A charming young woman named Kim walked in. She’s new to the area and works at a local eatery and enjoys everything in the area so far. She browsed and also does her own art. She was a student at a local art school and is trying to get back into painting. When four young African American, Japanese language students walked in and started talking about gaming, she broke in with extensive Halo knowledge. We were all excited and surprised. A girl gamer on X-Box Live? Her info got passed along and perhaps they’ll meet online.
A Japanese girl named Yoko was near the front of the shop. I was outside inspecting the sidewalk area and she asked when the bar next door opened. I’m not used to Japanese people striking up any kind of conversation. They’d usually see that it was closed and would wander away quickly. Yoko then asked where she could find the local strip clubs, because she wanted to make money to visit Japan. She naively told me that she’s never stripped before, but heard that there’s money to be made by doing it. Again she had no fear of telling me, no fear of stripping and said all she needs is to be drunk and she’d dance the night away naked. As I asked questions, either her lack of English or her defense went up. She was careful in her answers, but did say that she was a student and couldn’t work legally. Some of her dollars are earned being a “hostess” in a Japanese bar. She gets paid to talk to customers. Yoko made sure to tell me that there’d be no sex involved in any of her work. Soon after explaining her story, she left to check out the clubs. I hope she stays naive and safe. Her hints of desperation gave me reasons to worry.
*Names and specific details are changed to protect identities.