My last days in Japan

I try to complain less about this post, but after lots of thinking, I decided to leave Japan earlier than I planned. I found the work here extremely hard and I was getting so tired. I didn’t even have the energy to post anything here, my body and brain were totally drained. 

The difficulties started when I realised the Japanese guys are not so polite and respectful as I thought so. In their work life, business or when they need to represent their country, they do their best. There is no doubt that the Japanese are one of the most polite people. But at night I saw a different face of the Japanese guys. A different side of the coin. When they are drinking and reducing the stress they have at work their politeness and respect have vanished. No wonder that the first Japanese words I learned were “pervert” and “No way!” When they come to clubs, they are just like big kids that want to touch and take home everything they can. Oh well, East or West, a man is just a man.
In the first place, I have to admit my purpose is not to write anything bad about Japan. But the reason of the blog is to share my experience so I have no reason to lie. And feeling not so comfortable in this world was 50% on my behalf. When I started to write this blog, in the first post I submitted that I don’t want any more games and lies in my life. Here if I want to catch and keep a good customer, that’s the only way. To lie how much I missed him and be a part of the game he’s playing. Sorry guys, I have no energy for that! Or maybe my mind is too simple for this kind of games. Just an example, before I travelled I was reading about Japanese that they don’t say “I love you” as often as people in the west do, mainly because of cultural differences. I’m not questioning it in their private life. But at work, I heard it every night at least twice from customers!

The other reason why I got tired is physical. I have only 2 days off per months and it doesn’t matter if I sick or anything, I have to be at work on time because my Russian “Mama-san doesn’t understand that”. And lately, when she asked me to keep the rules of the club or I can change my ticket back home, I happily said: “OK then, I’m leaving..” What I can gain if I finish here is much more than a couple of hundred bucks I lose. I love money. But I know what I’m capable to do for money and what not. And my mental health is definitely in the first place! For the money, I don’t bend myself over my limits (I could do it for family or love but that’s a different story..) As someone told me by knowing me he knew it would happen because my spirit is too free for this society.
So I decided to leave. Luckily I could stay at a friend’s place a couple of days more so I finally have the time to relax and see Japan! I would have been very sad if I leave this country without seeing its beauty.

Oh Mr. Alcohol..

I must confess that I don’t like drinking that much. In my private life, I rarely drink. OK, a bottle of wine for a nice dinner or a good conversation with friends always welcome. But I don’t like the feeling when I lose the control over myself. Definitely not the big headache next day.
But I can say I only drink when I work. Not many people can say the same I guess. At work, I know my limits. And champagne and I are good friends! Not every kind because I hate the Bollinger and Moet, and I’m not a big fan of DP either. These are more acidic for me. If anybody wants to please me, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart and Perrier-Jouet are the best choices. Girls like pink so I also prefer the rose. If you buy me champagne, I’m perfectly fine until 2 bottles. I mean I drink 2 bottles by myself and I can walk home with a clear head. I know it by experience. The problems start if we open the third bottle because I will immediately look for the solution how can I get rid of it. Especially if I have to take the responsibility myself to go home. When I worked in the London hostess club, we couldn’t drink at all. I remember once we had a meeting and before the manager finished, he turned to me saying “And you, you are not allowed to drink here any more!” Because, of course, it was easier to work when I was a little tipsy and I just started this kind of job, but I understood him lately. The club didn’t want to take responsibility for how the girls get home in the morning after work. And you can be more focused on selling and teamwork if your head is clear. So we had to change the champagne to ginger ale (with a little bit of cranberry juice if we had the rose) and everything was well organised. That was funny but we had all the small bottles of ginger ale under the sink in the ladies toilet and the dressing room. And how easy was to find a stupid reason to leave the table! I have to fix my make-up, I need my lip gloss, I have to check my phone because I wait for a message.. or just simply Sorry, I’ll be back soon. And then put a tiny little ginger ale into the glass and drink it immediately when you go back to the table. Ups, my glass is empty! Or when I couldn’t change the champagne, I just called another girl to the table. We shared the commission but we could help each other more and none of us got drunk. That was the main reason why I preferred to work as a hostess than as a dancer because with those girls we really worked in a team. Lots of dancers don’t understand what does it mean to help each other and they can go really greedy if it comes to money. 
When I started this job I was new to London and didn’t understand the city. And lots of time I was in a stupid situation because of a big amount of alcohol. I remember when a guy stopped me on the Picadilly around 3 am that he will take me home. He was an unregistered taxi driver. I told him the address and I fell asleep in the car. Probably he didn’t understand what I was saying and when I woke up we were in another part of London. I realised the situation and started to scream at him. I got sober in a second! I realised how dangerous it can be. Or when I got robbed. I had to change the bus, but it took 20 minutes for the next one. So I decided to walk home saying it’s only 10 minutes away. But I was drunk and I walked literally from wall to wall in high heels. It was around 5 am but still dark. The guy ran after me, suddenly took my bag and ran away with it. Another guy saw what happened and he called the police. We went a few circles with the police car in the area but didn’t see anything after all. And we went to the police station for the papers and the other guy in the office told me: 
“You were quite lucky.”
“Lucky???”
“Yes, because last week the same happened with a Russian girl, but she had a fight with the guy so she got stabbed in her back. She wasn’t.. drunk.”
I immediately understood that London can be dangerous if I don’t use my brain. After that, I started to keep the club policy and change the champagne to ginger ale. 
I was still drunk a few times but never that much. Macau was the other place where I drunk a lot, mixing the champagne with cocktails and shots. That was something! I still don’t understand how I was lucky with all the taxi drivers there and got home safely every time. In Macau, the major problem that the taxi drivers don’t speak English and they are quite rude. They can stop anywhere and just leave you on the street if you start to argue with them! But with me, they were always fine and never took me for a sightseeing tour in the morning. Or my Chinese pronunciation was good enough to understand where I want to go.. So they took me home and never wanted to overcharge me or anything. But I got lost in the building once! I was fully drunk and when I came out of the elevator, I turned in the wrong direction. I didn’t realise, I just saw the door, put the key in the hole, turned it, open the door… and in the middle of the apartment I realised it’s not mine! My first thought was that they redesign the place and brought more furniture while we were working and just after understood that I’m in the wrong place. I have no idea still how I could open the door with my key! But when I wanted to leave, I couldn’t pull out the key from the keyhole so I needed to call somebody to fix it. The little Chinese guy came with sleepy eyes (it was 4 am) and he thought I’m totally crazy! Took me a while to explain to him it’s not my apartment! I still laugh when I think of this story.
So yes. Even I work at nights, I don’t like drinking that much. And you have no idea that some girls working in clubs, they hate alcohol too!

Minasan konnichiwa! Greetings from Japan!

Well, I was so happy and excited to come to this country and I’m not saying I’m disappointed but I’ve never thought that it would be the one of the hardest work I’ve ever done.  They have a totally different system and I think I need months to get used to it. Physically it’s already a lot, I work minimum 8 hrs a day and I have only 2 days off a month. I say minimum 8 hrs a day because if I go out for dinner with one of my customers before work it already feels I’m working. And there is something I must do here if I want to keep the regulars.
The American system is easy. You go on stage, do your show or some private dances, people give you tips. In Europe more about drink commission. The Asian system is about how you can catch the regular customers that will visit you in the club. This system was not unfamiliar to me as in Macau we also had to do the “call requests” which means I had a local phone only for business and I had to exchange numbers with customers to keep in touch with them. But there it didn’t really work as we had lots of tourists from different countries and maybe they come back only after I finish my contract. Here in Japan, it works in the same way. I got a mobile from the club and I have to give my number to the customers. And I have to call them ALL the time! It’s strange because in some clubs in Europe I’m not even allowed to keep my mobile with me or even I need to put them in a locker that I can only open with the presence of the manager. And I could get in deep trouble if somebody sees me that I give my number to someone. But Japanese guys like to be called. And they happy to come back to the club or take you out for dinner if you make this effort.
The other thing is so strange for me is “my customer, your customer”. Basically I can not even look at other girls customer but I have to be polite till the highest level. And there is a very thin line between being polite and flirting with someone – especially for me when it’s a tiny little alcohol and I love everybody! – as I noticed guys misunderstand it very easily. But for me, even the “my customer” term is strange as I always say everybody is free and I don’t own people so how he can be mine? OK, maybe he comes to see me often but it’s not a big deal if one day he decides to take someone else. But the Russian girls don’t think in the same way and they are ready to chop my head off if I make a mistake.
The next thing I don’t know how to deal with here that’s the alcohol. If I don’t become an alcoholic during the work here, then never! Just today I had maybe 20gin&tonic and a half bottle of champagne. In the beginning, I started with gin&tonic, then only tonic, and the end it was only ice and sparkling water in my glass because I couldn’t even take the smell of the tonic any more. Luckily there is an option for that. But if it’s not my regular customer or if they open a bottle, obviously I can not drink green tea at the table.
And about Japanese mentality: I had a customer that I had a good talk with, nice and polite guy. Later he told “Mama”, my boss, that if I can except he would like to date me. I said OK, let’s see what’s going to happen next. We exchanged a few messages but meanwhile, he organised everything with Mama and he just sent me that “Tomorrow we have a date.” I asked to let me know what time is good for him. All day no message. I thought he changed his mind. Just right before work, he replied that “Around 3 am after work” First of all I can’t leave the club before 4 am. Secondly, my European mind couldn’t take this. In the morning after work you could call it a quick f*** but for sure not a date!
I got a bit mad but then I was busy with other customers so I forgot about him. Around 3 am he appeared and he requested me. And he thought not even we have a date but I will go to Tokyo (which is maybe 50 minutes drive) with him to his place! I was polite but cold as an Ice Queen showing him that this time he got a difficult one because if he wants to take me for a proper date it should be dinner time and don’t even think that I will go to a total stranger’s home that far. He got upset, asked the bill and just left. Great! One problem less.
But after all, he told Mama – not ME! – that if I change my mind, call him… so this is the thing that he can wait for till the end of time! And when I told it to my Russian friend who managed me to come here, she was just smiling and all she told me was: “Welcome to Japan!”

My Big Dream – Japan

Actually, it’s not only Japan but Japan at the Sakura. When you can see cherry blossoms all over the place! And now I’m just a few days away to reach that dream.

Since I travel and I do this job, that was something I liked about Japanese people and culture. As I worked as a hostess in clubs and all the hostessing kind of jobs related to their geisha culture, I often said if I could go to Japan and work there for a while, it would be a next step on the carrier ladder for me. (If this carrier ladder exists in this kind of job) I even intend to learn their language. To all my French customers, I’m very sorry but I would rather learn Japanese than French! They say it’s very easy to learn. Not to write, but to speak. So why not? I already can count to 10: ichi..ni..san..shi..go..roku..nana..hachi..ku..juu

First, let’s make it clear what I mean working in a hostess club in London. The term needs an explanation as it can be confusing. A few years back when I worked in London there were a few gentleman’s clubs in St. James and Mayfair and there was nothing about striptease. We had a few dancers but it wasn’t the main thing. No escort. If the customer asked about “rooms” I always made a joke with him. “Yes, we have a changing room, smoking room, cloakroom, bathroom, which one you were asking about?” Because these clubs in some countries they are related to prostitution. Here no. I mean not in this way. So here clearly we didn’t have rooms for sex. Our job was selling champagne and entertain the customers on a high level. The atmosphere was more secret, intimate and we had lots of customers that they didn’t want to show up in any strip clubs defending their reputations. Company owners, CEOs, business people from the bank and investing sectors. I remember once we had 2 handsome, tall guys in a suit followed by a short, fat guy wearing a baseball cap and jeans. All the girls wanted to talk to those two, but the short guy chose me. I was sitting opposite the two handsome men and one moment I noticed that one of them has a gun. I don’t know if they were allowed to carry a gun but it became all clear that they were the bodyguards of the fat guy. They didn’t stay long though. So our job was to talk to them, drinking with them, dancing WITH them, escorting them all around the place, pouring their drinks and make sure they having a good time. Even karaoke. Just like a geisha did in the old times of Japan.

That time my English was quite poor but I was a good listener. And I knew how to ask and keep the conversation alive. And quickly learned that people’s favourite subject to talk about themselves. A few very good questions and it seemed I’m talking to that guy hours about how to design steel products! My secret was to listen, to nod and keep asking. And customers liked me for that! And sometimes they left some crazy tips for me. Most of the time they wanted to take me for dinner or shopping in the next days, but I always followed the rules of the club and said no. Yes, at that time I was silly too.

And we usually had a few girls that they went out with customers. Like if I was sitting with a guy who kept bothering me asking to go home with him, I just told him I don’t do such a thing, but I can introduce my friend. And we had champagne at the table, I got the commission and they did the business outside. With those girls, we could work together and we never crossed each other’s line. Or at least it didn’t happen to me. Once I had a young, handsome guy with daddy’s credit card and I really had a crush on him and I asked my manager if I can go with him from work. He was correct and he said if I leave the club early and I go with him, he will put me in the take-out-girls category and it means from now on I agree to go home with customers. I stayed then till the end of my shift but the guy left. Oh, that’s Life I guess.

And we had some fun time there. I remember a group of Latin American guy they were teaching us how to dance salsa or two guys from Alabama or Texas, they wanted to stay after closing because they had a flight in the morning and didn’t want to go home to sleep so we shut the doors and two of us stayed with them. And guess what we did? They were teaching us line dance steps! Have you ever tried when you are fully drunk? Literally, we were rolling over the dance floor by laughing at each other! Or when we dressed up a guy. He came in his office suite and he was already drunk and he ended up wearing my red dress, high heels (no, they weren’t mine as I have such cute little feet), blonde hair extension and bright red lipstick. If I remember well we even painted his nails! Hell yeah, we had some fun time there.

And now I’m just a few steps away to experience Japan! Life is beautiful though! I even try to memorise this Japanese song to sing it in Japanese! Well, I know how to please and impress people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9yAu5lhyeo

Wish me good luck then!