Don't ask me how I ended up here... but this is a hostess bar in Shanghai. Here is how it works: once the guests arrive, and very expensive drinks ordered, a dozen or so very young women wearing cheesy white gowns will march in, each with a numbered tag, they line up and introduce themselves (where they are from etc), and if one of the guys fancies her, then she will be picked for the night to entertain the guy. As to how they entertain, that's anybody's guess. I was told the guys were on their best behavior knowing a lawyer was in their midst. But there was plenty of touching and kissing... and being a woman, it felt awful, I wish I had never gone to this place. The girls are probably ten years younger than me, and you feel sad for them, cuz they are too young to know this is so not worth it... the price they pay far exceeds whatever money they make.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning ——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
The glittery Bund... the green light that seduced the girls to leave their hometown to line up along a wall with a numbered tag...