Queen of sleazy bars
Let me say this about that.
Part of what makes a great sleazy bar is the cross-cultural, mixed bag, mongrel ethnicity of it’s patrons. It is, at the same time, the best and worst examples of the human species. If it is true that the patrons of “Genevieve’s Bar” in Singapore were made in God’s own image, then judgement day is going to be a really interesting affair.
Singapore is a small “city – state” island on the South China Sea, tucked neatly between Indonesia and Malaysia. It’s population is about equally divided among three ethnic groups – Chinese, Malay, and Indian. It’s a civilized, friendly, safe, and progressive place to live and work, but it’s also a place that loves to party. It may also surprise you to learn that… there is a substantial number of folks that work in Singapore who hail from Texas and Oklahoma.
There is no oil in Singapore, but there are refineries. And, Singapore is the Asian headquarters for trading and engineering services for oil sourced in the area. In the 70′s and 80′s, these oil-related businesses were largely run by the roughnecks from the West Texas oil fields. These good ‘ol boys did not get to town very often, but when they did, they wanted Lone Star by the gallon, steak by the pound, and women by the hour. Add a country & western band and you got yourself a party.
“Genevieve’s” was created to service this lucrative market. The ‘boot-scootin’ music and beer drew in the ‘oilers’ with pockets full of cash, and the cash drew in the girls. It was the best ‘free-trade agreement’ ever devised by any capitalist society.
Before I go any further, I want to - in my own defense - make it clear that I did not intentionally hang out in bars that were also frequented by ‘self-employed courtesans of the evening’. In the 80′s, EVERY bar in Asia had it’s resident “coital service workers”. The bartenders looked the other way because these ladies tipped them very well. The bar owners looked the other way because they brought in business. Further, these ladies rarely engaged the regulars because the oil workers and tourists made for a much better return-on-investment.
Everybody got what they wanted. The Texans got the Asian girls and the German businessmen got the Asian guys. I don’t know why the Germans were so fascinated by 20 year old Asian males because I don’t think they were gay. Maybe it was because Asian guys are better looking than German women – who knows for sure. Eventually, everyone got laid except the Japanese businessmen. One of the ladies told me one night that having sex with a Japanese guy reminded her of her Pomeranian humping on her leg. The only upside was that it was over in a few seconds, as opposed to the West Texas boys that tended to plow the field a lot longer and had a tendency to leave skid marks on the merchandise.
At “Genevieve’s”, the country & western band never failed to dazzel the crowd. If you have never seen a Chinese guy play the theme song from “The Beverly Hillbillies” on a banjo, nothing could make you smile:
“Come wissen to a sto-wie bow a man name Jed……..”
I was in “Genevieve’s” one night with a corporate exec visiting from the States. He was approached by a beautiful young Thai lady and they wound up dancing a few times. When they returned to the bar he asked her if she wanted a drink. She said she would like a glass of champagne. I thought: “Jeez, lady, why don’t you just put on a name tag with ‘Ima Hooker’ on it?” After she finished her champagne, she asked him if he wanted to go back to his hotel with her:
Visiter: “Sorry, darlin’, I don’t sleep with hookers.”
Ima: “Pardon me sir, but I’m not a hooker. I just thought you were cute and wanted to spend some time with you. All I ask is that you pay my cab fare back to my apartment.”
Visitor: “I am truly sorry, (reaching into his pocket). How much do you need for cab fare?”
And, that’s all I have to say about that.