Happy Valentine’s Day! If you want to see a more over-the-top celebration of the Day of Love, come to Thailand during a “normal” year. In 2021, we are missing out by the fact that the date falls on a Sunday but I suspect many of the students at our school will do their usual sticker-fest tomorrow.

We are also in the middle of the Chinese New Year celebration which is usually followed by the Phuket Old Town Festival which is my favorite in that all the streets surrounding the town center are closed-off to traffic for each of three evenings and the area is taken over by hundred of food vendors, local artists and burgeoning musicians. I had assumed that all of the festivities had been cancelled due to the pandemic but today’s newspaper carried a story about the dismal turnout for the Chinese New Year presentation; I guess everybody else thought it was cancelled as well and there was no advertising at all.

I am quite pleased by this year’s four “Symbols of Love” stamps released by Thailand Post last week portraying hand gestures that we see (and use) all the time at school. To be honest, I am quite underwhelmed by most Valentine’s Day stamps as there is only so much you can do with hearts, roses, and the colors of red and pink. I am still waiting to see the design for the 2021 stamp from the Philippines which I have been told is quite nice.

For today’s cover, I chose one bearing Vietnam’s first-ever Love-themed stamp which was issued just last year. I have been buying copies of most of that nation’s New Issues over the past few years and would really like to visit there once “normal” travel is once again possible.  In fact, I am planning a bit of a jaunt around Southeast Asia once that happens — returning to Laos and Cambodia at the very least and probably Malaysia (where I would like to get to Malacca and a few other places I have not yet gone). While I absolutely love Singapore, it can be an extremely expensive place to stay and do anything.  I have not yet been to Indonesia or Borneo but those may have to wait for different holiday trips. I doubt that any of this will be possible in 2021 but I am hoping to spend my summer vacation (April/May) of 2022 on the road.

Anyway, enjoy your Valentine’s Day at a social distance (wear that mask!)….


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