The Sunday Leader

Uzbek Dentist Turned Sex Worker

I’ve often wondered what possessed a girl to leave China or Russia (or environs) and sell sex to Sri Lankans. But I’ve never actually talked to a prostitute. My friend Navin Weeraratne, however, has. He took the time to talk to one such girl from Uzbekistan and posted her story on Facebook. He was kind enough to write a longer version for me here. I consider this the first guest post in Article 14. Please note that some identifying details and names have been changed.

Christmas
By Navin Weeraratne

Prostitution is a fairly visible part of Colombo life. Until recently, it was an open secret that a floor of Liberty Plaza housed a brothel. There are numerous Chinese restaurants and karaoke bars that don’t serve much food or sing many songs.

Recently, it was Christmas night for me.
Christmas is from the former Soviet Union. She’s in her twenties, has spent years studying medicine, has a sweet young daughter, and likes to watch boxing. She’s a perfectly normal, educated, charming, Eastern European girl. Except that Christmas is a hooker.
I met her past midnight at a hotel. She was looking bored in a sexy but tasteful black dress with high heels. She wore a little makeup – she clearly knew more was less. Her eyes were dark, intelligent, suspicious. I checked her out and she looked away – and then back again. I knew she was the right girl.

“Hi. Can I take pictures of you?”

She either didn’t understand or didn’t believe me. She told me her rates were $100 an hour, and on that basis the market cleared and business was contracted. $100 seemed a pretty decent rate to me.

Her Life

Christmas has been coming to Sri Lanka for years. She has a local accent and speaks Sinhala. Her daughter is back in her native country, and has learned to say “Ammi” instead of “Momma.”
Christmas is no dumb blonde. She went to medical school, and showed me her Photoshop editing work. I asked her what made her leave her life to come out to Sri Lanka to be a sex worker, but she didn’t want to talk about it.
There really is nothing more fun late at night than being out with a full on party girl, and Christmas defined party girl. She wanted beer, cigarettes, and Facebook. She took my arm and we checked out several clubs, but had to leave one in a hurry: it was another working girl’s turf and pimps were calling pimps.
After that I asked her to come over to my place. The only catch was beer (more for me) at that late hour, but our three wheeler driver told us he could get it easily from the “black market.”  Christmas had no problem with going about in a three wheeler at night. “This is Kollupitiya. All the police know.”
She was however concerned about walking alone in the streets of Colombo. “You know what it’s like for women. If I’m alone, I am finished.”
At my place, Christmas started smoking heavily – not what you’d expect from someone with a medical background. She refused to tell me how many packs she smokes a day. I reminded her that Surgeon Generals frown on this sort of thing.
I was concerned she was a trafficked girl so I asked her if she had her passport. She said that it had gone missing after a client stole her purse one night, but she seemed to see this as an annoyance more than anything else.
After a few cigarettes and a bottle of Carlsberg (it’s always a good sign when a girl likes her beer), she was properly relaxed. I don’t think there’s much point in taking photographs of sober women – they are too shy and reserved to show off how pretty they are, and if you try to take their picture they’ll hide behind a menu or turn their heads away, even though they’re flattered. Christmas was shy as well – but soon she was quite comfortable and ready to peacock.
I took quite a few pictures. I had expected to just do candids but she started posing. After a while she started taking off her clothes and asked me to keep shooting, and so I did (who was I to argue?). I had planned on taking some good shots of pretty women that night, but I really had no idea. Next time though, I’ll make sure I’m using the focus properly.

Getting Out

Christmas has a boyfriend, a Sri Lankan who wants to marry her and pull her away from this life. Unfortunately, he is just too afraid to man up and tell his father he wants to marry a young mother. I told her that her boyfriend has no balls and explained to her the concept of the Mama’s Boy, a great and recurring curse in Sri Lanka. While she did not like me saying that he had no balls, she very much agreed that he lacked them.
The next morning, I put some pictures of Christmas up on Facebook. The most asked question was why had she chosen to become a hooker? One does not think of a doctor making a choice like that.
But then, one does not normally think that behind a tough-as-nails hooker is likely a small and vulnerable child. One does not normally think of a young single mother abandoned by their husband or boyfriends to raise their child alone, of women who will do whatever they must to protect and nurture their children.
Christmas is just one of many women in Sri Lanka who have travelled across the world, risked their lives daily to work a hard and unpleasant job, and must hide from law enforcement that punishes them and a society that preys on them in private and scorns them in public.
The drive, strength, and self sacrifice that Christmas has to do all this for the sake of her child, is something that I in my privileged, Man-Boy life simply cannot understand. It is superhuman to me. It’s scary. Christmas is not just a hooker, an immigrant, a mother, or a failed career in medicine.
Christmas is a force of nature.

29 Comments for “Uzbek Dentist Turned Sex Worker”

  1. love2beTRAITOR

    Navin Weeraratne, ur a pervert. hope u dont get the killer HIV.
    but sometimes i wonder, y dont the government make prostitution legal?
    its an open secret that how many prostitution centers r in colombo n how many government officials,policemen, MPs n even the guy rule the country use them?
    advantage of making prostitution legal is that these poor girls will get some sort of protection from law n more importantly we can eliminate HIV from the country

  2. Patrick

    Boring !

  3. Ima

    Excellent post Navin.

    Sri Lanka needs broader perspectives; hopefully more will follow suit in educating the masses on understanding things, a tad more than what meets the eye, not just in this topic, but across a broader range of areas.

    Thanks Indi for sharing this online.

  4. Ariya

    Uzbekistan is a Muslim country, where more than 90% are Muslims.

  5. Mervyn

    Seems a highly unlikely story Indi. Any verification that this sex working is ACTUALLY a dentist other than her word? I mean seriously? If you are smart enough to graduate from dental school in an under privileged country (in a privileged country most people can go to grad school if they want to, but in an under privileged the competition is much harder and less make it to grad school) then I’m sure one would be able to find a way to make the same kind of money without taking the easy way out and prostituting oneself out at $100 per hour.

    • Chris

      How does prostituting oneself become the ‘easy way out’ for anyone? I wonder if you have ever been in a situation where you had to perform sexual acts with strangers in order to earn enough money to look after your child?

      • Sanjaywijemanne

        Why do anyone have to choose profession like this? There are many way to make money without doing illegal and immoral. Chris, did your parents forget teach you about immoral ? Or maybe you being dropped on your head at birthing and forgetting since low brain power?

    • love2beTRAITOR

      the standard in uzbek , ukrain r so low that almost any can enter uni coz there r more medical uni’s there n its like a business there

    • Ma-Rout-Ti

      Mervyn

      Why bother to lie ? She could have said she was a Physicist or a Brain Surgeon with equal aplomb..

      Many (qualified) Eastern European girls work in the West as escorts, peelers and the like. A number of factors play into this. Lack of recognition of their qualificatons, the cost of going back to school to gain new ones, easy money and is one is attractive, lots of it

      Come to think of it, many ‘local’ women in the West do the same to put themselves through school as well…

    • Cyril Alwis

      I think these women want to make quick money and also earn more than an average dentist. Also, I doubt very much whether she is a dentist. Most of the prostitutes relate fairy tales so that they can sell themslves at a higher price. At the moment, there are enough vancancies for Doctors in Western countries. For an example, Germany is trying to get down doctors from East European countries. Please ask her to apply to the Govt. Medical Association, if she really has the required qualifications.

      Cyril

  6. kumaraya

    This is the level that we have fallen to. I am sorry for this young mother and sad for this country, that is unable to manage its finaces and other aspects yet is able to draw women from other nations to indulge in the “oldest profession’.

  7. Mahinda

    Why would a hooker come to third world country like SL where over 80% of the population are poor? I mean she who can she sell sex to? the three wheel dude………….lol?

  8. I Hussein

    Indi – I very much like reading your articles. I am sure there are many others feel the same like me. But this one is a cheap tabloid jargon. We dont expect this from you. Too boring mate.

  9. sansare

    part that Naveen not saying perhaps is-there were lot of Sri lankan students studied in those places. They lived with some of the girls while studying and girls want to settle down in a beautiful paradise island ‘ la isla bonita’. So as they believed. Boys coming home as in true “ganga Addara” style ditched the overseas love and marry the local ‘doctor’ Engineer etc. And love smitten girls follow them to find that boys married under mother’s influence. so next thing is they start with some other ‘boys’ and end up as high class prostitutes in Sri Lanka. Some has children before they go out with these ‘boys’ any way as young pregnancies are common in former Soviet republics. Uzbekisthan is a Muslim country but not a strict one.. I know few real stories personally. One such “doctor” who resides now abroad brought poor, naive Russian girls (bus load) just after Soviet union collapsed and sold them in Singapore and Sri lanka. He had connections. Perhaps to say thank you to Free education he revived in USSR. What we can say bar-stewards…

  10. Mahesh

    Yo Naveen Man.How you supposed to Believe in Some Uzbec Chick who don’t care about anything.How can you believe what hooker have to say.Y’all Same man.They here to make some Bucks.They can say bunch of lies.Who care’s!!!!!!…

  11. Achmed Haroon

    This is very true, high time we legalized the profession.It is common knowledge that foreign call girls operate in Colombo and it seems a lucrative business whereas when our local girls operate they are harassed by the local police and politicians.Why two sets of laws?High time the authorities took note and a firm decision made if SriLanka is to prosper.We make take Singapore as an example as quite rightly stated by HE recently.Good luck SriLanka.

  12. Deiyo Sakki!

    There was an error in the article…it should be “less is more” and not the other way around.

    Prostitutes will never give honest account of themselves. Regardless of this particular instance I presume Sri Lankans presume any white person is wealthier than an average Sri Lankan. It seems to be the same issue with the writer. However, thats not the case mostly in Russia and China. Even the US has a lot of desperate people who cant get a job that would adequately support them.

    Government should regulate the sex industry in SL but we all know how corrupt the government and its institutions are. With the increased tourism its very easy to turn SL into a Bangkok. I hope the authorities will take steps to nip this in the bud or the social impact will be a high price to pay for some low class 3star tourist dollar.

  13. Karu

    This is the worlds Oldest profession. As long as there are John’s to pay the money, Jane’s will be traveling all over the world. We just cannot go into judgments. If she thinks she can earn the money she is satisfied with, let her do what she likes the best. If it’s not in Sri Lanka she will travel to South Africa, who cares.

    • Sanjaywijemanne

      Much better then prostitute go Africa. Better for Sri Lanka for marry and have relations with own wife plus few healthy girl friends. Prostitute much bad and spread many illness. Also empty bank account because costing for payments.

  14. san

    Are you a promoter for sex industry Navin Weerarathna?. Your stupidity is shown in this article. You were only taking photographs? or were you not?

    • Ma-Rout-Ti

      Are you dumb, san ? Your teeny-weeny mind and supressed emotions come thru very well in your response

      • Sanjaywijemanne

        Why say you San he have teeny weeny minds? He may be true and this guy may be pimp for prostitute. This very clever and goodly advert for this girls work. Many business thanks to this for surely.

  15. gamarala

    It has been said that “the oldest profession gives most ‘job satisfaction’ “.
    Also, that “Morality is mainly due to lack of opportunity”.
    Our behaviour is conditioned by our hormones – some have more and some have less.
    The primordial urge of the organism is ‘to preserve life’ and, ‘to reproduce life’.
    This vocation arises as an extension of the latter.
    Visit the neighbourhood of any STD ( VD ) clinic, and one can see men and women waiting to pick up ther opposite sex partners coming out after treatment.
    In some countries, this vocation is officially recognised and the practitioners have to pay tax on their earnings.
    This woman makes easy money supplying what some men want – she may be earning more than those practising some other professions.

  16. karan

    Disgusting. Shame to leader news paper

  17. Sanjaywijemanne

    Navin Weeraratne, you are a shamelss sex addict person. Why you go with all these white girls? I see you many times at gallery cafe and barefoot with many white h—-. You only promoting this filthy mind and act.

  18. NoTrollJustReal

    Sadly this is a clear cheap shot article at trying to get a larger reader base. What else is new. I find news trying to compete not with other news services these days, but even with the morbid and sorry stories in tele dramas and soaps that exist these days. Armchair thoughts and writings. Cliches of any prostitute story. I’m sure a 15 year old in Colombo has enough knowledge of prostitution in Sri Lanka to imagine this story, without having to look at images an old ladys’ legs in high heels. #Boring #Lame #Oldcrap.

    Why doesn’t anyone write the real interesting stuff that happens? How about writing about the drug square of lanka? What dope you can get at what club / beach bar / kotthu shops / fishermen / tuk tuk stands etc… How about those rocking parties (public and mostly private) in Una / Hix? Where anyone can snort coke freely and bang random guests in freedom and pretend no one knows each other when they get back to Colombo cos their real partners (married and not) should never find out? How about writing about private parties in exclusive hotels and houses where there’s a free supply of drugs at the bar and fully nude women (prostitutes) running around free for grabs? Why is that? Is it because the crowd that attends are some high rolling businessmen? And because their wives and social families are a large fan base of the social magazines that little Colombo thrives on? How about the famous saying in our city “You can’t hide anything in Colombo, but you can hide if from your woman or kids?” and if you don’t know what i’m talking about don’t pretend you have no idea about the deals at ****? You know the place i’m talking about, I see most of you driving from Amuseum to **** at 5am. How about writing about the infamous swingers clubs that exists in Colombo? Where you have to speak to one organizer and the meeting for 2 couples and aftermath is arranged? Don’t pretend you know know who you are because many of you do it and I’m just washed out when I have to look you in the face and pretend I don’t know. But this is real? We accepted the Gay society? We said love has no boundaries. True, I am all for that. So why are we blinding ourselves to all this other crap? Say it out, talk about it. Let people who don’t know, find out about it. Who knows maybe there will be new members for some groups and there might be revolutions in others. People got fantasies guys talk about it? Why the secrecy and the need to write such armchair articles like this. Some grandparents of some kid out there was probably a prostitute that either your parents or grandparents used. If you do it or your friends do it, chances are that so did your parents and grandparents. Prostitution is one of the oldest trades remember? So there must have been a demand and i’ll be damned if you are afraid to wonder who the customers are. Some people live it. Using prostitution is merely sexual and sadistic satisfaction? This is an interview with a Russian prostitute about her life? Ever asked about their clients? And the things they do or is this similar to lawyer client confidentiality. Ever wondered if some prostitutes have to go through experiences of being thrashed around, burnt and beaten for their high paying clients satisfaction? Ever wondered? Please don’t think this is a genuine temple/mosque/church going saint society. The truth is those that you idolize and look up to in society / business / what no etc also have the hidden, dark and dirty secret fantasies that any of you regular joes have. So f**k this. I’m pissed off reading dumb crap like this and more over i’m tired of everyone just sitting there and keeping secrets imagining nothing is going on. Why do we have to make this society live? It’s practically dead to reality and surfacing in a blackness of private fetishes. You guys are arguing about legalizing or not legalizing prostitution?

    Everyone of you thinking that YOU have your eyes open, get a life. You are feeding on the food that is given to you when you’re not busy doing your day/night job to survive, feed your family, give back to society and also satisfy your cravings. Listen very clearly when I tell you, none of us have our eyes open. NONE and if any of you open your mouth with some one sided opinion to me you’re just highlighting your idiocy because you’re simply one sided. Open both your eyes. I’m never coming back here so I don’t need an answer.

    But if any of you got confused with my point of though I made none. It is that by reading articles like this you’re simply blinding yourself more and more and fixating your opinions that this is what’s at the bottom of the well. Talk about the things no one talks about. Talk about the darkest things that happen in our proud little city. Then think, do you want to be a part of it or are you disgusted by it. In reality all i’m saying is don’t just write articles like this exposing what I call in todays Lanka “Nothing Big” other than some 14 year olds opportunity to see a hookers legs. But then again even a 11 year old can find porn on the net.

    Write something real. Please don’t read half way, get offended and start attacking what I wrote. You’ll be wasting your time. Be more productive, stop watching the news, feeding on the web that is put over your eyes to just make you a fan reader and go look for it yourself. Look for the news you crave to find if you’re a news and gossip junkie.

    those of you who are real interest based people in hot topics and current affairs. This is not for you, if it offended you in any way I can not help it. the difference between you and me is I speak out.

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