Fumin Lu in between Changle and Julu Lu is a small yet concentrated swath of Shanghai’s “pink and pirated” trades.
There are three opinions regarding the pink houses and the girls who work there: 1) Abhorrence, 2) Indifference, 3) Overly enthusiastic acceptance. But, spend enough time on Fumin Lu and you see the girls as normal people, which is more than we can say for the peddling creeps downtown. They buy boiled eggs from the Lawson’s, browse in stores during a short break, and wear faces of utter boredom during afternoon TV.
Spend even more time on Fumin Lu and you quickly begin to catch glimpses into the careful relationships between the pink industry, the police, and everyone’s favorite friend, the high-quality pirated DVD entrepreneur.
OK, Mr. DVD Pirate doesn’t maintain a relationship Shanghaiist knows of with our girls but they must all submit to the most feared, browbeating, organization in town: 5-O, Shanghai PD.
This week Shanghaiist felt a peculiar vibe from Gongan. A patrol car slowly beat up the street blaring loud pop music, followed by the pink houses closing for the evening. An hour later an attempt to buy pirated DVD’s failed because not a DVD was to be found. Reason? “Come back in an hour, cops are out.” And indeed, Gongan continued to prowl up and down the street for the rest of the evening.
That night mid last week, our friendly neighborhood bordellos reopened but the best DVD selection (including, but not limited to Hitchcock and other film noir) was MIA.
Apparently, protection fees for prostitution are cheaper than WTO violations?
Photo by Auralfade.
The Streets is a semi-regular feature that highlights observations made on the streets of Shanghai.