Friday, May 11, 2007

What will happen without the hookers?

The city passed a law a few years ago saying prostitution was fine, but prostitutes had to work at least 200 meters from homes, schools and places of worship. So a lot of the hookers who once worked a certain street in the Palermo neighborhood moved to a spot in a nearby park.

This is one of my favorite Clarín articles of all time.

The reporter talked to some hookers who moved to the park, noting that there weren't as many as there might have been, because it was January and the height of the summer vacation season. What? You thought hookers didn't get vacation?

In any case, the hookers' forced exodus did not sit well with some Palermo residents. Their gripe: This street isn't going to be safe without the prostitutes! Without the prostitutes and their customers, the logic went, the streets would be nearly empty and therefore more dangerous.

Meanwhile, three exercisers in the park were interviewed. They were glad the prostitutes were there. Finally! They could go for a jog secure in the knowledge that the prostitutes had made the park safer.

The article talks mostly about the transvestites that used to work a particular strip ... which made me think of the taxi driver who took me to the airport when my first trip down here was coming to an end.

Taxi driver: So, where are you from?
Dan: The United States.
TD: Really? I wouldn't have guessed it!
Dan: Yep. True fact. The United States.
TD: Huh. So you're going back, huh?
Dan: Yeah.

[A minute or two of silence.]

TD: We really have a lot of transvestites here.
D: Excuse me?
TD: Transvestites. You know. . . Transvestites. We really have a lot of them here.
D: Oh.
TD: Do you have a lot of transvestites in your country?
D: Um. I can't really say.

[Many, many minutes of silence. It is a long ride to the airport.]


Doug said...

Sarah and I live in a high crime area: New York City, Upper West Side. We have an outdoor terrace to our apartment where I've never felt safe.

I'm considering employing a couple of transvestite hookers to be on the terrace at all times so that we can sleep easy at night..

Matt said...

transvestite hookers seem to be quite popular in south america. in ecuador they're really common. and dangerous. they used to patrol a couple of blocks of calle reina victoria in quito. now quito is pretty bloody dodgy after dark anywhere in the city...but those couple of blocks were a total no go area. except for the clients of course. but the hookers were known to be so dangerous that i'm not sure whether anyone actually dared go there for their weekly manjob.

i've also been informed by people in the know that transvestite hookers are common in mexico and colombia as well.

odd that in BA they're seen as an integral part of neighbourhood security. though i guess beefy ladies with truncheons might be pretty scary to any would be robber...