Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm popular in Brazil!

Several years ago I was sent on a two-week business trip to Brasilia, Brazil. We were installing our software at several locations of a large bank. Since it was important that the computers be available during business hours we were only allowed to work on those computers during the night. And because we were sleeping during the day it didn't allow much time for sightseeing.

One evening the computers weren't available so a group of us, and our translator (none of us spoke Portuguese), decided to find a dance club. Our translator took us to what he thought was a popular place. And it was crowded. The place was full of incredibly stunning women. But something seemed a little off.

We sat at a table, and I observed my surroundings. I noticed that there were more women than men (about a 6:1 ratio), and that there wasn't really an unattractive woman in the place. Also, it seemed that every guy (or group of guys) in the place was being chatted up by the ladies. I pointed that out to the translator, and he went to get more details on the club.

He came back to the table and told us what kind of bar it was in Portuguese. When we all stared at him blankly - since we didn't speak the language - he told us in English, "This is a prostitute bar." Prostitution is legal in Brazil (or it was back then), and this club was for men to come see what was available, buy the lady some drinks, negotiate a price, and take her back home.

Later, I made the mistake of asking someone to dance. She considered that the beginning of our negotiations, and she became rather offended when our translator had to tell her I just wanted to dance. After talking to me through the translator, she finally said, "Why even come to a country if you don't speak the language?" :)

So I sat at the table and didn't ask anyone to dance. Unfortunately, that didn't work too well either. Since there were so many more women than men, the odds were that a girl wasn't going to be "chosen." And if she wasn't, then she didn't get any money. So if there was a guy by himself, one of the ladies was going to talk to him and try to start the negotiations. I fended off many women that evening.

For a moment I thought I was extremely popular in Brazil.

EPILOGUE: When our group got back to the hotel our concierge asked us about our evening. After telling him, he told us that we didn't have to go that place because the hotel would provide those services for us. Apparently, they had a book with pictures of "working women" for the guests to choose from. Your choice was then called and sent to your room. The reason the hotel provided this service is because they would charge you for having a guest in your room overnight.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Desire with an extra e

A couple of years ago my roommate Nono had a personal assistant named Desiree. Also, to help earn even more money she cleaned my house and took care of my pets during the day. A year later she had to move back home for health reasons, and I haven't really heard much from her since.

Until yesterday. There was a call on the home phone, but I let the answering machine pick up since I didn't recognize the number. After the outgoing message played, I heard a voice say, "Hey Don, this is Desiree, and ..." at which point I picked up the phone.

I said, "Hey, I haven't heard from you in a long time. How come you never comment on any of my blogs?"

She replied that she hadn't received any of my e-mails, so she gave me her current e-mail address. I noticed that she spelled her name differently than I remembered, so I told her, "I always thought it was spelled like 'desire' with an extra 'e'."

She asked how I was doing so I gave her a lengthy 10-20 minute speech on what was going on in my life (I do tend to ramble). I asked her about her job, and she was doing something (graphics art) that I didn't remember her being trained for. I asked her about moving back home, but she said she was in a different state now. I also asked her about her health issues, but she said she wasn't having any.

It was at this point that I realized I was talking to a different Desiree (or as she spelled it, Desarae).

So after wasting more than 20 minutes of her life with my questions and talking, I explained our confusion (ok, MY confusion) and apologized for thinking she was somebody else. And after hanging up, I thought, "You know, her voice didn't even sound the same."

I think I'll let the answering machine pick up the next time she calls.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It sucks to be me!

Several years ago I had a girlfriend who had a couple of close female friends. Julie was a very attractive and happily married redhead, and Beth was an attractive blond who was engaged to Julie's brother. Both of their significant others worked nights, so they would go out with my girlfriend and me because 1) their significant others knew I wasn't a threat to steal their ladies away, 2) my girlfriend didn't mind if I danced with them, and 3) I was a good designated driver since I didn't drink. And I didn't mind them tagging along because they would try to make me blush by complimenting my butt the entire evening. Yeah, it sucked to be me. :)

One evening we were at a dance club, and Julie, Beth, my girlfriend, and I were standing near the dance floor. During the course of the evening, several guys asked Julie to dance, and she turned them all down. A couple of times, she asked my girlfriend permission to dance with me, which was granted, so we hit the dance floor.

Later in the evening I had to use the restroom. For the female readers, let me explain an unwritten "guy rule." Unless you know the guy standing next to you at the urinal you keep your eyes forward and your mouth shut. There is no small talk in the men's room. On this night, a guy broke that rule. The guy in question had had a few drinks, and he was one of the guys who had asked Julie to dance. And he had also noticed that Julie had been dancing with me.

So, as we're taking care of our business ... individually, of course ... he turned to me and said, "Hey, you're making out pretty well with that redhead." Since I knew I was their ride, I replied with confidence, "Yeah, I think I can get her to go home with me." When I got back to the group I told them what had happened. So Julie asked me to dance a couple more times just so that the guy would wonder what I had that he didn't.

And yes, he did notice us all leave together later that evening. Mainly because I waved to get his attention, pointed to Julie, and gave him the thumbs up sign.

It sucks to be me! :)