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Book Review

Book Review: by Lang Reid

Love Entrepreneurs

Getting your book published can be a difficult task; however, getting your book reviewed can also have its pitfalls. This week’s book Love Entrepreneurs was sent to the editorial office by the author, but was thought to have got lost in transit. However, the publishers also sent a copy via registered mail from Singapore, and it arrived, at exactly the same moment as the ‘lost’ copy. Now with two books, I set to and reviewed it (them).
Love Entrepreneurs (ISBN 978-981-05-9211-0, Monsoon Books, 2008) was written by Phil Nicks and is “an illusion-busting A-Z guidebook about relationships between Thais and foreigners” and the author “investigates relationship contract in Thailand, revealing the winners and losers in the game of love.”
It would not surprise me if author Nicks had been a lawyer at some stage with his stance being that in any relationship, the reader should employ ‘due diligence’ to protect himself. However, this does take some of the ‘magic’ away from ‘love’ (or am I just too old fashioned)?
The book does point out that the Buddhist marriage ceremony on the village is really just a ceremony and not a legal binding contract, not even in Thailand. If you want a legal marriage, this is done in the austere circumstances of the local Amphur office.
There is a helpful summary at the end of each chapter as an aide memoire, though there is not much that has to be remembered from each short chapter.
The chapter entitled “Opportunities in the Food and Beverage Industry” lays out the illusions that are perpetrated by the bar girls, which unfortunately are exactly that - illusions. Nicks lays bare the financial aspect of the bar career, and shows that bar girls are indeed entrepreneurs selling ‘love’. Unfortunately, they are so good at it that the visiting tourists fall hook, line and sinker. In the chapter’s summary he writes, “Bar girls are entrepreneurs and they understand that they earn more money if they tell lies.”
I did find some of the chapters repetitious. The chapter on the amusingly entitled “PAYG (Pay As You Go) love is really just the repeat of the Opportunities in the Food and Beverage where the author looks at ‘short-time’ relationships between the punters and the bar girls.
Author Nicks spends much of the book advising the reader on methods and strategies to find out if the partner/wife is cheating on the relationship, complete with software programs, GPS trackers hidden in cars or “in almost any part of your partner’s body” (that I find rather unbelievable) and how to monitor your partner’s SMS messages. This I find somewhat disturbing and shows that there is no trust in the relationship, but perhaps is supposed to be a further warning about the habits of bar girls.
The book has several other chapters covering gay relationships, sex reassignment, katoeys and medical tourism.
As I walked back from Bookazine I saw a bar girl with the following emblazoned on her T-shirt “You know I can’t be trusted!” At B. 495 it is an inexpensive relationship manual for those who are wont to choose inappropriate partners.