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The things we do in the name of love QUICK ON THE DRAW

Love can make us do the silliest things.

Like buying overpriced blooms, eating stuff that looks more like modern art than food, agreeing to watch movies you'd otherwise rather poke your own eyes out than watch.

Yes, I've gone to the movies for all three instalments of the Hangover.

Anyway, I use "love" in the widest possible sense today.

In one case, love, or lust rather, is inciting men to cough up almost $100 monthly to get online Mandarin lessons from sexy teachers.

Yeah, and a Singaporean has made it to their sexy faculty, too. Whether any actual learning happens, well, we sent our intrepid correspondent to find out (Page 12).

Coming from someone who consistently flunked Chinese in school - and yes, I am very aware of the high irony that I have to read Chinese papers as part of making my living now - I'm wondering whether a hunk of a Chinese teacher would have made a difference.

A hot chap murmuring the dulcet sounds of ting xie (a sort of spelling test)? Nah, it wouldn't have.

Mostly because I started flunking the subject way too early for a hot teacher to have made a difference.

Maybe Mickey, Donald or Bugs teaching me a la Sesame Street would have worked. That would have been much better as I loved them to bits.

But the potential of love can be a real trap for some women. Many have fallen pray to unscrupulous Lotharios, and it seems the advent of Facebook and better technology has simply made it easier for the conmen to do their nefarious work.

As I read their stories (see facing page), I must admit that there was a sense of empathy and sympathy.

It's too easy to shake heads and go "tsk" at how they have lost their life savings to these men, but I ask you, wouldn't you do the same for your current mate? I would wager that many of us would withdraw whatever it takes from the bank to make sure our loved ones are doing well.

The sad part is that it seems only too easy to prey on loneliness. It's hard to think about life stretching ahead without someone to share it with, especially when it seems that everywhere you look, people are fussing over their spouses, sharing happy family events.

I can understand why the women fell into these traps. I'd be hard pressed to say that I'd never be caught in one myself. It seems like love and loneliness can make you do silly things.

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