service the kids so persistently taut: washing your feet, manicure and pedicure. It is flanked with shops, bars and internet cafes. I found this family eatery place in one of the meandering alleys. For lunch you have a choice of five entrees of which two are vegetarian. I opted for the chicken in green curry, potato coquette and some mixed vegetable and a glass of fresh mango freeze: all for 16,000 rupiahs (US$1.60).

    to be continued...


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