Friday, April 27, 2007

B-day

Today I'm hitting 23.

Young to some, old to others. And I'm spending today without a party, but with a pussy. I guess I can't have everything.

어늘은 제 생일이에요. 지금 저는 만 스물세살이에요! 많이 선물을 주세요.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Un/going Home

http://www.indieforum.co.kr/

directed by Young-Ran Kim [김영란]
- South Korea/2007/34 min/Color/DV -

영란이라는 제 친구가 Un/going Home라는 다큐멘터리를 연출했어요. Un/going Home은 2006년에 한국에 제 여행에 관한 이야기에요.
5월10일에 서울에 열리는, 인디포럼2007에서 개막작으로 상영될꺼에요.

Un/going Home is a short docu that Young-Ran, a friend of mine, made about my trip to South- Korea in 2006. It will be screened at Indieforum 2007 at the opening on May 10th.

I met Young-Ran in 2005 during my first visit to South-Korea. When she heard I was coming back again, she asked me if she could film it. At first I didn't see why I should say yes. But she was very persistent and persuaded me.

The filming itself was stressfull, I'm not at all used to having a camera directed at me all the time. Although I can enjoy attention, I turned very very self-conscious, especially with the eczema I was suffering from at that time. And I closed up more than usual, it wasn't easy talking in front of a camera about personal things and feelings. At times I told Young-Ran to stop filming because I couldn't handle it for a moment. But she was very patient with me, maybe more patient than I might have been were I in her position .

When I watched the end result for the first time I had to take breaks every 5 minutes or so. It's so strange to see yourself in a docu. My cheesy dancing and in times stupid comments combined with the signs of some severe drinking doesn't really help me getting over the embarrasment. I know, that's my own fault.




Anyways, to summarize: it's a 30 minute introduction on how I talk to much, can't sit still, complain a lot and act definitly not my own age. Of course for me it's different to see it than others. It's a nice memory of a nice, yet stressfull, trip. For my Korean friends... well I don't know what they will think.

I guess I am somewhat scared of reactions to it, some of the few people who saw it were positive, but I do tend to say controversial things (especially when I'm drunk) in a maybe a bit of a black and white way. Things that may be interpreted in a wrong way, since packing 5 weeks into 30 minutes does tend to put things a bit out of context occasionally. I had my problems in South-Korea in queer community because of my outspoken comments before and wouldn't be happy with causing a stir again. And this time I would be talking about sex work as well... But then again, my politics are my politics, even if they get in the way of my social life.

I guess the only thing I miss is some footage of a hike I took up bukhan mountain. I was telling Young-Ran constantly that I would go climb a mountain just to make her climb that mountain with me with the camera and feel sadistic, and she thought I was joking. At the end she didn't include the footage, despite her efforts to get good shots in the narrow path with her maybe to big for such a hike camera. Actually I wanted to go up DLI 63 Building, the largest skycraper in Seoul, by stairs to for the same reason but didn't have time in the end...

In any case I'm happy that Young-Ran created a very balanced and diverse picture of me. It shows me at my best and worst, and mostly inbetween. Most important she showed my voice, my politics and my opinions. Not hers about me as happens so often with documentaries.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My vagina

My vagina... well it will look okay once it is healed, at least from what I see and hear from the doc.

For all of you that have been wondering how things have been the last seven days, here's the story:

Thursday, sleepy and bit stressed I thought it was more convenient to take the bus to the hospital than bike given that I wouldn't be biking home afterwards. Being a bit chaotic in packing my stuff (I managed to forgot pyamas, shampoo and toothpaste) I was already somewhat late, additionally I had no clue what so ever how long the trip was from my house to the hospital on public transport, since I usually bike. And of coruse I "forgot" that I didn't have a "strippenkaart" (the dutch variant of the public transport payment method), and not enough cash on me. Rushing to the ATM I found it none operational... Okay I was late... no worries since mostly I was bored out of my skull waiting in the hospital for several checks.

Friday, nervous and tired, since I didn't sleep at all despite the sleeping pills. I was scheduled for 8:30 AM I was told, so was fixed up (shower, shaving, pre-meds, the cute little blue weirdies they make you wear, ...) and rolled with bed and all to the roof. Yes the roof, okay that sounds really stupid but let me explain: The surgery rooms were due for renovation, so temporarily they flew in fully operational state of the art surgery-room-containers, no biggie, don't even notice that they're containers let alone they're on the roof. Nevertheless: I got surgery on the roof of the hospital. Anyways, back to the story, there was a mistake in the schedule apparently and I was taken back to my room and had to wait for another three hours. By that time I was so nervous that I cause an earthquake when I was rolled back into surgery shaking. Luckely the assistant-nurse person gave me something to calm down before she inserted the infuse or she would have missed the vane. Her words: "This stuff just feels like a good drink, you'll relax". That's where my memory ended that day...
Oh, for the record: yes I shaved myself.

Saturday, sunday, monday... they all can be shorted easily into pain-fever-dizzy-pain. On top of that I wasn't allowed out of bed at all, and wasn't allowed to eat... I survived on astronaut liquid chemical stuff, ulllhhhggggg!!! Anyways, basically I slept a lot, got lots of painkillers, had nurses and doctors check stuff between my legs (is a lot more boring than it sounds, sometimes painfull but not in a fun way).

Tuesday, I was allowed two biscuits!!! Jeeeeezzzz, never ever thought they would taste that damn good! they were dry, and bit old maybe, but they were the best two biscuits I ever had in my life!

Wednesday, they removed a lot of bandages, tubes, etc. and after some cleaning up it actually looked sort of like the end result, I mean I could imagine it would look like after the swelling would go away (which is a slow process so have to be patient, very very patient) I went out in the evening, to a friends house for a while.

That's where I am right now. Things are pretty okay, still pain but manageble, still exhausted easily but my friend does the house stuff. Surgery went well, took longer than expected, had some blood of someone else pumped into me, but all in all, it's all well.

Now all I need to think of a name ^^;

Monday, April 2, 2007

"Belle" honors sex workers all over the world


There is a new girl in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. Her name is "Belle", and she stands proudly and strong in a window. She, however, is not a real sex worker, it is a statue there to honor sex workers. The statue was an initiative of Mariska Majoor, founder of the Prostitution Information Centre in Amsterdam and herself a long standing activist for sex workers' rights. "Belle" is there to remind the world that all sex workers, men, women, transgender or not alike, have a right to respect, dignity, livelyhood and agency.

The statue was unveiled 31st of March, during the open day held in the Red Light District where she now stands. During the open day 20 businesses, ranging from brothels and sex theaters to flowershops and churches, opened their doors for the public. It was a unique chance to take a look behind the scenes. Visitors could take a look inside the windows and were given explainations about how the women work, they could take a free coffee in one of the caffees, they got a free 5 minute show (with clothes) in the Cassa Rossa, the biggest live sex theater in Amsterdam.

Of Course the main event that day was the presentation of "Belle". At 5 pm, Mariska and several other sex workers ceremonially unveiled her in front of a croud of several hundreds. She was received with much applause, the sense of the day was a positive one. While not forgetting that still there is a lot to be done in the Netherlands to improve the working conditions and specially the regulations, the Netherlands is one of those places where working at least is legal. "Belle" now stands among the real women in the windows in one of the most famous Red Light Districts in the world, to tell everyone that we deserve respect!