When I was living in Thailand, in a hotspot for sex tourism (I was a professor of Letters and General Culture at the English high school, don't imagine things…), I heard sad news.
Someone I loved dearly had just died, and I was far away and had no one to talk to. I had a choice between moping at home, or going out and getting drunk enough to stifle my grief as much as possible.
I went out. I drank, danced sadly, rode a scooter along the beaches in search of something whose name I didn't know. I think I cried too. And then I went to finish my night in a sort of bar, where the waitresses are also dancers / singers / prostitutes / ladyboys and certainly other things that I don't necessarily want to imagine.
So I acted as a tourist, bought the girls drinks, jokingly played pool with them. By letting them take care of this sad face that I did not hide so well. It is a country where we know very well what is hidden behind smiles.
They managed, slowly, with a lot of kindness, to make me forget for a little while that one of the most important people in my life had just passed away.
I have a lot of affection for the bar girls in Thailand. They are of a rare humanity, when you treat them with a little respect, and when you know how to hang out with them for reasons other than their ass.