Not all Indonesian dollar chasers in Hong Kong are "resilient" enough to live as domestic helpers. There are many shortcuts available, including becoming a love dealer, as advised by some friends, "Hong Kong's paradise is not just for shopping, just try Lan Kwai Fong. There's any model you want!" exclaimed a friend who has been living there for two years. Fueled by increasing curiosity, I finally made it to this famous place.
Lively and full of the exotic nightlife, that's perhaps the perfect description for Lan Kwai Fong! This area in Central is so alive, with dozens of cafes and bars vying for attention with various room layout designs and colorful lights. When the sun completely sets, the atmosphere in the area becomes more festive.
Women in various captivating outfits, but with one theme: sexy, endlessly parade on D'Aguilar Street. This area does offer its own uniqueness, attracting many people in Hong Kong, whether they are from abroad, including Indonesia, or local residents.
Clothes! That's the keyword for those who visit this area. Look at their clothes, they're really up-to-date. Even Indonesian migrant workers who come here dress up extremely well.
"We have to dress up as weird as possible to attract many guests here, the weirder they (the guests) are, the more curious they become," said Li Chan, a waiter dressed as a cat.
It seems true that Lan Kwai Fong's glitter is another heaven in Hong Kong, besides shopping, of course. The area, entirely transformed into a pedestrian corner, seems to welcome anyone who comes here.
Music, cozy atmosphere, plus beautiful and high-class girls, of course, become a magnet for men. "Hi sugar, wanna join with us inside? We have a party?" invited some white guests at D'Blue cafe.
Several pitchers of beer next to a girl who identified herself as Andrea and came from Australia seemed to seduce anyone she invited to join in not to waste this invitation.
Apparently, this white girl was celebrating a farewell party before returning to her country after almost a month in Hong Kong. Along with some friends, they were having a farewell party. In the lively corner of the cafe, Andrea and her friends hired some sexy dancers to show their skills.
The agile sexy dancers on the bar runway, of course, made the night party more festive. "This is the way we entertain our guests. Let's enjoy the party tonight," Andrea invited me.
Next, the movements of sexy dancers from the Philippines, who had cute faces, directly increased the adrenaline of every man that night. Appearing in super mini clothes, a combination of a hot skirt and silver-colored tank top, they swayed in unison with the increasingly loud house music.
As the night grew late, the atmosphere became more festive. From the whispers of the socialites, I found out that many of these sexy dancers come from Indonesia, especially Indonesian domestic workers who live outside their employers' homes.
And, as is common in places like this, there are always women who can be taken on a brief date. Some of them come from Indonesia. However, it takes extra patience to "get them."
Unfortunately, that night, I didn't manage to meet any Indonesian women who were operating in the area. Instead, there were many Filipina and Thai girls and purels who proliferated there. Starting from being a waiter, Guest Relation Officer (GRO), and other positions.
"Maybe they're there in Wan Chai, just give it a try," whispered a friend. Wan Chai was only a few kilometers away from Lan Kwai Fong. "We're not brave enough here, we'll be more satisfied in Wan Chai, let's move!" exclaimed Rudi, who claimed to be familiar with the world of vice in the former British colony of Hong Kong.
When the clock struck 2 am local time, the hunt was finally moved to Wan Chai, precisely around Gloucester Road. A little different from the high-class Lan Kwai Fong, the clubbing scene in Wan Chai was a bit more popular. The cafes and pubs were not as attractive as those in Lan Kwai Fong. "That's the place, hopefully there are some Indonesian girls there," said Rudi, pointing to VENUS cafe at the end of Gloucester Road.
The lewd aroma seemed to greet anyone who came here. Several photos of Asian girls with seductive poses were already displayed in front of the entrance. "Ladies, you want beautiful girls? We have many inside!" greeted some salespeople in front of the cafe with its entrance covered by curtains. "Yes," replied Rudi while nodding.
So when the door opened, dozens of women dressed in super mini clothes immediately greeted the guests who came, men of course. In front of the bar, a topless woman was still dancing.
"We have Filipinas, Thaigoers (Thai women). Which one do you want?" Mama San, as the madam was called, greeted them. "Indonesia!" replied Rudi seriously. Mama San looked a bit confused while furrowing her brow. "Yes, but you have to wait. There is one, but she is still serving a Pakistani guest. Do you want her?" Mama San replied seriously while pointing to a brown-skinned girl named Desi, who was keeping a Pakistani guest company.
"Yes, we only have one from Indonesia," said Mama San, mentioning Desi as a rare Indonesian purel (pleasure worker) in Hong Kong. It's understandable since almost all of the entertainment girls in Wan Chai are dominated by Filipina and Thai girls.
While waiting for Desi's turn, Mama San, a Filipino woman who had been in the prostitution business in Hong Kong for 20 years, blabbered about her job. From her lips, she said that Indonesian girls actually have a chance to earn more money in Hong Kong by becoming purel. She was not even ashamed to mention that, by being a sex worker, the money they get is far richer than being a domestic helper.
"At my place in Cebu (Philippines), now young girls are not interested in being housemaids. Their salary is too small. On the other hand, by working like this, they can become much richer," she said seriously.
To prove this story's truth, Mama San said that a domestic helper's salary in Hong Kong is only around HKD 3,500-4,000. But their children can earn a minimum income of HKD 6,000 per month. There are even some who can get above HKD 10,000. This number seems quite reasonable.
Because the booking price for girls in Wan Chai is relatively expensive! Just to accompany them for a 2-hour chat, visitors have to book for HKD 200. That doesn't even include the minimum drink treat of HKD 40. That's not to mention the tip they get from guests.
"If you want to sleep with them, just pay HKD 2,000 for 2 hours. As for the service and hospitality, you know for yourself the Filipino women. We have participated in Miss Universe several times.
After waiting for two hours, Desi finally arrived at the café as the only Indonesian female working as an entertainer there. Upon finding out that the person who had booked her was Indonesian, Desi appeared awkward. Her body language, moving back and forth when called "Mama San," seemed to suggest that she was hiding something. It was only after being persuaded by the "mama" that she finally agreed to "work."
"Hey, are you from Indo? Come, let's sit down first. Have you ordered anything to drink?" she said at the end of the café. After introducing themselves and chatting about various things, the 26-year-old single mother was willing to share a lot about her "job."
In Hong Kong, a woman from a village in Cilacap admitted to having taken the risky job of working as an entertainer due to her proximity to the Wanchai area, just a few blocks away from Glouchester Road.
"I'm a Stay Out (living outside my employer's house). After work, I have nothing to do at night. Fortunately, there's a Filipino woman living next to my apartment who often invites me here," she said, recalling the beginning of her love affair with the glittering world of Wanchai. Initially, Desi only hung out in the café. As a housemaid by profession, she was not like her friend who was a club-goer. However, frequenting the café actually made her fall more in love with the nightlife scene.(*)