In all the wrong places

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  • I left Malaysia today and headed just across the southern border by bus into Singapore. I arrived at the ‘Golden Mile’ which didn’t live up to its rather illustrious name. Oddly enough my bus had arrived a little ahead of schedule and my friend who lives in Singapore wasn’t yet off work, so I decided to go in search of a haircut.

    While looking for a hairdressers, barbers, or something that looked remotely like a place where such a task might be performed, I found a couple of storefront offices the like of which I have never come across before; Marriage Consultants.

    I saw a couple of them, one called ‘Miss Saigon’ in which I could see an old Asian man behind a desk with maps on the wall and faded pictures of couples smiling and embracing. A slim young Asian girl with flowing black hair sat at a table next to some plastic flowers while she watched a television precariously balanced on a wooden shelf unit across the room.

    The other was called ‘BestMatch Marriage Consultants.’ I couldn’t see into that particular office that hid behind thick net curtains and a large collection of pictures showing the “latest beauties.” The young girls in the pictures were clearly doing their best to look demur and un self-conscious as they posed smiling and hoping, perhaps, to find romance with a handsome man in a far off place.

    The lit sign above the door sounded far from romantic to me. It read, “A Vietnam wife is keen to do household chores and willing to take care of parents whole heartedly.”

    Romance may not be dead, but I suspect it caught the bus and fled this sad little mall a long long time ago.

  • 8 comments on “In all the wrong places

    1. That definitely shows that there are men in this world that are looking for women to do house chores and look after parents and maybe they dont really care about love but just materialistic things… so sad to see that bad slogan written down at the front of a shop like that.
      What a way to start a couple life!! I wouldnt be happy to have this kind of business even!!
      Surprisingly they advertise for vietnamese women in Singapore!!

      • It is sad isn’t it. I was curious as to what kind of guy uses such a place. What are the usual demographics? What are the stories of the clients?

        I remember watching a BBC documentary about such places conducted by Louis Theroux. In fact, the Miss Saigon office looked remarkably similar to the office Louis visited on a few occasions in that documentary. (You can see a clip here – It will make you cringe!)

    2. Most Vietnamese women that end up in things like those are from rural areas and are very poor. They believe that finding a husband from another country will solve their financial problems, and in turn deal with an array of other problems such as language barriers, lack of love, and potential abuse and exploitation. A lot of young women, sometimes as young as 15, in my dad’s hometown find husbands from South Korea. My cousin married a Korean man when she was younger and went to live with him in South Korea. Many women are disillusioned by the time they get there and realize that the men had lied to them about their financial status. She left him after a year or two of marriage and is now married to a Vietnamese man instead. It is a really sad destiny to be bound to.

      • Thats true Vee. I find the whole thing very sad really. Sad for the girls, but oddly enough also for the guys. I mean, how lonely must you be to have to basically buy someone for companionship who doesn’t even have a good command of your language? If you have a little time to kill I highly recommend watching that BBC documentary by Louis Theroux.

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