Tuesday, January 26, 2010

90 Day Geisha

I'd finally unlocked the key to karaoke's heart; it wasn't about showing off, being good or bad. It was an impersonal group activity that allowed emotional expression behind the safeguard of someone else's words. Hidden behind a song familiar to everyone, you could be as personal as you wanted. That was why it was never an issue whether someone sang or not. It wasn't about yes or no, but rather it depended on the mood.

Chelsea Haywood, 90 Day Geisha

The story of a foreigner trying her luck in the hostessing world of Roppongi. I tip my hat to her describing 90 days' worth of experiences in such rich detail. In fact, I'm amazed such a "transformation" could occur in such a short period of time.

Most of the foreign hostesses working in Japan come from eastern Europe and other Asian countries, but there are a handful of Americans, Canadians, and Brits who are as intrigued as Chelsea was by the idea of a "paid attractive conversationalist". She starts out with the intention of staying and working as long as her tourist visa allowed her in Japan, and develops a better understanding of the Japanese male psyche than any English teacher could hope to reach. Follow along with her experiences wrestling with her feelings over one particularly appealing customer while considering her own husband, and discover just what it takes to be a modern-day geisha: do you know? I sure don't.

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