01-12-2009, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA
Member Number: 2401
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Would U rent a "dad" who helps around house or a "relative" who cries on yo' wedding?
...Every need considered
Of course, it is not only animals whose loyalties can be decided by money, as people who work in Japan's vast entertainment business will testify.
The industry offers an enormous variety of opportunities to exchange money for company.
Very popular at the moment is the Campus Cafe, where men go to socialise with female university students. It is cheaper than the upscale hostess clubs in which businessmen and politicians drink whisky with women in kimonos, although that is a business which is in crisis because of the recession.
Only a small proportion of the trade involves sex. Most hostesses are flatterers not prostitutes and customers come to find comfort in their words, not in their arms.
One specialist agency is known as Hagemashi Tai, which translates as I Want To Cheer Up Limited. It rents relatives.
Actors are despatched to play the part of distant relations at weddings and funerals. For an extra fee, they will even give a speech.
But the firm's services do not stop there. It can also provide temporary husbands to single mothers who want them.
The website says the "dad" will help the children with their homework. He will sort out problems with the neighbours.
He will take the kids to a barbeque or to a park. He could also appear at the daunting interview with a nursery school head teacher which parents are required to endure in order to persuade the principal to give their child a good start in life.
Cry for help
There is a service for women who are about to wed too. Apparently, they can practice for married life with a hired husband, although whether this involves seduction or sock washing is not exactly clear.
And if things are not working out with a real husband, a woman considering a divorce may choose to hire a "mother" in order to discuss her marital anxieties.
Mr M.O. from Shizuoka near Mount Fuji called upon the services of I Want To Cheer Up Ltd because he needed a father.
Mr M.O. has been blind since birth and had a number of concerns that he felt he could not speak to others about.
"I kept it all inside and couldn't deal with the criticisms that had been directed at me by my parents and teachers," he testified.
After some discussion, the company sent an older man to have dinner with him. "Usually I can't open up when I meet someone for the first time but on that occasion, I felt I was really talking with a normal father. I'll use the service again," he said.
Loneliness is a problem faced by many people on these crowded islands. But the Japanese are prone to believe that, in the right circumstances, money can turn a stranger into a friend... at least for a couple of hours.
To read entire article go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...nt/7818140.stm
What do you guys think? Wonder if we all turn into this kind of society where we actually rent a dad or a relative as how things change rapidly today's world?