Prostitutes and Needle Pushers

andrew hallam

andrew hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (Wiley 2011) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use.

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12 Responses

  1. 101 Centavos says:

    I once had a Chinese foot massage in Shanghai. While your feet are soaking in near-boiling hot salted water, the amazingly strong massage girl pounded the snot out of my shoulders and back. Presumably this was to make the subsequent foot torture, I mean massage, feel better by comparison. At the end, I was just glad it was over.

  2. @101 Centavos

    I've had a similar experience. And the funniest thing is that the person in the chair next to you (a local) can sleep through an identical procedure. What's up with that?????

  3. 101 Centavos says:

    Beats me (no pun intended). They were drinking tea and having a high old time.

  4. @101 Centavos

    You had a wild bunch in there! Whenever I go, I'm crying in pain while the locals sleep. After watching locals sleep on the shortest of bus rides, and on the MRT, I've concluded that Asians can sleep anywhere….and through anything!

  5. I am experience-poor when it comes to Chinese related stuff unless green tea counts for anything? I've tasted it before….

    It's good to have those non-finance related posts from time to time!

  6. @BeatingTheIndex

    Thanks Mich,

    I wondered what people would think,considering that it had nothing to do with finance, but the story itself made me laugh while I wrote it, so I hoped someone would enjoy it. Thanks!

  7. 101 Centavos says:

    I got my usual buzz cut today (2 on the side, 3 on top), and reflected on how throroughly unremarkable an experience it was. I mean, I like the barber shop, been going there for years, but it couldn't even begin to compare to a Chinese head wash, or a Turkish haircut. Living overseas has its benefits, no doubt.

  8. Funny story, Andrew. I stayed in Hanoi for a few days visiting my girlfriend's cousin who was working there as a diplomat, and we went to this massage parlor in a new section of the city and the power was out. The place seemed pretty shady given everything around was pitch black and the girls were all dressed in miniskirts.

    We got a "normal" message (I think his wife would kill him if he were receiving any "special" massages), but those little girls were damn strong. There is one part of the massage where they roll you onto their knees to crack your back, and my girlfriend's cousin is a big guy, probably over 200 pounds, while these girls don't look like they're even 100 pounds. It was impressive.

    Since I was with my girlfriend 99% of the time, nobody called to me for a "special massage" or "good time" (though there were plenty that wanted to exchange money for us and other various things), but I did walk outside by myself at night in Ho Chi Minh one time, and some guy came by, put his arm around me, called me friend, and pointed at some girls and was wondering if I was interested. I told him that I wasn't and kept on going. Something similar almost happened in Bangkok when I walked by myself by some "girls" standing on the sidewalk, with my girlfriend looking on to see if they would behave differently if I was by myself. 😉

  9. I haven't traveled enough of the world to say, but I don't know if there are places where it is as prolific as in southeast Asia (namely, Vietnam and Thailand)! Wealth disparities probably play a part (small money to Westerners is big money to them), but then what about Hong Kong? It's pretty big there, too.

    Maybe it also depends on how many people pass through the area. What happens in (some overseas place) stays over there, and many businessmen know this.

    What you say about them being well-respected after returning to their home village is quite shocking, though! I never would have imagined that…

  10. The Dividend Ninja says:

    This is the funniest thing I have ever read on a finance blog 🙂

  11. Hey Ninja,

    Thanks! It definitely made me laugh while writing it. I knew that it didn't fit thematically with my blog, but it was the most enjoyable post I ever wrote. I'm glad you liked it too!

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