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Monday, 16 July 2007

The Angels of Asia

In the late 1960s and the 70s,the scenarios were the same in Taiwan as in South Korea.The countries were ruled by the military and curfews were imposed nightly from dusk to dawn.
The Taiwanese and the Koreans especially the younger ones were trying to flee the countries and seek freedom elsewhere.
Life in these sort of places were harsh and one could be sentenced to be executed by the firing squad for petty crimes.
So we stewards were looked upon by the young girls of those countries to be potentials savior husbands.
I have blogged about the situation in Seoul and it's not much of a difference here in Taipei. The difference here was the Taiwanese people and we Singaporeans could conversed in Mandarin or Hokkien which was and still is the main dialect of the Taiwanese.In Korea,we were a little lost because we could not speak Koreans.
Quite a number of the crew married Taiwanese wives in those days. But today,the story is different again. The Taiwanese girls do not depend on having foreign husbands to leave their country.

In the late 1960s,we crew used to stay at the Mandarin Taipei,a plush hotel in those days. Not sure whether the same hotel is still there. Heard the last time it was partially destroyed by a fire. We crew loved that old Mandarin because it was one of the best hotels the airline (MSA or the now defunct Malaysia Singapore Airline) had ever let us stay.
The staff in the Mandarin were very pleasant and friendly people. The security guys were very helpful and nice to us.
The hotel guests were strictly not allowed to bring local girls to their rooms but somehow,the security people always closed an eye to us. We could bring girls back to our rooms even in the night.
The trick to hook the local girls was to visit the shops like in Seoul during the days or in eating outlets and make a date with them.The moment they heard we were airline crew and staying at the Mandarin,the girls would turn hysterical.They would give all kinds of excuses to their parents,boyfriends etc just to visit us and spend the night with us.
Please forgive me here,you nice Taiwanese people as well as Koreans. I do not mean to belittle your girls but that was a fact of life in those days,under a repressive government. Off course,Taiwan and South Korea are fully democratic countries now.
There were crew who would not go for the decent type of girls,knowing their motives but instead used the services of paid professionals. It was inexpensive to engage the services of this type of girls.The charges were anywhere from $20 to $40 a night in the hotel room with the crew client.
There was no fear of AIDs in those because there was no such a thing.The girls were generally "clean" because they were not so exposed to many men with VDs.
There was a Caucasian captain who usually engaged the services of two girls to take care of his sexually needs whenever he night stop in Taipei. There was a rumour that this particular captain once sent his female companion to a local hospital unconscious by an ambulance after "overstretching" the poor girl all night.


Anonymous said...

Hi. A comment from a Korean born, former flight attendant for a major U.S. carrier. We airline people love one another forever, but I have to correct something :-)

Your "local girl" had to be one of those "bar girl" types. I was a college student in Korea in 1970's. I find it hard to believe that anyone other than "bar girl" types would/could "dated" foreigners.

I have nothing against "bar
girls", as most of them were forced to work in such industry due to poverty (actually any work at all for women in 60's or 70's.) Nothing against foreigners either, as I am married to one.

But, we weren't allowed to be seen/talking with even Korean boys in 70's. We went to school & church as high schoolers. We were in school like 15 hours a day, 6 days a week. No time for shopping or dinning, with foreigner or not. College had more free time, but you couldn't get away with dating (especially a foreigner!) Why? Almost all "girls" got married during or right after college, by matchmaking. And, most women in Korea didn't work outside home in 70's.

My family was quite liberal compared to my friends' families. But, they acted like I died when I married a handsome, rich, young doctor - just because he was an American - and this was in late 80's when Koreans became much more open minded. There is no way my family (or any other Korean family) would have let a foreigner "date" their daughters 70's (forget about 60's, no way!)

Sorry kiddo, but you got tricked! Still love ya!

Boh Tong said...

No kidding cos the girls whom we dated were all Korean girls.Most of them worked in "Gingseng"shops or small retail outlets. We made friends with them and they were happy to go on dates with us. A few of my colleagues married them and they weren't "bar girls".
We were told life under mashall law then was tough and most Korean girls wanted to marry foreigners to flee the country.But it's different now.