Monday, January 31, 2011

Work Abroad: Pierre and his KTV gigolo job in Taipei IV

Just a reminder this is the fourth installment of the story of Pierre's work as a gigolo in Taipei. Best to go back and read all in the Pierre and his KTV gigolo job series from work abroad.

A little while later and Pierre had taken things with Ms. Hu further.
It was the mid-September Full Moon Festival meaning, among other things, everybody was supposed to have a barbeque in the evening.
The struggling artists, prompted by Eric, had agreed to arrange one and John, Pierre and Josh and myself had reluctantly agreed to go because it sounded like they had an ideal place: a top-floor flat meaning quick access to the refrigerator from the roof; the roof had not been built on; and, the best thing of all nobody had covered it with corrugated iron so you could see the stars.
Firstly, who were the struggling artists? The struggling artists were a group of Eric's friends who shared similar interests: they organized drum festivals in parks, they went to the beach and played their guitars, they studied ancient Chinese, and they desperately claimed to only be doing work they wanted to do rather than teaching. But that is where the similarity ended because, whereas Eric was committed and fierce in learning to do the things he wanted, they were not: Eric struggled; they struggled to get out of bed. And it was something about Taiwan that allowed you to do so. It was easy to get your 40,000 NT a month for doing very little and with that you had a scooter so negligible transport costs; food was cheap and you could always find a girlfriend better looking than you ever had back home - Either impressionable young girls who wanted to speak better English or older women who thought you were going to treat them better than a local guy. Their relationships lasted about a year or so, until the girl went off to study in Canada or the older woman worked out they weren't going to turn their lives around and get a good job.
Although this was a national holiday, requiring the purchase of lots of fresh meat a foreigner could still confidently walk into the supermarket at four o’clock and expect to get what he wanted - The Taiwanese had emptied the shelves of the chicken wings, squid, little boney fish with the eggs still inside, clams, shrimps and intestines, leaving all the nice pieces of steak, chicken breast, pork and sausages for those barbarian foreigners with no taste.
John and myself had been waiting on the road outside their apartment for Eric for half an hour and when he arrived we remembered another reason why we didn't like to attend the struggling artists bbq.
“Sorry I am late man! I had to go to several supermarkets,” said Eric. He had balked at the price of the steak and so spent an hour driving around town until he found the only reduced price chicken wings left.
“More Taiwan style, eh,” he said. We went upstairs and laid out next to the bbq were a lot of chicken wings all supplied by the hosts. They arranged this, but clearly didn’t seem to suffer from the Taiwanese desire to impress their guests with their generosity.
It wasn't a surprise. The first time we had eagerly turned up at their bbq with steak and lamb bought from Costco and wine. Feeling embarrassed we had put it down next to the chicken wings and proceeded not to get any all night. Tonight would be different. Our stuff wouldn't come out of the bag till they were all too high to notice.
Suddenly Pierre arrived with Martina, a Ukrainian girl who was in Taiwan as a model. Pierre pulled me over to one side. “Look at this. Don’t tell Martina where I got it.” Pierre had not managed to get any food, but had bought an extremely expense bottle of XO Brandy. I had no idea where he had got it so I, of course, couldn't tell Martina.
Eric had missed his chance for a bottle of brandy yesterday. As a way of saying she didn't want to study anymore, Eric's student had tried to give him a bottle of brandy with her excuse that she was busy. As a form of petty revenge he had said, No, and walked away shaking his head cursing the Taiwanese for not being straight. Telling himself back home they would have come out and told him, they wouldn’t have wasted his time like this. John assessed the situation correctly. “So it would have been much better if she told you you were crap? Back home they would never have given you the bottle... And, anyway, she didn't waste your time because you have been in Taiwan for a while and you know not to hang around waiting for students to call.”
Oh, for the marvels of alienation.
John had no such problems exploiting his status. His date for the evening was Lucy, another of his eager beaver, dying to speak good English young girlfriends who would be gone in six months to the States.
John walked off to hide his meat and we stood awkwardly with Lucy. It was awkward because we knew she would be determined to speak English and us Chinese, and we had to stop ourselves being rude. We decided to indulge her – It was funny how that always happened in Taiwan.
“Do you want a kebab?” I said.
“Sorry, what did you say?” she replied keenly.
“Kebab!” I picked it up to show her, “What about a beer? Taiwan beer is a nice beer you know!”
“No, thank you!” She was a little impatient: these weren’t useful words to learn. She decided to go on the offensive and ask a question. “What do you do in Taiwan?”
“I am studying Chinese” replied Josh knowing this was the quickest way to lose her. She moved to Eric: “And you?”
“I am a student of Daoism… dao jiao.” She stood awkwardly for a moment after realizing she wasn’t going to have a conversation useful to her progress in the English language and walked off.
“Where is Lucy?” asked John now he was back.
“Finding a victim,” said Josh. “Why do you bring these stupid, boring young girls?”
“Because I can, I suppose.”
Eric continued: “Don’t you just hate that when they try and show off their English?”
“Okay with me,” replied John. “We both get the benefit of a body part above the neck.”
At this point Martina wandered off. Pierre’s declaration he could get girls from anywhere in the world, that he didn’t need Taiwanese girls - and was thus better than the rest of us - hadn’t been an idle one. Two months previously his girlfriend from France had arrived on a year long deafening trumpet fanfare: they knew everything about her, but especially that she had large breasts – cue, Taiwanese girls don’t. He walked around for two weeks showing her off, totally unaware that we just didn’t care. Otherwise, over the last few years he has had a succession of eastern European models working abroad in Taiwan. Martina, like most of them came for two months, working packed schedules for the smaller, local clothing companies, who needed a white face to show their clothes were imported from Italy or France, but didn’t want to pay too much.
Up until now we had remained indifferent to his superiority, but the dynamic was getting annoying so we had a plan to stop it – We were always with Taiwanese girls, who, of course, didn’t believe in the superiority of men, but understood to play that game. You could be rude and sexist and they smiled; you could criticize western women, which they did all the time, and of course the Taiwanese girls smiled.
We decided Eric had to execute the plan because they were the least friendly to each other.
Eric spoke: “Pierre, man, where do you find all these hot white women? Look at us, we have to make do with the local girls.”
And with that Martina was his last western girlfriend.
Josh changed a topic.
“Hey, Pierre, how was the visa run?” he asked. Pierre looked like the game had been given away, and made a point of pulling me and Josh over to the side, making something that wasn’t clandestine extremely so.
“Best not to ask me about this in front of Martina.”
“She is not here,” I pointed out.
“Why?” asked Josh because he knew if he asked Pierre wouldn't tell. “It is complicated. Just don’t mention it to Martina.”
Eric walked back over so Pierre had to involve him. “American. Did you hear what we were talking about? Same goes to you don’t mention it to Martina.”
“That will be easy,” he replied. “I never speak to any white women. And, just so that I don’t, dude, just blurt it out. What am I suppressing?”
Pierre was feeling friendly towards Eric, now that he had shown the integrity to admit the truth about the women, so he decided to tell him: “I went to Thailand with Miss Hu (one of the women he met as a gigolo). She is paying me to live with her now.”
Pierre pulled his now that is big shit, isn’t it face, and on this occasion we had to agree it was warranted. That was the thing about Pierre you couldn’t permanently dismiss him as an arrogant buffon because there were some things he did exceptionally well - He spoke perfect Chinese and English – when many of the other French guys had rather strong accents; he could charm a crowd with his Chinese singing; and he got women to pay for him, which has just about every guy’s fantasy. Pierre then went on to tell his story…He didn’t want to live with her, but he had had enough of the KTV and he wanted to make a clean break. He had to do it - You see, he needed someone to buy him out of the KTV, otherwise he would get his legs broken by the bosses. Pierre had told us about being sucked into an underground world where he constantly had to stay alert, but this was nonsense. He wasn’t a mainland Chinese girl smuggled into Taiwan to whore until her debt was paid. He was working at the higher end of the scale; yes, they might have called him a few times, but basically he could have stopped being a gigolo and left the KTV anytime he wanted to.
“I had to tell Martina I was sorting out some business,” he said.
“Didn’t you have to go to get a new visa, anyway?” I asked.
“So no need to say anything other than that.”
Pierre had got tired of the club only working two times a week. He refused to meet Miss Hu on his days off, no matter how many times she asked. This forced her to come to the club on the nights he worked and pay them to take him out. He knew he could be getting that money, but, short-term at least, he liked to think about how much money it was costing her, and this way, he didn’t have to work either. Then, after realizing he didn’t have enough money for a visa run to Thailand he had decided to invite her:
“Pierre I am a traditional woman, well-respected in the business community,” she replied. “I can’t just go to Thailand with a young foreign guy.” She had reacted exactly as expected.
Two days later she called for his full name for the tickets - Of course, he had to go to the airport and check in separately.
“I am a good woman. I know you need somewhere nice to live, and I want to give you a chance to relax, not worry about money and find something you really want to do,” she had said. And with that she had managed to make the hiring of his services for 50,000NT a month sound like a humanitarian gesture the Almighty couldn’t match.
John wandered back to our group and we inched towards the bbq.
“You know Pierre is living with the old bitch?” I said to John.
“Of course! Anyway, come here.” Even though the hosts hadn’t felt embarrassed about not providing any food for their guests, John felt so about not sharing his food. Now they had gone downstairs for a spliff, and the hundreds milling about were all people he didn’t know and didn’t need to give a fuck about, he had started to pile large pieces of steak on the barbeque and give everyone dirty looks.
“If anyone comes near let me know,” said John. “Anyway, he told me last week, because I am prepared to carry the cyanide pill.”
Pierre wanted some steak and was back again.
“So what is it like?” I asked Pierre. “By the sounds of it must be a month or so.”
“Two months,” he replied. “And a nightmare.”
This is how he described a typical evening.
‘Oh, yes! Sorry, I am too presumptuous,’ he said. Miss Hu would flash him a stern look to leave her room. Despite the fact that he had slept with her countless times, stupid games still had to be played – On this occasion, they had just got back from a restaurant, and he knew she would want sex – that was what she was paying for after all – so he had followed her into her room thus causing the look. He went to his room, turned on the TV, and waited for twenty minutes.
“Miss Hu are you okay? Do you want anything?” he said. He knocked, then opened the door and went in. First time, he had just knocked - he didn’t want to burst into the shy ladies bedroom - and she didn’t tell him to come in, so he left again for another hour. Second time, he knocked and because he was getting impatient he just went in and this was acceptable behavior; she wouldn’t invite him in so she had to give him someway to get to her, otherwise he might be still knocking at regular intervals for eternity.
Why the fuck do I have to initiate sex, when I am the whore? He thought. I have slept with a few female whores and they do nothing, but play with their toes, waiting for the time to be up.
‘I am sorry about earlier. I just wanted to make love to you immediately,’ said Pierre who understood ham and cheese, as he had delivered more than an EU food mountain of it in his time.
The flattery was very simple to give. It wasn’t a matter of believing – for her, someone so obsessed with getting respect; tired and paranoid about not doing so, she was not interested in anyone’s sincerity, just that it came.
She only stayed three nights a week (that was the agreement) – the others she spent in her home with her son. She always arrived with bags of shopping and then spent two hours cooking, and washing up, presumably to try and create the image in her mind that they were a proper couple. Once a week, usually while she was cooking and he was hanging around trying to look helpful, she went on a tirade about how she didn’t get enough respect, and how he thought he could just come in a her house and do anything he wanted. How she was not a soft touch, or interested in using her money to buy people. And how she should be thankful that she was sponsoring him to help him get himself set up in Taiwan.
Sex was unusual. Pierre called it taking turns to masturbate. She was a stressed businesswoman who always needed to take control, get want she wanted, and sex was no different. She took control, maneuvered herself into position (it was an exact science for her), and five minutes later she was orgasming. Once was enough for her, and she then asked what position for Pierre was opportune for maximum efficiency and she assumed it. There was no chance of them cumming together, or even fumbling at doing so, or playing the game of pretending to try and do so that most couples do. And, no need to apologize for coming just before she did thus spoiling it for her. There was order: her first and him second, and nothing in between. Pierre had thought many times about heading to the bathroom first to get himself on the verge so he could beat her to punch, but in the end he thought better of it – No doubt she wouldn’t politely lie down, but demand instant rehardification. It was the nearest a heterosexual man could get to shagging another man.
For twenty minutes or so she would then tenderly kiss and cuddle him, but her expression did say, wasn’t that nice making love? but rather look at what we managed to do for each other. Today, we both managed to come within twenty minutes, our efficiency is getting better and better. Then it would be, “See, I am not so hard to handle. You can do it.”
Back to the moment.
“Hold on now,” said John. “I am going to ask you a serious question. It should be bleeding fucking obvious the answer but I have to ask it anyway because I know what a dumb wit you are. You are not taking Martina back to that apartment are you?
….You fucking are, aren’t you? Jesus, you are stupid.”
Pierre burst into indignant. “John, you know I can handle these situations. She will never work it out.”
Pierre then stared at us and us at him projecting the belief we thought our opposite number was as dumb as fuck. Clearly, all the dumb vibes had had an effect because later that evening we all headed back to Pierre's gilded cage.
To put it mildly the evening didn't end well.
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Snidely Whiplash said...

If she reaches orgasm in five minutes Pierre should consider himself damn lucky. I mean, it could be hell of a lot worse. She could take hours and make him earn his money!

Anonymous said...

I totally understand the whole She Who Insists In Speaking Incomprehensive English.

Just the other day I had a dozen taiwan college kids checking into this backpacker's hostel im moonlighting at AND im marveled at my ability to comprehend this unknown gibberish accent that sounds faintly of a language we all are so damn familiar with but they could probably be speaking russian for all i know.

Somehow they have the misconception that i can only speak eng despite my obvious asian appearance so i replied in chinese to assure them my competence in my mother tongue partly to ease the conversation but more so that i could understand what they are talking about.

IT BOGGLES MY MIND THEIR INSISTENCE IN A LANGUAGE that they could barely complete a simple sentence much less string words together. It's absurd that im speaking their mother tongue to them and theyre replying in this thing i refuse to acknowledge as eng. I know theyre probably learning at the moment but its pisses me off when i dont understand what theyre saying at all and have no time to play guess.

JESUS GET A CLUE KIDS! okay end of rant :(