Friday, March 6, 2020


Chapter 1

Once when I was six years old I saw a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories from Nature, about the primeval forest. It was a picture of a boa constrictor in the act of swallowing an animal. Here is a copy of the drawing.

In the book it said: "Boa constrictors swallow their prey whole, without chewing it. After that, they are not able to move, and they sleep through the six months that they need for digestion."
I pondered deeply, then, over the adventures of the jungle. And after some work with a colored pencil, I succeeded in making my first drawing. My Drawing Number One. It looked like this:

I showed my masterpiece to the grown−ups and asked them whether the drawing frightened them.
But they answered: "Frighten? Why should anyone be frightened by a hat?"

My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. But since the grown−ups were not able to understand it, I made another drawing: I drew the inside of the boa constrictor so that the grown−ups could see it clearly. They always need to have things explained. My Drawing Number Two looked like this:

The grown−ups' response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar. That is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter. I had been disheartened by the failure of my Drawing Number One and my Drawing Number Two. Grown−ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

So then I chose another profession and learned to pilot airplanes. I have flown a little over all parts of the world, and it is true that geography has been very useful to me. At a glance, I can distinguish China from Arizona. If one gets lost in the night, such knowledge is valuable.

In the course of this life, I have had a great many encounters with a great many people who have been concerned with matters of consequence. I have lived a great deal among grown−ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn't much improved my opinion of them.
Whenever I met one of them who seemed to me at all clear−sighted, I tried an experiment of showing him my Drawing Number One, which I have always kept. I would try to find out, so, if this was a person of true understanding. But, whoever it was, he, or she, would always say:

"That is a hat." Then I would never talk to that person about boa constrictors, or primeval forests, or stars. I would bring myself down to his level. I would talk to him about a bridge, and golf, and politics, and neckties. And the grown−up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Literately incredible India

Mumbai is an amazing paradox of hope and chaos, magic and madness. Where the changing modernity of India has been experienced most intensely. From Gandhi’s arrival from England in 1915 to the protests against the Simon Commission in 1928, Bombay, now Mumbai, has been home to many key events of the freedom struggle. And the struggle continues today, the hunger for change that one can almost feel, as a tourist is hard not to be fascinated by it.

Can we start with the ridiculous cliches that portray this country and this city is such a negative light when in fact most if not all of them aren't true,  from only buy street food prepared by women as it's more hygienic, the only place worth visiting is the Taj Mahal, Indians are friendly but don't expect to be part of the family, a real pashmina will fit through a ring. Yes, boys ask for discounts. Yes, it is not the easiest place to be Veronica but I still love the madness here.   

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Ignorance isn't always bliss

Before I was introduced to these fantastic headphones, I like most people was content to listen to my music via the tiny ear buds, or the usual headphones, with all the wonderful sound distortions that came with them. The flat canned echo-ey, the blurred together jumbled, and the over all distorted notes of your typical cheap and expensive head phones.
Now when you don’t know better, you are contented and in some cases, happy with what in reality are relatively inferior headphones. We spend so much of our time with some sort of ear piece in our ears, whether we are commuting,  training, or texting. They are such a part of modern life now, why not have the best you can afford?

I too was like the rest of the population, listening to music with less than ideal headphones. Until, I was accidentally introduced to Beats by Dr.Dre, my first reaction was, “what is all that extra stuff in the background?” Then I realized it was the subtle back ground sounds I wasn’t hearing with other headphones, parts of the music that are flattened out due to the tendency of other headphones mushing the sounds into a few channels. So, in essence you are hearing the music ‘incorrectly’. Or generally, as opposed to the more specific nuances of a piece. Now I am not a sound expert, but this is just the impression I get when comparing my  Beats, with my former apple headphones.
So, after a certain closely related relative nicked my other set of Beats, I was left floundering in the abyss of smushed sounds and tinny playback, until I decided to treat myself to a new pair of the darlings.
Oh if my first pair was yummy. They sit delightfully over the ear, and are even more brilliant in sound delivery. The only draw back to these is the price tag. But, sometimes in life you just have to do it. And these are worth it.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

I blame Social Media

Twitter, this is your fault! Look at the mess we have now! What mess an I referring to? I know there are so many to chose from. But this particular one, involves the CIA! Yes, that mess. Why? You ask? Am I the only one who thinks it odd that the CIA has suddenly become accessible? They are actually cracking jokes in public and on a social platform! Orwell, would have an aneurysm.

I don’t know about you, but I personally like my nation’s clandestine organizations to remain well, you know, clandestine? lurking in the background, up to no good and other skulduggery. Snippets of vague mentions in newspapers, or hushed conversations, conspiracy theories. It is the social order of things, it is the status quo. But, but, but this OPENNESS, from a secret international organisation! Obviously this must be some not so secret information gathering exercise. If Mossad and MI6 start tweeting, I am deleting my twitter account and moving into the forest! With a generator for my espresso machine. Let’s not get completely ridiculous about this now.

Am I getting old

Seriously, I have just had a gala weekend most WGs would give their eye teeth to have. I mean I did Belle Du Jour proud. Starting with the taking of a long and through bath,  manicuring, pedicuring, hair curling, and a deft application of make up that rendered my skin flawless. It took about an hour and a half to apply it just right, checking it from different angles. If I do say so myself, it was magnificent. Urban Decay-Glinda limited eye shadow palette for those curious.
The dress was Valentino, the shoes Louboutins, the bag McQueen, the accessories were blinging as should warrant a gala. The champagne flowed, as it should at these things, I was chatted up by several rather famous and infamous people. I was in my element, holding court. This was Veronica at the top of her game. I am now down to a dress size 6! And have been training with a new personal trainer that makes satan look fluffy, but that boy has snapped me into shape in 12 weeks. He was worth every penny. Yes at 5'4 ft tall I am now a size 6!  Even clients who saw me two months ago, have said when seeing me now. Bloody hell woman, you have one figure on you. The ego is boosted. I should be feeling beautiful, fine, and ready to take on the world? Right?

Then why am I so fucking bored with it all? Seriously, have I become so jaded, that gala events with international famous people, now leave me yawning and desperate for a pair of pink fuzzy slippers? Or is it that I am getting old? I just don’t understand the sudden dissatisfaction with the status quo. Mind you I am loving the new fit and toned bod. No carbs pass my lips now, nor sugar, occasionally a bit of fruit, but that is about once a week. So, my muscle mass is lean, my ass is still perky(after the deep squats, that bastard of a personal trainer makes me do.), but hey I will always have that. The rest of me is trim, toned and tidy.
I think my overall problem is that I have actually been working too damn hard! Thus the dissatisfaction with the current situation. Another reason why I am not really touring anymore. Way too much like hard work. Seriously, the fun is gone, it is too much stress, for too little gain. Thus the new trimmer, leaner, meaner, and seriously higher priced Veronica. I am over renting myself out by the hour. It is gruelling. But when the money was brilliant, I was up for it all. Now with clients calling and bargaining! No thank you, I will take myself off to other climes more suitable to my temperament, and bank balance.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

I GOT followers :)

Before you panic and think I am referring to being stalked, this is far from the case. The who I am referring to following me, is well actually…! You see, normal people have one profile, follow their friends, family, colleagues and are done with it. We hookers, well not so straight forward. You see we have a work profile and a personal one, and sometimes we can have several work profiles, as is the case with me. Why? Because it makes marketing of various services easier and I can tailor each site to a specific market. Also, if in my case, I tour internationally, having different sites SEOed to different markets makes things easier on the one hand and really weird on the other hand.
Like when I am following myself on twitter! The reason for this is due to having an entirely different name in a different country, so along with website, Facebook, google plus, twitter, and Instagram, I have different emails, and flipping logins. Why the different names in different countries? Simple. I am tired of lazy bitches googling me and seeing me in whatever country and because they are too chicken, broke, or lazy to venture out there on their own, expect me to present them with all the details on how to work out there? Not a chance in hell. So when I leave the confines of the UK, I become a different name. Veronica is currently on holiday in South Africa. Bhahahahahaha! I am in the Southern Hemisphere, but I am not in SA! They can go whistle to find me. This is basically how I have ridden out the recession, flittering off to different places avoiding the bloody masses who follow each other around like damn sussied up sheep!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

One in Seven

Why waste your life working for a few shillings a week in a scullery, eighteen hours a day, when a woman could earn a decent wage by selling her body instead?  –  Emma Goldman
Though I originally intended to feature this story in last Saturday’s TW3 column, I found it so interesting and so illustrative of several important points that I really felt it needed a column of its own.  I’ve taken the liberty of moving one section to increase readability; it’s indicated by curved braces.
About one in seven residents of Madagascar’s main port city of Toamasina are sex workers.  In less than 20 years, the number of registered sex workers in the city of about 200,000 residents has climbed from 17,000 in 1993 to 29,000 in 2012.  The increase has been driven by rising poverty levels as well as the city’s proximity to the recently opened Ambatovy nickel mine.  Construction of the mine, coupled with recent improvements to the port, saw an influx of thousands of foreign workers.  The billion-dollar investments also resulted in an escalation in living costs and the collapse of traditional commercial activities like the collection and sale of cloves and coffee, pushing more young women into sex work.
If it weren’t for the fact that the numbers are based on an official registry and were provided by a sex worker organization, I would dismiss them as prohibitionist exaggeration along the lines of “300,000 child sex slaves” and “50 clients a night”.  Keep in mind that in the modern West only about 1 in 600 people (1 in 300 women) is a whore, and that even in most Roman cities the fraction never went above roughly 1 in 20 people (1 in 10 women), though I suspect the ratio of whores in early New Orleans and gold rush towns might have been proportionate to that of Toamasina.  This number may actually represent more than 30% of the city’s female population if there is a gender imbalance due to the preponderance of male miners and port workers.
“Girls come from the countryside to work as maids.  Then, when they have a problem with their employer, other girls from their region introduce them to prostitution,” [said] Germaine Razafindravao, the president of the local sex worker collective FIVEMITO (‘Fikambanaina Vehivavy Miavotena Toamasina’ or Women’s Future)…Toamasina’s growing number of sex workers is part of a nationwide trend, one attributed to an increase in poverty since the onset of a drawn-out political crisis in 2009…More than three quarters of the Malagasy population now live on less than US$1 a day, according to government figures, up from 68 percent before the crisis…
{…Nadine, 15, quit primary school in 2011 and left her home village…to join her 18-year-old sister…Both girls are now sex workers.  Nadine earns $15 for each client and said, even given the opportunity, she would not return to school.  Even though she has been engaged in this work for over a year, no one has told her she is too young for it.  “I’m not scared of the police.  They are my clients also,” she [said]…}
This is a perfect example of what sex worker advocates, anthropologists and others keep trying to explain to the “trafficking” fanatics:  when a country girl realizes how much more money she can make as a prostitute than she can as a maid or other menial laborer, and how much greater freedom it affords, there is no need to “coerce” her into the business; a similar statement applies to runaways.  The working classes have always been more sexually open than the middle classes; it has rightfully been said that the so-called “sexual revolution” was merely the bourgeoisie’s adoption of the sexual freedom that has always been enjoyed by the proletariat.  The decision to sell sex, which seems so extreme and shocking to prudish middle-class women, is for many working-class women not really that big a deal; this is especially true when other members of her peer group are already doing it and she can make fifteen times as much in one hour as most of her countrymen make in a day.
…Sex work is legal in Madagascar, and although HIV/AIDS prevalence is low compared to other southern African countries – with about 0.2 percent of people between the ages of 15 and 49 living with the virus, according to UNAIDS – the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like syphilis is well above regional norms.  According to government figures, 4 percent of pregnant women are infected with syphilis, as are 12 percent of female sex workers…In recent years, commune governments have established an identity card system for sex workers, providing them with specialized health care and legal protections.
Angela, 30, from Antsohihy, turned to sex work after a divorce left her a single parent to two children.  She [said] she was applying for the ID card.  “I have a friend who already has a card.  When one of her clients refused to pay and hit her in the face, she went to the court and sued him.  She ended up receiving more money than the original amount they had agreed upon”…
While Swedish model countries implement asinine and reckless policies designed to drive sex workers underground (and therefore unreachable by health workers), this impoverished “third world” country gave them health care.  In the “advanced” United States, cops discourage condom use by claiming they represent “evidence of prostitution”, but in “backward” Madagascar hookers can sue bad clients and win.
The cards are only distributed to those who apply for them and only if they are over the age of 18.  While this system appears to be providing some protections to sex workers in Antsohihy, it was unsuccessful in Toamasina…[because] the police harassed sex workers lacking the cards, which were meant to serve as access to benefits rather than a license to work.  “Police used the system to abuse the sex workers.  If they found a prostitute without an ID, they would take her to the bureau and mistreat her there.  So we have now replaced the official cards with unofficial red books,” Razafindravao [said]…The association also runs discussion groups with the police in a bid to reduce prejudice.  “We tell them that these women do a job, just like the [police] officers do”…
Here’s the bottleneck effect I discussed yesterday.  Though the card was not a license, the police used it as a discriminator to separate the whores into two groups, those who knew their rights (as evidenced by the card) and those who didn’t (and could therefore be persecuted with impunity).  Every legalization scheme, and even a program like this one which only resembles such a scheme, has this same intrinsic flaw.
The article then goes on to discuss FIVEMITO’s  other programs, such as condom distribution and STI education; because underage sex work is a real problem here (a 2007 UNICEF survey estimated 30-50% of sex workers in Toamasina were younger than 18), it also does outreach to families to convince them to keep their daughters out of sex work.  Unfortunately, economic pressures make this largely a futile endeavor; as Razafindravao says, “…the problem is that I don’t have a solution. I can talk, but there’s no alternative.”  It wasn’t always that way; the organization used to run a vocational training center designed to get underage girls out of the trade by preparing them for jobs in the hospitality industry, but it was closed due to lack of funding.  Apparently Americans prefer to give their millions to groups that abduct and imprison sex workers instead of those which respect women’s agency and give them the tools to leave sex work on their own if they so wish.