Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ladies of the night, or day...

One other thing that is remarkable in its absence here in the English countryside besides the sound of bells is the sight of women standing in the lay-bys along the roads. There are alot of cows and sheep, but so far, I've yet to see a leather-booted, mini-skirt wearing woman, waiting for custom.

I've become accustomed to seeing them as I drive up the main road from Beziers towards my village, usually one or two at least, any time of day, sitting in their cars with the driver side door open and a flash of leg sticking out. I've even become adept at diverting the little ladies' attention from them, by pointing at a bird or an imaginary rainbow somewhere off in the distance.

A recent article in the Midi Libre, my local paper, says that the number of these prostitutes is on the rise. The number of woman and very young looking girls who come here, from places like Senegal and Romania, hoping to make money to send back home, keeps increasing each year. Apparently, on the good roads, one can make as much as 500 euros a day.

In case you weren't aware, prostitution is tolerated in France, as long as they are of legal age, although the act of 'pimping' is supposed to be illegal. The general consensus is that it is an individual liberty, the selling of one's body. I'd have to agree on that, but unfortunately the profession is so full of women who are doing it (excuse the pun) under duress that it's hard not to be a bit sceptical that it is truly an individual's 'liberty' that is being exercised.

If you've ever walked down the rue St Denis in Paris, you'd be hard-pressed not to be propositioned, but to see it on offer amongst the vines driving through the Languedoc countryside is a little different.

I asked a friend the other day where a certain restaurant was in Beziers and they said to take a right at the roundabout with the hookers on it. Charming. But I guess someone has got to do it; there's obviously a market for it. Part of me wants to know how it works, out there in the vines, logistically, I mean, and then another part of me doesn't. Let's just hope the economy never gets bad enough for me to have to find out...

3 comments:

A Work In Progress.. said...

Wow, this is a whole side of France I never knew about! I can't say I remember seeing any of these women along the side of the road where I lived, but then again I was only 18, and very naive, so if there was a woman in her car along the side of the road, I probably just thought she needed to pull over for something, and I wouldn't have guessed for a BJ!
I tend to feel the same as you about the whole industry, how much of a choice is it really? I applaud your attempts at diverting the little ladies attention, I would probably try to do the same!

La Belette Rouge said...

I feel sure that even if the economy got bad that there are better options for such a brilliant gal such as yourself!;-) Really interesting post.
Happy New Years to you!!!:-)

The Blonde Duck said...

Just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hi. Down in Texas, hookers simply stroll downtown...