On my way home from work today, I stopped at the Monoprix near the subway station to get a long list of groceries. Since I now knew that I would be staying where I was until Sep 22, it was time to get some more substantial supplies.
While passing by the cashiers on the way to find some bread, I did a double-take when a saw a small Chinese woman with heavy makeup, aggressively-permed hair, a tightly-fitted jacket covering a low-cut shirt, a micro-mini skirt that was almost shorter than her jacket, black lacy nylons and stiletto heels. In other words, one of the local hookers was standing in line, a bottle of milk in hand, a cell phone in the other. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised; nobody can live on a diet of jizz and cigarettes.
Seriously, though, it must be awkward to engage in everyday activities as a sex-trade worker. At least, it’s gotta be uncomfortable when you’re “dressed for work” and realize that you’re hungry or need some new nylons or something. The people of this neighborhood have obviously come to expect to see women like her hanging out in front of the KFC at the corner of Strasbourg and Grands Boulevards, or in the darkly-lit doorways further down rue St.-Denis. But not so much under fluorescent lighting in a mid-scale supermarket.
One other observation: I don’t know if it was just a certain phase of the moon or something, but everywhere I went along the aisles of Monoprix, there was at least one person on their cell phone, arguing with their interlocutor on the other end of the line. I was like a public, collective and yet long-distance family fight.