It was Valentine’s day in Bangkok and needless to say, Valentine’s is a BIG deal here.
Like seriously, flowers and couples every where. And it was obvious that flowers or something special had better been planned or else the guy was getting a huge stare down. I had been seeing ads and sales for Valentine’s for over two weeks now. The malls and roads were crowd, traffic was ridiculous today, and every girl seemed to be dressed up particularly special for today. Now Thai girls usually dress up anyways, but today, girls and guys had heart stickers on their uniform or they were wearing some form of pink or red. Those who weren’t in uniform were in flower-print dresses and high heels.
Everywhere I looked, someone was holding a flower or holding a box of chocolates or some sort of gift. It made me kind of lonely to be away from my boyfriend. I mean, I’m not usually one to make a big deal about Valentine’s back in the US, but the fact that it is such a big deal here does make one feel a bit lonely.
I ended up meeting my friend, Dackie, up at Central Pinklao for dinner since she hadn’t eaten. While I was waiting, I decided to take notice of all the couples, since people watching is one of my favorite pastimes. I noticed that a lot of people thought that I was being stood up by my boyfriend from the sly glances and because I looked the part. I was leaning against the wall, checking my time and periodically staring at the door. But at the same time, I would see watch everyone around me like couples walking in holding hands, couples who were being extra touchy (since usually most Thais won’t go past holding hands in public).
However it was the guys holding their presents, anxiously waiting for their girlfriends that caught my eye. They would shuffle their feet and lean against the wall like I was but when they see their girlfriends, their eyes would light up and they would smile brightly and head on over, flowers/bouquets forward. Or I would see the girls who were waiting on their boyfriends, who were probably stuck in traffic, and their faces would slowly frown with each passing minute. At one point, I saw this girl pull out her phone and have this very intense conversation with the other person on the line.
Finally, my friend arrives and we go to find a place still open in the mall. Now, Thailand is very open to gay couples, though I didn’t see a lot of lady boys today, but I did see a lot of manly looking girls who might have been lady boys. I also saw a couple of tomboy-girls holding hands with other girls. I mention this because when my friend and I walk into the restaurant, we experienced the awkward moment of being surrounded by couples, and naturally, and was offered this intimate small two-seated table in the corner for couples. We both turned our heads to look at the table and viciously shook our heads to indicate that ‘No we were not a couple, we were just two friends trying to eat dinner on Valentine’s day.’
Anyways, when I got back to my place, I decided to do what I did back in elementary school. You know, when you were younger and you had to give everyone a Valentine’s day card? Well, I wanted to do the same thing, but didn’t realize how exhausting and time consuming it was! I made like 4 cards before I called it a night. I remember it being a lot more fun in elementary…and a lot less awkward to admit to the other students what I was doing at that time. Honestly? I probably just needed an excuse to buy lots of chocolate.
Note to students: Thailand chocolate is weird/tastes like awkward malt/stale Whoppers. Go for the European chocolate. It’s a bit more pricier but your taste buds will thank me.