It’s a strange world to live in when one has an aversion to capitalism, but that’s how I’m feeling these days. In my honest opinion, there is far too much exploitation that is legitimized because of economics.
So when I was living in Chisinau, it sort of frightened me to see foreigners lining the main streets, dressing extremely nice and spending their afternoons in coffee shops. But what is wrong with this? Well, for one, they’re being served by attractive young waitresses who could better spend their afternoons studying, but find the tourist industry to be the most profitable. How can we talk about making social change while making tourism and the service industry the greatest opportunity for subsistence?
Then I came upon this article – “The Sex Cafe in Moldova” – where foreigners congregate along the main boulevard in Chisinau (Stefan the great) and sip coffee and tea among attractive waitresses, all the while shopping for their next beauty to take abroad, given the proper credentials. This may be perverse and disgusting from a western point of view, but I feel like this is the exact same mentality that contributed to the oil spill in the gulf coast. No longer does might make right – only money does. Those that have money are just looking for means to make more money, and those means just disregard morals.
Bear with me for a moment here though. So far, I have been ranting about some abstract notion and providing little in terms of personal experience. But when I arrived in Bucharest, I learned first hand exactly what it looks likes to purchase a woman. And again, the most shocking part of the deal was how normal it seemed.
My buddy and I were walking down one of the main streets in Bucharest after having consumed a delicious traditional Romanian meal at ‘La Mama’s’. A guy, probably 22 years old with styled black hair, asked if we had a light in Romanian. We just shook our heads and moved on. Then he called back, ‘hey, do you guys speak English?’
So we struck up a conversation. Our friend here, Adi, had spent a few months in Los Angeles, and was preparing to permanently move to New York in a couple. He was enthusiastic about all things American, and wanted to hang out with us.
‘So where are you guys heading?’ he asked.
‘Just to a small cafe up here – the Green Cafe.’ I replied.
‘Well I’m heading down to the Old City. It’s about a 15 minute taxi ride from here. It’s where all of the best bars and clubs are. You guys should come.’
‘Well, we’ll check out this place and then maybe come meet up with you?’
So we got his name and phone number, and he told us which bar he’d be going to. We went to a great jazz show at the Green Cafe. Then, after some reluctance on Brian’s part, we decided to meet up again with Adi.
At the bar, Adi had met a group of Brits having a stag in Bucharest (bachelor party). So all of these men were exchanging stories, being merry and consuming great deals of beer.
‘So what are you guys planning to do in Bucharest?’ Adi posed to us.
‘Just hang out, go to the bars, and maybe meet some local chicks,’ we said. ‘Where are the best clubs and bars and things?’
‘Well, it’s the week, so there really aren’t many people going out at night. But if you want, I could give a friend a call and I’m sure she could come and hang out.’
‘Yeah, give her a call. Maybe we could all go to the club?’ Brian said.
‘Well, my friends are quite busy these days, you know. They really don’t have time to come out and party. But I could set something up so that we could go to her place or she could come to your hotel.’
‘Nah man, we’re looking to just hang out and maybe meet girls at a club.’
‘Well, you’re really not going to meet anybody. Like I said, it’s a week day. Come on. I’ll give a friend a call and you can go to her place. How much would you pay for this?’
‘So you’re some kind of pimp?’ Brian said.
‘No way man! I’m no pimp. You are Americans and I want you to have a good time in my country. I’m not trying to make money. These girls are my friends – they are not prostitutes. But they are students and they need money too.
‘If I come to America, I hope that you would also help me,’ Adi continued. ‘I am trying to be a nice guy. Why are you guys refusing me?’
‘You’re a pimp! We don’t want to pay women to have sex with us!’ Brian said.
At this, Adi got very offended. He came to me and said, ‘Why is Brian so upset? I only want to help, and you guys just insult me.’
‘We need to go. You should go too. Goodbye then.’ I said.