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Update March 2018

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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern

Heart to Heart with Hillary


Saturday, March 17, 2018 - March 23, 2018

Dear Hillary,

Having been married to a Thai for about 10 years and seen many other relationships between Farang and Thais, here are my 5 pieces of advice:

- Her family - are her priority and probably the reason she is with you - supporting them, putting a brother through university etc. They will always be her priority, you will never be. Get used to it!

- Money - agree a monthly allowance with her to cover ALL her expenses. These include the accidents that seem to happen to rice-growing families from Isaan - “mama fall down well”, “brother crash motorbike into buffalo” etc etc. Also, if she wants to buy land or build a house, she can save up from her allowance.

- Her friends - will adore you and laugh at all your jokes (however boring you are) as long as you keep buying the food, beer and Thai whisky.

- Never, repeat never put anything in her name - not the house, the condo, the car, the motorbike or even the dog. Once it’s hers, it’s no longer yours even though you have paid for it.

- Age difference - if you’re 65 and she’s 20, then this is probably not going to work, though the first few weeks might be fun. The usual rule of thumb is to divide your age by 2 and then add 10.

Hope this helps.


Dear David,

What your five pieces of advice really comes down to is really a Pre-nuptial agreement. Now, while Pre-nups are big in the States, they are not so common here. And there is the problem for farangs that any agreement such as a Pre-nup must be written in Thai, the legal language in Thailand. There is also the problem in getting her to abide by the rules, especially where it means she has to pay for something. It is amazing just how many wells there are to fall down in a rice paddock. And she spent her allowance last month on vet’s bills. A straight out financial agreement has every good chance of becoming an NPL. Some good advice there, Petal, but can they be agreed upon?


Dear Hillary,

Have you any suggestions to keep school age children interested during these school holidays? There seems to be about 10 weeks of them! Some schools have “Summer School” but the kids tell me they don’t do much other than play. They are also expensive.


Dear Joy,

A big calendar sheet on the wall with one movie a week marked off. Make a day out of grocery shopping after cleaning out the fridge. They do the work, you just record the items. There are many tourist attractions you can use, and again make them one a week after the movies and domestic chores. Washing the family car will take up one day and they are paid for this, since you don’t have to go to the car wash you usually use. With a little imagination you will fill your calendar. Enjoy the children!


Dear Hillary,

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 Lek then it’s OK for Mon. They have completely different morals and different ideas on what’s right or wrong. The crime here is in being found out, not in the cheating.


Dear 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.


Dear Hillary,

We are coming over your way again, after five years away from Thailand. We have kept up to date by reading the Pattaya Mail, and we always read your column first, Petal! There have been many new restaurants in that time, can you recommend a few we should try?

The Globe Trotters

Dear Globe Trotters,

Thank you for the nice words, but you neglected to tell me just where you will be going in Thailand. I also suggest that rather than coming through me, go to Miss Terry Diner in Pattaya at [email protected]

Saturday, March 10, 2018 - March 16, 2018

Dear Hillary,

There are so many books written about the seedy side of life in Thailand, and Pattaya in particular, it is a wonder anybody comes at all, and to come every year you would have to be crazy. That’s the idea that some people think, but I have been coming back on my annual holidays for 15 years, and I don’t think I’m crazy at all. And I’m not a single male going from bar to bar like the butterfly. My wife and I enjoy going to the bars, listen to some great bands and watch first-timers with their mouths open! We stay at some of the top hotels which are much cheaper than similar ones in the UK. We catch taxis to go anywhere and they are cheap too. We eat at top restaurants here which we have only seen any like it in London, which are so expensive we can’t afford them. And we can sit on deck chairs and watch the sunsets. Medical and dental treatments are so cheap compared to private hospitals back home, no wonder people come to Thailand as medical tourists and get their teeth filled.

Jim and Matty

Dear Jim and Matty,

Thank you so much for the kind words. It just shows how to enjoy life and not get caught up in all the negatives. People seem to forget after a few years here, just how cheap Pattaya is. Sure it has become more expensive in the 15 years you have known us but that is a world-wide situation, but as you have pointed out, it is still very cheap compared to the UK and the western world.


Dear Hillary,

One of your correspondents wrote that he was having troubles with his GF who gets up with the roosters and goes to bed after dinner, while he likes to stay up and go to the bars or other night time entertainments. It’s quite obvious that he and the early bird GF are not compatible. He likes the night scene which has 48,396 potential GF’s. Choose one! BTW, I made up that number 48,396, it was a guess. It should probably be more than that, especially as we’ve just had Cobra Gold.


Dear Grant,

I really have to agree with you. Just what does the current GF do for the poor chap? Spends his money and buys in lunch? Definitely doesn’t make breakfast. Maybe they go collecting wildflowers in the afternoon? Or sit together in the park listening to the Pattaya Percussionists and the Beach Road Brass Band? There is the other alternative of course. He joins a common interest group and meets a 45 year old divorcee who likes to talk about herself and all her hard luck till 2 or 3 in the morning. On second thoughts, number 48,396 sounds better. Or her sister 48,395.


Dear Hillary,

When you meet someone and you know they are the right person for you, it doesn’t matter whether they work in a bar or work in a university. That’s it, they are the one. You are in love. You go on a lot about finding good Thai women, but they are really all the same, so don’t keep on about it. If the girl comes from a bar, just enjoy and ignore the advice from silly old people like Hillary.


Dear James,

What a silly mixed up young boy you are. You are not describing “love” to me, Petal, you are describing infatuation. You are ignoring the fact that girls who work in the bars are in it for the money. Nobody forces them to work there. Undoubtedly a young inexperienced male like you will fall “in love” with a lady from the bar. They are very skilled at making you feel you are the one they have waited for all their life. That is until the next likely lad gets off his plane at Suvarnabhumi. It has been said many times, and this is not a Hillary original, but you can take a girl out of the bar, but you can’t take the bar out of the girl. And ignore the advice from silly young people like James.


Dear Hillary,

I notice that some weeks you are all helpful and nice, and other times you are, sorry to say this, very crotchety. Why is this?


Dear Garry,

I am a woman. I have a bicycle, so it’s cyclical. Do you need further explanation? So run away and do boy things for the rest of this week. I’ll be happier next week.


Dear Hillary,

I read the newspaper (pattayamail). To help my english. I like your column so much. Some question is interesting (about road). Not only tourist, but me too. Your suggestion are good for all question.

I think your column can improve my english better than.

Thank you for good column.

Yours sincerely,


Dear Nok,

Thank you for brightening up my day! OK, today’s lessons: “English” always has a capital letter, and it should be “Thank you for a good column”!

Keep up the good work, it will be worth it in the end.

Update Saturday, March 3, 2018 - March 9, 2018

Dear Hillary,

One of the blokes I have a beer with is always telling us what a great Sheila his wife is. They’ve been married for a few years, but we know she’s got a bit on the side. We’ve tried to make him look beyond the tip of his old feller, but no good at all. What should we do now, Hillary?


Dear Bluey,

You must be an Aussie and Aussies are known for being straight to the point. So here you are, Petal. Bug out. You are not your mate’s keeper. You don’t know what his domestic situation is like. Just be there if or when he asks for help, otherwise forget it.


Dear Hillary,

My Thai GF has been with me for a few months. I bought her out from the bar she was working in which made her very happy, and me too. Only problem I have with her is I can’t take her anywhere “good” as she wears bar clothes and gets a lot of attention from other men. You know the kind of dresses, very tight and short. I tried to get her to buy a new wardrobe but she buys the same things from the motorbike shop. Sure they are cheap, like about B. 200, but they scream “bar”. Any suggestions?


Dear Ricky,

Yes I have a suggestion. Run. You wanted a sexy lady in the first place by taking a bar girl home, and now you don’t want her to look sexy, in case some other guy likes her too, reading between the lines. You get what you pay for, Petal and you bought a bar girl, not a HiSo fashion model. If you want to buy cheese you don’t go to a hardware shop.


Dear Hillary,

I know you’ve been asked this before, but how much is the bride price these days? I am sure, like all things, it gets more expensive in time. Background details, she is 25 years old and the family live in North-East Thailand, but she works in Pattaya as a cashier. Her mother looks after two young children, but she says they belong to her sister, though she does help by sending some money each month. She has worked as the cashier for six months, but had to take a month off as an old friend was coming over from the UK.


Dear Jack,

Please go to the nearest mirror and check to see if the word “sucker” is on your forehead. Sometimes I don’t believe you people. Why didn’t I meet someone like you? Here in a nutshell is your situation. “Cashier”? Not very likely, but will stand down from the bar to help when the real cashier is sick. Unless, of course, there is an old friend coming from the UK that she will have to look after as well. Two children being looked after by their grandmother and she contributes to their welfare. She is 25, what has she been doing before stepping in as the cashier? Have you met the “sister”? How is the buffalo? And her brother after the motorcycle accident? Jack, my Petal, is obviously short for Jackass. Have you tried the Phillies? You have spent enough money here already.


Dear Hillary,

Every week there seems to be a report of some tourist being ripped off in some way or other, gold chains physically ripped off, drugged after “coffee”, accomplice under the bed and so forth, and this happens round about three in the morning and the victim is drunk or stoned. What rock do these people climb out from under? If they shuffle down the street with a skin-full of booze in their home town at three in the morning what will happen to them? They will get rolled. So why do it here?


Dear Elwyn,

Completely correct, go to the top of the class. An intelligent topic at long last. At least these rock-dwellers aren’t wanting to pay for a dowry as well.


Dear Hillary,

There seems to be an increased BIB presence since the New Year. Any ideas on what we can do about this? I’m starting to feel like a fugitive any time I go out on the bike. Makes no difference that I am wearing a proper helmet, I get stopped, check under the seat and no sorry or anything. Sure, stop anyone without a helmet, the road toll is the worst in the world and mainly motorcycles, but to pick on everyone doesn’t make tourists want to come back here. I believe many of these traffic checks are revenue raising for the BIB.


Dear Gert,

I can understand your feeling. I even get apprehensive riding my bicycle, but I rarely get on to the big streets and stick to the little side sois. I believe what many drivers do is to have 500 baht in the wallet for the checkpoint. And ensure the bike registration is current, your license as well and visa current.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

March 17, 2018 - March 23, 2018

March 10, 2018 - March 16, 2018

March 3, 2018 - March 9, 2018



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