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Update December 2016


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 

Heart to Heart with Hillary

 

Update March 25, 2017

Dear Hillary,

I’m here on a retirement visa but I’ve been offered a part-time job managing my local bar while the owner goes overseas for a month. Do I have to give them my passport and visa, or am I ok with the visa I’ve got at present. I would like to run the place (I ran a pub before in the UK) as it’s a bit of fun.

Geordie

Dear Geordie,

I’m the wrong person to ask, my Petal. Broken hearts don’t need a visa! Changing your status can be a problem I believe, but you should ask a visa agent, not me! And be ready to fill out your forms in triplicate, that’s a good lad.

 

Dear Hillary,

I’ve been living here for five years and in that time I’ve had a couple of live-ins. All seemed hunky dory at first, with the girl making sure everything in the condo was fine. Got rid of the maid that used to come each week as the girl took charge, and I was happy enough with this. Life soon became a bottle of wine every night with our meal, all very sophisticated but then became a bottle for her during the day and another shared with me at night. You can see what happened after that. If I came home early for any reason she would be entertaining her friends, drinking my wine, and it just got worse from there. “Wife” Number One was chucked out, and she left quietly, after 50,000 baht came her way.

I promised myself I would be more savvy and when Number Two arrived with two suitcases I was sure I would be ready. Laid down the ground rules and everything was agreed to. I’d drop by the condo unexpectedly and she would be reading a book or watching TV. Good as gold. Then she started to spend some time away visiting her girlfriends. Then she would take trips up-country every month. I was starting to get suspicious, and when she would come back two days late I was very suspicious, and when I found plane tickets to somewhere else up-country, that was it. “Wife” Number Two was chucked out, after another 50 grand changed hands.

What should I do now, Hillary? I’m getting tired of coughing up 50 G’s every six months. How do you recognize the honest ones from the gold diggers?

Walt

Dear Walt,

You certainly have been having an unlucky time with your choices of “wives”, haven’t you, my Petal. Mind you, this is what can happen when you take in a “mia chow”, literally a “rented” wife. Your live-ins are not based on love, or even any real emotion. It’s a straight up fee for service. And you get what you pay for, and I don’t think you have been paying top whack. I will also guess that you took these women in without really knowing them at all. “Courting” is done to find out what kind of person she is, and it has not been done, has it? I think you have to go a bit slower (make that a lot slower) and perhaps only employ the next one two days a week for a couple of months, so you get to know her a bit better, before leaving the door (and your wallet) open.

 

Dear Hillary,

Last month was Valentine’s Day. The 14th of February has been and gone and I didn’t get one from anyone. Not a one! Being as handsome as I am, I was sure that the postman would be weighed down with cards and suchlike, but he either missed my mailbox, or dropped my mail off in the klong because it must have been too heavy. How was your Valentine’s Day, Hillary? I hope it was better than mine. I feel that nobody loves me, and I don’t know why! It isn’t that I only date one woman, but being a healthy young man (OK middle-aged) I expected that many of my ladies would send me a card at least. Don’t women send cards in this country?

George

Dear Gorgeous George,

What a blow to the ego February 14 must have been for you! Not left waiting at the altar, but left waiting at the letterbox. I hope you wore a face mask so the neighbors didn’t spot it was you. What a fate, and the whole street probably saw you there as well. Oh my goodness! However, Hillary has the answer for you, my handsome Petal. Next year post some cards to yourself and you can noisily take them out after the postman has been, so everyone in the street knows you got some in 2018. The only other way to go about filling the letterbox is to stop being such a smug, self-opinionated bore, and people will start to like you, and some may send you a real Valentine’s Day card. How was my day? Absolutely wonderful, stack of cards and flowers, though it was somewhat strange – most of the cards were addressed to “George”. Where exactly do you live? Close to my office?


Update March 18, 2017

Dear Hillary,

I see a lot of girls in my local shopping center in town, and many are quite nice. I see them resting on the seats. I know you say we older farangs should stay away from the bars and I have followed that advice, but will I find Miss Right in the shopping center? Or do I have to lie about my age (I’m a pensioner) and go back to university? What should I do? I’m getting tired of being lonely.

Lonely Larry

Dear Lonely Larry,

What shower did you come down in, my lonely Petal? Must have been the last one. Will you find Miss Right waiting on the bench for you at the supermarket? No Larry, you will only find Miss Take there. Mistake if you talk to her and Miss Take all your money by the time you reach the checkout counter. These are freelance girls who can disappear very easily and you will never find where she went or came from (other than Aisle B next to the hot dog counter). They are more dangerous than the girls from the bars. At least Hello Sexy Man bar will still be there tomorrow, and the mamasan knows the ID of her girls. As far as lying about your age, that’s not such a bad idea. I heard of one 70 year old chap, when seen walking down the street with a cute 17 year old, told his friends it was easy. “I lied about my age. I told her I was 95!” If you are getting really desperate, talk to the girls in the optical stores. They are all well dressed and university graduates. You must be needing glasses at your age, so you’ve got a good excuse for being there. They also do eye checks for free, and that’s a free offer without a hoop of balloons outside either. Don’t despair, Larry. Just be nice to everyone you meet. Very soon someone will snap you up for whom you are, and not just to get their hands on your pension.

 

Dear Hillary,

One of the girls at my office has been very friendly to me recently. Holds my hand when talking to me in the corridor, and always goes out of her way to talk to me and smiles a lot in my direction. Her English seems pretty good, but I don’t know if she is married or not. She did ask me what I was going to give her for Xmas and this knocked me over a bit, so I did get her some chocolates, but I haven’t progressed further. Where do I go from here?

Confused

Dear Confused,

From the sketchy details you have given me, Petal, it is very hard to know exactly what is in the lady’s mind. However, she obviously does enjoy her chats in the corridor. You say you don’t know if she is married or not, so how is Hillary going to know! But it is easy to find out. Next time you are having a chat in the corridor, why don’t you just ask her? “Are you married?” is not difficult to say, is it? If that momentous step is too daunting, just ask one of the other girls in the office if she is married. Thais are very inquisitive and all the office girls will know each other’s marital status (and ‘martial’ status too). Loosen up a little, or maybe you’d like to join Lonely Larry in the supermarket. The price check lady in the vegetable section is fairly unattached, I believe!

 

Dear Hillary,

My letter is a little bit different from all the usual no-hopers who write in to you. I’m a happy, single man, well off, get my pick of the ladies, so why am I writing to you? My only problem is that after a couple of nights, the ladies all want to move in with me. Some of them bring over not just a change of clothes, but a whole wardrobe full. I have no intention of settling down – and why should I? Like I say, I get my pick, so why spoil it. You must have heard the saying ‘why buy a book when you can join a library?’

Pete

Dear Pete,

How lucky are you? You get to wake up with the most adorable man in the world, in your opinion – yourself. Time to change your name to Narcissus, though I would suggest you take all the mirrors down in your bathroom, or you might find yourself falling in love just like the long departed Narcissus did. Poor Narcissus saw his reflection and fell in love with it, and could not be away from it, and pined to death looking into the reflection in the pool. Meanwhile the nymph Echo who fell in love with Narcissus also pined away, just like your ‘lucky’ ladies who try and leave their clothes in your wardrobe. It is not often I can indulge myself in a little romancing, but Pete, you may think you are God’s gift to women, but you’re not. You’re nothing new, you’re just another meal ticket, Petal.


Update March 11, 2017

Dear Hillary,

Any Thai girl I have had relations with has always said that they are “shy” and even wear a towel after the shower and then put the bra on over the towel and pull the towel out from under the bra. This is after swinging from the shandeleers (sic) all night. You seem to have all the answers, Hillary. What’s the reason?

Greg

Dear Greg,

The first thing, Lothario, is you should learn to spell. If you can’t spell the word, then don’t use it. It is chandelier, not “shandeleer”. Your word processor will indicate that you have the wrong spelling by putting a wiggly line under the word. And as to why your girlfriends don’t want to “show” is because they have already decided that you’ve had your money’s worth. You sound like a Cheap Charlie to me.

 

Dear Hillary,

I read in the UK press that there are 27,000 ladies on the game in Pattaya and that all this has stemmed from the American soldiers R and R during the Vietnam era. So now there is a crackdown with the Army doing the deed as the local police weren’t too good at shutting down the odd bar. What is going to happen about Walking Street? Are we going to have to get a letter from our mothers to let us sit at a bar and have a beer? Looking for quality tourists they say, but do the quality tourists have quality money to spend?

Irving

Dear Irving,

I too have read the statistics. 27,000 in Walking Street? That means 270 every meter, making it hard to get to a bar, let alone arrange the rumpy pumpy. It is also very wrong to blame the US R&R. They don’t call it the world’s oldest profession if it only started in 1966. It has been going in every country in the world. The UK has Soho, if I remember correctly!

 

Dear Hillary,

A delicate problem my dear, but one I am sure you will be capable of advising not only me, as I am sure you have met this situation before. I am one of those expats who spends two months overseas and then two months here. Like most expats in my situation, you eventually end up with one steady girlfriend who you find in your local bar and who looks after and cooks for you when you are here and does whatever she wants when you aren’t here. Unfortunately, I have been having a little daily dalliance when I’m in residence and although I thought neither knew about the other, I know my cover has been blown at least in one direction. The new one is now telling me that the old one has a Thai boyfriend who stays in my condo while I am overseas, and even though I don’t have the ‘moral’ high ground, this annoys me a lot, though I haven’t said anything – yet. One of my drinking buddies says it’s not like that but just that Number 2 is trying to get rid of Number 1, so that she can move in and take over. So, Hillary, what should a man do under these circumstances? Number 2 seems to hold all the cards, but I don’t want to be played like a sucker. Should I get a Private Eye to keep the place under surveillance, or should I just have it out with Number 1? Do you think Number 2 would contact Number 1 if I do nothing?

Bob

Dear Bob,

You certainly have caused yourself to have a problem, Petal. I also note that you state that Number 1 is a “steady girlfriend who looks after and cooks when you are here and does whatever she wants when you aren’t here.” “Does whatever she wants,” Petal? Those are your words, yet when given an allegation by someone who has a more than vested interest in the case that perhaps she is doing something she wants, you are “annoyed a lot.” Three words come to mind here – sauce, goose and gander. Or as they say here ‘som nam na’ (you are getting what you deserve). If you hadn’t decided to slip away for your daily dose of dalliance, as you put it, then you wouldn’t be feeling guilty and then trying to shift that blame on to your girl and your paramour (oh, I love using some of those old time words). You have to also remember that there is no love lost between the bar girls when it comes to lining their piggy banks. This is what they do for a living, Bart the Butterfly. So they will do everything in their power to increase their monthly salary. You have placed yourself in the situation, and really only you can get yourself out. You hope that by finding out Number 1’s unfaithfulness you will be morally justified in kicking her out. My suggestion is to rent the condo out for 12 months and say goodbye to both Number 1 and Number 2 and grow up a little before you return.


Update March 4, 2017

Dear Hillary,

I read the newspaper (pattayamail). To improve my English skill. 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 skill better than.

Thank you for good column.

Yours sincerely,

Nok

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.

 

Dear Hillary,

Further to the discussion as to who to take on board for a companion later in life, and where to find this person, I have the answer. One of my acquaintances has a companion, which he calls his “carer”, and that is really what the older gentlemen want. Bouncing around at bed time isn’t so important any more, and taking an overdose of the magic blue tablets is dangerous as can be seen what happened to a pensioner in Chiang Mai. A very unhappy ending. Instead of advertising for a partner, the older chaps need to advertise for a carer. Then she will know what is wanted and he will know what to expect.

Jez

Dear Jez,

You have obviously thought about this, and on behalf of all the old age pensioners I thank you for your input, Petal. I also imagine that you are a pensioner yourself, and I hope you have found the right carer.

 

Dear Hillary,

I have taken two days to get this email to you. Have you had to change your computer recently? All the shortcuts and neat ways of getting around are all changed, but have directions that you can’t follow unless you are a computer geek. I’m not and I’m about ready to throw this thing out the window. Do you know of any teachers who can show me how to check emails, find my friends on face book and write short documents?

Steve

Dear Steve,

You are obviously not Steve Jobs, mainly because he is dead, as well as being computer literate while he was alive. Look, Petal, there are many schools that teach computer, and a trip to Tuk Com in South Pattaya will give you lots of choices, but ask around with your computer savvy friends first. When you find a good one, let me know as I did have to change my computer recently and Windows 10 I think refers to the number of tries you have to do something to find what you are looking for. And then there is that communication devise called “books”. Could be worth your while to invest in one.

 

Dear Hillary,

This might sound silly but listening to the radio the other morning, I heard a panel discussion with African-Americans all upset that white people looked at them differently because of their skin color. Is it like that in Thailand?

Max

Dear Max,

The biggest selling cosmetic in Thailand is whitening cream, because all the brown girls want to be white. The big seller in Europe is tanning lotion as the white girls want to be brown. Taking that a bit further girls with curly hair want it straightened and those with straight hair want it curled. Add to that the other day I heard a survey which said that one in five ladies in Pattaya are transgenders, so nobody wants to be what they really are. It’s a mixed up world as Ray Davies sang in the song Lola:

“Girls will be boys and boys will be girls,

It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola.”

 

Dear Hillary,

I enjoy your bits each week and the advice is right on, too. Somebody wrote in a few weeks back that you should get a raise from your editor and I reckon so too. You are doing a public service so you should get the top dollar. All the ones in the US like Oprah get big money, so should you. Keep up the good work.

Hugh

Dear Hugh,

Aren’t you just the nicest man! Comparing poor little Hillary with the mighty Oprah! However there are some differences between us, you know. She’s in America, for one! You worry me though, when you say you “enjoy my bits” each week. What “bits” are we talking about here? Some of my bits are never discussed here in the column. This is a family newspaper Hugh. As far as a raise is concerned, I’ll show your letter to the editor, but he’ll just laugh and say I made it up.

 

Dear Hillary,

Every time my computer breaks down, after I get it back several days later but when I go to use it, something else has packed up. “You haven’t got enough RAM,” seems to be the catchword even after buying more, the problems are still there. Any ideas, Hillary?

Frazzled

Dear Frazzled,

You’re lucky it’s only a RAM problem. I’ve bought a veritable sheep station of RAMs and now they’re telling me it is my operating system. Bring back faxes, I say. I could understand those.


Update February 25, 2017

Dear Hillary,

Why do the baht busses line up one behind the other, but instead of the head of the queue being the one to leave first, they take the rear bus instead. This is surely confusing?

Graeme

Dear Graeme,

You have discovered a deep and dark Thai secret here, and I shouldn’t even tell you, but since you wrote in – here it is. When the Thais were fighting the Burmese they quickly cottoned on to the fact that the front line was the first to meet the enemy. However, by lining up like the baht busses but then attacking from the rear caught the enemy off guard. This way of attacking carries on today in the baht busses, so now you know.

 

Dear Hillary,

I am tired of your bleating on about “good” girls. I decided to take your advice and dated a good girl I was introduced to at a party. Exchanged phone numbers and sent Line messages back and forth, so then took the plunge and invited her to dinner. She turned up late, with the usual traffic excuse (they never think of leaving home a bit earlier than usual) and I offered her my arm as we walked to the car. You would have thought I had rabies or something. Dinner was OK, small talk was very small, and when I escorted her to the car, again not received well. Dropped her back to her car and no earthly chance of a goodnight kiss, let alone anything else. Next day more Line messages, so I said I would like to be naughty with her. The reply was “Not yet.” What does that mean? The last “good” girl I took out said we could get together at the end of the year. This was in January. I’m only 56, but I can’t wait that long for a friendly snog and see what eventuates. I might have died. Hopefully in the arms of a short time lady I met that afternoon!

Wilson

Dear Wilson,

You are getting your wires crossed, my Petal. Short time ladies have no interest in a future with you, unless you show her a bank book with several millions in there. The “good” girls are looking to the future, so creep up slowly, to avoid making mistakes as this union is for life. You, on the other hand, are looking for a bar girl who looks and acts like a good girl, so you can go to dinners and private parties. Make up your mind, Wilson. If you are looking long term then be prepared to wait. Otherwise stick to the local short time ladies.

 

Dear Hillary,

My next door’s alarm went off and sounded for about 15 minutes. They have a guard dog but it wasn’t interested. I tried to contact them 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.

Jimmy

Dear Jimmy,

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 baseball 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 baseball bat. If it is a British house, then a cricket 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.

 

Dear Hillary,

Maybe 10 thousand baht isn’t a lot of money for some of your readers, but it is to me. I went and did a stupid thing by lending 10 thousand baht to one of the girls at my local bar. She had borrowed a couple of thousand from me in December and paid it back in January, so when she asked for 10 thousand I swallowed hard but said OK. She said she would pay it back at the beginning of February. Well we’re into the end of February now and nothing. I can’t get any sense out of the other girls in the bar, just a “She go home.” What do you think Hillary? Will she come back? Will she bring the money?

Jason

Dear Jason,

While I feel for you, there is an old saying which goes “Never a lender or a borrower be.” You were lulled into a false sense of security because she paid back the previous loan, but she could probably get the small amount reasonably easily, while the 10K is more difficult. If it goes over three months, then chalk it up to experience Petal. It was a cheap lesson, provided you don’t fall for the same trick.


Update February 18, 2017

Dear Hillary,

A fellow calling himself London Chris wrote in to you about the old man who said, “I am looking for someone who is honest who will look after me when I get older. Where do I advertise?” He replied “Nowhere in Pattaya.” Really Hillary, that’s being too hard on the Pattaya ladies. Sure there’s the rip-offs, but there’s a lot of genuine ones out there. Too old for the bar scene, but plenty of life ahead of her, and not wanting to be lonely either.

Gurdieff

Dear Gurdieff,

What an interesting name. You must come from the frozen wastes of Siberia, I think. I agree with you, and I still say the notice board outside Foodland would be a good place to start, but to go slowly and give the lady and yourself time to understand each other. And keep your PIN number secret!

 

Dear Hillary,

My girlfriend has changed since she had the baby six months ago. She used to be warm and loving and took care of me. We have been together for 10 months, since before baby was born. The baby isn’t mine, but I didn’t mind. But now I have big regrets I took up with her in the first place. Should I keep going, hoping things improve, or should I just forget it?

Wills

Dear Wills,

If I have the mathematics correct, she was five months pregnant when you met her, so you would have known that in another few months everything would change. Instead of looking after you, she now has to look after her baby and you want attention as well? My Petal, you are not mature enough for fatherhood (surrogate or otherwise). Thank the lady for her time, give her some money and catch the next bus.

 

Dear Hillary,

Why do people write in to you wanting details of where to go and things like that? I know where I would tell them to go. Don’t they understand this is an Agony Aunt column, where you (try to) help the broken hearted, not act like the concierge service in the hotels. You should tell them to go and stop wasting your time.

Gregg

Dear Gregg,

I can’t be as hard as you, my Petal. The Agony Aunt Code of Service requires me to be like a Girl Scout and help everybody, no matter what the reason. So even though my primary job is mending broken hearts, also will tell someone where to go to eat, as well as where to go, as you suggest.

 

Dear Hillary,

You live with a bar girl until you are ready to move on or tired of being an ATM. I have been married to a Thai woman for 8 years. When I met her she worked in a hospital, I guess you would call her a non-bar girl. Here’s my point; I have spent much more money since being married than I ever did when I had bar girl friends. When you marry a Thai girl, you also marry the entire family. My wife has six sisters, all married with kids. They never ask me for money; however, when I see that one of the them is having a hard paying off the bank loan because the rice crop was flooded out, a nephew or niece needs money for school, a brother-in-law is laid up in the hospital because one of his bulls kicked him, or another bother-in-law drives around in an old rusted out Mazda P/U while I drive a New Nissan P/U and our house is paid for, I help them. Do you think I turn my back on them and “move on”? The eight years I've been married to my Thai wife are the best years of my life and I hope for many more. Although I respect and admire the bar girls – theirs is not an easy life, they are just trying to survive - I will never go back to that kind of life.

Bill

 

Dear Bill,

Why didn’t you wait for me? I am having a hard time paying off a bank loan (tried to buy 50 kg of rice the other day and it was more than my salary, so I approached the bank for a food mortgage), and I have a rusty old bicycle as I can’t afford a pick-up. You have also correctly described the Thai families (that you marry into) – they are not (despite claims to the contrary) all standing in line with their hands out. They are ordinary people, who look after each other when needed. You sound like such a nice man, my Petal, I shall cry myself to sleep tonight having missed you. However, I am so happy to hear you are enjoying the “best years of my life”, and yet do understand the plight of the bar girls. Or rather, the trade of the bar girls, as they are not forced into working from around a chrome pole – they choose that existence. “Plight” is how they promote it, looking for (several) kind hearted gentlemen (ATM’s) to give them their pin numbers and fantastic plastics. Stay well, Bill.


Update February 11, 2017

Dear Hillary,

Hello I have been reading for at least 20 years. Whether I was here in Pattaya or in the U.S. When I was a young buck in the Military, I had to learn the hard way. While you are most knowledgeable, it’s one-sided. It’s always from the Thai female psyche. While you always offer a gentle solution to their problems, I feel some just have a hard heads. I know it’s immaterial whether or not they take the advice you offer, it’s up to them.

But when it comes to the particularly stupid, I’d like to be of assistance if there is some way I could help in these hard core cases please contact me. I’m still new at this being retired, and have yet to find a way to occupy my time, sure that will change in the future. Because from what I read in your column it’s always the newbie or nearly newbies who get themselves in emotional / financial trouble. Us old timers are pretty well set, if we don’t know by now there is no helping us, nor are we seeking help. But not to invade on your turf - if I could be of any assistance please contact me.

Chas

Dear Chas,

You are such a nice man, offering to help an old lady in her time of need, but I have to tell you that it is not an easy job, my Petal. I often end up weeping real tears by the end of the day, reading about all the things that can happen to young chaps with more hormones than they need. There is also a logistics problem. My office is so small there wouldn’t be enough room for two of us, so while I thank you, let’s just keep our relationship on paper, but if I need the US Army and a SWAT team, I’ll let you know.

 

Dear Hillary,

This is a response to the question why do western men fall in love with Thai girls. First, Thai women have a great sense of loyalty to family. My Thai step-mother has been married to my father for over 24 years and always took care of the family when my father was at work. In exchange, he took care of their needs, and still does to this day. My step-mother is a beautiful person in looks and soul, and remains loyal to her family in the U.S. and in Thailand.

Second, Thai women know how to have fun. Not once did any of my Thai girlfriends ever give me a hassle about low funds or being bored. They each surprised me when I was low on cash, to show me more of Thailand's inner beauty, like the beaches and their friends.

Third, a significant portion of Thai women and many other Asian women do not butterfly - it's not a part of their culture. These women remain monogamous to their man.

Fourth, Thai women are very feminine (to me) with their beautiful faces, bodies, and souls. I love their display of the motto, The Land of Smiles; their sense of shyness at first, then friendship afterward.

Fifth, Western women are boring. A significant portion want to know from a man what kind of car he drives, his job/career, will he take care of her so she doesn't have to work, etc. Straight out: Western women make good friends/buddies, but lousy girlfriends and wives. Until the Western women change their attitude and learn from Thai and other Asian women about how give their heart to a man, only then things will change.

Trevor

Dear Trevor,

On behalf of all Thai women, I thank you for all the nice words, but I think you have the rose colored glasses on, Petal. You are also guilty of showing the man’s chauvinistic side of things with words like “give their heart to a man.” Why does nobody say the western man has to give his heart to a woman? I’m not talking here about lovesick young westerners who are swept off their feet by experienced bar girls, but looking at the “ordinary” Thai women who deserve a good husband, and not one who will take advantage of her just because they are financially better off.

You also want the western woman’s relationship “changed” to be like the Asians. If that were so, the westerner would stay at home. There are differences between East and West, and that is good, healthy and to be encouraged.

 

Dear Hillary,

Why do Thais when they are out in company with English speaking people still speak Thai to each other, even though they can speak English? Don’t you think this is very rude?

Eugene

 

Dear Eugene,

My Petal, where are you living? Check the address on your Post Office Box – you are living in Chonburi District – that’s part of Thailand at last count. Rather than them speaking English, it is you who should speak Thai. Or is it that you are worried about the Thais talking about you? Don’t worry about it. But remember that even paranoid people can have enemies!


Update February 4, 2017

Dear Hillary,

Two weeks ago you were asked about taking relatives around Pattaya. I suggest that, in Pattaya, use the islands for your beach experience if you must have one. There are plenty of restaurants, but after all you will have opportunities to "go native" with simple special and uniquely Thai restaurants on the guide pages or in the column of this newspaper. If they are prudes don't take them to Walking Street. Consider buying food out and bringing it in to dine in comfort in your own home. Find a cooking course in Thai cuisine for mom. They are available and since you eat what you cook they tell you to arrive hungry. Show them the Catholic Charities orphans home if they are the kind of person who would appreciate it and hopefully contribute to the waifs. Of course if they are Trump voters they probably want the children to be working so they can "pull their own weight."

Robert

Dear Robert,

Do you work for the Tourism Authority of Thailand? If you don’t, then you should. Thank you for all your suggestions (including the north, which I couldn’t publish here) as I am just a person to mend broken hearts, and not a tourist guide.

 

Dear Hillary,

With all the bars in Pattaya, you would think they would be doing their best to keep the customers happy. This just isn’t the case. These bar girls are the laziest people I’ve ever seen. Too much trouble to talk to a customer but stay in the corner giggling with friends or playing with their phones. If I was the owner of one of these bars they would all get the DCM (Don’t Come Monday) awards.

Jerry

Dear Jerry,

Let’s deal with last things first. I presume you are an expat here, so that means you can’t own a bar to begin with. You can’t employ bar girls and you can’t dictate who gets the DCM’s this week. I agree that good employees make sure the customer is happy and being looked after, so if they are not, complain to the manageress. If that doesn’t do any good, change your bars. Anyway, what are you doing in the girlie bars if the first place? Wait till you have more experience as to what happens here and you will find you have become the center of attention. A few “lady drinks” always helps too.

 

Dear Hillary,

Does anyone have any idea when Siam Country Club road will be finished? They dug it up months ago and still not finished. They do one bit then leave a bit in between not concreted. Businesses in that area are suffering because customers can’t get to them. The contractor should be made to pay the rents for the businesses. Does nobody care?

Rae

Dear Rae,

I used to go home that way, but not any more after I fell off my bicycle down at the Wanasin markets. Sorry Petal, but this is right out of my hands (so was the bicycle). Perhaps City Hall could help you, but an Agony Aunt can’t.

 

Dear Hillary,

I am looking for a nice woman to live with me. I’m 65, a pensioner but comfortably off, so she will live nicely, without too many money hassles. I am looking for someone who is honest who will look after me when I get older. Where do I advertise to find this woman? What about you Hillary?

Greg

Dear Greg,

You sound like a sweet and gentle guy, whose offer should be snapped up immediately. Thank you for the thought, but it’s not me. I’m looking for someone to take care of me, not the other way round. If you put a notice on the board outside Foodland, your phone will never stop ringing. Get them to reply to a P.O. Box is best. Lots of luck.

 

Dear Hillary,

I have just recently come to live in Pattaya with my husband on a two year overseas posting. Normally back home I like to be fairly independent and drive myself everywhere, but I am a little afraid of the traffic here. My husband's company supplies a driver, but I don't like to think of him sitting around in the heat while I do my shopping. Do you think it is safe enough for Western women to drive here and at night too? Timid Theresa.

Dear Timid Theresa,

Your husband is right. If you have a driver be eternally grateful. Thai drivers really do not mind waiting. One of the bonuses of being a driver is that they get paid to sleep while they wait. Yes it is completely safe to drive around Pattaya both day and night compared to Bangkok traffic which is chaotic and not so much fun, as long as you have insurance for the odd bump and scrape. Though, as your husband says, why bother to drive if you have a driver? That is what he is there for. If you are concerned about your independence or the driver being suddenly unavailable, then practice driving here so there's never a problem. And think yourself lucky you’re not in the Middle East, where women are not allowed to drive.


Update January 28, 2017

Dear Hillary,

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. At the other end, instead of 50 baht, he told us he wanted 100 baht, because there were two of us. Is this correct?

Jimmy

Dear Jimmy,

The government is going to regulate the taxi motorcycles, or is going to try to! Honestly, with two up, you have doubled the wear and tear, so they should be allowed to charge more. Charging double? I don’t know, my Petal. Suggest you get that out of the way before throwing the leg over (the bike, Petal, the bike).

 

Dear Hillary,

Sitting in a pub the other day, minding my own business and in comes this young Aussie chap, throwing his weight around, all boastful like. You would have loved what happened next. All the girls sucked up to him, and his big head was getting bigger, let alone any other sized head. Drinks for everyone there, drinks for the girls, drinks for the cashier, and our big bronzed hero eventually fell to the floor, rat assed, while the girls were just happy. Do you think there should be warning signs in bars, for people like him?

Rabbie

Dear Rabbie,

You’re not the Burns person are you? Though I suppose if that were you, you would be several hundred years old. What you witnessed was Karma, though I doubt if he would ever learn from the experience. He will keep doing it till his piggy bank doesn’t rattle, and then go back to his country telling anyone who will stop and listen about how he took on a complete bar and outdrank them all. Don’t worry, just keep the pot boiling while you can.

 

Dear Hillary,

How do you stay sane with all these wounded people writing to you? Most of them need a good kick up the ass and told to get over it.

Jeremy

Dear Jeremy,

I’m glad I don’t have a problem and came to you about it. Talk about milk of human kindness! Relationship problems are difficult to get over for anyone, even the bar girls, but for all the grieving chaps out there, just remember you didn’t lose your girl, you only lost your turn. For the others, I do feel for you all, my Petals. A strange country with strange customs to your farang way of doing things. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.

 

Dear Hillary,

My teenage son is out here with me on holidays from the UK. First trip for him, and I live here. Good looking lad (gets it from his father), and is the center of attraction with all the ladies here. I am worried that, being impressionable, he will fall in love with one of the lovelies and from then on he won’t enjoy his holiday, the way he should. What should I do?

Jeff

Dear Jeff,

You give him back issues of my column. If that doesn’t warn him, there’s precious little anyone can do. At least he can’t take one back with him as it takes too long to get a visa. However, is this what happened to you my Petal? Sounds very much like it.

 

Dear Hillary,

I want to buy a tuk-tuk and take it back to my country to use as a promotional tool for my Thai restaurant. Is this possible and where do you get one?

Tuk

Dear Tuk,

This is Thailand. Everything is possible, it just costs money. And some things are possibly more expensive than others. Tuk-tuks are manufactured in Bangkok, so you can purchase one up there. You can also get them second hand in Chonburi from time to time. Any good shipping agent can assist you regarding the freighting of the tuk-tuk to your country. I am being presumptuous here to believe you’re not going to ride it home, are you? If so, get one of those inflatable ring cushions.

 

Dear Hillary,

I have been looking for some good cheap and clean hotels in Pattaya. I inspected a filthy bungalow that had rooms for rent. It was so dirty that I saw a line of cockroaches leaving in disgust. I asked how much for a week, but he said nobody had actually stayed a week. I then went to a hotel on Soi eight. It was clean and fairly well presented but outside the windows were numerous bars, playing music at full blast. However, I stayed for one night and left a call with the receptionist for seven in the morning. When I woke the next day, I found seven bar girls in my room. Business in this hotel was obviously not good. The maids were stealing towels from the guests. Where should I look for my accommodation?

Michael

Dear Michael,

You remind me of Mick, an old friend of the column, who always seemed to be in trouble. I haven’t heard from him for about 10 years, so maybe the roaches ate him. But seriously, some of the best hotels are on Beach Road. Try there.


Update January 21, 2017

Dear Hillary,

I am told that you can take a girl out from the bar, but you can’t take the bar out of the girl. Surely this isn’t so. I know heaps of guys with Thai wives who seem perfectly normal. They are not running after other guys or anything like that. They all seem pretty normal and their husbands say they are the best woman they’ve ever lived with. Show me a woman anywhere who will put you socks on for you and trim your nails.

Ern

 Dear Ern,

Just keep wearing your socks and sandals, Petal, and you’ll find there’s a sock tucker just for you. Remember that the things the girl does in the bar – laughing and joking and every night a party, that’s what you men find attractive. Life as a wife isn’t a party every night. You can find a girl from the bar any night. Look at it as a try before you buy kind of offer. You don’t get opportunities like that back in your home country.

 

Dear Hillary

My girlfriend and I live in a condo in Pattaya. It’s going good. We have a great relationship except for the fact she keeps losing her keys and mobile phone. This is very annoying, how can I stop her doing this?

Annoyed

Dear Annoyed

Have you ever considered the fact that your girlfriend is losing keys and telephones as a subconscious way of expressing her lack of satisfaction with the relationship or simply as a device to annoy you? It is very difficult if not impossible to change someone else's behavior unless you change your own behavior first. I suggest you change the way you respond to her. One quick fix is to either don’t let her see that it annoys you or simply don’t speak to her for days every time she loses things. The best way though is to “Give her the monkey and let her feed it.” Which is a Thai expression for allowing her to take the consequence of her own actions. Do not let her have or use your mobile phone ever, keep a spare set of keys for you, but never unlock the apartment for her, and never give her another set after she has lost one. If this is too tedious, maybe losing this girlfriend would be less frustrating.

 

Dear Hillary,

This is a silly problem, but I like skinny dipping in our pool at night, but my girlfriend says she is too shy to do this. How do I get her to change her mind?

Frisco

Dear Frisco,

What an interesting name you have, Frisco, but I suppose it is easier than being the San Fran Cisco kid. Thai ladies are really very shy, despite what you see in Soi Half Dozen (that’s just a job), so don’t think that just because you want to wave the Willy that she will do the same. If skinny dipping (or even fatty dipping) is your thing in life, then get another lady who is happy to lose the underwear and plunge in with you.

 

Dear Hillary,

My husband’s mother and father are coming out for a holiday next month. This will be their first trip to Thailand and I am wondering where we should take them. They are both in their 60’s, so we must be careful of the venue.

Martha

Dear Martha,

What have you to be careful of? Will Pa-in-law become an aggressive drunk and molest the waitress, or Ma-in-law get her gear off and get on the stage at the chrome pole paradise? Honestly, what is the world coming to? Stop worrying! Pattaya has more amazing things to do and go to than just about anywhere in the world. You should put the following on the agenda, one of the lavish on stage transvestite shows (Tiffany’s or Alcazar), a visit to some of the restaurants out over the water on Walking Street like King Sea Food or the Lobster Pot, take them to the tourist entertainment outlets like Nong Nooch gardens and other similar venues, enjoy relaxed BBQ’s with music at the Centara Grand Mirage (Thursday nights) for example, a bit of fun, food and dancing at the Jomtien Boathouse, live rock at the Mabprachan Venue (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and even take them to a go-go bar. After all, they are here and someone will ask them on their return what was a go-go like. You can even grab one of the “bar hopping” guides for tourists which will show you the kinds of places you might like to take the in-laws. Relax and enjoy their being here. They’re old enough to tell you what they want anyway! They don’t need chaperoning.

 

Dear Hillary,

Why do Thais when they are out in company with English speaking people still speak Thai to each other, even though they can speak English? Don’t you think this is very rude?

English Eddie

Dear Eddie,

Hey Eddie, where are you living? Check the address on your Post Office Box – you are living in Chonburi District – that’s part of Thailand at last count. Rather than them speaking English, it is you who should speak Thai.


Update January 14, 2017

(A couple of weeks ago, a pensioner wrote in regarding his chances of finding a “good” lady as his income was very small. It prompted this response):

Dear Hillary,

I'm a 100 percent disabled American Vietnam vet. Our USA Veterans Administration will pay a monthly stipend for a caregiver. I may be wrong but I think it's about $500 USD per month. Years ago, I was the guy who sent you a bottle of Mumm's and chocks. If I ever return to Pattaya. I'll send you the same.

BigDUSA

Dear BigDUSA,

What a pleasant surprise to hear from you! Of course I remember you, my Petal, so I hope things are going well for you. Now to the pensioner’s problem. USD 500 works out about 18,000 THB with the current exchange rates, and there’s more than one family in Thailand living on a lot less (basic wage of 9,000 THB). However, with the pensioner and his problem, I think he should stick to the good-time girls when he thinks he needs a good time. It will be cheaper in the long run.

 

Dear Hillary,

One chap asked you about successful bar girl marriages. My advice is easy. Take to your toes straight away, the percentage of bar girl Farang marriages that last is very low and of those that do last for any length of time this is often because the Farang turns a blind eye to her indiscretions. Five years she has been a prostitute and still is, would you seriously consider someone like that in your own country as a wife?

Chris

 

Dear Chris,

You are tarring every girl with the same brush, which is not really fair. However, the percentage of successes is not too high in my opinion, but I don’t know of anyone reliable who is keeping the score. Entering into a bar girl relationship requires keeping both eyes open, or as Chris suggests, wearing blinkers! The choice is yours!

 

Dear Hillary,

My wife has started overspending on the grocery bills which I pay for. I am sure she has started to sneak the odd thousand baht from my billfold when I am asleep. She doesn’t seem to be wearing as much jewelry as she did before, and when I have asked her where her necklace is she gets very defensive and says she is having it cleaned. I don’t think she is not having an affair, as she is always home at nights with me, so what can I do to check? Where is the money going? Do you think it might be gambling?

Casino

 

Dear Casino,

On the surface of it, I would suggest you start keeping accurate records. Know how much money is in your pants pocket when you go to bed. Find the receipts from the supermarket (though if she shops at the market there’s no receipts) and note everything down in a ledger. If there is a short, then you have to be ready to confront her with the evidence. Yes, it sounds like gambling, but remember drug use goes hand in hand. You may not be happy with the outcome, but you can’t go financing gambling (or drugs) forever, without getting implicated yourself.

 

Dear Hillary,

I'm a businessman who frequents the bars after hours for drinks and conversation with other expats and bargirls since I can write and speak fluent Thai. Over the years, I got to know the mamasans, papasans, and many other bargirls and their tales with Farangs, this includes romance and scams that those bargirls play on their customers. And over the years I have met some of their Thai boyfriends and husbands, as well as their Farang customers, boyfriends, and husbands. Currently and in the past, I kept those bargirls secrets to myself, but now it's starting to get to me. Many of these bargirls will lie and cheat to steal as much money from their Farang partners especially when the Farangs have to return to their home country. Many of those unsuspecting Farangs provide financial support of 3000 baht to 50,000 baht per month to provide for her family as well, so they don't have to resort to prostitution while he is away. My problem is that I got to know and drank with many of their Farang guys who asked me to "keep an eye out" for their Thai ladies while they're away. In the past and present, I always said, "I don't know," when I saw them again in the bars or when they emailed me. But now I feel guilty and uneasy about the whole thing. I actually feel pity for those men. Should I tell those unsuspecting Farangs the truth and lose those bargirls trust and confidence or continue the current situation as is, or just avoid the bars completely?

The spy?

 

Dear Spy?

Do not be the carrier of bad tidings. Keep in mind that no one EVER thanks you for shattering their illusions or romance. My advice is step back and ignore. Remember everyone including Thai bargirls has to make their own lives and their own mistakes and their own karma. Put the blinkers back on, or if you can't then change bars frequently or avoid them, but I don’t believe you can.


Update January 8, 2017

Dear Hillary,

All these people who write to you must be pretty stupid to think you can fix all their problems, especially as they are problems they bring on themselves. Are they really that blind, Hillary? I mean we all have problems from time to time and with friends around the problem soon goes away.

Joe

Dear Joe,

You are ‘sort of’ right. Most relationship problems work themselves out in the end, but it can be painful to begin with. Friends are important, and Hillary is very happy to be one of the friends. Now what was your problem, my Petal, that made you write in? Nobody contacts me for no reason.

 

Dear Hillary,

My girlfriend has brought back from the village a foul smelling stuff called pla-ra. The smell is so bad I won’t let her even open the jar in the house. If you think durian is bad, you’ve never met this stuff. How can they eat this?

Harold

 

Dear Harold,

It depends upon what you are used to, Petal. If you’ve been raised on it, then it is easy to eat and part of the condiments you put on food. Until you get used to it, Vindaloo is too spicy to eat, but after you get used to it you can ask for some more chillies. Remember that English mustard is difficult for Americans to eat, as American mustard is much milder and lets the true taste of the food come through. And for a real taste sensation try wasabi with Japanese food.

 

Dear Hillary,

I have noticed that every time you walk near an up-market restaurant some young person tries to drag you inside. Surely this cannot be good for business as I find it turns me off the place, rather than make me want to eat there. This behaviour seems to happen with many restaurants along Second Road and Beach Road, and even is now happening in Jomtien. Why do they do this, as surely they would be better off serving at the tables inside the restaurant? Can you tell me why, as nobody else seems to know the answer?

Toothsome Tina

 

Dear Toothsome Tina,

These young people are called “Greeters” in the trade, and their job is just as you said, to entice people inside. Like all people in jobs anywhere, some are better at it than others. The good ones make you feel honoured that you have been “chosen” to come into their restaurant, while the not so good make you want to run away. Just take it all in your stride Tina and go and eat at the places you want to go to. With 300 restaurants in Pattaya, there’s enough to go round. Check Miss Terry Diner’s Dining Out column each week for different places to go.

 

Dear Hillary,

Since you deal with those people who have problems making decisions and get into “guilt trips” I thought you might be able to use the following email which was sent to me by a friend.

Here is the "Forwarder’s" 8 step program. Everyone say it with me...

1. I will NOT get bad luck, lose my friends, or lose my mailing lists if I don't forward an email.

2. Bill Gates is NOT going to send me money because I respond to an email.

3. Ford will NOT give me a 50 percent discount even if I forward my email to more than 50 people.

4. I will NEVER receive gift certificates, coupons, or freebies from Coca Cola, Cracker Barrel, Old Navy, or anyone else if I send an email to 10 people.

5. There is NO SUCH THING as an email tracking program, and I am not STUPID enough to think that someone will send me $100 for forwarding an email to 10 or more people!

6. There is NO kid with cancer through the Last-Wish program in New Jersey collecting anything! He did when he was 7years old. He is now cancer free and 35 years old and DOESN'T WANT ANY MORE POST CARDS, or GET-WELL CARDS.

7. The American Red Cross will NOT donate 50 cents to a certain individual dying of some never-heard-of disease for every email address I send this to. The American Red Cross RECEIVES donations.

8. And finally, I WILL NOT let others guilt me into sending things by telling me I am not their friend or that I don't believe in Jesus. If God wants to send me a message, I believe the bushes in my yard will burn before He picks up a PC to pass it on!

Now, repeat this to yourself until you have it memorized, and send it along to at least 5 of your friends before the next full moon or you will surely be constipated for the next three months and all of your hair will fall out!

Jasper

 

Dear Jasper,

Thank you for the affirmations and there are many people who need this cathartic experience (look it up, my Petals). Why people feel obliged to follow the dictates of an email, just because it came through the ether, is beyond me too. I suppose every era in history had its doomsayers, we just get ours quicker these days. Thank you for sharing that with us.


Update December 30, 2016

Dear Hillary,

It is almost 2017 and after a year I am still without a lady. My mates keep on saying, “You got a missus yet?” and since they all have got one (from the bar) I’m starting to think there is something wrong with me. Plenty of ladies from the local bars have said they want to come and live with me, but I don’t really want a bar girl and all the hassles I read about in your column each week. I know you don’t know me or my situation, but you must have heard this sort of problem before. What do I do in 2017 that I wasn’t doing in 2016?

Archie

 

Dear Archie,

What you have to do is to stop actively looking for a friend/companion/wife and just let Miss Right find you. Once you stop wondering whether the next lady you meet is THE one, the best one will appear. I wouldn’t compare your situation with those of your friends. Their partners are what we call “mia chows” which translates to “rented wives”. If you want to have a good looking lady, to whom you pay a salary every month, then go ahead. But I think you want something different from that. Just continue to be the nice honest guy and before the end of 2017 you will have someone to cuddle up to watching DVD’s.

 

Dear Hillary,

Just want to wish you a Happy New Year. I won’t get into the Merry Xmas versus Happy Holidays nonsense. December 25 has been Xmas Day all my long life, and I’m not going to say December 25 is Holiday day! What rubbish! Keep entertaining all us guys out here in the sand box. You give me a smile every week.

Richo

Dear Richo,

Your name is interesting. Is it some Australian slang for Richard, or is it because you are very rich? If your money is burning a hole in your pocket, then you can send the rest to me, attached to a bottle of Veuve Clicqot (Vintage preferably, but NV is fine). Happy New Year to you Petal.

 

Dear Hillary,

Having been around Pattaya for about six months now, I have noticed that in every bar there is at least one girl with a “broken heart” sitting sobbing in the corner. Given the nature of their employment, surely this cannot be the real situation? Don’t they realize that all their associations are only temporary? The tourist is here today and gone tomorrow. So their chances of long term happiness are zero, zilch, nothing. Yet they are sitting there with another “broken heart”. Are they stupid, or what? Surely they understand this before they go to work in the bar. Tell me Hillary, or have you got a “broken heart” too?

Marcus

 

Dear Marcus,

Well, aren’t you the milk of human kindness, my Petal! Why do the girls get a broken heart? Because no matter where they work, these girls are totally normal, with all the usual hopes and aspirations that even young farang men such as yourself have or have had at some stage in your life. Is this the person for me? Will this person really love me? Will this person bring me a new life? When you are working from a baseline of poverty and planting rice all day, any foreigner who has enough money to get over here has untold riches from the point of view of a young farm girl. If you suddenly found Venus Williams was dating you and you began to have high hopes of basking in her lifestyle, you’d have a broken heart too if she suddenly upped and left, wouldn’t you? The girls with the “broken hearts” are just the same. Has Hillary got a broken heart? Certainly not over heartless men like you, Poppet!

 

Dear Hillary,

My wife has run off with a motor bike taxi driver from Ubon after cleaning out my bank account. My friends say that this is not a bad thing as I have had a lot of trouble with her running off with all sorts of men before (three times), but every time she comes back to me I give in again and we start all over again. What should I do about it?

Joe

 

Dear Joe,

You might be lucky this time, Joe. She has taken a motorcycle taxi and they are generally pretty cheap, so she might get all the way to Laos before she runs out of (your) money. Honestly, you men amaze me some days. Why do you keep on doing it? Once was enough for Hillary. Perhaps you are not ready to start another relationship and that is why you keep on going back into this very unsatisfactory situation. Time to wake up, Joe. There’s plenty more out there – just keep saving up, there’s bound to be another who will help relieve the load on your wallet! In the meantime, stay at home and watch videos after you have changed the locks for the doors.


áUpdate December 24, 2016

Dear Hillary,

I look forward to your wise words every Friday for all those men out there who find themselves in the clutches of the bar girls. As you said last week, they are professionals. The good ones are very good. But where do you go to meet your “good girls”? Sure you can find them behind the counters in up-market shops, but they are just too hard to get close to. As a pensioner, I’m not in the situation of expensive dinners and a peck on the cheek, but the bar girls will make me feel young again, all the good girls want is for me to make them feel young again. No, Hillary, I’ll stick with the ladies of the night. I know what I’m getting and I know how much it will cost me.

Raymond

 

Dear Raymond,

As a pensioner you are not looking for a long term commitment (you probably don’t have a long term anyway), but you are looking for a sexy nurse who will look after your every need, 24 hours a day. Unfortunately for you, the pensions department won’t give you an allowance for that. That’s any pensions department, but especially the UK and the US. (The Aussies won’t pay at all if you don’t actually live Down-Under.) I agree with you, a professional lady is as good as it’s going to get, so enjoy. Pension day is next Thursday, I believe. Can you hold on till then?

 

Dear Hillary,

I used to play pool back home and was in a weekly league so I wasn’t bad. I’ve been here six months and I find there are quite a few pool competitions out of the watering holes. My problem is that I’m nowhere compared to the girls in the bars. They are totally cut-throat as well as being damn good players. I’m just not good enough. Any suggestions?

Jimmy

Dear Jimmy,

Rule number 1 in Bar Room etiquette is “Never play the girls.” You are breaking the rules, Jimmy old friend. Pool, like any other sport, relies on practice, and the girls practice a minimum of eight hours a day. How much time do you practice for? Long enough for two beers and out the door before she asks you for another? The answer, my Petal, is to find a mate to play with and spend a couple of hours in the quiet afternoons to play each other as practice. And I don’t mean a bar girl “mate” either. After a couple of months you’ll be ready for a pool competition.

 

Dear Hillary,

I have noticed that every time you walk near an up-market restaurant some young person tries to drag you inside. Surely this cannot be good for business as I find it turns me off the place, rather than make me want to eat there. This behavior seems to happen with many restaurants along Second Road and Beach Road, and even is now happening in Jomtien. Why do they do this, as surely they would be better off serving at the tables inside the restaurant? Can you tell me why, as nobody else seems to know the answer?

Toothsome Tina

 

Dear Toothsome Tina,

These young people are called “Greeters” in the trade, and their job is just as you said, to entice people inside. Like all people in jobs anywhere, some are better at it than others. The good ones make you feel honored that you have been “chosen” to come into their restaurant, while the not so good make you want to run away. Just take it all in your stride Tina and go and eat at the places you want to go to. With 300 restaurants in Pattaya, there’s enough to go round. Check Miss Terry Diner’s Dining Out column each week for different places to go.

 

Dear Hillary,

This request for information may sound kinda silly, but for me it’s a big thing right now. Hubby and I have only been here a short time (he’s on an 18 month contract), so I am a bit at sea getting around. Hubby has a car and driver with this job, and the driver takes me around too, shopping and such. I have just joined a couple of clubs and organizations and know that soon I will need to go all over town and want to do this by myself. Hubby says I’m loco as that’s what the driver is there for, but I value my independence too. Another point – is it safe for women to drive here? Do you drive?

Daisy Driver

 

Dear Daisy Driver,

To begin at the end, do I drive? Yes, but I’ve been driving here for many years. Your other point, is it safe for women to drive here? The correct answer is that it is just as safe for women as it is for men. It is just as dangerous for both. Motorcycles don’t care what the driver’s sex is. I know what I’d rather do. It’s the back seat for me and the front seat for the chauffeur, Petal. Think about it. You are here for 18 months – how often have you had your own driver? I’d sit back and enjoy and let Jeeves face the traffic.


Update December 17, 2016

Dear Hillary,

You’ve been asked this before, but can a marriage work between a genuine farang and a girl who has worked in the bar for five years? She has been married before, usual story two kids and husband did a runner during the second pregnancy. Sends money home to her mother to keep the kids which are now 7 and 5. She and I have a basic attraction for each other and I am now going to the bar every evening and we sit and talk. She has come home with me a couple of times and I didn’t want her to leave in the morning. She wants to “take care” of me, and I am sure I would like that - BUT - you hear so many tales, I am hanging back. What do you think Hillary?

Gerrard

 

Dear Gerrard,

Can a marriage with a bar girl work? Yes it can, in her favor. Can a marriage with a bar girl collapse in a heap? Yes it can, in her favor. What you have to accept, my Petal, is that this girl is a long time professional. She has had five years of on the job training, and you are a babe in the wood. Look, it always takes two to tango, and you will never know by asking around. There are so many unanswered questions. What has she done in the five years? Probably some details that you don’t want to hear. Whatever, why don’t you dip the toe in the water (not the whole foot) and get her to live with you for three months. It will cost you to get her to leave the bar, it will cost you as now you will have double the expenses. Two can never live as cheaply as one. Get advice from a lawyer as to protecting yourself and assets if you want to finish after three months. And be careful how you step. It’s a minefield out there.

Dear Hillary,

I see in the Pattaya Mail that another foreigner jumped to his death from the 6th floor of a shopping center. There seems to be one a week. Why do they choose to end it this way?

Jack

 

Dear Jack,

When people are depressed they can only see the black side. Nobody commits suicide when they are happy. Lady and love problems usually here in Pattaya. Nothing can be done now, other than wish his spirit RIP.

 

Dear Hillary,

The other night I saw my boss’s wife, who is Thai, at a Boys Town club. She was there with another woman and they bought a couple of drinks for some of the dancers (boys). They were laughing and having a good time it seemed. Should I tell him?

Vigilant employee.

 

Dear Vigilant (or is that Vigilante?),

Are you serious and do you seriously wish to remain employed? I suggest you mind your own business. What were you doing there anyway? Everyone is entitled to have some fun in their lives. Time you did too! Haven’t you heard that Pattaya is “Fun City by the Sea”? Nasty little voyeur!

 

Dear Hillary,

I have a small problem. I am noticing that I am getting a few grey hairs at the temples and one of my friends suggested I use some preparation to bring the color back again. As I am almost 50 years old, I can see this will start to get worse. Like most people I really do not want to start looking old before my time, but I am just a little hesitant. As a woman of the world, Hillary, do you think I should do it?

English Brian

 

Dear greying English Brian,

Here’s the news and it’s all bad, Petal. The preparation doesn’t bring the color back, it just paints the hair. As soon as you’ve done that the hair continues to grow so you get grey roots and it is a battle you can’t win. After a few weeks the hair goes that strange orange color that you see round town too. You can either let it go grey naturally or shave the lot off. It’s up to you as they say in the classics. Anyway, grey hair gets respect in this country, it’s not like jolly old England, old chap.

 

Dear Hillary,

Referring to a letter from a reader with no lady friend who is looking for someone “nice” and have an “ordinary” life. Please you could let me have his e-mail address. Thanking you very much for your kind assistance and your soonest reply.

“Ordinary Lady”

 

Dear Ordinary Lady,

You do sound “nice”, but you are not “ordinary” as it is rare for someone Thai to take the initiative such as you have done – but top marks, anyway! Hillary applauds anyone who constructively tries to influence their future, and not just sit back and wait and hope (and be disappointed). I shall pass on your email address to the man but we must leave it up to him if he wishes to take you up any further on your offer. Remember too, that there are a lot of lonely men out there, but there are not as many “genuine” and lonely men! Beware!


Update December 10, 2016

Dear Hills old fruit,

How’s things in Patts right now? I didn’t go your way this year, too many problems both here and there where you are. If things look a bit better I’m thinking about bringing the cheese and kisses with me in March. Safe enough? We would go to all the usual places, and a few bars to stop us getting too thirsty. What do you say?

Jacky

Dear Jacky,

Definitely not safe – your wife (after I translated cheese and kisses) will not take kindly to the attention you will be getting from the “Hello sexy man” brigade, even though you are only going there to counteract the thirst you work up walking from one bar to the next one. But that is your problem, Petal. Pattaya itself will be OK, as it has been for as long as I can remember. Your problems are beyond my help. And I don’t like being called “old fruit”. Would you like me to call you “young vegetable?”

 

Last week we had a Robert who quoted Mark Twain “Age is only mind over matter. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.” That brought a response from another reader called Robert, who wrote in this week: “Well since ‘other Robert’ likes Twain I will add with reference to ladies another quote: “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence and success will be assured.”

Robert

Dear Robert,

Wow! That is pretty deep sort of stuff, but when I read it again, it gives me hope for the future. I’ve got plenty of ignorance which will give me confidence and assures me of success. How can I go wrong? Actually I can probably answer this myself because ignorance I have found leads to doubtful deeds and empty purses.

 

Dear Hillary,

I’m a bit new to Thailand, so I’m probably not the first to ask this, but why do Thai women sit sideways on motorcycles? When did it start? Have they always done this? You would never see anything like this in England, so it really blows me away every time.

Sideways Sam

Dear Sideways Sam,

You seem to have your eyes open here, but you must have had them closed in the UK. Go to any horsey event there and you will see the women riding side-saddle. Even the Queen of England rode side-saddle for the trooping of the color when she was younger. However, getting back to your question regarding riding side-saddle here, it is for the sake of decency, young man. How can a woman in a long skirt, or even more in a short skirt, look polite and decorous with the hem hitched up above the hips, and legs hanging down each side of motorcycle (or horse or elephant)? Thai women have had wrap skirts for years and rode buffaloes side-saddle, long before the motorcycle arrived in the villages.

 

Dear Hillary,

Please save me from the choppy swirling seas of desire. Either that or throw me a life jacket so I can enjoy the ride. You see, I think I arrived in Thailand 30 years too early. Sure I like the food, the lovely people and the cute way they slip 10 green chillies into my green papaya salad just for a laugh. But I look around and feel inadequate. Where’s my barely legal wife? Where’s my previous marriage experience? Where are my offshore assets, my pension, my triple bypass? Am I a bit immature for all this?

I must confess... After a couple of badly needed light refreshments, I accidentally found myself a really good girlfriend. She is steadily dissolving every reason I have to do a runner (although I still have a few up my sleeve). I’m not completely afraid of commitment, it could be a wonderful thing. But if I give up on the Dream, how will I ever write the chapter of my life titled “The fork of tragedy comes with a spoon of hope”? I could spend my retirement writing books and lecturing farang newbies on the subtle differences between love and sex.

I can still ditch her, go home, work hard, get a big mortgage, a big car, and a bigger bald spot. And in 30 years time, if all goes well, the Dream will be mine. It will won’t it?

Naive Nick

Oh Nick,

Love the title of your forthcoming book, but you should add the knife of Bobbit. You’re not na´ve, what you need is a Red Indian Dream Catcher. Just for you, I have done the research. Dream catchers are one of the most fascinating traditions of Native Americans. The traditional dream catcher was intended to protect the sleeping individual from negative dreams, while letting positive dreams through. The positive dreams would slip through the hole in the center of the dream catcher, and glide down the feathers to the sleeping person below. The negative dreams would get caught up in the web, and expire when the first rays of the sun struck them. You can buy them at the North American Indian bazaar, over near the tepee shop.


Update December 3, 2016

Dear Hillary

My girlfriend and I live in a studio in town. Been there for six months already. We have a good relationship except for the fact she keeps losing the keys and her mobile phone. This is very annoying, how can I stop her doing this?

Annoyed

 

Dear Annoyed

Have you ever considered the fact that your girlfriend is losing keys and telephones as a subconscious way of expressing her lack of satisfaction with the relationship or simply as a device to annoy you? It is very difficult if not impossible to change someone else’s behavior unless you change your own behavior first. I suggest you change the way you respond to her. One quick fix is to either don’t let her see that it annoys you or simply don’t speak to her for days every time she loses things. The best way though is to “Give her the monkey and let her feed it.” Which is a Thai expression for allowing her to take the consequence of her own actions. Do not let her have or use your mobile phone ever, keep a spare set of keys for you, but never unlock the apartment for her, and never give her another set after she has lost one. If this is too tedious, maybe losing this girlfriend would be less frustrating.

 

Dear Hillary,

I’ve been through the usual romances with Thai bar girls and I am just amazed at how good these girls are in snaring their man. What is the secret, so that next time I can give her the big swerve? I’ve been taken too many times. You don’t get anything near these girls with a western woman.

Jack

 

Dear Jack,

They are good, aren’t they, Petal. But what you seem to forget is these girls are professionals (I hesitate to use the word “pros”) so they are good at their craft, or calling, if you like. Those who aren’t so good go back to the village and harvest some rice, and then go to Bangkok and work on building sites. There is no secret, they just gaze into your eyes and give you 110 percent attention. Buy some drinks for her and her friends and there’s 120 percent attention. The best way to arm yourself against the enemy, all 46 kg of her, is to avoid going to the same bar two nights in a row and make sure the girl you pick is not the one you drank with last week. They’ll get tired of working on you if there is no jackpot at the end.

 

Dear Hillary,

Did you see that Leonard Cohen died this week aged 82? What a great age for a wonderful singer. Is he one of your favorites, Hillary?

Frank

 

Dear Frank,

I used to call his performances as “music to slash your wrists by”, but he was not really a melancholy soul and had some snippets he would use between numbers such as deeply investigating religions, but enjoyment kept on breaking out. He originally was a poet, but found he couldn’t make enough money out of poetry so began his singing career. Thank you for raising the tone of the column next week. Then you can write in and complain that you got ripped off by a young woman half your size.

 

Dear Hillary,

My uncle came to Thailand last month for a visit. I was excited, as I had not seen him or my aunt for some years. Imagine how I felt when my uncle arrived without my aunt, but he had a girl from Bangkok in tow. He said my aunt did not feel like travelling at her age (they are both in their eighties) but he didn’t want to disappoint me by not coming. He didn’t say anything about the strumpet, and they were in the same room in the hotel. (I only have a very small studio so they couldn’t stay with me.) Honestly, Hillary, should I tell my aunt or should I tell my uncle he is not welcome here again? I am so confused. Please help.

Confused of Chonburi.

 

Dear Confused,

Wow! Hillary is certainly glad you’re not her niece! You seem to be so delightfully judgmental, manipulative and interfering. Be thankful that there is life in the old dog yet and he came to visit you. Lordy, if you played your cards right and keep your mouth firmly shut and were exceptionally hospitable to both your uncle and his companion, your uncle might even remember you in his will. And for that matter, how do you know that your aunt wasn’t glad to see the back of the old boy for a while because he snores? Or, heaven forbid in your so morally upright family, that your Aunt may have wanted the opportunity to have it off with the milkman or meet up with a long lost lover. Personal morality is just that - personal, i.e., relating solely to the individual. I suggest you learn to live and let live, practicing mai pen lai and jai yen yen and stop judging people. One day, someone might be just as nastily judgmental about you. I hope they write to me too!.

  


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

 

Update March 25, 2017

Update March 18, 2017

Update March 11, 2017

Update March 4, 2017

Update February 25, 2017

Update February 18, 2017

Update February 11, 2017

Update February 4, 2017

Update January 28, 2017

Update January 21, 2017

Update January 14, 2017

Update January 8, 2017

Update December 30, 2016

Update December 24, 2016

Update December 17, 2016

Update December 10, 2016

Update December 3, 2016

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