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Heart to Heart with Hillary


November 17, 2018 - November 23, 2018

Dear Hillary,

I live in a townhouse and I have noisy neighbors, one on each side. I’m just renting so the neighbors don’t really care about me, I think. If they played their music inside their houses it would be better, but every couple of nights they sit out on their front patios, have a party, drink beer and scream and laugh till the early hours. When I first moved in I tried being nice and even brought them over a couple of bottles of beer but that didn’t do too much other than keep them going longer. Is there some department I could approach and get them to quieten them up?



Dear Bernie,

The noise is obviously getting to you. “Quieten them up”. Like Sam Goldwyn’s “Include me out.” But of course there is something you can do – leave. My Petal, Thai people are happy people, and part of the enjoyment is noise. Lots of it. There is no way you will get them to turn the music down. Even if the Prime Minister were to rock up one evening he wouldn’t stop them, he’d sit down with them and have some of your beer which you so kindly sent over, and join in the karaoke. Leave and rent a small house on a large property.


Dear Hillary,

Have I got a mother-in-law problem? There are so many 30 something year old beautiful girls, it is no wonder we all end up with one (or two) of them. Doesn’t always work out, but there is plenty more. That’s not my problem, as I have a very good young wife, with a very young looking mother (my mother in law). Mother and daughter decided that at the weekends, mother would come and stay with us, which lets daughter out on Saturday night with her friends, while mother keeps me company. This seemed like fun, and mother made it very clear she wanted to get close to me when we are sitting watching the telly. We started snuggling and of course it led to going to bed together. Now every weekend is the same, telly and bed. Mother tells me not to worry as her daughter wants us to get close while she goes out and comes home drunk at 2 in the morning. In the morning Mother is in bed with me, while daughter is still sleeping it off in mother’s bed. What should I do about this?



Dear Graeme,

You really have got yourself into a pickle, haven’t you? Not quite a ‘ménage a trois’, so why are you worried? However, I can only see this ending in tears. One or both of your lady friends, mother and daughter, will get upset and it will be all over. Mother can go back to her house, and you are left with the daughter who will want to keep on drinking with her friends (and others) at weekends. There is no easy way out of this my Petal. The most likely scenario is a fight between the two women, daughter will leave you alone and all you get left is mother.


Dear Hillary,

Next door’s alarm went off and sounded for about 15 minutes. Nobody in the village even stopped. As they are my neighbors I thought I should do something. They have a guard dog but it wasn’t interested. I tried to contact the people but no answer to the phone. The next morning their car was in the driveway, so I presume everything was OK. What should I have done, and don’t say go inside their gate, the dog is a monster.



Dear Jolly,

First you buy sedatives from the pharmacy and pack them into some large beefsteaks. Then you throw them over the fence to where the dog is. After the dog has gone to sleep, then go into the neighbor’s yard while clutching a cricket bat. If the dog wakes up get out of there immediately and repeat step 1. Step 2 is to locate the burglar while threatening to use the cricket bat. If it is an American house, then a baseball bat is acceptable. At this point it is time for step 3. Haggling over the money to be paid under the table for your silence. For an ordinary house, 10K should be enough, though 20K if it is a posh place. Don’t accept a check or goods in exchange.


Dear Hillary,

When my steady was away up-country I asked a girl out for a drink from the local bar. Now she sends me between 5 and 10 messages a day ranging from I lub you too mut, good morning darling, good night sleep well darling. She was a nice enough girl but I do have the one up country. But if she sees all the messages she may not be the steady any more. What is the best way to finish a cyber romance?



Dear Blackie,

That is easy. You just block them in your phone. Mind you, everyone up country is connected these days. You’ve probably lost the steady already. I suggest you block both of them and start again with someone else.


November 10, 2018 - November 16, 2018

Dear Hillary,

Here is one letter you will relate to immediately. Chocolate! Have I got your attention? I would dearly love to find a purveyor of decent chocolate, especially dark chocolate. Apart from the usual supermarkets which have a very limited selection unless you want milk chocolate, I have not found anywhere to assuage my desire to pamper myself of an evening, you know, feet up, comfy chair, good book and a large bar/box of dark bitter chocolate. As you must have experience of the more elite confectioners in Pattaya, I would be most grateful if you would share your knowledge. I am not really worried about cost because when you think about it, for the price of a couple of lukewarm Singha’s in some drinking dens one can have a much more gratifying tasting experience without losing the use of one’s hearing.

An unashamed chocoholic


Dear Unashamed,

You really don’t understand Ms. Hillary, do you Petal. I do not buy chocolates, I eat the chocolates that my devoted readers send me. You will have to continue looking, and when you have found chocolate Nirvana you can send me a box. Oh, by the way, no hard centers please.


Dear Hillary,

My wife’s eldest son is 14 years of age and is making lots of noises that he wants a small motorcycle to ride to school. I have gone to vacant areas and he can handle a small (80 cc) bike quite well and I make him wear a helmet. Road craft is another thing again, and I am not sure how his is. I am not saying yes to his requests (and his mother is just sitting on the fence and saying things are different in Thailand compared to the UK). My objection is due to the fact that he is too young to hold a license. My question is, firstly what is the youngest age that a teenager can legally obtain a license and secondly can low powered motorcycles be ridden without a license and if so below what engine size?

Mike the bike


Dear Mike the bike,

Like so many aspects of life in Thailand, it is difficult to get a “straight” answer, as you have already found, haven’t you? My sources say that a motorcycle license can be obtained legally at 18 for a car or bike, but there are very obviously some underage riders out there. The very small scooter style bikes are illegal to be used in Pattaya and you cannot get any insurance for them, making them very dangerous to ride in all respects. The dividing line is on wheel size rather than engine capacity. With the shocking head injury statistics associated with motorcycles, Hillary believes you are doing the right thing by teaching your son to ride in a safe way and to wear a proper helmet - and correctly fastened, too. A small scooter is not good for young teenagers on the road. With all the police road checks these days, that would be another good reason to make sure he is not breaking some law. It might start to be expensive, and I’m sure your wife would not be happy with this.


Dear Hillary,

I have always had a problem with my weight, but having come to Thailand seven months ago, the problem is even worse. I have made plenty of new friends here, but drinking beer seems to be their big pastime. Everywhere we go, it is drink, drink, drink. I can cope with the bad head and the expense of this lifestyle but recently I have noticed that I have gained a lot of weight. And I mean a LOT of weight. I have joined a gym to combat this problem and I go every day to do circuits. Unfortunately my gym friends also want to go drinking after every session, which in effect has doubled my alcohol consumption. I know you might think, “Then don’t drink” but I’m sure you know how difficult it is Hillary. I might think I will have just one, but then I don’t care and get rat assed and by the time there’s about six or eight persons in the school, that’s me done for the day. I used to be such a nice girl. Please help before I have to buy a new wardrobe!

XS Kg.


Dear XS Kg,

What is a nice girl like you playing rugby and going to the gym? Yes Hillary does appreciate how difficult it is to give up drinking, having been found lying under a champagne bottle or two at the odd time (French of course). My girl you must face the music that you are an alcoholic. Hey, your friends do not hold you down to pour the fire water down your throat. As a friend of Hillary’s once said, “I gave up drinking when they invented guzzling.” Have you ever heard of the 2-letter word NO? Join AA, seek out a sympathetic friend or counselor, doctor or monk. If you continually get rat assed and then have to apologize to yourself and others you definitely need help. If you are serious, then stick bulging photos of yourself in bikinis on the telephone, the fridge and the liquor cabinet. Good luck. And that’s not a “clink and Chok Dee!”

November 3, 2018 - November 9, 2018

The invitations to the Village Wedding

Dear Hillary,

This is more of a warning for all the young chaps who come to Thailand on holidays and get sucked into marriage and dowry. These poor suckers think that if they marry the girl who adores him that she won’t go back to working in the bar he found her in. This is a scam, mainly seen in the poor folk in the north-east who can see an opportunity to get some Thai whiskey out of some poor, besotted idiot. Village weddings are not even accepted in Thai law, so why would you waste 25 satang on this nonsense. It is not a Thai custom today especially while the Thai government pushes for Thailand 4.0. This is 2018, not 1018.


Dear John,

You are so right, Petal. To all you males out there, if your GF suggests a dowry is the next step in the wonderful relationship, get the running shoes on and never go to that bar again, while saying “Thank you Hillary (and John)”. If there is something you would like to be remembered for, it should be for stamping out dowries. Unfortunately there seems to be a never ending supply of foreign males with too much money and a never ending supply of young ladies from the Isaan area willing to take on the onerous task of liberating the money from the foreign male’s wallet.


You won’t catch a man this way

Dear Hillary,

Who was it who said you catch a man through his stomach? My problem is the other way round. The GF insists that it is her job to cook for me, right. But she can only cook Isarn food and I cannot eat the stuff, just too spicy for me. There there’s that other stuff called Pla Ra which smells like old socks and it is so bad that when I come home after work I can tell if she’s even opened the bottle. The smell is unreal. I’ve tried telling her I cannot eat her food, but she won’t even try cooking European food. I even bought some cook books dealing with Euro food in Thai. That didn’t work either. What’s next Hillary?


Dear Grant,

You know what the answer is – you just don’t want to face it. Your GF is very stubborn, and doesn’t really care for you at all. Sure, in Thai society, the woman cooks, but she cooks for the husband, not for herself and Isarn friends. The answer to your problem is find somebody new in the kitchen, or there’s the drive-in at the local hamburger joint. Your call, Petal.


UK ladies to the right – Thai ladies to the left. Charge!

Dear Hillary,

I am a lady based in the UK. You have had a column in the Pattaya Mail for many years and we often read about hapless foreigners who lose their savings due to meeting the 'wrong' lady. Some of the posts are hilarious. How can some men be so stupid you might ask? The ladies don’t care; there is always another tourist on the plane to Bangkok. I have no experience of the scene, but even though I only read about things there, I still can’t understand just how many guys end up this way.


Dear Lyn,

Take a look in the mirror. Do you see a 45 kg black haired, brown eyed vision of loveliness looking out at you? A vision that hangs on your every word? A vision that will give up working in a bar, just to look after you? (For the three months a year that you are actually in Thailand.) The western women have adapted to their society ever since they got the vote. The Thai woman already has the vote, but most can’t be bothered to register. West and East are quite different, Petal.


Looking for Lyn

Dear Hillary,

Love your column, Hillary, but it amazes me that so many farangs end up with empty wallets and broken hearts. I don’t live in Pattaya, but read you on line each week from the UK.


Dear Gerald,

You don’t happen to live next door to a lady called Lyn, do you? Both of you have no idea what Pattaya is like, but both are quite happy to make judgments. The latest figures I can get has the British divorce rate about 50 percent, and the second marriage even worse. Thai statistics are harder to find with the Amphur (read proper) marriages and the village marriages (not recognized by even the Thai authorities). I have always said that mixed marriages never work – that’s men and women. Totally different types of being.


All move one chair around

Dear Hillary,

Why do the bar girls change jobs so much? I get to know some of the girls in the bar, but the next time I go there, it is a different lot.


Dear Jaime,

It’s called inflation. The girls get a small salary and the rest of their monthly salary comes from a complicated system of lady drinks, bar fines and what they get from their customers. To keep the popular girls, they are given a larger slice, which works until another girl comes to work and steals the customers. So the first girl moves on, looking for more money and this cycle keeps on happening.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

November 17, 2018 - November 23, 2018

November 10, 2018 - November 16, 2018

November 3, 2018 - November 9, 2018