Showing posts from January, 2007

How it's done

To give Helga her due, she leads from the front. Though nearly twice the weight of most of her Chickens (and three times the weight of the little one) she scores every time in presence and technique. And in having something to say, in near-perfect English. You can only take so much "What you name? How long you in Dubai? Whey you from?" even delivered from the most luscious lips, before some hankering for conversation sets in. Helga provides.

Working on the Chain Gang

Slave labour is alive and well in the Gulf. One of the nastier tricks the less scrupulous employers use is simply to withhold payment for several months, often from an entire immigrant workforce. Westerners often fail to understand this one. Here, the employer is also the sponsor. The affected workers can't go to work for someone else, because the sponsor won't release them. They can't even cut their losses and leave the country, because the sponsor will not issue an exit visa (and you thought you could just get on a plane, huh?) And of course there are no unions, no worker representation. So what are the choices? Withhold your labour and starve, or continue to work for whatever late pittance your sponsor feels like doling out. Probably enough to keep you alive and working, just.

Dress and Door Code

Helga doesn't allow trousers, at least not on any of her brood. Short tight skirts are the rule, and the main reason for the Paranormal's rise in popularity over the last year. That, and the door policy of charging the Chinese girls an entry fee, to deter the lower earners among them. Some of the Russian girls also have to pay, but not Helga's Chickens. Why turn away your principal assets?

The Bottle Trick

You have to have a drink, of course, or the bar staff will ask you to leave. The trick is to wrap a paper napkin round the bottle and to drink, or pretend to drink, through a straw. Waitresses can't see through the napkin, and the straw means you never tip the bottle. For all they know, it could be half full. One Heineken can last all night. With practice, your lip-work on the straw can draw more than beer. Showing the tip of the tongue helps.

Clustering in the Paranormal

Round the central pillar, that's where they seem happiest. They huddle close together, touching sometimes, for security. Helga prefers a bar stool where she can hold court while keeping watch over her flock. She likes to see them working. Eye contact is everything, at least until someone bites. Then it's all about keeping him talking, not easy across the language barrier - harder still if you'd rather run a mile.