Season of Love 4: One Love, True Love (or not)

Post-Valentine’s Day

It was indeed a great (incidental) double date we had on Valentine’s night. Very lovely as expected. After a great 5-course dinner, a box of chocolate for everybody, a red rose for each lady, a box of cookies for each gentleman (courtesy of the restaurant). The two ladies would have been happier with the cookies, I think.

Anyway, if you are in Bangkok and like contemporary French cuisine, I can highly recommend this restaurant for its food and service: Le Beaulieu (located in the Sofitel, Sukhumvit 19). Chef Herve Frerard wasn’t there but the food was still delectable.

Now, back to love. The last entry was about True Love–or rák thÉE as it’s called in Thai. In the general Thai view, true love is loyal and enduring, dedicated and exclusive. This is understandable given the tradition of polygamy (that has stubbornly refused to die out despite the legal prohibition imposed over 7 decades ago).

I suppose, partly due to the persisting tendency towards polygamy and philandering among many Thai men, one way for Thais (often male) to profess love is to say they have only “one love, one heart.”

one love, one heart

… literally rák diiaw jai diiaw — in other words, the one-woman, one-man kind of lover. (Sex Talk, p. 204)

“One love, one heart” may be true love, who knows. But in the Thai world of romance, even true love can sometimes be defeated by temptations — temptations in the such a close and inviting proximity that it can weaken and overcome even the most ardent “one-love-one-heart” type. In the best of time and in close proximity of the true love partner, such temptations may not inflict damage, but in neglect or geographical distance  temporary weakness and loneliness, combined with the inviting power of the flesh, may lead an “ardent lover” to become “formerly ardent lover.” This is called literally, “true love defeated by proximity.”


… an anathema to true love that comes in the form of a lesser love caused by proximity to the body (and thus, temptation) instead of the heart, manifest in the Thai poetic saying, rák thÉE phÉE klâi-chít, “true love is defeated by proximity.” This kind of dangerous “proximity” is deeply feared by those who have a lover far away… (Sex Talk, p. 202)

One response to “Season of Love 4: One Love, True Love (or not)

  1. This is an interesting subject so I hope that you continue on with your blog.

    Btw – I went up to Asia Books to get a copy of your book. But since they only take bank transfer, I passed. I’ll see about getting it at Paragon instead…

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