Sunday, September 02, 2007

Night walk

One of the things I always do when visiting a new city is to take a stroll at night. Of course I consider being street smart. After having a pint in the pub, my grad student and I took a stroll through the entertainment district.

It was my dad who introduced me to the pleasures of a night stroll. In Tokyo, Nagoya and Singapore, dad and I walked through the nightlife districts and he taught me what a man must know. But then I was a minor and wasn't allowed to have a drink!

A city at night is an interesting place. A different cast of characters emerges with the night. The pub denizens come out, single men and women hoping for a cure for their lonesome selves, the cab drivers who can show you around and of course the tourists.

Of course people who provide a night's amour for a fee begin to be seen. I hesitate to use the phrase "commercial sex"since this term is more degrading than the more flowery terms used in literature. This is not to to say that I am condoning this line of work. People have to earn a crust. But for some earning a crust becomes an affront against their dignity. But then again in this light their humanity still comes through. The writer has to recognise this humanity and in doing so see the way out of the tragedy.

When I was younger I wasn't much bothered in seeking their services, but having traveled a lot for me something has changed.

The sights have not changed but my perception has.

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