Lorenzo Pirisino
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Only in Asia

Posted on 2009/03/20 12:15:48 (March 2009).

[Friday 20th March 2009]

Yesterday I was in Kyoto with a potential client that we managed to convince to take on our products. The rule of business in Asia wants that you have to go out for dinner, where you actually talk about the important parts of the relationship that you are about to establish, and we ended up in one of the best Italian restaurant that I have ever been abroad.

The dinner took immediately a "good" tone, when the president of the company that we work with ordered TWO bottles of wine (one red and one white) for the three people that we were...

Then grappa was served at the end of the dinner together with a bottle of beer, just to be on the safe side.

Here begins the typical night out with the clients in Asia, it's quite common to all the countries where I have been, apart from China.

We moved to a bar, to drink whisky this time, where there are nice young ladies that sit next to you and talk. That's it, they are just there to entertain you and your hosts, no sex, no touching, no nothing. Just chit chat, a lot of "oooooooo" said in awe when something gives a concept deeper than "I am drunk", and then after two hours you go away, considerably poorer (this kind of entertainment is quite expensive).

We then moved to another location in Kyoto, now the name escapes me, but it's only for local people. A series of bars, very small, with private rooms. The owner of the company that was taking me and the agent out of course is a well known person here, he "re-opened" his favourite place (that was about to close), got the private room and we started drinking more, this time sake.

In this kind of place there are no women included, it's just a chill out room where you sit, drink and chat. Eventually my client got asleep, and it took 20 minutes to wake him up and put him in the taxi completely drunk to go home...
The ladies at the bar did not ask for any money (that shows that he's a regular) and even helped him to go to the taxi as if they were his sisters...

I have had similar experiences in Thailand, Taiwan and Korea, some places were a bit more explicit (see here, this must be one of the best pieces that I have ever written so far), others like yesterday were more subtle. Still I wonder... WHY?!?

I guess we have similar places in Europe, but at least the ladies get NAKED, there is actually a point for them to be there rather than look impressed at the bullshit that we say... I guess that probably I must have missed some points along the way, maybe if you call the numbers on the business cards that they give you there is a "after club session" thing (well it's pretty common in Kyabakura in Japan to choose the lady first and then call her later, you know privacy...), but still I only saw these things in Asia.

Oh well, that's the nice part of travelling for sure, you DO see a lot of different things!

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