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As you might imagine, I never expected that I’d ever encounter a Hanoi
ladyboy myself, the thought never even crossed my mind really. I met
Phuong on Tinder. I’d been living in Hanoi for a few months and, having
finally adjusted to my new job and the pace of life here, I was ready to
give dating a shot.
Her picture caught my attention immediately. Vietnamese girls are frequently very beautiful, but Phuong was stunning.
We began to chat not long after. We shared many interests, and she spoke
good English. I found her very easy to talk to. After chatting for a
few days we exchanged Facebook details and moved the conversation there.
It was only after a week, and a bit of stalking through her old posts,
that the penny finally dropped. Phuong was a ladyboy.
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To say I was
shocked would be an understatement. Nothing in this beautiful woman’s
photos suggested that she had ever been anything other than a girl, but
it was true. I’d been conversing with a Hanoi ladyboy.
My enthusiasm for her quickly waned. Unlike many a curious western
traveller, I’d never really been interested in transsexual girls. I’d
like to consider myself an open-minded individual, and I would never
speak ill of transgender people, but I didn’t want to date one.
was kind and friendly. She was fun to chat to. She was gorgeous. But
Phuong had a penis, and I do not like penises, so that was that. We
chatted a few more times, but things quickly petered out.
next couple of weeks my job began to take up a lot more of my time, and
so my dating plans were shelved. They sat there gathering dust, kept
company by my social life, until one day I received a call from a
friend. He was coming to visit.
Hanoi at night.
My friend, let’s call him Gary, was
living in Thailand. I’d known Gary for years. We’d practically grown up
together. Excited about catching up, I arranged for a bit of time off
work and made ready to start being social once more.
We met up at the airport, I quickly got him sorted out with a bike, and
then we headed straight out to the bars. I was in high spirits. It had been
over a year since the last time we’d seen each other. In fact it had
been more than a year since I’d last seen anyone from home at all.