Thursday, August 03, 2006

Heading South (and west)

While watching BBC World a few weeks back, I caught an interview with Charlotte Rampling that touched on the dynamics of the "mail-order bride" industry, however obliquely. Rampling stars in the French movie Vers la Sud (Heading South), which tells the story of three women who visit Haiti and use their first-world money to acquire third-world dates. In other words, they're sex tourists. The women wouldn't explicitly pay for sex, but they'd go to bars and pay for their dates' drinks and dinners, they'd buy gifts, and they'd maybe leave some money hanging around on the counter. When asked about this, Rampling called this relationship "a coming together of needs ... quite pleasant for both (parties) often." Tom Brook, her balding and almost eagerly British interviewer, just nodded along when he heard this, not challenging it with a word. But while I listened, I thought, "My god, a man couldn't dare say such a thing about going to Ukraine." Maybe it's because Rampling has such a lovely English accent and everything from her sounds so dignified. Be a dear, would you, and find me a hooker for the evening. That's a good man, James.
 
Anyways, I found my notes for the above while packing up my suitcase and getting ready to leave for Kharkov -- and then Kiev -- and then Munich -- and then Washington D.C. -- and then San Francisco. The first leg of my journey, a two-hour ride from Belgorod, begins in the morning. Then I spend the day in Kharkov (long enough to get all the pictures I forgot to take) and continue down to Kiev on the express train the following morning. My journey home, by air, begins the next day. So, come Monday, I'll be experiencing the culture shock of my return to the United States. Look for a few reports on it here, along with some more posts commenting on the last of my research -- there's still much I have to say (I've had so little computer time). 

4 Comments:

Leopolis said...

http://www.harpers.org/AForeignAffair.html

In case you haven't read it yet

WittyName32 said...

Thanks -- I'd been waiting to get my eyes on it.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte or Virginia Rampling?

WittyName32 said...

Corrected. Thank you.