I haven’t spent a lot of time hanging out on Brazil’s beaches, but I did spend a lot of time on Philippine beaches and it is a peculiar experience being mistaken for a prostitute. When I worked in Korea I went to the Philippines three times, each time going to the same resort. It was easy. Fly into Clark, resort’s driver picks me up, the woman at the desk knows my name. The first time I was there the town I was in had been recommended by boys, but not the resort. Silly me, of course boys are going to go where there’s lots of hookers and one of the Philippines major tourism draws is sex. The first resort I was at was atrocious. I don’t think I stayed the night. It was so awful that I was immediately out on the road looking for another place and was sent to Blue Rock. I loved Blue Rock. Not in town, but a quick motorcycle cab ride away. Beautiful beach that was bordered on one end by a butt of lava rock.
I ended up staying in a bunch of different rooms during my repeat stays, but my favorite was steps from the beach down near the end. So every morning after breakfast I would put on my suit and trek out to the beach with my book and my towel. Since this resort was not on the main drag there were not as many prostitutes, but that didn’t mean that men staying there didn’t assume a single woman sitting on the beach wasn’t for sale. I didn’t have as many propositions laying on the beach as I did sitting in the bar sipping my divine mango smoothie, but there were a couple.
They were, um, useful as inspiration for the opening scene of this book.