VietNamNet Bridge – To get money for life, or to buy nice motorcycles, fancy phones, many female students in Ho Chi Minh City accept to work as waitresses at pubs and restaurants. Some of them then become prostitutes.



Student-waitresses at the police station after a pub inspection.

Currently, many pubs and restaurants in HCM City have waitresses who are students of universities and colleges. Most of them come from poor families so they have to do this sensitive job to earn money for education and to help their parents reduce the burden of life. The rest are not poor but they need money to purchase nice clothes or luxurious things. These girls have gradually fallen into the path of evil.

A pub on Dien Bien Phu Road, District 3, is very crowded thanks to its team of pretty waitresses-students who are at the age of 19-20. The mission of these girls is just pouring beer and sometimes fondling beer drinkers to get tips of several hundreds of thousand dong. “Wiser” girls can earn big tips by massaging clients’ shoulders or pull out white hairs for them.

Hue, from Dong Thap province, a college student, did not hide that she can earn at least VND500,000 ($25) from a table of guests that she serves. Each shift (from 5pm to 10pm), she served at least two tables, earning a million dong. She has done this job for almost a year in order to earn enough to by a Vespa LX motorcycle.

Asking her about the time for study, she said if she fails an exam, she can retake it. Earning money is more important to have capital for doing business in the future.

"My family is not poor, but I want to earn money to take care of myself. My parents are so happy that I can earn money for myself because they can concentrate investment in my younger brothers," Hue said proudly.

In suburban areas, there are a lot of pubs with students-waitresses in District 9 and Thu Duc District because these are the homes to many universities and colleges. Many students working here with the aim to earn extra money to purchase iPhone, iPad and nice motorbikes, not because of lacking of money for study.

Quynh, a second-year student of a college said: "When I first went to work, seeing clients in conditioned-room teased waitresses, I was scared. I asked the pub’s manager to serve customers in the garden. But these customers are mainly families so I could not earn tips. Waitresses serve in the conditioned-rooms can earn at least VND200,000 a day though they are flirted a little. I then asked to work in conditioned-room. Customers liked my shyness so they gave me more tips. Now I get used to it but sometimes I fake being shy to make a lot of money."

Mr. Nam, manager of a pub in Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc district, said that it is very easy to recruit student-waitresses. "They are now very bold, not shy as it used to," Nam said.

Many girls have become corrupted to become prostitutes as Huong’s case. Previously, Huong was a waitress of a pub in Binh Tho Ward, Thu Duc. She earned VND100,000-200,000 ($5-10) of tips a day, but she had to serve customers with food and pour beer all her shift. Meanwhile, waitresses who not only serve customers with beer but also their bodies earn a lot of money, at least VND200,000-500,000/table, depending on their “enthusiasm.”

Being confident of her beauty, Huong asked the manager’s permission to work like a “special waitress.” After more than six months, she bought an expensive scooter and a Galaxy mobile phone, a lot of nice clothes and she also became a prostitute. Huong also enticed many friends to join this world to become prostitutes.

Many student-waitresses got a job after graduation but they quit it very quickly because they could earn several million dong a month. They return to the old job – a waitress.