For some reason, I seem to bump into strippers in Riga. No, I do not go brothels nor do I go to strip clubs. I just meet them at clubs and bars, and when I’m drunk I enjoy chatting with everyone. Especially if they are attractive and female.
Now, the funny thing is it’s not like these strippers are trying to sell me any services. It just comes up in normal conversation. These conversation normally go like this.
Them: “Sveiki. (Insert incomprehensible Latvian)”
Me: “Sorry, I don’t know Latvian. All I know how to say is “sveiki”
Them: “Oh sorry, my English is bad. (continues to speak in fluent English)
Them: “Where are you from?”
Me: “New Zealand”
Them: “Wow. Like Lord of the Rings”
Me: “Yes.” (rolls eyes)
Them: “So what are you doing here?”
Me: “I’m on vacation. I work on cruise ship for 6 months, then go on vacation for 3 months. This time I chose Riga”.
Them: “Wow, what a cool job.”
Me: “What do you do?”
Them: “I work as an dancer at Club X.” (And soon it’s revealed that it’s less like salsa and more like undressing)
I’m sure I’ve met lots of people who happened to work as strippers but the interesting thing for me is that these women announced their occupation with such blasé that they could have just mentioned that they were teachers or accountants. Sure, it pays much better than teaching and is probably better for occupational health than a desk job, but there’s a bit of a stigma right? I had a friend in university who worked part-time as a stripper. She kept it a secret from most people except for a few friends. (She was actually quite good but I don’t think she was too impressed that one time we went to her work to support her. When I had a job at Starbucks, I was always pleased to see my friends come and visit. Some people just don’t know how to show gratitude.)
Anyway, I understood her not wanting everyone to know she stripped for money. She had lots of money which is of course is unusual for a student. But she explained it by telling people she sold drugs. (This of course created awkward situations where people would come to her house looking to buy marijuana. She ended up having to buy weed just so that she could re-sell it and keep up with the ruse.)
Regardless of the complexity of my friend’s situation, I understood her motivations. Hell, I’m too embarrassed to even admit that I work in IT. I rather say that I peddle porn, which is a better description of what I do anyway. You know, maybe these girls were in a similar situation. They could be Systems Administrators at strip clubs but were too embarrassed by the shame that comes with working in IT.
Just in case you’re wondering, nothing really comes from these conversations. These women just amuse themselves by talking to me and I eventually ask them for their Facebook because I want to promote my blog. Okay, that last bit was a lie. I just think it’d be awesome to be Facebook friends with a bunch of hot strippers. Surprisingly, all of them give me their real Facebook name but none of them ever “confirm” our friendship. Which hurts.