Heart to Heart
Saturday, March 17, 2018 - March 23, 2018
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
- 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
- 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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
Saturday, March 10, 2018 - March 16, 2018
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
I think your column can improve my
english better than.
Thank you for good column.
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
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.