It's amazing what can happen in ten minutes. One evening, at about 8:00pm in Beijing, I left my hotel and went for a short walk – about ten minutes – to a nearby McDonalds in order to satisfy a craving. A craving for a half-decent burger.
By the time I got there, I had four cards in my pocket, all of them shoved into my hands by middle-aged women, each claiming to have many beautiful girls who could go to my hotel and give me an all-body oil massage. With sex, it would only cost RMB 600 (about $80).
At first I was polite and took the cards, saying "not tonight, maybe later" before walking on. In one case, I said I was going to McDonalds, and got a short lecture about how unhealthy the food there is. Amazing. Lessons on nutrition from a mamasan. I should have asked her if her girls were any healthier.
The next night was even worse. I couldn't walk 10 meters without some lady rushing out of the shadows with a card in her hand. So I decided to give the next one a solid excuse for saying no: I told her I had already been with a girl, just hours before. In case you were wondering, that was a BAD IDEA.
All I did was signal that I was a potential paying customer. She followed me for half a block, jabbering in heavily-accented English that her girls were much prettier and much better than anyone I might have been with before. She shoved her card in my hand before letting me go, reminding me over and over to call the next day.
Only then did I come up with the perfect solution. The next time I was approached, I showed the lady my wedding ring and told her my wife was waiting for me in the hotel. Just to rub it in, I added that she give great massages. The mamasan stopped in her tracks, apologized, and vanished. Like magic.
Why didn't I think of that in the first place?