Sunday, July 22, 2012

$60,000 Husbands

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I recently learned that some husbands (and wives) can cost $60,000CAD* to acquire.

While that's spare change for rich men with trophy wives - see Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch (whose wife is quite a piece of work in her own right), and Harvey Weinstein (EWWW, how can any woman stomach having THAT grunting on top of her?!) - for the average person like you and me, $60,000 is a lot of money.  In fact, that's twice as much as the student loans I graduated with, after 4-years of undergrad, having gone abroad on exchange for year, and 1-year of postgrad.

But apparently $60,000 is perfectly reasonable - or at least definitely worth it - for some regular, middle-class people.

I was at a get-together with friends recently, when one of them told a story about how an acquaintance of an acquaintance admitted to immigrating to Canada via sham marriage.  That lady and her daughter each forked out $60,000CAD in order to marry two Canadian citizens, who then brought them over, and now they're both citizens as well.

(Side note: See?  If you're good at scheming, you can do it for free like Wendi Deng, who got her green card at no cost by stealing her mentor/sponsor's husband and playing him.  Otherwise, you have to fork over the big bucks.)

"Were those two ladies rich?" I asked.

"No, they weren't," we were told, "They were just two average (read: poor) women in China who didn't have much."

How did they manage to come up with $60,000, then?

"...exactly how you think," my friend told me, with a certain smirk I can't quite describe.

It took me a while to catch her drift, and then someone else brought it up - prostitution!

So I couldn't help but wonder - how many "transactions" does it take for a, ahem, working girl to save up $60,000CAD in China?  How long must that have taken?  Probably depends on how you look and whether you perform any "specialties" or how willing you are to fulfill special requests, but still, that must have been a long, hard road.

(Side note: See?  If you're smart like Wendi Deng, you can perform for just one man - presumably.  Otherwise, you have to perform for many!)

Then another person at our get-together mentioned that her female cousin, a Canadian citizen, also participated in a sham marriage before, except she was the one who brought the foreigner over.  They had to jump through all kinds of hoops and go through exhaustive tests to prove that they had a legitimate relationship.

How much did she earn?

Also $60,000CAD.  Her "client" also covered all the costs of her flying to China (see a pattern?) multiple times to meet him and his family, going over all the details, etc.

My first reaction was: Wow, that's lucrative.  My second reaction: Wow, how shady!

But then my mind couldn't help but wander back to the mother & daughter pair who prostituted themselves to come here.  What kind of life were they trying to escape from to merit all their sacrifices?

*When I mentioned $60K to Superwoman this morning, she said, "Wow, the price has raised by a lot!  It used to be about $10-20K when I was in university." Interesting, right? Then she added, "Back then, $10-20K was a lot of money; you could buy a house with $30K.  Nowadays, $60K can't get a house."

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I believe the smirk was more of a suppressed laughter.