Heart to Heart
Update September 23, 2017
I read that you finally got your tunnel open. Well done!
And it was only three years too! I see that not only has the tunnel fixed the
traffic jams, but it has also fixed the revenue section at the police station.
The sign that says no motorcycles is plain enough, but in the first three days
18 of them apparently couldn’t read the sign and had to cough up 1,000 baht for
the pleasure. Perhaps this is why motorcyclists feature so high in the deaths on
I am all for anything to cut down the road toll, Petal,
but I’m not sure that there are too many deaths attributable to tunnels.
Especially ones only a few hundred meters long divided and straight. It’s not as
if it were the Mont Blanc Tunnel (11 km) is it?
(In response to a contributor suggesting older ladies for
foreigners, rather than the younger ones.) The odds of a woman over thirty
getting married in Thailand is on par with getting hit by lightning on a
cloudless day. I would imagine the “friend” saw a vulnerable old fool and
slipped him a ‘free one’ ... oldest trick in the book. No doubt her suitcases
had been behind the door since the funeral.
How many cynical pills did you eat this morning? There
are many over 30’s Thai who get married, just the same as the over 30’s in other
countries. The over 30’s ladies who try again with men (well) over 30 should be
encouraged, not discouraged, by people like you. They do make for good, faithful
Re the couple who wanted to know where to eat. I suggest
Apex and Lek hotels buffets as each have at least 30 buffet items at 110 B when
you buy 10 tickets, when splurging the Hilton has several bargain days/nights
that are affordable. All of these are on 2nd. Rd. A favorite for Tex Mex is
Beefeaters, just 20 meters off 2nd. Rd. pricier at 329 B but, all you can eat,
including ribs. Central Mall has every fast food outlet (not junk food & I luv
all) you can name & Mac & King have constant price wars. Hillary was correct as
there are many street food vendors but I like to sit down when I eat.
Thank you for enlightening me regarding the cheaper end
of town. As I wrote, in answer to the query, there are just so many places to
eat, and even the side of the road eateries supply seats, Don. You should know
You seem to be on the side of the bar girls, making excuses
for them, to make us feel sorry for them. Well I don’t. There are plenty of jobs
for young women. They don’t have to enter the oldest profession. There are newer
ones that pay good money. They are just lazy and it is easy to make money on
your back than on your feet. You can see how it goes – bar and hook a punter or
two, after a few years back to the village and open a beauty salon. By that
stage her daughter is in the bar and the once bar girl is now a grandmother and
looking after the daughter’s children. Nothing in that scenario to be sorry for
You have described to situation very well, but you don’t
say how do these country girls get out of the bar-beauty salon-grandmother
cycle? You should read Mango Rains (advert in this newspaper) and get a better
idea of life up country.
Have I found THE girl? There is a bar close to where I
live, so I have been going there for a drink after work. Recently a new girl
there has been giving me lots of attention, but never even asks for a ‘lady
drink’, but I can see that all the other girls back off, so apparently she must
be mine. Or is it that I am hers? Anyway, she is a nice girl, so I wouldn’t mind
having her as a GF. How well should a guy know the girl before buying her out of
the bar? It’s not cheap these days either.
You have to ask yourself, why is she working in a bar?
There are other jobs she could take up, such as sales girl, 7-Eleven counter,
waitress, fast food server and the like. I get a lot of tales of woe from chaps
who take a lady from the bar on a more permanent basis. Remember the old adage,
“You can take a girl out of the bar, but you can’t take the bar out of the
girl.” I take it from your email that you are young (under 30) and have not been
here long. Answer me, do you really want somebody at home, getting under your
feet and who will have very different social skills? You would be extremely
lucky to find THE girl, Petal.
Update September 16, 2017
I have been coming to Thailand for over 20
years, I used to come 2/3 times a year. I now only come once a year, the reason
being the Thai THB. Over the last few years I have noticed how many shops, bars,
go go bars have closed down. Most people now are staying away or going to
Cambodia or Vietnam which are better value. I will give you one example
(Emirates) airline has taken one flight off per day from one UK airport going
into Suvarnabhumi international, let’s say there were 250 people per flight per
day, that’s 1,750 per week, 7,000 per month. Total 84,000 for one year, this is
just one airline, this is surely is having a great effect in the Thai economy
?????, so Hillary if you have any influence with the powers to be, tell them to
wake up and smell the coffee. If the Thai THB was between 65/70 and not 40 to
the pound, the economy would be better for all concerned (shops, bars, go go
bars) the whole of the Thai economy would benefit, then I would start visiting
Thailand more often.
Phil Shropshire England
Dear Phil from Shropshire,
Thank you for your in depth examination
of the current tourism sector in Pattaya with reference to the UK. Looking first
at the value of the THB – this value depends upon many factors, far more than I
know of, but I can remember when it was 70 THB to the Pound Sterling. This was
great for visitors and catastrophic for those of us who lived here. Everything
seemed to cost double, so you can’t say that the whole of the Thai economy would
benefit. Influence on the powers that be? I’m just a little voice in the
wilderness, I’m afraid. Now you are only looking at the UK tourism. Now, will it
surprise you to know that the Chinese tourism surpasses UK? And the Russians are
coming back too. Finally, even at 40 THB Thailand offers you more holiday fun
The tunnel is finally open, after three
years of digging. Why didn’t they just use an overhead roadway? Much cheaper,
much quicker. Now they are talking about digging two more of these. Why? Or is
there a secret agenda somewhere?
I honestly don’t know, my Petal. Well
outside my scope. If the tunnels are going to make you heart-broken, write
again. I can help broken hearts but I’m useless at digging tunnels.
Why do the shops open so late? Some of the
big shopping centers don’t open till 11 a.m. They must be losing money. Are you
a morning shopper, Hillary?
Yes, I am a morning shopper, but there
are plenty of supermarkets open early, some 24 hours a day. Pattaya has
everything if you would just stop and look around you. I should point out that
shopping for me is a half loaf of bread and sliced salami. Also, don’t try and
buy alcohol between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. That’s when the school children are banned
from the shops, so none of us can have an afternoon’s tipple at home.
Please read my letter carefully. I have
nothing against Thailand, but I do have an issue with all these old men you see
out at night. Don’t they know what they look like? Walking down the street with
a young woman (teenagers even) on their arm. They all have such smug looks on
their faces with a ‘Look at me, aren’t I clever’ expression. Don’t they know, or
doesn’t anybody tell them that they are just being taken for a ride? They’re not
clever. They’re stupid. I have come over here on holiday from the UK and I am
shocked by what I see here, going on night and day. I can put up with the
endless beer bars with young women trying to get people to sit down and drink. I
can put up with the fact there are go-go bars with women displaying their bodies
as some sort of tourist attraction, but I cannot put up with the way old foreign
men walk around with barely teenage Thai girls hanging on to their arm.
When you say, “They all have such smug
looks on their faces with a ‘Look at me, aren’t I clever’ expression” are you
referring to the old foreign men, or the barely teenage girls, Petal? Honestly
Marie, this can be applied to both of them. They are smiling because they have
found themselves in a situation which is good for both of them. The young girls
have found a ‘sponsor’, whilst the old foreign men have found themselves a
gorgeous young thing (call her a ‘carer’ if you like) who will take care of
their every need. So just what is so wrong with that, Petal? It is a win-win
situation, so no need to be shocked. Can the ‘man from the UK’ get a deal like
that back home in the UK? No, so let him enjoy his holiday.
Took a motorbike taxi the other day.
There were two of us and we shared the same bike. As you have advised many
times, we agreed to a fare before we got on. It wasn’t far, just down to the
supermarket so we thought 60 baht was reasonable. When we got there he asked
for 120 baht, getting the message across that the fare is per person. I’ve
never heard of this before. Were we being ripped off?
With two up there is more wear and
tear, more fuel used and so I can understand his way of thinking. There also
is the fact that you are a tourist! Not much you can do about it now, but
next time you know to barter the fares for two!
I have been a loyal supporter of your
particular column. I find your column very rewarding in that it is sort of
like group therapy for us Thailand stricken folks. I find you very caring,
loving, but mostly supportive of one and all who write in with their trials
and tribulations that are sincere and straightforward. There are certainly
so many varied experiences that us farangs encounter when first arriving at
the gates to heaven on earth. I do not want to get into any long stories
about my particular adventures in the wonderful land of smiles, but suffice
to say, they have all been earth shattering, and downright addictive in
nature. After many years of learning from my mistakes, I now find myself
engaged in a loving, caring, and real marriage to a bar girl. In my eyes,
and that’s the key; if we truly fall in love with another human being, then
we should be willing to ignore all the flack, and give all our hearts and
souls into that relationship, and embrace that individual’s culture and
customs and adapt! Simple as that! I think the key is learn from our
mistakes! And make the necessary adjustments if that is really what you
want. MONEY! Money is for here and now, so let’s enjoy all our adventures,
good and bad, and try to make this planet a better place for everyone, not
just the chosen few. Thanks very much for all your hard and entertaining
work Ms. Hillary.
Thank you for all the nice words. It
is always nice to think that someone appreciates what goes into the column.
You are also very caring and loving, and have obviously developed a broader
viewpoint of life, and as you say, “let’s enjoy all our adventures, good and
bad, and try to make this planet a better place for everyone, not just the
chosen few.” I also like your philosophy on love, especially putting hearts
and souls into the relationship. Sure, you may get burned on the way
through, but it is never the end of the world. If you made money once, you
can make it again. If you loved once, you can love again. And you are right,
my Petal. Learn from your mistakes – in everything in life. Again thank you.
You made my world a better place today as well. Now I think I’ll go and bark
at somebody, just in case they think I’ve gone soft!
I do get tired of reading about all
these people who complain they have been ripped off by Thai women. My first
Thai wife and I had a wonderful relationship which only ended after 10 years
when she died. My second Thai wife has just been so loving and caring. She
was a friend of my previous wife and she knew the sad story, but was there
to support me. The men who write in to you, Hillary, should start to look at
older women and not these flirty young gold diggers they see in the bars.
It always pleases me to get emails
like yours. You are correct that Thai women can be the most supportive women
on earth. You are a very lucky man Robert, who looked beyond the beer bars.
My wife and I are coming over before
Xmas. We have read that the roadside food stalls will be removed as the
hygiene is poor and people can get very sick. We eat simple meals at home
here, so we’re not looking for Michelin stars. We will be in Pattaya for a
week, so can you give us some help?
Ally and Mike
Dear Ally and Mike,
You will be blown away with the
choices available from any of our over 400 restaurants. My best advice is to
read the Dining Out columns in this paper and you will soon see what kind of
cuisine is on offer, and the price range in food. By the way, there will
still be very good roadside food available. It’s just some misguided soul
trying to make Bangkok into a European eatery, instead of promoting the
Asian, much loved, ordinary food. The general advice is always don’t eat
food that has been sitting in pots and getting cold. Eat food that has been
cooked in front of you. Come and enjoy yourselves!
I like my social drinks (mainly beer,
though sometimes spirits and don’t take too much as I am wary of the cops and
their blitz on drinking). My girlfriend doesn’t drink, so when we go out, I
always know that she can drive us home. That’s the plan anyway, but when I think
I’m over the limit and ask her to drive, she refuses, saying she doesn’t have a
license and has never told me! I see her drive her motorcycle, so she can drive.
I told her to get a license but she says OK and then does nothing. What’s the
It’s all too obvious, my Petal. You
teach her to drive and when she’s good enough take her to the licensing place.
Then if she won’t drive you home it’s time for a new girlfriend who has a
driving license. Or even better, catch a taxi cab.
I’m thinking of having some cosmetic
surgery done. I’m mid 50’s and the lines on the face are getting very deep and
the skin is changing color. I’ve been out in the sun all my working life so got
lots of sun spots too, but that’s on the arms and I don’t worry about them. The
big shopping centers have plenty of face lift clinics, how do you choose the
best one? They’ve all got pretty girls outside trying to drag you in, and one of
them will get me in one day for sure, but I want a good place.
I did a bit of detective work for you.
First, you want a plastic surgeon, not a cosmetic surgeon. The Plastic group are
board certified, the Cosmetic lot are not necessarily so. The major hospitals
can tell you how long their surgeons have been practicing, and what operations
they like to carry out. The pretties outside the clinics are not the reason to
use that clinic’s services. The “greeters” are just doing their job, so they
can’t tell you how good or otherwise the surgeons are.
One of your writers was wondering if his
wife (or GF, I can’t remember if it said) was cheating on him. Thai women have
cheating down pat, and you can tell the ones who are going up country and have
up country friends staying down here, that they are all covering for each other.
The ones from the bars slip into it more easily, but there (sic) sisters
then follow. If it’s OK for Noi then it’s OK for Nam. They come from completely
different cultures completely different morals and different ideas on what’s
right or wrong. The crime here is in being found out, not in the cheating. All
the overseas men should understand this before hooking up with a Thai woman. Do
you agree with me and how I see it?
Dear Another Jerry,
Reading between the lines, I think you
are writing from experience, and still hurting. Honestly Petal, there are just
as many honest ones as there are cheaters. But you are right that if the girl
comes from the bar, that is a cheating environment (big word for a Friday!) and
remember that “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” If they work in a bar, they
follow what bar girls do. They have to start somewhere and once they are in that
circle, it is very rare that they will leave it totally.
I need your advice urgently, Hillary my
Petal! I know I should have known better, after all I am not new to this
country, but there I was at my usual bar and met this vision of loveliness. She
spoke very little English but seems like a very genuine person and we got along
just fine. She comes from Udon Thani, but that’s about all I managed to find out
about her after about four hours and several “lady drinks”. The biggest problem
was only that she doesn’t speak much English, but we got by OK. By the end of
the night I was pretty drunk and I ended up lending her 10,000 baht, which she
was going to return three days later after pay day at the bar. It’s now a week
later and I haven’t heard from her. What should I do? Should I go back to the
bar and ask for my money? Should I keep going, or should I give up now before I
get in too deep?
You’ve got the telescope to the blind
eye. Haven’t you! After four hours of lady drinks you give this “vision of
loveliness” 10,000 baht. How were you communicating with your vision? It wasn’t
English, according to you, so I presume it must have been in Braille. That is
10,000 baht you will never see again. But look at it this way – there is a very
grateful buffalo up there in Udon Thani, thinking about you while getting its
hooves polished. And by the way, I am not your Petal, Petal!