Greetings From Vietnam 2
"You know "that look" women get when they want sex? Me neither." – Steve Martin
Like the Orient, Vietnam is mysterious.
Your correspondent is given to understand that Asian explorer Marco Polo was greeted at the court of Kublai Khan by courtiers laden with silk.
Five hundred years later visitors to Vietnam (then part of China) are met by “Les belle fille motorcyclette” , Honda “boom boom” girls, either that or accosted in parks by the same, this time on foot
At least this is so, according to the internet travelogues, hitherto so unerringly correct
So where were they? Part of a police crackdown? Hardly, I had thought that such mobility was an intelligent device to defeat such a crackdown.
There are always the bar girls, (Ba Om) the same substance, the same style, the world over. Barred from drinking by a dodgy heart I did invest a day or two checking them out, most turned their backs, predictably, when I said “no”. A few remain friends to this day, including two sisters, one with giant mammaries. One hell of a hug she is.
Extra-marital sex between foreigners & Vietnamese girls being illegal no regular hotel will permit girls into their rooms. So the sex workers organize illicit hotel rooms. Not for me, I like my pleasures in comfort, never could get used to American girls persistent demands to perform in semi-public places.
I never tried, or even thought of trying, the dreaded Karaoke bars, the other reputed source of feminine comforts. Methinks that ‘Ol Marco himself would reel at the screeching emanating from these houses of torture.
Your correspondent is too old for the Disco scene.
But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, so after consulting the internet oracles, next up came the Hair/massage parlors that abound. I espied a little one nearby, be-jeaned girls hollering when I passed by. So in for a penny….in for a pound. Ushered into a back room with a massage table & sink, “curtained off”, an important facility, I was later to learn. The masseuse wasted no time in getting down to business, for in just two minutes a hand came onto my shorts “you wan this one?’. Thirty seconds later two more masseuses joined in the fray, and it was all over in just 5 minutes. Wham bam thank you mam, a phenomenon repeated all over Vietnam & Cambodia. Hate it. She valiantly insisted on giving me a regular massage for the remaining 55 minutes, but couldn’t understand my lack of interest. Just $6, but very frustrating.
Next up, one of the many “frosted glass” hairdressing salons/massage parlors housing the most beautiful, sexy, feminine, short skirted, uniforms known to mankind. The girls often spill out onto the street, flashing their pretty legs. Finest eye candy I ever saw; for in the opinion of your correspondent, there is something primeval in the ability to run your hand under an inviting skirt. These premises were full of Eastern Promise.
“I can resist anything except temptation” – Oscar Wilde
But such massages are given, disappointingly, in “open” rooms. She is liable to jump on your back, tweak your nipples, have her friends do the same & and come as close as she dare without intimate contact. But no happy ending.
Strangely, at the end of the massage, all of the Vietnamese men were to be seen asleep, with their masseuse’s holding their hands, for all the world in post coital position. No idea what this was about, maybe they were just having a wet dream, for there was definitely no “action”.
Once, just once, I went into such an establishment and the female boss whispered “sexy” into my ear as I passed by, but, disappointingly, I was ushered once more into a “straight” open room. However, this time at least, there was some sport to follow for ten minutes later I was whisked into to a full scale “orgy” room. Half naked couples doing their thing on every table. My grinning masseuse more than did her duty, thoroughly enjoyed it too, insofar as I could tell.
So impressed was I that I sallied forth once more into the same establishment the very next day, grabbed my sweetie, and gestured for her to her to pick a friend, which she duly did. But unable to speak English she flashed warning “no’s” and shook her head discouragingly at your bewildered correspondent. Predictably, we went off to the orgy room but this time it was as straight as jack the bear, Doris Day stuff. A few Viets were trying to caress their girls but were being sternly rebuffed.
You figure it.
At other salons the sexily dressed girls would fondle me mercilessly without a happy ending. Grrr.
There was one such establishment, the most beautiful girls, most sexy dresses, which NEVER had any customers. But now & again a motorcycle would whisk one off. Doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to detect that they were being spirited off to one of the many 5 star hotels in Saigon.
One or two out & out brothels were around, masquerading as hairdressing salons. Upon entry one is met by a sea of pretty girls in sexy dresses, legs & underwear akimbo, But for me at least, the same old stuff. Wham bam thank you mam … (again). Yuk. It was with irony that I could hear their Vietnamese customers “at it” long before I arrived & long after I left.
These days your correspondent chills out very nicely with a skilled Harem at a local hotel sauna. They must “talk” because new girls invariably treat me just how I like it, but then, whenever was there a time that did girls “not” talk. Even bought me a birthday cake last year. Good value at $15 a massage, all included.
And the Honda girls? Some three months after I arrived I was having a French baguette & fruit shake with one of my favorite street vendors when two demurely dressed girls rode up on a Sym scooter “You wan boom boom?” Fed up with street entrepreneur’s who won't rest until you buy their wares I just turned away, as the Viets do. But to my astonishment my favorite baguette lady wagged her finger at me, sternly. Ok, “keep the peace”. Message understood.
The next night I got the chance to do just that for the same “Belle filles de motorcyclette” turned up once more on the same spot.
Girls “You wan boom boom?”
Me Jai Ai! (my god) – “I’m too old for you”
Girls “We make you young again!”
Me Roars of laughter. “Hen gap lai” (see you again) .
Girls “Hen gap lai”.
Grins & thumbs up from my baguette lady.
As an interesting side note to the world of red lights, I was present at the re-opening of Southwark, in London, from its derelict, rat infested past, Shakespeare’s Globe ‘n all. Fascinating stuff, for it transpires that in the bard’s day England inhabited an Islamic world, Turks Head this, Turkish Baths that. Didn’t understand this from our history books!!. Most fascinating of all was the Clinc prison, in use for over 700 years, yes it’s a place not just a catch phrase. Throughout the entire span of its history there were cycles of legal/illegal prostitution. First they’d squelch the industry then re-allow it when folks got too restive. At one time, males destined for the gibbet post could get their freedom by marrying a red light girl. Not one ever did, so God only knows what those girls must have been like
Where was I?
Ah yes. Fascinating place Vietnam. Not for the sex tourist maybe, but astounding for all that.
This submission is more about “us” (me) than “them” just my take on their working girl
scene, a minor part of life out here but important to me, enables me to stay relaxed & carefree when teaching my much loved University Students.
Watch this space, something remarkable is going on here, in 40 years of traveling I never saw anything like it.
To be continued ……….- about “them”, not “us”.
The ‘ol Stick site is going great guns these days, I’m getting addicted to this “Garden of Earthly Delights” (Hieronymous Bosch).
I really must check out Vietnam some time.