Monday, March 16, 2009

I stopped going to brothels after this experience: there was one that had a bar in the front to buy drinks and a karaoke machine. There was also this very cute girl who looked so sad and she was sitting among other hookers, obviously new, and I invited her for a drink and to sing. At random, I chose a song and it turned out to be “Sunrise Sunset”. The lyrics in it were about how a father is seeing his son and daughter grow up and now they are now ready to be married off. He is both sad that his children are about to leave home and start their new lives, as well as proud at the same time. He sings “Sunrise, sunset, quickly go the years”… “is this the little girl I carried, is this the little boy I loved…?”. I started singing the song, and then, a horrible truth stung me. If my father saw me in the whorehouse, or my mother, they would probably exclaim in terrible surprise and disappointment- ‘Is this the little boy I loved?” And if the parents of that girl huddling in shame in a brothel, in the strange, heartless, big city, driven by poverty to selling herself to sweaty tourists saw her, they would also exclaim in abomination: “is this the little girl I carried?” in shock.

Just thinking about the circumstances that make some people become customers and some- service providers in this controversial industry; following the chain of causes and effect as well as knowing that somewhere there are parents who wonder where we, their kids are now, made me very upset. I paid for the drinks and left without tempting myself with other services.

I have never visited a brothel after that day again.


A Little known favour of Hollywood to White Men.

A lot has been said about how Hollywood vilifies Arabs and makes Asian men look effeminate. However, if you are white, you should be grateful for the advertisement Hollywood has made for you around the non white world. In Asia, in particular, people grow up on US TV shows that slowly, repeatedly drive these subliminal messages into the minds of Asian people ( and particularly women) there:

White people = Americans
Americans = White people
White men= American men
American men=White men
White men= American men= rich, handsome, heroic, noble, courageous, gentlemanly.
American men=White men =good husbands, boyfriends, sexy, kind, caring, loving, treating women like princesses.
American men= White men= successful, and provide security.
American men=White men= Western men are a boon for a poor Asian girl whom they save from poverty and take to the Land of Milk and Honey- America. Or settle in her land and buy a big house and they have cute mixed kids that go to International Schools and the girl does not have to work now.
American men= White men= saviours of the underdog, always smiling, always so friendly and open. Faithful, warm, perfect human beings.

A young Asian girl (or anyone else, for that matter) who grew up on “Dallas” or “Orange County” or “Days of our Lives”, beamed by satellite into her poor home in Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Burma, etc, has the above illusion so firmly carved in her mind and is so completely brainwashed and programmed to see white men as described above, will react accordingly when she sees you arrive.

Yup, here comes you, an Aussie, a Brit, a New Zealander, or even a poor Bosnian , Albanian, Lithuanian, who happens to be in that part of the world, and yes, you will receive very warm smiles coming your way. The associations in their minds will be triggered, which, in turn, will trigger wonderment, abundant joy of seeing a super human, a huge smile, a hug and, very soon, a possible declaration of love. A Slovak, a South African Boer, and a wretched Moldovan is an “American man” to tens of millions of people there, and he possesses the Godlike characteristics enumerated in my descriptions above.

All white people, upon arriving in those lands, automatically become “Americans!”

In the Philippines, in particular, the love and admiration for Americans ( read white people) runs deep not only because US movies and TV shows are very popular there, but also, because Americans liberated the Philippines from the Japanese aggression in World War II. Many a valiant Marine and other GI Joe lay his life for the freedom of that country. Because of that, when an American appears in that country, especially if he goes to rural areas, he is cheered with “ Hi ,Joe!” (GI Joe) and afforded great honour and welcome. However, the joyful greeting reserved for Americans is also bestowed upon Germans, Lebanese Arabs and Poles and whoever else looks like Americans. When the locals see, say, a Polish guy travelling there, crowds come out from their village homes chanting” Amerikano! Amerikano!” while waving and smiling. Meeting a hero, a liberator, a rich and gallant man, a “Tom Cruise” is a very rare occasion. Girls give you those “come hither” looks, blow you kisses, and people invite you to parties because your mere presence is a great honour to them. The older generation will see you as John Wayne and remember the times when you defended them against the evil aggressor.

But you are a German from Stuttgart whose grandfather had died on a beach at Normandy, killed by an American bullet. No matter. Ja Ja, mein herr, you are an American now! Deal with it. Resistance is futile.

As I was travelling in those parts, I found out that there were Poles, Albanians, Bulgarians, Romanians, all hailed as heroes because of American TV shows , the American war heroes and the wildly exaggerated stereotypes of the US super-human-ness. And, of course, the gorgeous females who fell in love with these handsome “Americans” were probably the most important reason for their travel to those places to begin with.

There is a Philippine saying- “Basta puti- Kano”-“if you are white, you are an American”. Hello, Hans, Ivan and Ahmed, welcome to your honorary US citizenship, courtesy of the tens, no, hundreds of smiling locals who are dying to befriend you. No use trying to explain to them you are not an American- all white people are Americans, all countries where white people live are part of America. End of the story, case closed. Enjoy your new nationality and all the benefits that come with it.

But of course, the Philippines is not the only place where American = White men are preferred. In Korea, in Taiwan, they like to hire white men to teach English even if they are not Americans. Who cares, they look like Americans. Good enough! In Some Middle Eastern countries, White South Africans are becoming a very popular substitute for expensive American medical professionals. In a hospital in a big Gulf city, the rich Arab patients are happy to see a Western man – an “American” doctor or radiologist who will treat them, but he is just an Afrikaner from Joeburg.

Who cares? If he looks like one, if he quacks like one- speaks English, that is, he must be one. Simple. No use to argue. He is a white man = he is an American man.

So, if you want to know the joy and benefit of being an American, if you want to be seen as something above human, an almost a demigod, there are plenty of locations around the world, so brainwashed by Hollywood that they will bestow a Donald Trump- like status to you, even if you are a poor Serbian who could never get a visa to even enter the EU never mind US citizenship.

In the tragic opposite twist of this mass madness, Black Americans who have been in the US since 1600s , Hispanic guys from the South West, Apaches, Inuits, and Asian guys from San Francisco, will discover to their horror that they are now not Americans at all, while some Hungarian tourist is.

Oh, isn’t life a mother….er!

Sometimes, stereotypes can be used in your favour and people’s deluded views can be a foundation of your great status and abundant social life because of a bizarre and an insane, Hollywood –induced, mega-mass case of mistaken identity.