Tourism in Australia is doing it tough at the moment. Not only has the GFC knocked the wind out of our sales, the skyhigh US dollar is making us an expensive destination. Because of these, and lots of other factors, tourism bodies are looking for answers in the trendy social media scape.
Destination marketeers have the most to gain from social media, and there are some I’ve been very impressed with. Have a peek at these groups, excelling online.
Have you ever been enticed or influenced through your interactions with a destination marketing body on social media?
Unlike Kaj who is here for the penguins, I am here to hunt seals. Not in a Canadian club baby seals kind of way, but to photograph them. We’ve had great success finding the New Zealand fur seal, but the elephant seal has proven elusive.
First attempt at seals was the appropriately named Shag Point, just north of Dunedin. It’s such an insignificant spot on the map that Wikipedia doesn’t yet have a listing for it! We saw 32 fur seals here, and we were quite chuffed at our first spotting attempt.
The seals seem like quite a lazy breed, and I could easily see why they might have once been almost hunted to extinction. They just lie about on the rocks soaking up the suns rays, completely undisturbed by our gawking and photographing. The seal pups have a lot more life though, and they’re always jumping and frolicking about on the rocks, in and out of the water, and often seem to annoy their mum with their incessant playfulness.
New Zealand strongly protect their seals, so we couldn’t get too close, but sometimes they hop close to you, which is quite a treat for a wildlife-loving photographer! Here’s a couple of lovely pics we took of the seals up close.
We have now also seen seals at three other locations, but the sightings weren’t near as good as the first one at Shag Point. There were also loads of the gorgeous red footed seagulls at Shag Point, and after we went and had fish for lunch I saved my leftover fish to feed to the gulls. Despite trying really hard I was unable to hand feed them, but they certainly thought about taking it from my hand, as you can see from the pic below. It was a really windy day, and the gulls were such eloquent gliders.
Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the single elephant seal we believe we saw off in the far distance in Porpoise Bay. There’s a strong chance it could actually have been a sea lion. He was more than 1km away and seemed to be terrorising a family, or vice versa. By the time we reached the beach he had started swimming away. We hope to have better luck over the next few days in Fiordland.
Today is our only full day in Auckland, so we picked up some of those ‘Auckland in 24 hours‘ style publications and weeded out most of the options as self-promotion advertisements.
We’re staying on Auckland’s North Shore, which is an historic and architecturally quaint, in a gorgeous bed and breakfast Stafford Villa. Our hostess Chris is a superb decorator, and our room is just divine. It features lots of antique things, but doesn’t feel old and dusty as some heritage buildings can. We have a huge four poster bed which is every bit as romantic as it sounds.
Chris is also a great cook with similar food ethics to myself. As much as possible the produce is local and organic, and she only buys free range eggs and bacon, and looks for little local manufacturers. I absolutely love her attention to detail and all the effort she puts into her fare.
She spoiled us with a luscious breakfast unlike I’ve ever had in a bed and breakfast before! We had local strawberries and blueberries, kiwifruit, star anise cooked apricots, toasted granola, home made yoghurt and freshly baked muffins. If this isn’t enough, she then cooked us a full kiwi breakfast of free range bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs and baked tomato. Everything was served with decadent silverware. See the pic of our breakfast table!
We decided we would catch a ferry across the harbour to the CBD, and just walk around the city. It is incredibly humid here today, and people are blaming me for bringing it with us. The harbour ride was beautiful, but purchasing a local SIM proved to be a lot of drama. For future reference the Telecom NZ phone operators are as useless as the Telstra ones.
We are headed to a very popular restaurant The Engine Room this evening, who have a crummy website but amazing food. They’ve won lots of awards, and I’ve even heard of them from at home. The restaurant is always booked out completely, so it’s lucky we booked 4 months ago. In the last week The Engine Room staff have called 3 times to confirm our booking!
First day was fantastic, Kaj is pleased with the overall plans, which is a huge relief. Hope everything is smooth back home.
I’ve discovered a secret is hard to keep once you’ve told several hundred people. Even though they too know it’s a secret, it’s easier for them to slip up than it is for oneself.
For Kaj who rarely pays attention, he missed all 7 people who told him directly the secret holiday destination. I have allowed him to believe some red herrings, and I’ve even slipped a few deliberate ones myself.
Kaj became privvy to the destination on the plane en route to Auckland. I gave him the 32 page holiday itinerary which I’d meticulously planned over the last 6 months. He thought Auckland was just a stopover, and I’m delighted he’s pleased with my planning.
We’re mostly touring the South Island of New Zealand. Arriving in Auckland and staying for just 2 days, we will then fly to Christchurch and circumnavigate arriving back in Christchurch.
First and foremost, it’s the weather. I yearn for a cold Christmas. Whilst New Zealand will be celebrating Summer, just like us, they celebrate it with blistering winds, single digit night time temperatures and glorious sub-twenty days. It will not be dissimilar to a Cairns winter, but it will certainly last for longer.
Because this is Nicky, you must know it’s mostly about the food. New Zealand is a haven for the foodie calorie unconscious, like myself, and I can’t wait to dig into the copious summerfruit, exquisite local produce and amazing lamb.
Wine needs a category of its own, wouldn’t you say? My two favourite varieties; Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are championed in New Zealand. We will go to the winemaking hubs of Marlborough and Central Otago and seek out the best.
We don’t take enough photos, and so I’ve asked the kind Kiwis to please put on some nice weather so we can photograph their spectacular scenery. This possibly means being a photographers widow, which I detest, but Kaj has promised to take photos of me too with his new flash.
And of course we don’t go anywhere without seeing wildlife in its most triumphant environment, in the wild. The assortment of critters will indeed be amazing, and they’ll be many we’ve not seen before.
This article was written while I was on holiday in California and was inspired by the many great travel businesses I encountered throughout America.
When creating a website within the tourism industry it’s important to keep a strong focus on the needs of travellers. The website ideaologies applying to travel also apply to a broad number of websites selling single products online.
It is much easier to maintain this focus if you have a clear idea of your target demographic. Many businesses fall into the trap of believing anyone can stay in their hotel, or take their tour, but the reality is each product will only appeal to a subset of the travellers visiting any region.
Tourism providers who’ve been in the industry for some time will tell you that the internet dramatically changed the booking habits of travellers and it’s important to realise why this is so.
Why A Traveller Uses the Web
The primary reason a traveller will visit your website is to gather information about tourism product. This means more information then the brochure displays or a travel agent might know. Travellers are frequently disappointed when a website contains scant information or fails to answer even their most basic questions.
Essential Website Parts
For a traveller the most important page of a website is your home page. Research suggests most people will visit at least 10 different product websites before making a purchasing decision, and much of their decision to delve further into your website is based on the professionalism and information on your home page.
Your home page should be a three or four paragraph summary of your product which addresses questions about location, rates and sells your products major benefits over your competitors. In addition you should ensure your home page does not load slowly, and avoid flash animations as they rarely display the information required to entice your visitor to go further.
Within the information on your home page, ensure there is appropriate linked text where visitors can find out further information. This is particularly important with rates and calls to action.
The rates themselves should be clearly displayed in a neat table with the fine print or pricing conditions close by. A visitor needs to be able to quickly figure out how much your product costs, so avoid making them fill out a form with their dates and number of people as this is likely to annoy them and generally results in them studying your competitors rates page instead.
A strong call to action leading your visitor to book, enquire or phone should be near the rates data and is nearly always forgotten by less savvy website owners. Be clear about what your potential customer should do next.
Most often a visitor will contact you before booking if your website does not have an automated availability and booking form. You can make this process easy for them by having separate booking and enquiry forms.
Hire a professional photographer and include your most spectacular shots on your home page, and then scatter the rest generously through your website. Include talent from your target market demographic in the photos. This allows people to put themselves in the picture having an enjoyable experience.
Hindrances To Conversions
As the web becomes increasingly automated the time it takes for a visitor to gather the information they require from a tourism product provider will determine which provider makes the sale. For this reason consider investing in a web-based reservation system to allow customers to make decisions instantly. Customers will get frustrated if they need to wait for responses to their reservations and book a competitive product.
Many web users attest their biggest annoyance about websites is not being able to find the information they require to answer their questions. Think about the most common questions your customers ask and answer everyone of them.
The question all customers need answered is the one of prices. Some products mistakenly leave their prices off their website hoping someone will contact them to ask, but this strategy will sooner send your customers to a competitor which does display their prices. Just as bad as having no rates is having confusing rates, so keep them simple.
When a customer has an enquiry request ensure your enquiry form is short and sweet and only asks the absolutely necessary details you need to respond to the customer. Long enquiry forms will put customers off and they may choose not to bother asking.
Be careful with the photos you include as bad photography with small grainy pictures or old shots devalues your product and puts customers off. Avoid including anything blurry, out of focus, or where the photo has too many subjects.
Resources Travellers Use
Think about the online resources travellers use to find product, and ensure you have strong representation.
The first and most important is the search engines, especially Google. If you don’t have good rankings, consider purchasing advertising with Google AdWords to ensure you have good visibility.
Travellers often review prominent, high ranking information sites containing general information about the area. Look into advertising on these sites for more exposure to travellers who have not yet decided their precisie itineraries.
Big for international travellers are review and comparison websites like Trip Advisor (www.tripadvisor.com). These sites give customers an unbiased view of a number of products in an area, and rates them by popularity. Customers trust the reviews on Trip Advisor so encourage your customers to write something about your product.
Similarly travel forums like Lonely Planet’s The Thorn Tree allow travellers to explore destinations and their products through discussion with other travellers. Especially tour product will benefit by participating in online forum discussions and passively promoting their products aand services direct to potential customers. Seek out localised travel forums and ensure you follow the accepted ettiquette for product promotion.
The prominence of travel blogs have seen an increase in product providers being featured in personal stories from customers who have experienced that product. These are powerful reccommendations, and travel providers should consider asking customers if they have a travel blog and encourage their product’s favourable inclusion if so.
Travel websites are by large all about your customer. They need to cut through competition by doing a great job of answering your customer’s questions and being well organised with spectacular photography.
I spent my birthday in Paris, which was wet, miserable and cold. But, I’m used to the crazy weather now. In fact, I’ve concluded the weather is Paris is why French ladies always look great.
First of all, there’s something just perfect about the humidity. Every day was a perfect hair day, even without my GHD. Make up stays in place, and lasts longer somehow. Since it’s really cold a spring in your step is necessary to keep warm.
We stayed in a hotel near the Louvre, which was great because we walked all over. The taxi to get to our hotel was 55 euro though, so about $70! It seems the airport is far out of town.
It’s weird to see that the Parisian equivalent of our Holdens and Fords are Mercedez. Both taxis we caught were seriously plush and luxurious vehicles with all sorts of great gadgetry like headlight washers and ipod docks.
The shopping in Paris is obviously a great drawcards, and there was soldes everywhere. Just about every second shop is a shoe shop. Control was therefore difficult, and I was pleased for the first time that my bags were already full because I could have fulled an entire suitcase with adorable boots. However, not that practical at home.
During the day the streets are abuzz with local folk buying food and going about their business. There are lots of people walking around with breadsticks, so the movies are all true. The food is amazing though, all the stuff I crave at French restaurants was readily available everywhere.
We ate fois gras first night at a cute little restaurant, and I thought it’d be a midget little portion like at home, but now, we got two huge slabs of the stuff! While we were slowly making way through our entree, I didn’t care how they brought up the bird because the result was spectacular. We should all try force feeding more geese. So at the airport I bought some to bring home, since it’s canned quarantine shouldn’t take issue. I hope. It costs a fortune.
Things generally are fairly pricey, perhaps people here earn more. I’m not really sure. The exchange rate was ordinary too. Weirdly, champagne was cheaper at BevMo in the USA, so I should have stocked up there. Even the vintage champas was cheaper at BevMo. Jill… we need a BevMo in Cairns.
The Louvre was great, just like it is in the Da Vinci movie. We saw loads of paintings and got really sore feet walking around all day. The building itself was really spectacular as well, and that surprised me as I wasn’t expecting it to be an attraction in itself. I loved the Napoleonic Apartments the best, which are a recreation of how Napoleon lived in the same rooms that he originally slept in. They were opulent and in some places garish.
I’ve enjoyed Paris because it seems glamourous, but it has a lonely and grumpy feel to the place.
There are so many weird things about the USA. They mostly seem weird because I came from a Spanish speaking nation where you expect things to be different, but when everyone around you speaks English you sort of expect things to be the same.
First thing that’s different is Americans know the meaning of customer service. They’re seriously good brown-nosers! They’re chatty, friendly, full of personality and absolutely ready to give you ketchup with anything you please. Of course, it’s because they get paid like shit and they’re hoping you’ll tip them during the translation, so they put on a good show. We have much to learn by their vibrancy and enthusiasm for service. My glass was never empty, coffee is always flowing, they’re intuitive about cutlery and napkins and I never once had to ask for the dessert menu. But then, I didn’t eat one dessert in the US and this brings me to my second weird thing.
Portion size. It seems American restaurants believe they should not only be serving you dinner but also plenty for breakfast and lunch the next day. The serving sizes are ridiculous. I never finished a single meal, and I learnt quickly not to order entrees. Of course they also give you mounds of free bread, and often you’ll get free soup and salads as well. It seemed absolutely crazy to me!
Bacon is a different breed here. I always buy shortcut bacon, which has that big round bit with no grease on it. Well.. It seems the Americans have bred that bit out of the pig, because I’ve looked in 3 supermarkets for shortcut bacon and I can find is the evil fatty bit that I usually throw away. I am desperately looking forward to bacon and eggs at home.
While here I stayed with friends in Sacramento, Jillian and Brad, who very kindly put up with my curiosity and constant badgering about odd food and customs. They were both great sports and very fun to be around. They even laughed at most of my jokes, but perhaps they were just being polite. They’re a unique pair because Jill is a fiercely independent girl who is almost completely blind and Brad is a tall lanky black geek who is remarkably similar to Kaj in an absent-minded professor and metrosexual kind of way. According to Jill, Brad is the whitest black man alive, and I tend to agree.
Brad gave me a driving lesson in his car so I could drive to the Napa Valley and go wine tasting in a rental car the next day. He was a great sport because I almost scraped the passenger side of his car against another car twice as I had troubles with the wrong side of the road thing. Our Napa adventure largely went without incident, just on the way back I missed the exit and ended up in downtown Sacramento on the way to Reno.
Jill and Brad took me to the Jelly Belly factory which is near their house and we were able to tour the factory and see all the beans being made. It was really awesome, and at the end you could taste them all! You could even taste the new Harry Potter series with flavours like vomit, dirt, grass, soap, earwax and sardines. I almost chucked my lunch on the earwax one, it was awful. I found a great gem there though; belly flops. These are the not-so-perfect beans, so I bought a few huge packets for our not-so-perfect office!
I especially loved the time in the USA, and will really miss it. Out of all the places I’ve visited in the last 7 weeks this is the only one where I actually thought I could enjoy living. There is an amazing variety of product for sale, and producers, service providers and store owners seem to try that little bit harder than at home. It was incredibly helpful to be staying with some great locals who could teach me the way of the land too.
There’s no fresh milk here. Or at least if there is, I haven’t seen it. Everyone uses evaporated milk, and although it’s hard to believe it actually froths to make good foam for a cappucino. Tastes like crap though.
… are everywhere. Pigs, dogs, cows, llamas, cats, chickens and ducks line the streets of villages eerywhere. They’re often roped to something near the road, but it’s not uncommon to see a few cows leisurely crossing the street. We saw two large pigs roaming a service station last week. In Cusco, a city of 800,000 people, I saw a llama in the middle of a roundabout chomping on grass.
Frequently people approach you in the street to sell you stuf, which is usually crap. Sometimes it’s children doing the selling, and they’re a bit more forward. They poke your arms and tug at your clothes. Coral yelled at one once here in Cusco. In the last two days I’ve been asked to buy yellow confetti, massages, restaurant meals, finger puppets and lollies. Kaj was asked to buy marijuana and cocaine. He get’s all the luck.
Dot Matrix Printers
Evidently Peru is where all our old dot matrix printers have ended up. Just about every business has one, and very few have inkjet or laser printers. I hear that song in my head everytime a printer goes… you know, the dot matrix song?
Peru excepts its citizens of independant thought. The only helpful people we’ve encountered are non-Peruvians. This includes staff at hotels, airlines and shops. Maybe some of this are issues lost in translation, but it’s been particularly noticable in dealing with the staff at Lan. Problems get fixed if I call Lan in Miami, and people just give me blank looks here. There have been countless occasions of dealing with local people and they just can’t string together concepts.
Nobody needs to wear them, and most cars are not fitted with seat belts in the back. Drivers sometimes wear them, but it’s definitely a seat belt optional country. Which is an interesting concept because there also seems to be few speed limits. Luckily the roads are often so bad you can’t go fast on them anyhow.
Unfortunately the breakfasts are really ordinary. You usually get a couple of flat and tasteless bread rolls with butter (again, made from evaporated milk) and memolada, usually strawberry flavoured. You’re often served orange juice which is freshly squeezed from green oranges, so it tastes more like lemon juice. I am so looking forward to bacon and eggs, scrambled eggs with truffle oil, tomato tartlets, omelettes, pancakes and all the other breakfast goodies I make at home. Someone needs to revolutionise Peruvian breakfast.
In general, the bread is bad. Maybe they don’t have yeast here, but there’s no bread like we would know bread, so toast isn’t an option. You only ever get flat round rolls, or occasionally a good bread at a posh restaurant. I’m looking forward to a vegemite on toast – or anything on toast.
Erick, skip this bit. You don’t flush your toilet paper, apparently the system can’t handle it. So, there’s always a bin next to the toilet which hopefully the housekeepers empty every day. Otherwise it gets a bit whiffy.
Kaj and I are still in Cusco but are happily not suffering from altitude issues any longer. Last night was New Years Eve, and it´s interesting how people celebrate when they don´t have so many regulations like we do.
In the morning Kaj and I walked around the city and discovered a very strange looking market. Mostly local people were at this market, and we soon figured the things being sold were for the New Years celebrations in the evening.
Yellow is a good luck colour here and Cusco has this really odd tradition where people don yellow underpants on the outside of their clothing and run around the main square. So, one of the commonly sold items at the markets were yellow underpants. In Australia I´m not sure you´d see too many pairs of yellow knickers, but here there must be a lot of manufacturers that prepare specially for this day. There were little bitty lacy ones, man sized ones and even children´s editions. I have never seen so many yellow underwear!
Just about everything for the celebrations was yellow. There were plastic flower necklaces, streamers, bags of confetti, clickers and crazy flouro yellow glasses that had ´2008´written on them. Kaj noted they´ll have difficulty in 2010 as to 00 is for your eyes to see through. We didn´t buy any of these crazy things, but they were funny to look at.
We had tickets to an exclusive club here, Fallen Angel, which is famous for it´s New Years parties. We had dinner at the club, and then at about 10pm the staff moved all the tables out. The dinner had 150 people, and 600 folk had tickets for after dinner. I had no idea where 600 people would fit in this establishment, as in Australia they´d probably have approval for 100 people at the most. Needless to say, it was a dramatic fire hazard and we were sardines by 11pm.
Upon arrival at the party we were given a plastic bag filled with yellow goodies we´d seen at the markets earlier in the day, and a pair of silver wings and a halo. Since everyone was wearing white to the party, the whole place looked like a bunch of crazy angels with wings and halos.
At about 11:30pm, the owner of the club, who is an overtly gay man, got onto the microphone and started blurting gayness in Spanish. Then, he proceeded to throw yellow underpants into the crowd. The people cheered and scrambled for the yellow pants, which prompted him to tell everyone he had a pair for every person. Unfortunately for me the pair I recieved had a stain on the crotch, but I believe it was a passing smoker who came in contact with my yellow knickers. They were also branded with Fallen Angel 2008.
So then just before midnight everyone has their knickers, yellow goodies and halos and wings, and we´re ordered to clear out of the club and head to the main square which is about one block away. As everyone is leaving the club there are a collection of Fallen Angel staff at the front door handing everyone a bottle of bubbly.
There is a little mini square outside the club, and most partygoers had collected there with their bottles of bubbly. Then, at about 5 mins to midnight everybody started shaking their bottles and spraying their friends. It´s 4C and I´m breathing fog and I am so damn grateful the only friend we had at this party was Gonzalo our tour guide, as I had absolutely no intention of getting bubbly drenched in the freezing cold! It was bad enough I couldn´t feel any of my fingers.
Suddenly some major fireworks exploded above our little square, and they´re the closest I´ve ever been to exploding fireworks! Gonzalo knows the owner of this club quite well, and discovered that these fireworks were organised especially for the Fallen Angel party people. These were the only fireworks of the evening, as here they don´t have a big public display like we do at home.
Kaj and I still had full bottles of bubbly and collectively decidied we should dump them on Gonzalo since he was in the party mood. After we sprayed him I threw yellow confetti all over him, which stuck beautifully.
The whole party then marched together into the main square, and the street parted to let us through as if we were celebrities. Everyone was looking and gawking to see where we´d come from! We had drummers at the front of our procession, and a whole bunch of men scattered through the crowd letting off firecrackers above our heads.
Once inside the square we caught up with Gonzalo´s friends, many of whom we´d already met through our gourmet food travels. People were very celebratory and happy. The square was filled with a couple thousand people, and at least a couple hundred were letting off their own firecrackers. Loud booms often went off near us, and every couple of seconds there would be screaming fireworks shot into the sky.
Every now and then a hawker would approach Kaj and I to buy things. So I´d throw confetti on them and say ´Happy New Years´, and they´d soon go away.
At about 2am a whole bunch of riot police entered the main square, and that´s when Kaj and I decided it was time to head to bed. Seeing riot police in person are actually a bit scary.
Today is the last day of our gourmet food tour, and we´re looking forward to the finale dinner at the MAP restaurant inside the museum here. After that we take a train to Puno which is on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigatable lake in the world. Bolivia, a completely landlocked country, run their navy on the lake. This seems like a dramatic waste of money to me. We´re here for 2 days then head to the USA on 5th January.
At Erick´s request I´m not going to write any more details about my gastro issues, but you´ll all be pleased to know that for New Years Eve I may actually be well enough to consume alcohol. It´s now 2008 in Australia, we´ve got another 13 hours before our spectacular event.
For all those who rolled their eyes and groaned when I said we were taking a gourmet food tour, I can now confidently say the food here is spectacular when you know where to look.
Our tour started with a cooking lesson at a little restaurant in Ollantaytambo called Mayupata with Chef Oscar Morello. It had a lovely big pizza oven like at Rattle & Hum, which also doubled as a heater for keeping the restaurant warm! We donned aprons – yes! Kaj wore an apron! – and set about cooking 2 entrees, 2 mains and a dessert.
Something I love about the cuisine here is that it follows a routine I´ve always dreamed Australian restaurants would. That is, to only cook with seasonal local ingredients. Here it´s the distance and infrastructure issues that prevent otherwise, but the results are tasty food using ingredients in their prime.
At the moment corn is being harvested, and it´s not corn like we have at home. We were using this giant corn, which is only pale yellow, and isn´t as sweet as our corn, so it has more practical uses in savoury food. Still tastes divine with lots of salt though.
Chef Oscar guided us through our first dish which was using a grainy yellow potato and serving it with a delicious yellow sauce. Potatoes are actually natively Peruvian, and were originally poisionous. Many civilisations cross-bred them with other things to produce their edible form we have today, but amazingly Peru still grows 3000 different types of potatoes!
The dish was delicious, and although the chance of us finding the Peruvian yellow potato at home is slim, I´m sure a different potato will substitude just fine. A kifler might actually do a better job!
In the sauce, and in many other things we made, we used a small capsicum/chilli creature called a rocoto. It has a beautiful orange colour, and is used for both the slight spicy flavour, and the divine colour.
The most exciting thing we made in the class was the roasted trout. Gonzalo our tour guide and Oscar had visited the trout farm that morning and picked us a beautiful trout to cook with. It´s a rainbow trout which is farmed in clear and fresh mountainous water, and the flavour is just spectacular. Some Tetusya junkies might realise this is the same fish Tets uses as his signature dish, the Ocean Trout Confit. Just in Tets case the fish are caught in Tasmanian freshwater streams where the water starts to meet the ocean. Hence the name, Ocean Trout.
The trout had already been gutted, which was great because I don´t think Kaj had the stomach to do it. The rainbow trout is also an awesome fish because it has no scales! We put some rosemary where his gizzards used to be, and then covered him with salt mined in the mountains nearby. The salt had a mineral in it which gave it a slight pink hue, much like our Murray River salt at home. Then a little sprinkle of water and into the pizza oven for 30 minutes.
When it emerged we needed to tap the salt away as it had developed a hard outer crust. The trout underneath was beautifully cooked, and we ate it with a little Peruvian lemon. I must try this one at home.
Tonight we´re off to a famous New Years Eve party held by one of the first gay men un Peru to come out. Gay folk are still largely in the closet here as this is a strong Catholic nation with little acceptance of things they don´t understand. We´re looking forward to the party, we need to wear all white so I´ll be donning my melted snowman costume again. Kaj bought white jeans and is afraid of being molested at the party as he believes they make him look too gay.
See you all in 2008!