25 Kilos of Rice

The entrance to a bar in Malate
The doorway to a hostess club in Manila advertising an attendance and referral bonus paid in rice.

Yesterday I wandered through Malate, a commercial district at the south end of Manila, in search of the ruins of the historic Gaiety Theater. Unfortunately the building was demolished sometime last year—something that the Wikipedia entry didn’t mention until I updated it with my findings. Of course I was also capturing photos along the way, among them this shot of the entrance to Kimura キムラ, a small hostess club obviously catering to a Japanese clientele. Such bars are common anywhere Japanese businessmen travel in Asia and you can read a little more about what goes on inside similar establishments here in Taiwan or watch this obscure, dimly-lit video advertisement for the club.

I wandered by around noon so it wasn’t open yet—nor would I have gone inside—but I was amused by the sight of the want ad out front advertising an attendance and referral bonus of 25 kilos of rice. How much rice is that anyway? If we assume, for ease of calculations, that a generous serving size is around 100 grams of uncooked rice, then we’re talking about enough rice to make 250 servings, or about enough to feed a family of four twice a day for a month. Not bad!