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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Classic case of Dumb Luck



After the gypsies stole my camera (with almost 1300 pictures of my one month trip) at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, I was determined to take as many pictures as I can in Paris. It was the only logical thing to do. My Parisian friend Cyrille suggested that I should get a disposable camera, but there was no way I would take my chances with such a device. I did not want to come home only to find out that I was not able to take any pictures. That would be kamikaze. Times were too modern for me to take suck a risk. My parents sent me enough money through Western Union so I can do the things I needed to do. I finally decided to buy a decent Pentax 7.1 megapixel camera as replacement for my 10.1 megapixel Canon Powershot.


I retraced my steps for the last few days. I went back to the Louvre, Tuleries Gardens, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Sacre Coeur, Shops in Saint Germain, etc. Everything seemed normal until I reached the area of Moulin Rouge in Montmarte, which was basically the Red Light District. It was not exactly how anyone would imagine Paris. Its smell and energy were different from the tourist areas. It was definitely for individuals with more risque personality. It was the dirtiest area not only because of the trash, but because of the live sex shows. I am not a prude but it was dirty in that sense. After getting mugged in Amsterdam, you would think that I had already learned my lesson.

As I was taking pictures and videos, I came across one of the few "clubs" in the area. My new friends Angeline and Mark and I originally planned to go a few days ago, but we decided to go back some other time. We were not able to do that though. Opportunity presented itself but I did not know if it was wise to heed its call.

I was taking videos when a guy from the club where I stopped called my attention. He was middle-eastern looking bouncer probably weighing at least 250 lbs. He started calling me "Amigo" because he thought I was Mexican. I figured that it would be best not to disclose any personal information so I pretended to be Mexican (Lie 1). I could speak a bit of Spanish so I did not think I would have any problems. The bouncer explained the highlights of their club. He said that I could watch a girl for only 10 Euros inclusive of one drink. I was not feeling comfortable with that idea since I had never seen any show of that sort. I hesitated and told him that I could not go because I had to meet up with some friends for dinner (Lie 2). My mistake was that I underestimated the subtle art of persuasion. The bouncer and some other people from the club were cunning businessmen. They knew how to trap you and I easily fell into that trap.

They assured me that everything would be over fast and I could still join my imaginary friends for dinner. I kept saying to myself that I would never do this back in the Philippines so why not try it in Paris. Oh what the heck. I went inside where there were probably 6 or 7 women scantily clad and all were ready to give or show you whatever you wanted. I initially asked if I could pay through credit card, which was the worst thing I could have done because it came to haunt me a little later. My naivete almost cost me my life. A black girl approached me first. She was a bit on the heavy side, making it less "entertaining". Her voice was husky and deep and she asked me. “So, do u want these tonight, boy? (as she touched her bossoms). I was shrieking deep inside and this prompted me to immediately back out. Before I even reached the exit, another girl approached me. She was a 21 year old French woman named Veronica. This was her full time job, which made her a seasoned "trapper" too. She gave me the same reason as the bouncer’s but with a more hypnotic tone. “Please stay, zis could be a fun night”, she said. “Alright, as long as we make this fast, I replied.

She started to dance and her body moved like silk. Next thing I knew, her full breasts were already pressing against my face. I was completely taken aback since it was new territory for me. She found that adorable because she liked guys who were less experienced. I immediately blurted out that I had to leave since my friends were waiting for me. Persistent, she asked me if she could get 2 more cocktails. At that point, it occurred to me that I may be paying for her drinks. I should have asked but I did not. I could not risk looking more gullible than I already was. Despite that, I still said yes, thinking that the drinks were probably not that expensive. She got her strawberry martinis and gave me a lap dance that would take me straight to hell. She made me touch her breasts. They were soft, full, and perfect that any straight man would find orgasmic. I knew this would lead to crazier things that I would end up regretting. It was time for me to leave so another white lie was in order. I told Veronica that my friends were going to be worried about me. She had no choice. We went straight to the bouncer who was apparently holding my future. As he lay the bill on the bar table, I saw one four, followed by a zero. 40 euros. Not bad. I had to urge to take a second look to confirm my bill. What I saw was so shocking that if stupidity was a person, he would be laughing at me.

My bill was actually 400 f**%@@% euros. I missed the other zero. The drinks that my muse Veronica ordered were 100 euros each! I was officially destined to be the unluckiest man in the world. I was in a state of panic because I did not have that much money. I only had 200 euros left. Thanks to his brilliant memory, the bouncer reminded me that I could pay through credit card. I was not his Amigo anymore. There was no way I was paying that much. I had to lie again. I told them that I had no credit card. I also managed to tell them that I was only 17. The bouncer, however, wanted to see my passport. I could not show them my passport for obvious reasons. I was after all a MEXICAN from Gaudalajara like Ugly Betty. I gave a pathetic outcry but it was not enough for them to let me off the hook. I then screamed: “You said it would only be 10 Euros! I don’t have any more money”, with a slight tremble in my voice. The bouncer said: “So you thought you could get a lady to dance for you for free? I would have replied yes but he meant it as a rhetorical question. It was wrong of me to trust people in Red Light Districts. I wanted to cry because I was duped…AGAIN. Being stupid can get you into serious trouble. The bouncer said that he was giving me a 100 euro discount if I calmed down. I was getting restless and with a surge of adrenaline, I went inside the bar but the bouncer got a hold of my wool sweater. He pulled me back and threatened me that if I was not paying, things were looking bad for me. He desperately showed me a fake video camera. He warned me that everything was being recorded. Being fooled once already made me look stupid but being fooled twice was unacceptable. A sinking feeling hit me. Was I getting murdered in Paris? Well, at least getting murdered here had its good side. Princess Diana died here anyway, right? I would rather die here than get hit by a bus on the Dapitan or Lacson.

Reality buried its claws deep into my skin. These people were not going to kill me. Well, I was not really sure. A few weeks ago in Amsterdam, Tina and I were mugged by a local after he threatened to kill us (this would be another story). Anything was possible. All I knew was if they were not going to put an end to my unfulfilled life, I would be beaten into a pulp. A bigger bouncer who was more than 300 lbs entered. I had to think fast. I was not getting out of this mess without a scratch.

With a stroke of luck, I remembered that the entrance of the club was a swing door, making it easy for me to escape. Running was the only feasible option. I pulled out my wallet from my pocket and got 15 Euros (as promised with 5 euros bonus, eh?). I left the money on the bar table and ran directly towards the swing door without looking back. I was hoping that no one was running after me. The situation was so tense that I was able to literally jump over 5 chairs outside a cafe. Despite the good number of people on the streets, relief was the last thing I could feel. This was their turf and a bit of paranoia was inevitable. I kept on running with a slight hope that they had stopped following me. I hopped onto a train in Pigalle and got off at the first stop. I stopped to catch my breath.

I still could not believe what just happened. I saw the Eiffel Tower proudly displaying its dazzling lights that illuminated the city. My heart was beating fast but the beauty of the Paris by the Seine River was so overwhelming that my fear was magically cast away. After narrowly escaping what could have been one of the worst nights of my life, I managed to smile. I got my video camera and pressed the recording button while headed back to St Michel where my bed was finally waiting for me.

32 comments:

james dy said...

hahaha funny story

Ysa Sanchez said...

haha. i love the experience! :))

deobaraanmd said...

thanks james!

deobaraanmd said...

thanks ysa! I appreciate the feedback. it was a scary experience then but quite hilarious now.

rex manuel said...

nerve wrackin' and good thing that you got out fast in that club without any scratch and had a free lap dance as a consuelo! bravo...
parang sa jeep, maraming nag '1...2...3...' :P

deobaraanmd said...

haha i know. parang sa jeep. I had to do it. lol. thanks for reading rex!

Kristina said...

deo i didn't know you're such an athlete!jumping over 5 chairs!!??!!! wow! love it!

deobaraanmd said...

haha it's the adrenaline tin. desperate times always call for desperate and extraordinary measures. lol

Anonymous said...

this is why i love this story. it's already something like a life or death scenario, yet it's still so comic! -artymiz

deobaraanmd said...

haha thanks artymiz! i love it too. classic.

Dennis said...

Hilarious when you look back at it now
Kudos to you Deo. That was some awesome move
getting the hell out of there. You aren't meant not to end in Paris Deo. I do not wish to stop reading your many travels. Go travelin' Man! :D

deobaraanmd said...

thanks a lot dennis! yes i have more business in this world. glad u enjoyed it!

Bing Mendoza said...

Deo. that was scary!

deobaraanmd said...

haha it was back then.

Anonymous said...

Hi Deo,
Thanks for sharing that...Scary to you I'm sure but I was laughing hard reading it because it reminded me of that same kind of experience when me and my wife visited Paris many years ago. Anyway, that should make you a smarter traveler next time.
I truly enjoy your blogs. I am a new retiree from Southern California and hope to be travelling to more islands in the Philippines and Southeast Asia starting next month. With your experiences that you shared, I think my trips would become more enjoyable and easier to plan.
Thanks for sharing Deo and keep up the good work... I am scheduled to be in Bangkok for a month in July and you definitely made me curious about Patpong. Take care...

deobaraanmd said...

hi there! thanks so much for reading my blog. I'm always happy when people give me feedback (positive or negative). And yes, my Red light district in Paris is probably one of the funniest stories here on my blog.

I will definitely try to travel as much as I can, despite my busy schedule in the coming months.

Have fun in Bangkok! Make sure you check the "situation" in Bangkok before you go. Patpong should be interesting. haha.

Safe Travels!

Anonymous said...

Gracias Deo...
You do remind me of myself when I was younger... full of life, fun loving, carefree and sometimes careless... Hope to bump into you in one of my trips. Would be nice to meet you in person. Ingat always.... Sr. Patpong (I'll use this name in your blog and hope you won't mind)

deobaraanmd said...

haha that's nice. It would really be fun to bump into one of my readers one of these days. I'm sure we can make that happen sooner or later.

and St. Patpong sounds lovely. haha. :P

Take care too!

kiko said...

haha. extremely funny! it sounds a lot like a scene from a comedy movie.

deobaraanmd said...

it is. that experience would really be perfect for a movie. maybe when i have more crazy travel experiences, ill send them to the movie studios. haha

jojo said...

ahahah... really had a blast! felt like i was reading a heart-thumping, action packed novel. very well written. kelan kaya ako makapunta sa mga lugar na yan?

deobaraanmd said...

thanks jojo! im sure you'll get to visit that place one of these days. you know what "not" to do now. haha

mira said...

LOL, you made it all up right? anyway if it did happen you'll die soon, i'll inform those guys your whereabout, hahaha, nice one..

deobaraanmd said...

mira, of course it happened. lol. im not that imaginative. haha

Anonymous said...

wow!what an experience!i can imagine u running around like a madman in paris.haha.keep blogging.i enjoy reading ur blogs.Godspeed

deobaraanmd said...

haha i was really running around like a mad man! please put your name next time. :P

Anonymous said...

am glad you shared this blog. lesson learned and a warning for the others just as gullible although am sure finding this funny right now. ;)

YlocanaBelle

deobaraanmd said...

Hi ylocanabelle! it was damn scary when it was happening but know everyone would think it's funny. :P I was glad to share it.

tina said...

Hahaha! Quite a story, is must have been really scary for you. Good thing you got out scratch free :)

deobaraanmd said...

haha yes it was scary...when i look back though, it just becomes a hilarious story,

B said...

I can imagine the horror. you've told me this a hundred times but as I now these places now, its actually really the craziest thing that could happen! I miss you so much, D. :) The next time we'll be in Paris together. Also, I would have CRIED an ocean or two if I were you when they stole your camera! haha you know me.

Amadeus Baraan said...

Hey B, it was really scary. total adrenaline rush. I hope to go with you back there next time..i dont want to think about how far you are because I'll miss you more.:(

Try to have fun there okay..and be safe. love you.