Lady of the Night

AKB48

I’ve been very fortunate in the past several weeks – must be God hearing my prayers!! – to have only great clients. In the past few shifts, I have met quite a few visiting from Japan, including a young 24-year-old (Take-san), a group led by a middle-aged businessman (Nobu-san) and another group of idol-loving friends.

Take-san was very polite and respectful. He tried to practice English with me and was apologetic when he could not find the right words, so I would translate them for him into English. He told me that he has a 26-year-old girlfriend, Saya, back in Japan, whom he met here at the club. She was visiting Canada and working at the club when he came for the first time. Then, when they returned to Japan, they resumed dating and have since been together for two years. Saya now works for a potato-chip company and apparently has become quite “わがまま” (selfish). She would always want to go out and drag Take-san with her, who would rather to stay at home. I suggested they communiate about this, and Take-san agreed, but said that he felt ineffective in talking to her. Take-san professed to have grown apart from Saya and have even come to dislike her. He even said that she was “not that pretty” in person, and could not answer specifically why they went out in the first place. It was sad to hear. I hope Take-san will work it out with Saya!

Nobu-san was a businessman who has lived in Canada for more than two decades, so has acculturated quite a bit. He kept apologizing for his boss, who had an unusual interest in me and my glasses. The latter thought me cute, and with the thick glasses apparently I reminded him of Arare (a robot girl from Dr. Slump, a famous old Japanese manga). Like many other clients, he suspected that I would be the stereotypical “glasses girl” whose true beauty is kept hidden underneath the glasses in order to fend off unwanted attention. I refused to take off my glasses but he grabbed it suddenly while my hands were occupied. Apparently, my sans-glasses look got his approval, and he was satisfied that I was yes, a “美人” (beauty) underneath my glasses. Nobu-san was horrified and apologized for his boss’s behavior. Although I was not very happy that my glasses were taken off while I was pretty much defenseless, I shook it off as it was funny when you think about how stereotypical it was, lol~ Anyway, Nob-san was considerate and understanding. We discussed the equality between races and I was pleased to find that years of being in Canada has made him very accepting of other cultures, of which he was aware was a rarity amongst Japanese. He was not happy about how the younger generations have become lazy and rude, but was not bitter. He also did not understand why back in Asia people kept holding onto historical grudges when every other culture has pretty much invaded others and been invaded before. His motto towards strangers is now: “You’re different, but I accept you. Everyone is different, and that is okay. ” What a great motto 🙂

A couple weeks ago, I helped entertain a group of clients who visited from Japan for a business tour. The clients were very polite and respectful, so I enjoyed them very much. It was also then when I first met Ruri. Ruri is one of the new girls who has just arrived to Canada and is very much an idol-chaser. She is knowledgeable on all things idol-related and talked about it extensively with the clients. If I remember correctly, she was one of the trainees in an idol group back in Japan but just never made it to “graduation”. In Japan, girls get accepted to become idols-in-training at talent agencies but would only “graduate” and become a real idol if they were popular enough and/or deemed good enough. Unfortunately, at 21, Ruri is now too old to become an idol, so can only dream about it.

Last week, Mama called Aika, Ruri, Miyuki and myself to greet a group of new Chinese clients together. They stumbled upon the club while looking for a wild night out with the boys and were young for the club, ranging around middle-/late-twenties with the oldest being thirty. They were very nice, gregarious and in cheerful moods. Despite being dismayed that a couple of us did not drink, they did not push us at all and respected our wishes. The clients were mostly single and so were happy that they found our place where there are plenty of single Japanese girls. I was the first they asked to be taken out for food and/or clubbing/more drinking after work, but I extended the invitation to Aika as I know the client she was with liked her very much. Ling-Ling was a bit annoyed since Aika was a bit tipsy already but let it go after finding out that I was going as well since she knew I was responsible and protective of the girls. I was happy watching over Aika, especially since these clients honestly posed no threat; however, I was a little concerned when Ruri and Miyuki tagged along when they found the clients downstairs waiting for us. They really did not like the clients, whom they thought crude, and wanted nothing to do with them, but only came along to give the latter false hope that they would go clubbing with them and to see if they could get something out of these generous spenders. Their coming along also meant that I had to watch over them, as they were completely oblivious to where we were going/what we were doing. Instead of asking the clients in simple English or even me in Japanese, they would rather wonder to themselves where the clients were taking them, gossip about random things, and laughing at the latter in Japanese. Back at the club, I noticed Ruri was rather apathetic toward the clients, and not because of her poor English. She was polite on the surface, but held the clients with a bit of disdain when she mocked them in Japanese with Miyuki, who sat across near the other end of the table. Of course, the clients did not realize this at all as they could not understand Japanese. I was glad when the clients ignored her when she started demanding to order what she wanted but was not exactly thrilled when she and Miyuki blindly went along with the crowd to see if they could get something out of the night. True enough, they were the most difficult to take care of, even more than Aika, who was a bit tipsy but remained friendly and happy. They fell behind the group chatting amongst themselves, forcing the clients to wait and look for them, and flat out demanded the best items on the menu even though they did not even want it. Thankfully, the clients did not take offense as they thought the Ruri and Miyuki were simply bewildered by the foreign sights, especially since they were happy that they had two girls leftover who wanted to go clubbing with them. At that point, I was already off the table once they “found out” that I only graduated high school the previous year and did not even have ID (they came to the conclusion about my age by themselves, lol, when they argued between each other how old they thought I was). After food, I conveyed to the clients that we needed to go home. Aika lived close enough so walked home. However, for Ruri, Miyuki and me, going home at past 3 in the morning was impossible without rides. Initially, the plan was to give us girls taxi fares to go home. I was a bit horrified when Miyuki tried to pawn the money, and was relieved when the clients took it back and decided to take us back to their homes so that they could use their cars to give us rides back home. I went without protest as I already knew they were safe, while Ruri and Miyuki again simply came along. We were taken to one of the clients’ homes where Ruri asked to show them this Chinese version of AKB48 on youtube. It was a bit awkward, as she could not understand the captions on top of the videos. She eventually clicked one that said, “big-breasted girls flashing their skins for the upcoming summer day”, which turned out to be a bunch of Chinese girls clad in bikinis singing and dancing on the beach to an AKB48 song. She was excited and tried to tell the clients how pretty she thought the girls were, but the clients were confused as they felt the girls were a bit too young/not cute enough and too many for their tastes. The clients got bored with the videos soon enough and organized rides for us. I apologized to the clients for the troubles and thanked them for the night. I was fortunate to have the oldest client drive me. He was mature and polite, and made sure I was safely inside before driving off. 🙂

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