Today I popped into a bar called the Four Deuces. I’m no longer a bar patron but I had 45 minutes to spare so thought I’d have a drink or two.
Upon entering there was an attractive Asian and while sitting at the bar stool greeted me. Now this was only the second time I had been to this place and I was confused why the most attractive person sitting at the bar would greet me. Here in the USA in the big cities it is customary only to greet people if you believe they will spend money. So I quickly figured out that this person had just obtained a position at the bar and was greeting a customer!
This guess was confirmed when the bartender named Sharon taught her how to clean the glasses right in front of me. We soon struck up a conversation and I learned she had moved from the Philippines to the USA four years ago and this was only her second job, the first being at a cafe which she still maintained.
This encounter quickly reminded me of my time in Asia as she was a complete sweetheart. I asked her what she thought of San Francisco and she enjoyed it. I mentioned that she landed in the best part of the USA and should be glad it wasn’t Alabama – but she already knew the South was racist. Meeting her reminded me of how sad I was when I met so many sweet girls who married bad people or moved to another country only to realize that the world is a cruel place. My advice to her if she was going to start working at a bar is to put on her armor because a bar atmosphere is toxic. But to be successful she only need engage her clients and speak with them because regulars are lonely people. Why do people drink at bars anyway? They could easily drink at home for half the price so what is the reason they choose to come to a bar? They come for the social interaction and by interacting with them an attractive person such as herself could gain more tips.
I told her my history to let her know I really could relate to someone who has left their own country for a foreign land. I let her know how highly I regard Filipinos, as like the Vietnamese, they are friendly people whereas here in the USA the main reason people are friendly in bar establishments are to earn money. She told me how awful a recent patron was at the cafe she worked at which is not an uncommon experience for the self entitled patrons we often find here.
I worried for her as the bar scene will quickly embitter her and turn her heart cold. When I lived in Asia I was always sad to hear of beautiful girls marrying awful men and learning how bad the world can be. The world continues to turn however and a new generation of sweethearts quickly learn that there is a cost to joining the First World.