In 1934 the guide book ”All About Shanghai and Environs” was published, that among other things extensively and braggingly introduced to Shanghai’s wild nightlife. On the dancing hostesses it told:
Shanghai flames with millions of flashing jewels at midnight. The centre of night life is a vast crucible of electric flame.
The throb of the jungle tom-tom; the symphony of lust; the music of a hundred orchestras; the shuffling of feet; the swaying of bodies; the rythm of abandon; the hot smoke of desire - desire under the floodlights; it’s all fun; it’s life.
Joy, gin, and jazz. There’s nothing puritanical about Shanghai.
The “dancing hostesses” - they amiably entertain at a dime to a dollar a dance; Russians, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Eurasian - occasionally others.
They can danse - and drink.
“Vun small bottle of vine?” It’s the battle cry of the far flung bottle front.
“S’funny how a little girl can hold so much champagne!”
It’s not wine; it’s cider or ginger ale, but not on the chit (bill). Shura og Vera og Valia gets a commission. It all helps. Give this little girl a great big bottle.
“ ‘S getting late.” Rose tints the sky beyond the Whangpoo. “Let’s go far for ham’n eggs and one last round.”
One swaying, sinuous embrace and a moist kiss with the last strains of the dance. “Hey, kid; why don’t you marry the girl?”
The modish matron cuffs the gigolo. The dancing girl nods surrender but grabs her stack of dance tickets and flees into the night.
“Boy! Call a car!”
One night in Shanghai is ended.
In line with Shanghai’s reputation the front page of the guide book All About Shanghai and Environs had a picture of a scantilly dressed Chinese woman.