In earlier posts, WoWasis described the nuances of the AAMP (Apartment Asian Massage Parlor) scene in North America, and defined a list of commonly used AAMP acronyms. Although a number of these women live and work out of their own apartments, many do not. So how do they instantly create a homey environment in a motel room in which they’ll only stay a few days?
Four of the most common elements employed to help recreate their homelands are food, music, clothing, and religious objects. Any motel room with a microwave oven becomes an instant kitchen, where all varieties of Asian food and snacks may be heated and eaten. Mama-sans will take them shopping to Asian stores, where they can load up on instant noodle dishes, ramen, candies, you name it.
They bring music with them from their home countries on MP3 players, which they play through their ever-present laptop or netbook computers. In terms of Asian clothing, the cute animal slippers are ubiquitous. And many of these women create hidden altars in their rooms, reflecting Buddhist or other philosophies. A common practice is to put them in furniture drawers, where they can be kept open at all times except when customers arrive.
Since typical lengths of stay range in any one city range from a few days to two weeks, keeping the continuity of a home is critical, and instant food, music, clothing, and religious objects can be easily packed into a rollaway suitcase to create an instant “home” at the next stop.