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Book Review: by Lang Reid
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
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
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