She is half Lebanese, half Austrian, and she became a masseuse just 3 months ago.
‘One has to live, no?’ she says. ‘It’s fun, it’s working with people, you know.’
She is 33, about 1.70m, has black hair and a pretty face. Her dress is pink but decent, and her shoes must be new, because she walks with difficulty and with a pained expression on her face.
Was it hard to start this job?
‘It’s all right,’ she says. ‘Every job has its good and bad sides.’
Do other people know what your job is?
‘No,’ she calmly says. ‘I told them I do other things.’
We both laugh.
But what do you think of the fact that it is a taboo, this job?
‘It’s okay. A man should have his secrets, no?’
I’m not so sure.
How did you start?
‘I decided I wanted to and I just called one of the agencies.’
Is it hard to be intimate with somebody else all the time?
‘One gets used to anything.’
We are sitting in one of the rooms of the massage parlour, which is spacious and high-ceilinged with a wooden floor , a jet stream shower in the corner, and an enormous bed in the middle.
‘Do you like Vienna?’ She asks because she wants to ask the questions – she doesn’t like to be interrogated.
Have you travelled a lot?
‘No. I was in Germany. And in Lebanon.’
Why not other countries?
‘Didn’t have the money. And now I don’t have the time…’
How much do you make per month?
She doesn’t want to tell me. ‘I have many returning customers,’ she says.
‘Because they have a good time with me. They can talk to me. It is easier to talk to foreigners.’
Although this isn’t true of her – she would rather not talk.
What did you do before?
‘I was a salesgirl in a fashion shop.’
Do you have a boyfriend?
‘No. But I’m still young.’
What will you when you have finished working here?
‘Don’t know… Only God knows.’
Half Lebanese, half Austrian, do you feel more Arab or more European?
What is the difference?
‘I have no idea. Europeans are more modern.’
The past couple of days I had seen many Arabs around the city, most of them rich-looking men wearing Ray-Bans, and women in burqas carrying Cartier and Vuitton bags.
There are many Arabs here, right?
‘They are from Dubai.’
What do you think of the European Union?
‘Don’t like it. It costs a lot of money. We don’t need it, why should we want another government?’
What do you mean?
‘The Austrian government is good enough. They don’t need a boss, but that’s my opinion.’