Sandy Steele, 2 October 1997
A fortune-teller once predicted that I would end up working in the sex industry. The idea seemed scandalous at the time but five years later I found myself sitting on the wrong side of one of Hong Kong’s notorious topless bars. My trusty regular, a Dutch sex shop owner, and I were sitting out the graveyard shift, discussing the merits of nipples as thermostats when, as if he’d read my mind, he leaned across the bar. ‘Darling,’ he said, ‘my mother was the greatest hooker in all Amsterdam and she was never ashamed of it.’ I laughed. Hearing myself, a humble topless barmaid, compared to Amsterdam’s finest was confirmation that destiny had caught up with me.