Monday, April 21, 2003

"I Want to Be Your Wife"

HANOI — Vietnamese prostitutes trying to lure customers in the resort town of China Beach have been taking English classes to improve their chances, state-run media said on Friday.

At least three English classes have been opened unofficially in the city, with teachers who provide instruction on sentences like: 'One hundred dollars', 'I want to be your wife' and 'Give me your watch', the Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper reported.

Officials in the town, a former playground for American soldiers during the Vietnam War, could not be reached for comment.

The paper said one unidentified teacher was paid $52 a month by her students.

A woman from one of the classes said many in her profession had long wanted to study English.

"Many times we would have a client, a foreigner, but we were so embarrassed as we did not know what to say to lure him," the newspaper quoted her as saying.

Prostitution is illegal in communist Vietnam which has recently renewed crackdowns, including stronger penalties for state employees caught breaking the law.

In late 2002, state media estimated the country had around 37,000 prostitutes though the authorities had official records on only 14,000.

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Created: May 2, 2003
Last modified: May 2, 2003
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