It is the day after Valentines Day in the Kingdom of Siam and all over the country Thai people seem a bit lost and disgruntle. Thai people are in love with the idea of love. They seem to have a high appreciation for all things romantic and in general try hard to keep the fires burning or strike the match of new flames. Beauty is appreciated with such high esteem here and what, after all, is more beautiful than love. Yesterday traffic was horrible, the wait for restaurants ridiculously long, and young and old emptied the flower stands and card shops of anything cute and cuddly so that they could present it to their loved one or loved second or loved third.
So the 15th is a day of reckoning as the brutal truth of failed expectations and less than fulfilling courtship rendezvous are reflected upon. The over all mood of the Thai people is one of - and I search for the proper word - nothing more than a sigh. "Yeah, nice I guess," was the response one of the young Thai ladies at my work gave me when I asked her how her Valentines Day had been. I had noticed yesterday she was all decked out in red and a skirt a few inches shorter than standard teacher attire. "I guess" kind of echoed in my mind.
Movie images. Loneliness. The reality of life alone is so ineffable and so individual that comprehending it and expressing it has been the cause of many an artist - painters, writers, musicians, all. But in truth it is holidays like one dedicated to LOVE that reminds us all far too well that we do not have the Korean Movie relationship in our memories. But as I have gotten older and come to a turning point in my life I must say this: I think love is different for all of us. I think it is expressed differently and shown differently and even felt and needed so unequally that it is a farce to attempt to melt down our most basic need to a bunch of flowers, cards, and chocolate bars. Love does give me strength, but I did find it without. Love makes me feel wonderful, but I had a Royal Flush in Vegas once that lifted me out of my chair with joy. Love is a wealth I actually treasure, both my family and friends' love. I have had my share of poverty, when as cliche as it seems, I could not find a friend, and a few days of true blissful gluttony.
Thai people, enjoy the day, but not at the expense of the weeks to come. If you are only happy with your girlfriend or boyfriend on Valentines Day or special events then it is time to look for a new one.
In the coming days I will be writing about a Thai phenomena known as the GIG or GIK which is an amazingly Thai concept that I find fascinating. If you don't like reading me rant about life, you may want to check out my rant about lovers in the odd dating world of Bangkok. I believe that one of the most fascinating books which is still to be written is the one which can actually define and explain the bizarre practices of Thai people when they date. Of course, for them, it is anything but odd and yet the more of them that I ask to explain things about dating in Bangkok the more completely confused I become.