"Well-behaved women seldom make history."
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Minasan konnichiwa! Greetings from Japan!

Well, I was so happy and excited to come to this country and I'm not saying I'm disappointed but I've never thought that it would be the one of the hardest work I've ever done.  They have a totally different system and I think I need months to get used to it. Physically it's already a lot, I work minimum 8 hrs a day and I have only 2 days off a month. I say minimum 8 hrs a day because if I go out for dinner with one of my customer before work it's already feels I'm working.. And there is something I must do here if I want to keep the regulars.
The American system is easy. You go on stage, do your show or some private dances, people give you tips. In Europe more about drink commission. The Asian system is about how you can catch your regular customers that will visit you in the club. This system was not unfamiliar to me as in Macau we also had to do the “call requests” which means I had a local phone only for business and I had to exchange numbers with customers to keep in touch with them. But there it didn't really worked as we had lots of tourists from different countries and maybe they come back only after I finish my contract. Here in Japan it works in the same way. I got a mobile from the club and I have to give my number to the customers. And I have to call them ALL the time! It's strange because in some clubs in Europe I'm not even allowed to keep my mobile with me or even I need to put them in a locker that I can only open with the presence of the manager. And I could get in deep trouble if somebody sees me that I give my number to someone. But Japanese guys like to be called. And they happy to come back to the club or take you out for dinner if you make this effort. 
The other thing is so strange for me is the “my customer, your customer”. Basically I can not even look at other girls customer but I have to be polite til the highest level. And there is a very thin line between being polite and flirting with someone – specially for me when it's a tiny little alcohol and I love everybody! - as I noticed guys misunderstand it very easily. But for me even the “my customer” term is strange as I always say everybody is free and I don't own people so how he can be mine? OK, maybe he comes to see me often but it's not a big deal if one day he decide to take someone else.. But the Russian girls don't think in the same way and they are ready to chop my head off if I make a mistake. 
The next thing I don't know how to deal with here that's the alcohol. If I don't become an alcoholist during the work here, then never! Just today I had maybe 20 gin&tonic and a half bottle of champagne.. In the beginning I started with gin&tonic, then only tonic, and the end it was only ice and sparkling water in my glass because I couldn't even take the smell of the tonic any more. Luckily there is an option for that.. But if it's not my regular customer or if they open a bottle, obviously I can not drink green tea at the table.
And about Japanese mentality: I had a customer that I had a good talk with, nice and polite guy. Later he told my “Mama”, my boss, that if I can except he would like to date me. I said OK, let's see what's going to happen next. We exchanged a few messages but meanwhile he organised everything with Mama and he just sent me that “Tomorrow we have a date.” I asked to let me know what time is good for him. All day no message. I thought he changed his mind. Just right before work he replied that “Around 3am after work” First of all I can't leave the club before 4am. Secondly my European mind couldn't take this. In the morning after work you could call it a quick f*** but for sure not a date! 
I got a bit mad but then I was busy with other customers so I forgot about him. Around 3am he appeared and he requested me. And he thought not even we have a date but I will go to Tokyo (which is maybe 50 minutes drive) with him to his place! I was polite but cold as an Ice Queen showing him that this time he got a difficult one because if he wants to take me for a proper date it should be dinner time and don't even think that I will go to a total stranger's home that far. He got upset, asked the bill and just left. Great! One problem less.
But after all he told Mama – not ME! – that if I change my mind, call him... so this is the thing that he can wait for til the end of time! And when I told it to my Russian friend who managed me to come here, she was just smiling and all she told me was: “Welcome to Japan!”

Monday, 17 March 2014

Visiting Hong Kong

There is no way that once I'm working in Macau and I don't go to HK! Macau is also a small place and I visited all the sightseeing spots I wanted. I can not count how many small Chinese temples I've been there! And I went everywhere alone. I only took my camera with me. Even I climbed up to the lighthouse in the pouring rain because the cable car to the top didn't work. But it was worth it, the view of the city was amazing from there! Even in the rain.
So I decided to go to HK as well alone. I checked some site before about the transport and the timetable of the ferries. I planned to go around noon, sightseeing and then watch the Symphony of Lights laser show at the Victoria harbour and after come back to Macau. But no strict program.
I arrived at HK-Macau ferry terminal. I went outside. I had no clue which bus should I take. In HK when you don't know the places or you don't have knowledge where you are it can be difficult. I only knew that first I want to go to Lantau island to the buddhist monastery. The timetables of the buses look strange there at the first sight. In Macau I've learned how to use them, but even my Chinese manager was impressed because they say it's complicated. Well, it was not so complicated for me.
I hesitated a bit but finally I took a taxi instead of the bus. I didn't have much time to waste on figuring out which bus goes where. So I arrived to the cable car to the monastery early afternoon. The queue was huge to get on! But once I'm there I will take it even I have no more time to see other things. Here is the biggest Buddha statue on Earth which looked nice on the pictures. While I was queueing I couldn't decide to pay for the guided tour or just go individually. The guided tour contains a tour in the fishing village nearby. I was thinking pros and contras, what I have time for, but when I went to the counter I just paid for the tour. Anyway.. 
I didn't pay much attention what the tour guide said. I was alone with my thoughts and with my camera. I quite enjoyed to be alone that day. End of the tour the group had a Chinese kinda afternoon tea. Two guys came to sit to my table. When we've got the drinks I wanted to be polite so I said Cheers! to them. We started to talk.. They were from Czech Republic. One is working in Macau but staying in a hotel in HK, and the other guy was his brother just for a visit. They told me later they have a drink in the harbour, they also want to watch the laser show and they also come to Macau after. If I want I can join them. Of course I wanted! As more as merrier! They know how to use the public transport as they are more familiar with the place! We took the subway and the guy didn't even let me to pay for the tickets. He gave me his Octopus card to use and he paid his own tickets. How nice! Later we had a little bit of trouble to find the place where they wanted to go. To find the right taxi there is crazy! We were in Kowloon island and all the taxis we found didn't want to go HK island saying they don't know the place. (In my opinion they were just lazy to took us there.) So we decided to go to another bar with a view of the harbour. One more guy joined us later. And of course, we watched the show and we had a few drinks. I started with mojitos, but I was with Czech guys, so it's a must to drink beer with them. And it was a nice evening, not hot but not chilly at all, it was nice to have a few beers on the terrasse. I was there with 3 total strangers having fun. I even told them openly that I'm dancing in Macau. It was the case when you can show your true yourself because their opinion didn't count as much. Probably you won't see them again.. 
So we had drinks and then they started to order food, we basically tried everything from the starter menu as it was a bit late and the kitchen didn't take big orders. Drinks, food, more drinks, more food, drinks again.. and they didn't let me to pay even one round. And we had a good laugh. 
It was quite late so we went to the ferry. None of us had the ticket. The guys went to the counter and  they came back with 3 tickets. Business class! I didn't want to accept it but they didn't take the money from me. On the ferry home we didn't talk a lot but very soon we were sleeping on each other shoulders.
So that was my short story when I went to HK alone and came back with 2 friends. It was after midnight when we arrived and they wanted me to get home safe. Even their hotel was not in my area, they caught a taxi and they took me home first and then went to the hotel. And before you ask, there was not a single offer or anything behind. The guy who paid everything even told me he's happily married and he doesn't go to strip clubs. But he was more interested how it works. Why we choose this life? Is it only the money or there is another reason? How we apply to the club? Accommodation? I think that was the first moment when I had a clear idea about writing a blog.. Lots of people who are not involved in this business can not imagine all these. And they don't meet often a girl who doesn't keep it as a secret and who is able to speak about it freely. Myself, I'm still learning not to judge people. As also learning to care less about being judged by someone. And these friendly random strangers were a good example that I don't need to feel ashamed and to lie about my work and the way I chose to live.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Why I'm single and the reason behind

I've heard so many times from guys: “I don't believe that you are single.” You believe it or not, I am. I usually tell customers that it's not easy to find the right one when I'm always on the go. (Sometimes I'm actually very tempted to say yes, of course, I have one in every capital!) But I really mean it. 2 weeks here, 3 months there, it's not enough time to build up a committed relationship. And if I find someone nice that we have the vibe, from the beginning it's determined as we both know I don't stay long. I haven't find the person or place that's worth enough to make me stop and stay.
Which is a lie itself. I've found that special person or at least I thought so. We met just a few weeks before my contract finished. We had some special time together than he took me to the airport and I left him with a promise to keep in touch. I left him not even another country but another continent.
And the magic came through emails. I have no idea how it happened or when I fell for him, but truly he became my strongest relationship with someone. He became my greatest support, best friend and someone I could talk freely about anything. And he was 3500 miles away! Since then I believe in long distance relationships..
He appreciated and accepted me in the way I am (vice versa) more than any person physically close to me for more than 2 years. And guess what? End of the day it wasn't good enough for him. Basically he chose the most coward way and he just disappeared. I know that time he had problems but he chose “being selfish and isolated”. I gave him the maximum of time to deal with his own problems as I know men need that and I was not nagging with stupid questions. But months later there was still no contact and explanation. Of course “sorry for being distante” messages yes, but not a real reason why he chose to end it up in that way. Why he pushed me away. I've been just left alone with my guess. And this is the most soul-killing solution that a guy can do for a woman. Even the painful truth is better. Maybe I cry for a day or two, but then I know the show must go on.
That time I was working in Macau, China, and he has no idea but he really gave me a hard time. Not because he stopped communicate, but because I had no idea what's going on. I even started to blame myself. I couldn't concentrate my own work, I was not even able to smile sometimes. In a 2 months period I was just a shadow of myself. Now it's over, the strong woman is back, who able to fight with anything with the greatest smile. Thanks my dear friends for the support and lifting up my spirit and I apologise to those who had no chance to get to know the real me because I was in my own little world liking my wounds. So after that long time: Life Is Beautiful and Good Morning Sunshine!
And as someone asked me about, I have to make a statement that's nothing wrong with my sexual life! Well, I have blood in my veins (OK, sometimes it's mixed with lots of champagne but it's still mainly blood) I don't have a relationship but it doesn't mean I'm not dating. Even when I had this long distance relationship or special friendship (or whatever label you want to use) I was seeing guys. That was a kinda silent arrangement between us, he never asked me about that and I didn't either. We are only humans and our body has needs. And we are adults enough to understand that. But back to dating, I don't date with anybody. The guy I want to date with needs to catch my attention. Not with a good look or money. But he needs to have that special something. He needs to know how to treat a woman. Some date of course can fail and I say I don't even want to see that guy again. But if it comes to sex, I like to take the time to get in the mood with a dinner and a bottle of good wine. Maybe two..
I guess this is when people say it's not the matter of quantity but quality. And I definitely go for quality things in my Life. And until I find my Mr. Right, I will enjoy dating.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Bitches vs. Doormats

If you want to call me a bitch you're allowed to. If you think I'm strong, I don't let a man to think he has a hold on me, if you think I can stand up for myself and I don't chase a man, you're right. In that case if every strong woman is a bitch, you can call me one. Because I know what I want, I do not compromise and I'm still very feminine on the surface. And being called a bitch is still better than being called a doormat.

I have a very good example for the latter. Some girls are incredible desperate having a relationship and they even try to convince themselves that their relationships work and it's good for them. The fears come from different backgrounds, not having enough self-esteem, they need control from the outside, they think someone can make them happy rather than make themselves happy, etc. Most women are starving to receive something from a man that they need to give to themselves. And they give too much in their relationships. I mean way TOO much! A friend of mine once has been called out for a dinner at 11pm! In the rain. And she happily put some make-up and shoes on and left the house. There is no guy in the entire Universe that can call me out after 8pm for a date! Where is the self-respect here?

I don't want to analyse the whole thing from the guy's side and I don't want to judge him either. But at some point I'd like to hear his opinion. My problem is my friend. To see her in a relationship waiting. Waiting for his phone calls, waiting to see him, waiting that the guy wants to settle down, waiting when he decides to move in together, waiting, just waiting. That's the worst thing that a woman can do in her early thirties. Waiting and wasting her best years because she's living in a dream. She sees what she wants to see. As they say: The eyes are useless when the mind is blind. And she loves to give advice to others about their dates or relationships what really started to piss me off lately. I don't know how long I'm able to shut my mouth..

In my opinion men are hunters. They are more turned on by a powerful woman because it's a trill to them to take her down. High-calibre guy wants a self-respecting woman who has appetite for her own Life and won't let someone walk all over her. That's why even my friend calls me a bitch. Not to face to face, of course! For example she never understood how I'm able to accept gifts from my dates. Because I simple deserve it! (And she doesn't even know that that was a kinda training for me to accept any presents or help from a man who is not my partner. Sometimes my pride was bigger than the desire to have that gift..) She calls me a bitch because in her opinion it's not possible if I don't treat them right sexually. She doesn't know how to accept something, only to give. She never learnt to keep the balance between giving and accepting. That you shouldn't give more than you get back in return. She never understood these things but she easily judge others. She has a normal life, a normal job. She never worked in the night. She knew when I worked in London as a hostess, living together was not easy to lie about it and I didn't even want. She knows that I'm doing the same in different countries now, I never mentioned her when I started to dance. I didn't see the point. But with all these travels, all the new experiences, with new people around me, she sees that I'm happy and easily succeed my goal.

She is a nice girl. TOO nice! But in a relationship she's not able to stand up for herself and for her own needs. And “when a nice girl needs a man too much and puts him on a pedestal, she treats him with a view of himself that even he doesn't hold. And it makes him uncomfortable because he knows (better than anyone) that he ain't no a white knight.” (Sherry Argov: Why Men Love Bitches)

I don't know what is going to happen next. Probably they will struggle together for more years and make each other unhappy. Both have no strength to quit. But this is an unhealthy situation. I just hope soon they will be able to solve it in one way or another. But meanwhile I'm happy bitching around. ;)

Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Big Dream - Japan

Actually it's not only Japan but Japan at the Sakura. When you can see cherry blossoms all over the place! And now I'm just a few days away to reach that dream.

Since I travel and I do this job, that was something I liked about Japanese people and culture. As I worked as a hostess in clubs and all the hostessing kind of jobs related to their geisha culture, I often said if I could go to Japan and work there for a while, it would be a next step on the carrier ladder for me. (If this carrier ladder exists in this kind of job) I'm even intend to learn their language. To all my French customers, I'm very sorry but I would rather learn Japanese than French! They say it's very easy to learn. Not to write, but to speak. So why not? I already can count to 10: ichi..ni..san..shi..go..roku..nana..hachi..ku..juu

First let's make it clear what I mean working in a hostess club in London. The term needs an explanation as it can be confusing. A few years back when I worked in London there were a few gentleman's clubs in St. James and Mayfair where was nothing about striptease. We had a few dancers but it wasn't the main thing. No escort. If the customer asked about “rooms” I always made a joke with him. “Yes, we have changing room, smoking room, cloak room, bathroom, which one you were asking about?” Because these clubs in some countries they are related to prostitution. Here no. I mean not in this way.. So here clearly we didn't have rooms for sex. Our job was selling champagne and entertain the customers on a high level. The atmosphere was more secret, intimate and we had lots of customers that they didn't want to show up in any stripclubs defending their reputations. Company owners, CEOs, business people from bank and investing sectors. I remember once we had 2 handsome, tall guys in suit followed by a short, fat guy wearing baseball cap and jeans. All the girls wanted to talk to those two, but the short guy chose me. I was sitting opposite the two handsome men and one moment I noticed that one of them has a gun. I don't know if they were allowed to carry a gun but it became all clear that they were the bodyguards of the fat guy. They didn't stay long though. So our job was to talk to them, drinking with them, dancing WITH them, escorting them all around the place, pouring their drinks and make sure they having a good time. Even karaoke. Just like a geisha did in the old times of Japan.

That time my English was quite poor but I was a good listener. And I knew how to ask and keep the conversation alive. And quickly learned that people's favourite subject to talk about themselves. A few very good questions and it seemed I'm talking to that guy hours about how to design steel products! My secret was to listen, to nod and keep asking. And customers liked me for that! And sometimes they left some crazy tips for me. Most of the time they wanted to take me for dinner or shopping in the next days, but I always followed the rules of the club and said no. Yes, that time I was silly too..

And we usually had a few girls that they went out with customers. Like if I was sitting with a guy who kept bothering me asking to go home with him, I just told him I don't do such a thing, but I can introduce my friend. And we had champagne at the table, I got the commission and they did the business outside. With those girls we could work together and we never crossed each other's line. Or at least it didn't happened to me. Once I had a young, handsome guy with daddy's credit card and I really had a crash on him and I asked my manager if I can go with him from work. He was correct and he said if I leave the club early and I go with him, he will put me in the take-out-girls category and it means from now on I agree to go home with customers. I stayed then till end of my shift but the guy left. Oh, that's Life I guess.

And we had some fun time there. I remember a group of Latin American guy they were teaching us how to dance salsa or two guy from Alabama or Texas, they wanted to stay after closing because they had a flight in the morning and didn't want to go home to sleep so we shut the doors and two of us stayed with them. And guess what we did? They were teaching us line dance steps! Have you ever tried when you are fully drunk? Literally we were rolling over the dance floor by laughing on each other! Or when we dressed up a guy.. He came in his office suit and he was already drunk and he ended up wearing my red dress, high heels (no, they weren't mine as I have such a cute little feet), blonde hair extension and bright red lipstick. If I remember well we even painted his nails! Hell yeah, we had some fun time there..

And now I'm just a few steps away to experience Japan! Life is beautiful though! I even try to memorise this Japanese song to sing it in Japanese! Well, I know how to please and impress people.. ;)

Wish me good luck then!