Saint Valentine’s Day is traditionally a time for romance, flowers, candle-lit dinners and the whispering of sweet nothings into the shell-like ear of the object of your affections. But in Phuket there can be other distractions.
History is unclear on whether any of The Beatles had journeyed to Thailand before they wrote their 1964 smash hit with its charmingly quaint lyrics…..“Money Can’t Buy Me Love.”
Clearly the lyricist Paul McCartney had never had the pleasure of a wander down Soi Bangla around midnight on almost any evening. Had he of done so, he would have certainly witnessed plenty of filthy lucre being exchanged for love….or something that looks suspiciously like it, at all sorts of local entertainment venues. In fairness John Lennon did eventually come to his senses a few years later when he was quoted as saying, “Anyone who says that money can’t buy me love….isn’t shopping in the right places.”
Possibly there’s some confusion between “love” and its close semantic and linguistic bedfellow, “lust” going on here in Phuket. But after a few of the local Chang beers….it’s a case of: “Will you stop nit picking? Look she just finds me irresistibly attractive, OK?”
Traditionally Valentine’s Day honors a series of ‘Valentines’ who were in fact Christian martyrs. One Valentine in particular was secretly performing marriages at a time when the Roman Emperor Claudius II had enforced a law in which all young men were to remain single so that Claudius could improve the quality and size of his army. So, what a romantic he was…. forget L’Amour, let’s get on with the slaughter.
There’s little doubt that ‘The Pearl of the Orient” holds abundant opportunities for Saint Valentine’s romance, whether on a short term, financial, basis, or featuring the more stable traditional manifestation of the phenomenon.
While acolytes of the former may flock to Bangla and its fleshpots, the traditionalists can avail themselves of wondrous beachside dinners, bathed in Prosecco and moon glow, in which to plight their devotions….if they can afford the tab that is. Local resort and up-market eateries are always quick to jump aboard any marketing bandwagon whenever one happens to trundle along and there are few better occasions for a male to lose his normal financial sanity than in pursuit of L’Amour.
St Valentine’s is big business in Phuket…..no matter how long the commitment is going to last.
Many a male has been so caught up in the romance of Phuket’s tropical island splendor, as to throw all caution to the monsoon winds and actually pop the question at said beachside dinner on February 14th. Beware….Phuket is one place where romance is certainly in the air …..as well as the beer….and the Prosecco.
In all this perhaps Dorothy Parker’s wise observation is a pertinent last thought. Acerbic as ever, she remarked that the difference between sex for love and sex for money is that sex for love costs you a hell of a lot more! Happy Valentine’s.