TRAVEL ODDS & ENDS
Weird, strange and simply bizarre travel tidbits
Duane Wells | March 18, 2008
Lunch, homoerotic images and lip gloss wearing schoolboys�
All three of the above and more await guests at Edelstein, Tokyo�s first schoolboy caf� based on one of Sakamaki's favorite comic books, a 1970s cult-classic about a boy-boy romance at a German boarding school.
At the novelty establishment, effeminate waiters with manicured hands and soft voices are said to pretend to be teenage students chatting and flirting with well-dressed Japanese women playing the roles of benefactresses visiting the school, while simultaneously serving them their meals of choice.
Favored by girls and 20-something office ladies, the popular Edelstein is a restaurant that is all about the make believe world of boy-love manga comics – a fantasy world that a great many younger Japanese women seem drawn to, despite its often violent depictions of beautiful boys in sex scenes centered around everything from anal and oral sex to bondage and male gang rape. It has something to do with power roles in Japan, some suspect.
So popular are the boy-love manga and magazines in Japan that around 150 are published every month.
I don�t think I�ll ever think of the Japanese as repressed again. Will you?
The �green fairy� returns to America�
Everyone was talking about a special �buzz� last week in Maryland, and absinthe was the source of it.
Once the favored spirit of the French elite and historical personalities ranging from Oscar Wilde and Edgar Degas to Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh, the anise-flavored liquor was banned in the U.S. in 1912 as a result of what was then perceived to be its erratic, wildly hallucinogenic and addictive properties.
However, all that changed last year when U.S. regulators lifted the ban after it was discovered that the original version of absinthe contained so little thujone that a man would die from alcohol poisoning long before being hurt by the toxin. Further regulation by the U.S now allows the drink to be produced as long as it contains no more than 10 parts per million of the chemical.
All of which was reason enough for a select group of Maryland's tastemakers and liquor industry heavyweights to assemble at Baltimore restaurant Ixia for a taste of one of the three major versions of the notorious drink now approved for U.S. distribution.
Fortunately for those in attendance at the exclusive affair there were no fairies, no hallucinations and everyone�s ears remained in tact. Well where�s the fun in that?
Sounds like someone needs to tinker with that absinthe formula or they�ll never win over American boozehounds who have been legally enjoying licorice-flavored fixes from shots of Ouzo and Jagermeister for some time now. Just a little something to think about.
Homeless not welcome on La Jolla�s park benches�
The picture perfect, upscale seaside community of La Jolla is to many an idyllic setting, which is why some residents are angered that transients have dared to park their unsightly selves on the area�s public benches.
According to the Associated Press, Esther Vitis, who oversees the donation of public benches for a merchants' association in La Jolla, sent an e-mail to 45 other activists last week asking them to sit on the precious benches in three-hour shifts to ensure that homeless folks stay on their feet and on the move.
The group previously tried installing benches with metal dividers that split the seats. Transients simply began sleeping upright, Deborah Marengo, president of Promote La Jolla, told AP.
No-one has offered to sit a shift yet, Viti said.
Hmmm� I�d sure like to see one of those La Jolla residents wrangle with a homeless person who was dead set on taking a load off in the middle of the night on one of those benches. What�s the worse they could do?
Call the police who might just take them to jail where they could sleep on a cot, bathe and maybe get a meal? Doesn�t sound to me like the odds are stacked in Miss La Jolla�s favor on this one!
A peanut for a vote?
Here�s one campaign tactic that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama haven�t thought of yet�
For the first time in 14 years, anxious villagers in eastern Sri Lanka raced to the polls this past Monday to vote in local elections only to find that their access to polling booths was blocked�by wild elephants!
According to reports security forces armed with loud hailers were called in to shoo away a herd of elephants that had literally blocked the polling place of villagers in Wellaveli.
While security had been stepped up in the area with the deployment of over 6,000 police and soldiers amid fears that Tamil Tiger rebels might try to disrupt the area�s council elections, there was no contingency plan for elephant interruptions. Tsk�tsk�tsk.
And here we thought caucuses were a pain in the ass! .
(Cigarette) Butt out!
Word to the wise – Be careful where you smoke on your next visit to the UK.
British computer programmer Daniel Slanley was reportedly enjoying a cigarette while en route to work recently, when two council wardens in Sandiacre, near Nottingham accused him of throwing his cigarette butt away and presented him with a �40 ( $80) fine for littering,
Mr. Slanley refused to pay the fine and later contended in court that he had not thrown out his cigarette but merely dropped ash on the pavement, as he was against littering.
Believing Mr. Stanley, the judge threw out the case and chalked the whole affair up to �overzealous officialdom.�
Well thank goodness for that. Still, it�s certainly enough to make one think twice about lighting up in any ol� place, n�est ce pas?
Until next time�cheers! – Gay Link Content
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