Yet Some Other Thoughts (2) – Valentine

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Good evening. Today is 14th Feb, check out the Valentine Special Forum.

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Topics

  1. A Little Bit of History
  2. Special Report – Valentine in Paris
  3. A Few Interviews
  4. A Few Thoughts
  5. Feedback

[ready] read message 1

It was only a few days ago had I discovered the history behind Valentine’s Day due to my inadequate level of common knowledge. According to one of the writing in the Net, Valentine’s Day is a day for memory of the death of St. Valentine, a priest who had secretly married a lot of couples during the war time and this noble action had unfortunately gone against the wish of the King as only single men were required to go into battle. He was executed in the name of Love. Very touching, isn’t it? We shall all have a minute of silence for the Love of St. Valentine.

[ready] read message 2

Thinking that Paris is a Paradise of Romance, I cruised along the streets of Paris center in order to feel Love, to embrace Love and to lose myself into the immense atmosphere of Love.

So I went down to Champs-Elysees, the famous street of Paris and witnessed a lot of couples together. People selling flowers everywhere and when I looked into the faces of the couples, I found one thing in common, the girls smiled sweetly with a bunch of flowers while the guys didn’t seem to enjoy the whole occasion at all! I had one theory before I set off, that is, no pretty single lady will walk alone on a Valentine night. True enough, there wasn’t any.

Not only we have the normal kind of lovers. I saw man and man walking very closed by each other. I saw ladies walking in pair with affection(?) and I guess in this century, love has not restricted herself into man and woman relationship and has truly become, universal.

The French always pride themselves very romantic (romantique), so my mission tonight was to see how true it is. I looked into McDonald’s and could only find some groups of boys and girls and tourists. Okay, at least they won’t just dine cheap.

And all the restaurants were packed. There were more than 30 couples queuing up in front of Planet Hollywood. Really wanted to check out whether Stallone was in house but it was just too packed. Normally I wouldn’t walk into a restaurant alone in such an occasion but in order to complete this report, I have got to do it.

So I chose one which overlook the Eiffel Tower. I thought it was a good place for rendezvous so I just walked to wherever my feeling told me to. Inside the restaurant, there were two wings. I just called them the Left Wing and the Right Wing for simplicity. Initially I wanted a table by the window but I thought I should have the courtesy to reserve those seats for the lovers. So I was being sat right in the middle of the Wing. Around me was a line of tables arranged in a U-shape. Felt kind of uncomfortable. Just imagine, you are in the middle while all the couples eating around you.

Love was indeed all around. Funny enough, they all had live seafood. Maybe the French believe that it is good for the S drive afterwards, who knows?

[ready] read message 3

Tonight’s guests are all basically my clients. Really curious on what other cultures think of St. Valentine’s Day and to see how “romantique” a Frenchman is.

Our first guest is Nick, a truly handsome Frenchman, medium built, who just have a new born baby. As we were walking along the street, I began my interview.

Nick : It is so stupid.
Me : Stupid? But it is Valentine’s Day!
Nick : It is just commercial. Why must it be on one particular day ..
Me : Well ..
Nick : Why can’t it be just any day else except the 14th of February.
Me : But I am sure your wife love it!
Nick : Yeah, present, present and present.
Me : And flowers as well?
Nick : And it is so stupid. And we are going to have Grandfather and Grandmother day ..
Me : Really?
Nick : .. in France and it is just for commercial.
Me : So what are you going to tonight?
Nick : My wife is in the hospital.
Me : Oh ..
Nick : Nothing special, just for a night.
Me :

My next guest is Moha, one of my best buddy here. A North African and Muslim who believe in “Plutonic Love”. What the hell is “Plutonic Love”? You got to ask him for this, something like you love another woman with a distance, besides your wife.

Moha : Are you going to be free this Friday?
Me : Yeah, you know I am always free at night. How come?
Moha : We will have a dinner then.
Me : But this Friday is Valentine, Moha!
Moha : Valentine?
Me : Yeah man, St. Valentine’s Day!
Moha : Ah, Valentine!
Me : Me : You should be with your wife, brother.
Moha : Nah ..

A few days after.

Me : Tell me, what is the first picture or word that strikes you when you heard of the word “Valentine”?
Moha : Don’t know.
Me : Come on, think harder!!
Moha : Nothing.
Me : Nothing? There must be something!
Moha : ..
Me : Okay, think about Sophie (a striking woman famous in the whole building)
Moha : Ah, Sophie!
Me : Yes, Sophie. So? What’s the answer?
Moha : Sophie.

Mike, a heavily built, happily married (I think) Romanian with a rugged look.

Me : Mike, what do you think of when you first hear the word “Valentine”?
Mike : Commercial.
Me : That’s it? Does your wife like Valentine’s Day at all?
Mike : Yeah, why not.
Me : Do you?
Mike :
Me : Does your wife expect a present or flowers?
Mike : Yes, I suppose.
Me : Have you brought your present yet?
Mike : Nope.
Me : But today is Valentine’s Day!
Mike :
Me : Okay, you still have 2 hours this evening before all the shops close.
Mike : Maybe.

And we only have one lady guest, Aurore, with us tonight. (For I don’t really dare to go up and ask Sophie the same question.) It was kind of hard for me to ask as knowing that she properly doesn’t have a lover at the moment, it could be quite an embarrassment. But she is very open minded so I just have to be careful.

Me : Aurore, may I ask you one question?
Aurore : Yeah?
Me : What is the first image or sound that strike you when you hear the word “Valentine”?
Aurore : Love.
Me : Wow, that’s great. That’s it?
Aurore : Yes, Love.
Me : What are you planning to do tonight or for the weekend?
Aurore : ..
Me : Okay, you don’t have to tell me.
Aurore : Well, I need long sleep.
Me : A long week, huh?
Aurore : I have to check the voice mail to see ..
Me : Answering Machine, you mean ..
Aurore : Yeah, it is really good to have an Answering Machine nowadays ..
Me : Tonight, Aurore. So, are you expecting anything tonight?
Aurore : Maybe I should explore my area ..
Me : As you have just moved into a new place, right?
Aurore : That’s right and I need to find a Bread Store.
Me : You mean, a Bakery.

So we talked about supermarkets in Paris center instead.

Our next guest is another truly Frenchman, living together with his girlfriend. They love each other a lot (4 years) but have no plan of marriage. Guess what’s his name. That is Wilfrid. Yes, the one with the letter “I”. Shorter than me but with very cheerful personality. He preferred to be called Willie so as to avoid confusion.

Me :
Willie : My girlfriend, present and flowers.

How sweet! And he actually went on with the present and the kind of flower his girlfriend like. Truly romantic. He continued with the detail description of a romantic dinner. I was so scared that he would go on and describe what happened after dinner, I had to stop him. As it is not professional enough to talk about one’s S life during office hour.

Me : So, what are you planning to do tonight?
Willie : Japanese food with my girlfriend.
Me : How sweet! That must be a Valentine’s Day special.
Willie : Valentine?
Me : Yes, that’s today, isn’t it?
Willie : Today is Valentine’s Day?
Me : 14th Feb. Then?
Willie : Oh ..
Me : Oh ..

Our last guest tonight is not exactly my buddy during the office hour. He is what I call, a Bug Explorer. Our nature of work conflicts from time to time. A very tall and fair North African with a very neat and fashionable beard. Nobody knows if he has love at all as he had once declared that he hated social meeting and he hated people. But to complete this mission, I have got to approach him.

Me :
Noubi : My girlfriend.
Me : Really?
Noubi : Yes.
Me : But I thought you hate everything!
Noubi : As a matter of fact, yes.
Me :
Noubi : What do YOU think of then?
Me : Me?
Noubi : Yes, you.
Me : Well, the first image is a Big Pink Heart-Shaped Balloon.
Noubi : In fact, me too.

[ready] read message 4 -option -summarized

It is a day of celebration, with the one(s) you love. As we can see, the formula is always the same. The flower, the present (and card, perhaps), the dinner and some private time with your lover(s) before the night ends.

A perfect example of “I-give-you-take” for men. Totally headache to shop for a present, to reserve a bunch of flowers (with an exceptionally high price) and to book for a nice restaurant with so many people siting around with you. Thought it would have been nice if it is being done on a different day instead. Probably men are so tired that they just doze off to sleep after dinner.

When I returned to the Hotel, I planed to interview some of the lady receptionists who were unfortunate enough not being able to stay with their lovers. To my relief, I could only find one guy at the reception. Love is all around.

It is a special day for lovers. Hope you all enjoy your Valentine’s Day and let’s make it a night to remember.

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