I was in a bar last night waiting for a friend. Sitting at a table behind me was a large Australian man. His look and demeanour screamed 'idiot-tourist': he had a cheap 'Boracay' t-shirt fresh from the market; shiny, fake Nike shorts and a shiny, sunburnt nose. He was rude to the bartender and when his drink arrived he got his mobile out and started bellowing into it. He was talking to a friend back home about a woman he had met. It quickly became obvious that this girl was a prostitute he had been 'keeping' for about a week. He was not happy:
"I’ve been doing my bit!" he said, "I’ve taken her out and bought her some clothes but she won’t f**king make me breakfast in the morning! She’s just lazy!" He went on to describe how he’d met her in bar and was impressed by her English, so offered to take her on as his 'girlfriend'.
This is a common arrangement struck by the 'better' prostitutes: no payment is made for sex, but the man is expected to buy everything the girls might need for the duration of the agreement. This includes all their food, nights-out (the smart girls will get commission from bars and restaurants) new clothes (which the girls return to the shop the following day) and sometimes even rent and school fees for their children. When I was in Mindoro, a man I was diving with told me how his girlfriends’ parents had lost their house in a typhoon and he was paying to re-build it. I thought this was a little odd because it wasn’t typhoon season at the time. A week later I heard the same girl telling another man the same story. The following day I asked her about it – she laughed and said, “My parents loose their house about once a month, whenever my boyfriend have the money!”
A lot of Western men, who are embarrassed about using prostitutes, prefer to have a 'girlfriend' but they end up paying a lot more! I’m told that the 'girlfriends' who are good hustlers can make around p30,000/month (the average graduate salary is p8,000/month). The girl I met in Mindoro told me she was supporting her parents and putting her four brothers and two sisters through school with her earnings.
But I digress – this particular 'girlfriend' was apparently not up to scratch. The Australian said he had expected her to clean the flat and do his laundry as well, he was angry that she didn’t seem to think this was her job. She apparently wanted him to get a cleaner. It seemed his friend was trying to placate him and in response he admitted that: yes, the bedroom stuff was f**king great and she was "good enough to show the boys". Then he said,
"Cos’ I’m looking at this as a job interview!" (I’m not exaggerating, he used those exact words.) He continued, "I mean, if this is what she's like after a week, what kind of wife is she gonna be? I’ve got three kids back home that need looking after – I’ve got no time for a lazy bitch! Nah mate, it’s no good! I’m gonna have to chuck her out and start from scratch with another one. F*cking waste of time…"
It’s the trip of a lifetime
4 weeks ago