Saturday, April 4, 2009

Old French Canadians Have Awesome Stories - Thursday 4-2-2009

Michel and Nicolas Roy
Nicolas' father Michel is one of the most interesting people I have met on my trip. He has been a professional golfer, a restaurant owner, a bar owner, a golf teacher, a golf course manager, a golf course owner, and traveled through Costa Rica 17 years ago in a van, never once paying for a room during that time and meeting countless characters along the way. He has lived in Florida, Quebec, Costa Rica, and, for 18 winters, on the sun kissed coast of the Dominican Republic. His stories stand beautifully on their own as tales of youthful self-indulgence and adventure, but his passion, body language, French accent and liberal use of the f-word and the m-f word put his storytelling over the top. He also has more stories about whorehouses in Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince than any man should. This story was my favorite:
When Michel was about 20 years old, he and his friend from Quebec traveled to the Dominican Republic. While there, he was told that Santo Domingo was such an amazing place that he would never want to leave. In fact, not only was Santo Domingo amazing, but a brothel there called Armenia had so many beautiful girls that it was the happiest place on Earth for the customers. Curious, he and his friend traveled to Santo Domingo. After checking into their motel, the set about finding the brothel, but no one would admit to knowing its location. In those days, Santo Domingo was a devoutly religious city and locals just did not talk openly about brothels, especially with two men as young as Michel and his friend. Frustrated, they begin asking for directions to street that the brothel is on. People answered this question and soon Michel and his friend find the street. It is a long street and they do not want to drive all of it, so they ask a 12 year old boy, “donde esta Armenia.” They twelve year old boy excited offers to take them there himself, calling the brothel the “best place in the whole world.” With the boy’s help, Michel and his friend arrive there about 10:00PM. Michel and his friend pay one peso (about $.80 at the time) to enter. The walk down a long corridor. On one side is a bench with dozens of beautiful women just sitting, waiting for a client. On the other side is a large bar and several other huge open spaces, each with its own bar and its own live band playing salsa and meringue underneath the night sky. Michel and his friend go from bar to bar. The women walk through the open air rooms, but do not approach the clients. Finally, Michel and his friend each find a woman they like and negotiate $10 for the night for each escort. Michele takes his woman, and drives to a motel room. The room has only a bare bed, so Michel’s escort orders sheets, pillows, and such. In the morning, he takes her to breakfast and then drops her off at Armenia. She and her pimp demand $100 from Michel and his friend, who is also there dropping off his escort. Michel and his friend look at each other and ask in French if the other has $100. Neither man has the money. Then they ask each other if their negotiated price was $10. Each friend tells the other that it was. Michel then tells the pimp and the women that they do have the money with them, but they can easily pay if the women would just accompany them to the nearest Royal Bank of Canada branch. The pimp and escorts agree. When Michel and his friend arrive at the bank, they ask in French to speak with the manager. The manager comes down and listens to Michel and his friend explain the situation. When the bank manager fully understands the situation, he looks over the escorts and tells them dismissively to go home. Seeing they are not going to get $10 much less $100, the escorts leave.
That night, Michel goes back to Armenia and all the women start yelling at him and pointing. He finds his escort from the previous night and says this: “I am sorry for not paying you $100, but the negotiated fee was $10. So here is $10. You treated me very well last night and so here is another $10. And I wish to spend tonight with you again, so here is $10 more.” The escort thanks Michele, and soon dozens of escorts are swarming the wealthiest John in Armenia.
After six months of nightly visits to Armenia, Michel and his friend finally left for the coast.

1 comment:

  1. I've been trying to catch up with your adventures...sounds looks like you've met a lot of friendly/interesting people. Looking forward to reading about what you're doing next.