What are these girls DOING?!
A couple of young white guys from Jo'burg wander into a Cape Town seamen's clubs. As they sit down, two sugar girls immediately attend to them. The guys look pleased: they've only walked in and already they're getting attention! Schweet!
They drink and talk with the women for awhile. Late, around 4am, I chat with the guys. They look relieved to see another white face. They are surrounded by Filipino sailors. It seems strange to them. They can't quite figure out what's going on.
After we greet, they don't want to let me go. They tell me they are pilots—in town for an evening—staying at a nice Waterfront hotel. I tell them I'm a student writing a book about dockside nightlife. One of the women proudly concurs, "Ja, Henry's writing a book about us!"
After some more chat—and a few more drinks on their part—one of the guys leans toward me and asks, "Dude, what are these girls?!"
"What do you mean?" I ask.
He looks around, making sure the two women who are hanging on them can't hear him: "What are these girls doing?
"Oh!" I smile. "They're soliciting."
The two guys look at each other in a mixture of amazement, horror, and fascination, then exclaim in unison, "Dude, they're prostitutes!"
I'm still smiling. "Indeed."
They look at each other, me, the women, then each other. Stunned. One of them pipes up, "I knew it. I knew they were prossies." The other one cuts in, "No wonder they're so friendly. Shit!"
It takes 'em a few minutes to overcome their astonishment, but then they ask me where they can find clubs with "normal" girls. I tell them about the bars on Long Street, "but it's late. It's doubtful you'll find much happening there at this time of night." It's a week night too.
So the guys—looking more than a little drunk now—shrug and say, "Fuck it." They take a look at the ladies sitting with them—also piss drunk—and say, "Hell, might as well stay here." They toast the decision and carry on drinking with the women.