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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
  • October 25, 2006


    Checking in from Hong Kong

    The city doesn't sleep. No sooner had the white-collared folks and kids gone home from a busy day of work and school than night crawlers wake up to partying and clubbing to the wee hours. Hong Kong is somewhat too fast-paced for that peace-loving, solitude-craving poet in me! I have got tired of elbowing jostling subway, crowded streets and busy restaurants--so I have taken refuge in the hidden countryside--negotiating some difficult terrains of meandering trails that are foreign even to locals. Stay tuned for the pictures, most of which capture beautiful sceneries of beaches and myself.

    Today I woke up at the crack of dawn, to the chirping of birds and the tintinnabulating of bicyles delivering fresh poultry, had a quick over-nurturing breakfast(three eggs and milk) and taken up a 10-km hike spanning over three hills (so the cross section of which would be like a camel's humps). The cardio would compensate my recent indulgence on food! The views from the trail was spectacular although the hike was arduous, with steeped elevation change. I encountered only a few morning joggers who probably covered the easier segments of the trail before I was left alone with only wind's company. I made the final descend onto the popular village of Stanley 3 hours later and treated myself a cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

    I plan to check out an upscale gay bar in town--Rice Bar--a subdued, low-key, jazz bar that is tugged away in the financial district on Jervois Street.

    I have not been deprived of reading. The suspenseful prose of Heinrich von Kleist has never failed to intrigue me on the road. I finished The Earthquake in Chile shortly after I arrived in the city and that only made me want more. Not only did the earthquake destroy the just and the outlaw, it also brings out the best of human nature--heroic courage and self-sacrifice, mutual help and compassion, and the worst--the frenzied search for scapegoat and the religious zeal that serves as a pretext for sickening cruelty.

    The Marquise of O- reads like a psychological mystery in which the heorine fell into the hands of some ruffian enemy troops who attempted to assualt her. What intrigued me the most is a deluge of prose depicting the upheaval which the troops had caused in the citedel and the scene in which they tried to rape her. Served to mitgate the quick action is one crucial sentence on which the outcome of the story hinges. It also justifies the marquise's courage to call forward the mystrious man who had impregnated her--her bearing a staimina of social disgrace and derision.

    So much about reading...I do have acquired a few volumes while scouring the bookshops here in Hong Kong: Labyrinths by Borges and some short story collection by Chekov.

    Stay tuned for all the pictures, which for sure will be better than a thousand words. A lot of them would be candid (amlost trivial) shots of daily life--food stalls on the street making egg sandwich, old man pushing a hand-cart full of crumpled-up papers, swimming session (that, could be a little scary, with me in my swim trunks...) and the rush hour crowd dashing on both sides of subway platform.

    Looking forward to going to Japan on Oct 30. Until then, hope all is well with everyone. Thanks to Matt and Tony for their messages. Hope you'll enjoy this special report from the Pearl of the Orient. I'll upload the pictures soon.


    Anonymous Brent said...

    Thanks for the update Matthew! Looking forward to more. Brent

    10/25/2006 8:16 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    As you might realize, Brent, I finally have some spare time to reconnect here.

    By the way, when are you coming to Asia?

    10/26/2006 12:12 AM  
    Blogger Greg said...

    Glad you're having a good time. I hope you're taking lots and lots of pictures because you know we want to see all those exotic places!

    10/26/2006 11:21 AM  
    Blogger Robert said...

    I miss Hong Kong, lotz. I know the place is super fast paced and overly crowded, but I do find peace, there. Maybe from a sense of belongness.

    Can't wait for the pictures. Oh and you must include the ones with you in your lovely swimtrunks! ehehe! Have fun in Japan, too.


    10/27/2006 11:05 AM  
    Anonymous Brent said...

    Syd. 11/8- 11/17
    Nz. 11/17- 11/25
    Shanghai 11/25-12/05
    KL-Burma 12/5- 12/19
    Thailand 12/19-01/04
    HK 01/04- 01/10 ...and then back to Ca.

    Yes, I want to see the pics in the swimtrunks ;-)

    10/27/2006 1:36 PM  
    Blogger Joshua said...

    Thanks for updating us; and I'm seething with jealousy :) Hope you're making the best of your trip!

    10/28/2006 3:24 PM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Thank you everyone! I miss home although I'm having so much fun getting lost in the subway and streets of Tokyo, muching away 200-yen-a-bowl of teriyai beef don...LOL

    Brent, you'll be on your way to Sydney when I get back to SF. I'll give you a call k?

    Robert, I've got myself two new pairs of speedos in HK--they are soooooo cheap, Australian rower style hehehe....

    Joshua, thanks for the shout out. I'll hop on Gay Men Rule as well when I get a chance!

    Hugs. :)

    10/29/2006 6:53 AM  

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