Thursday, April 7, 2011

Work abroad: Pierre and his KTV Gigolo job in Taipei VI

Just a reminder this is the sixth installation 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.

 About a week after he went into hospital in Taipei, we all went to visit. As we got close to the door of his room a certain woman came out and suddenly we felt the need to sprint in, hearts racing.
“What the fuck was she doing here?” We shouted in unison. “You didn’t eat anything from her did you…? She didn’t get near your drip?”
“Relax, guys,” said Pierre.
Eric lost his temper. “What do you mean? RELAX. It was her you dumb fucking idiot! She hired the hoods!”
We hoped the pain shooting through his body would generate some humility, but unfortunately not.  “I think I know her,” he replied.  “I was always too careful. She is not smart enough to have worked it out.”
We all thought about punching him or grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and banging his head against the wall. 
Pierre broke the silence. “Besides - You boys don’t want to lend me the money to pay for my hospital bill?”
We didn’t of course, because lending no doubt meant giving.
Pierre continued. “How do you think i got moved into this private room?”
In fact a week ago, for a few moments, we had delayed his entry into intensive care wrangling over Taiwan identity papers and costs:
In the end Eric solved it. “I use my registration card and John handles the costs. You’ll be able to get the money out of him; he is afraid of you.” Eric had suggested and so it was settled: one of them had the cash, and the other, an identity card.
“You sure no syringes went near your drip?” I asked.
“No. Now have some fruit. It is one of those Japanese apple/pear combinations. Very good and very expensive,” said Pierre.
It did look great but still we declined.

In spite of his convictions that it wasn’t her, the next day he checked himself out of the hospital, arranged to see her to tell her he was going back to France, and went to collect his stuff.
He then chose to interpret her not standing in his way, and the envelope with four thousand US dollars, as a sign she felt sorry for him - rather than that she felt extremely guilty.
No doubt she did actually only want him scared and a little roughed up. Things had conspired against Pierre: he was drunk, spoke excellent Chinese, and had already gone into Mickey Rourke mode.  They were professionals, but it didn’t mean they couldn’t be provoked into making it personal.
* * *
Another week later. We had gone to meet him in a pub. He had already arrived. Probably been there all day.
We sat opposite him watching in awe while, with his arm in a sling, he ‘chain’ ate and drank: a pint, a large submarine sandwich and his evening dose of pills with just the one working hand.
“Not easy to keep the salad in the sandwich with one hand,” said Pierre implying that he could, and he was coping much better than most who, just two weeks ago, had all the nerves in their hand severed. When they set up the ‘Machete Victim Olympics’ he would be the new Carl Lewis.
He continued. “It must have been my ex-boss. I don’t fucking forget this sort of thing. There are some horrible kind of guys in the gigolo industry, I can handle them but, you know, I ain’t that sort of man. Don’t want that for my life.”
"So that is the end of your career as a gigolo then?" I, unable to resist, asked.
"You know i have been trying to get out of that for a long time," said Pierre. "Working abroad is not easy you know."
I wanted to say working abroad was indeed difficult when you refused to work, but i decided to leave it.
Overall, we still felt too much admiration and pity for him to tell him what an asshole he was. Josh, Eric and myself knew we were expat wimps: that if we temporarily lost feeling in a little toe, we would have been on the first plane home to utilize the hospitals of our respective Western countries, and promise our parents to never leave again. It was irrational of course: Taiwan has a first world healthcare system and similar could have just as easily have happened back home, but times like this demanded panic, familiarity and a ‘bogey man’ to blame.
“If I owe you money, get it now, while I have it,” said Pierre getting a huge envelope of cash out of his jacket pocket. “ Thank you all. In fact, take some money for drinks tonight. Only, I excuse myself from going to get the rounds.”
We had visions of him going backwards and forwards bringing one beer at a time and started to smile. We could tell that there was a slight lack of energy in his tone - Maybe the unsinkable ego had it bows breached after all.
Pierre then declared he was off to Thailand for a few months because he needed to lie low and have a think about what to do.
Thailand wasn’t exactly the place where you go if you want to stay out of trouble.
As expected he was back in under a month. All his money spent, but at least not lacking functionality in any more limbs.


Vacation Remix said...

Very interesting.

Times Three said...

Reminds me of a couple guys I knew. My only problem with these kind of guys is getting lumped in with them. They become a story, they even become an urban legend, and every time someone talks about "that guy who...." all the other foreigners get compared to that. Enjoyed reading this a great deal. Brought back a lot of memories.