The bookers from my mother agency took me seriously when I told them that I didn’t want to work in Paris for nothing. I can sit and wait for my chance in Paris, but only if my pockets are full. That means I have to make good money somewhere, so I can pay all my expenses while I am waiting for my good luck. I don’t want to sit and sink deeper into a quagmire. So my bookers got into action to find something good for me. And now I am going to Japan. I just signed a two-month contract with one of the three best agencies in Tokyo.
While I was waiting for visa documents, I went to Milan, Italy, to meet my new agency there. Actually, it happened that Milano’s agency proposed me to the Japanese agency, and that is how I got a contract.
The Trip to Milan was short and not so productive.
The director of Milan’s agency was known as a “good eye” for the girls. It is true that many girls from his agency reached the very top in the modeling business. But he was also known as a person hard to work with. To be specific- the only way to work with him was: he gives you an order, never asks. He is never polite, never proposes something nicely and he expects you not to answer back. No matter if you are a model, agent or booker. At the beginning he tried to be like that with me too, but after our first meeting he had to change his attitude, because I was very arrogant and rude. I used his own weapon to defeat him. He was shocked. The girls were scared of him, I wasn’t. I can be a very unpredictable girl. With my arrogance between us, he realized that my case was different. He was much nicer later, but I could see that I was really shaking up his vanity and ego. Even though I was very young, I understood it would be better not to work together, because our personalities could lead to a catastrophe.
In the years since then I have heard very awful stories about him from the girls, bookers and clients, but after everything I have been through in my career, I have to say that he wasn’t awful to me.
Many things he told me about the job and about life in general showed to be true. All the advice he ever gave me I have used. He was very experienced and I think he wanted things to go well for me. The only problem was: he didn’t know how to talk to me. Even though he was aggressive, vain and egotistic, he turned out to be more honest and correct to me than many other- well-mannered people.
Still, I am sure that my decision to leave the agency was right, I am not a person who takes orders, so he had no chance.
After I come back from Milano, my documents for Japan are ready.
I am expecting the same agony in the embassy as I had for the French visa, but the Japanese consulate surprises me. All the workers have a warm smile, they take my documents, give me back the receipt for my passport, and tell me to pick it up with my visa in 48 hours. They even give me some brochures and leaflets about interesting things to do in Tokyo, written in my language. I am escorted out like I am an important guest. Getting a visa doesn’t have to be torture.
HERE I COME WITH CHERRYBLOSSOMS OR FLY, STINKY FLY
My trip to Tokyo looked like this:
Six hours in a minibus,
First a two-hour flight,
Second a thirteen and a half-hour flight,
Then I reached the other planet called Tokyo!
This time I was well prepared with cassettes. I have some extra books too, but 20 kg of allowed baggage was nothing. Just the bedding, towels and cosmetics were seven kilos. My empty suitcase was four kilos, a few books three kilos, and there was room left for just a few t-shirts, jeans and shoes. What to do with only a few books for two months? It was discrimination! If you were coming from a country like mine, you were allowed only 20 kg. If you were coming from countries like England, United States, France, or Germany, you could carry up to 60 kg. I managed somehow to pack everything to go, but it was going to be a challenge to come back without overweight baggage.
Anyway. My trip would have been perfect if I hadn’t eaten lunch on the first flight, but my second flight became an adventure. The problem started while I was waiting for my connection, but nothing indicated that my trip would turn out to be a hell of more than ten hours.
Let me explain:
For lunch we got some sausages and potatoes, and two salads-one vegetables, one fruit. And I had tea. What exactly went wrong I have no idea, but I got diarrhea. I know nothing but this:
The flight attendants for my second flight locked up one of the toilets, so if in any second I urgently needed it, it was free. So we saved people from a catastrophe that could have happened in case the toilet was occupied. The flight attendants even got me a seat near the toilet, so my way was not long, and I wouldn’t bother innocent people by moving them every 3-5 minutes. Ten hours later, when we crossed almost the whole of Siberia, I was so completely groggy I fall asleep. The whole plane disembarked, except me -in the last seat in a coma. The stewardess shook me awake. I must be great-looking; she gave me an aspirin with a glass of water. With a big smile she cheered me to drink it, saying I would feel much better after that. I was sure she was right. It couldn’t be worse than this.
I left my soul in that plane, in the plane’s toilet, last door to the right.