Inspirations: Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and Lucille Ball, for accentuating their redness; Marilyn Monroe and Madonna, for their unrelentingly platinum hair; Christie Brinkley, for her overwhelming blondness; Goldie Hawn, for her trademark golden hair; Farrah Fawcett, for her feminine, fluffy curls; Andie MacDowell, for making tight curls modern; and Linda Evangelista, for breaking hair-color convention by going whatever color(s) she chooses, whenever the mood hits.


Their job was simple: take as much money from the patrons as was possible to do. When we walked in, they descended on us like a flock of aggressive sparrows, chattering, flitting about, pulling at us, squabbling over us, two competitors pulling at either arm. There is no 17-year-old male alive that doesn’t like being fought over by a pretty woman. The girls were mostly dressed in Chinese-style print dresses, split up the sides to the top of the thigh. They were drenched in perfumes and had their hair pulled up high and held back with clips. Flawless skin. They all looked gorgeous, even the ugly ones, as we always said later. We sat in a line at the bar for a bit, while the mama-san put three cold Anchor Pilsner beers in front of us, with frosted glasses pulled straight from the freezer. The girls leant against us and cooed for drinks themselves. We bought them small shots of coloured water at $10 Singapore a time, which they threw back in a gulp and asked for more.

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