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Heart to Heart with Hillary


 Heart to Heart - December 13, 2019 - December 26, 2019

Hello Hillary,

I just wonder what some of my compatriots are thinking. Let me tell you of a typical story of relationship between farang and Thai girl which I witnessed. I was on the car-taxi traveling along Beach Road and across of me sat a British man very old at least 80 with a young girl in her 20’s. The man kept talking to her and even me, American, had problem understanding what he said with his heavy British accent. She obviously didn’t understand a word. Her fingers were full of gold plus wedding band. The following is what she was thinking. “I married this old dude and he won’t die, I hope he die soon so I can get all his money. When he die my family and I will have a big celebration. He probably think I am stupid, he is right, but I will hire a very smart lawyer who will get me all his money.” Here’s the real situation - any old man can hire a live in maid who will do the same work as wife. Wouldn’t an old foolish man prefer that his money will go to his children? Or grandchildren? Is it just for sex? At 80 he can not perform and if he chews the blue diamonds he might die from heart attack. And she gets the money again.



Dear Gregory,

You, my Petal, are certainly one of this week’s most judgmental persons. Just what is wrong with your 80 year old enjoying his money in his retirement? These children of his that you say the 80 year old would prefer to give his money to are all 50-60 years old themselves. They get the pension and can spend their own money on wine, women and song. And how do you know our 80 year old can’t perform? Leave him alone to enjoy his 25 year old girlfriend. Or enjoy trying, if nothing else. But your letter does remind me of the 70 year old walking down the street with a gorgeous 17 year old hanging on to his arm. When his mates all asked how did he snare such a beauty he replied, “It was easy, I lied about my age. I told her I was 90.”


Dear Hillary,

You have often mentioned books that newcomers to Thailand should read and you should add “Falangs in Thailand” to that list. These cartoon books by Pattaya Mail’s Mike Baird are based on truth and everyone who laughs at the drawings should also remember that (it is based on truth). The cartoonist must have spent a lot of time watching what goes on in Pattaya, but what he shows is the same for Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai. “Private Dancer” by Stephen Leather is another book that anyone who spends time in the bars should read. Stay here long enough and it will happen to you, so be warned. I hope this helps, Hillary. I enjoy your column.



Dear Kevin,

I am so glad you like my weekly (weakly some days) column. Thank you for the information about suitable books, and I am with you and have enjoyed all of Mike’s books and do agree with your ideas. Unfortunately, I think many young chaps who come here (and some not so young as well) don’t seem to be able to read. Perhaps the cartoon books will be better for them, pictures rather than words, as long as they realize that Mike Baird is being very satirical. We can only hope, Petal. We can only hope.


Dear Hillary,

What kind of person comes to Pattaya for their holiday and then meets a Buddhist holiday and loudly claims their holiday has been ruined because they couldn’t drink for a day? If you can’t go a day with no alcohol without it ruining things for you, you have a lot bigger problem than choosing the wine for dinner.



Dear John,

(I still get a kick out of responding “Dear John” as I don’t get much opportunity for “Dear John” letters anymore!) Now to this alcohol problem of yours. You are correct that it isn’t a good sign if you can’t make 24 hours without a tipple. You must have heard the old joke, “What’s the difference between a drunk and an alcoholic? Answer: alcoholics have to go to the meetings.” (And I know the joke is probably not PC, but everyone should be able to look a little lightheartedly at life.) But going back to the start of this, if the alcohol you are missing is really under the terminology of plonk, then you probably do need a daily shot, so keep a bottle or two for emergencies. But if you’re like me and have to hang out for Veuve Clicquot (even NV will do, Petal) you learn to curb the cravings.

Heart to Heart - November 29, 2019 - December 12, 2019

Still loving it

Dear Hillary,

I love your column. I have been coming to Asia from the US for almost 20 years. I bought a condo here, got a driver’s license, bought a car, and have a retirement visa. I even arranged my funeral, when that becomes necessary. I am continually amazed how stupid western men are when they come here. They do not act the way they would back home and take women for granted. I frankly think they deserve to get taken for all they are stupidly worth or claim to be. I hear too many of them bragging (mostly lying) about how great they are, how much money they have etc., I hope they get robbed. I live here and have many Thai friends. I respect them for their lifestyle and do not care that I may have more money than they. Those idiots who come here to do the wrong thing deserve to get ripped off. So, to those who do not learn or respect the culture, spend your money and get the hell out.


Dear Kingston,

Anyone who starts their email with “I love your column” goes straight to the top. Flattery will get you everywhere, and some chocolates and bubbles gets you even further! It is well known that there is a certain group of foreigners. Unfortunately you are correct that many westerners who write their CV on the plane coming over, thinking that coming from a first world, anyone in a third world country will never know the truth – but the social networks soon show up the frauds. After that it is downhill from there. I am glad to hear you have some Thai friends and you respect their lifestyle, which can be quite different from the westerner’s, but you are here in Thailand and have really made the grade. Well done.


A fool and his money

Dear Hillary,

I just came from a big shopping center and saw an old man argue with his young Thai girlfriend outside an expensive jewelry shop. She was pointing at very expensive diamond rings and he was trying to pull her away. I think he probably has to pay her huge salary because here the older and uglier you are the higher the price is so he think he pays her enough and judging by the shopping bags, she was doing very well that day. My point is we foreigners don’t care sometimes how much we pay but we all hate very much to be taken out for a fool.


Dear Gordy,

Why do I get the distinct impression that you are talking about yourself, being ripped off by a gorgeous Thai girl, that you thought was a girlfriend, despite a hefty “salary”, though what is a lot for some people is merely nothing relatively. All I can suggest for you is to stop going to shopping centers and hanging around young Thai ladies who are window shopping. For all you know, she might have been going to buy him an expensive diamond ring! Then again, Up Umbrellas, as a squadron of pigs just went by overhead.


Looking from the other side

Dear Hillary,

My name is Maleeporn, and I am a Thai woman from Pattaya the sin city, who have been reading Pattaya Mail and your column for years. I wrote to you once long time ago, could not remember what it was, in hand writing. I enjoy learning foreigner’s point of view in life - I mean yours and your readers’, the style of putting out their opinions, their home countries and everything. Personally, I always admire their punctuality and being discipline which we Thais are so weak at this. Your column is very helpful to me to learn the differences of people in this world. As I am studying Humanities at Ramkhamhaeng University major in English, I would like to say here that I have learned a great deal of knowledge from your column, and this has helped my studying to become a very interesting one. I thank you. You are like my religion here. I hope you keep doing this useful job for a very long time. Lastly, to have my letter for a change in your column would not be so bad, yes? Readers need vacation, too.


Thai woman

Dear Thai woman,

How kind of you to write again, even if you can’t remember what it was. Yes, there are many differences between farangs and Thais, and more than just big noses and round eyes. Foreigners have learned how to use a wrist watch, whilst the Thais think of them as fashion accessories and are still inventing excuses for being late. One day they will fix the traffic in Bangkok and hundreds of people will be without the ‘rot dit’ excuse, and then all we will have left is to blame the six hour clock system. And honestly, if Pattaya is a “sex and sin city”, what is Bangkok, with its Patpong Road, Soi Nana, Soi Cowboy and 3,596 karaoke bars? Or London, or Amsterdam, or Munich, or Sydney, or Mumbai?

Heart to Heart - November 15, 2019 - November 20, 2019

In the quest of older ladies

Dear Hillary,

Marry a Thai girl and you have married a cheater. There appears to be a misconception that anybody marrying a Thai is doomed to have a cheater. Doesn’t matter how many years they have been married, it will fail. Some of your writers put it down to the age difference – the old farang and the young Thai girl. But what nobody seems to see is the older farang and the older Thai woman. With young Thai females, they are looking for financial stability, but the older Thai woman is looking for companionship. In the young and old situation, after the Thai girl sees her security covered (the house for example), she doesn’t need the old man any more, so she goes out by herself to have a good time. The older Thai woman is already secure and enjoys the man’s company so they go out together, and doesn’t need to cheat. I am American and have been blessed with a wonderful 59 year old Thai lady wife (we started going out 10 years ago). We do everything together and is just the best companion an older man could wish for. So I say to all these old men who complain about being ripped off, they should be looking for the older ladies, not the young beautiful ones.


Dear Lance,

Wise words, but you can’t just use one person’s experience and say, “That’s it!” Just because you have been lucky doesn’t mean to say the next American will also be lucky with an older lady. Or the next senior with a young gorgeous attentive mate be unlucky. The dynamics in a marriage are so different from the non-married life that it amazes me that any marriage lasts for more than six months. Enjoy your situation, but I suggest you don’t tell everyone your “secret”.


Marrying the family

Dear Hillary,

It amuses me when I read some of the letters that men send to you complaining about how the bar girls that move in with them seem to always want more money. You live with a bar girl until you are ready to move on or tired of being an ATM. You guys have it easy. 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 them is having a hard time paying off the bank loan because the rice crop was flooded out, a nephew or niece needs money for school, I help them. 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.

Uncle Bob

Dear Uncle Bob,

Why didn’t you wait for me? I am having a hard time paying off a bank loan (food mortgage). You have also correctly described the Thai families (that you marry into) – they are not 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.


Gold Number 1?

Dear Hillary,

About a month ago you received some letters discussing whether all that Thai women want is money (or gold), so I hope you don’t mind if I put my two bobsworth in here as well. Yes, all they want is money, and by the bucketload. After they’ve cleaned you out, they disappear and you are left with nothing and they don’t show any remorse either. As a foreigner you are fair game, better get used to it.


Dear Jacques,

Your bank account still empty and you are hurting, aren’t you, my poor Petal. But with any partnership there has to be an equal split. If you leave it so that she has access to everything and you have nothing, like the bee, she will buzz to the next flower, or as the Thai’s say “Being a helicopter”. Be more honest with yourself, Jacques. Let her have her own bank account. Put a fixed amount in it each month and don’t listen to all the sob stories about the brother’s broken leg and the cost of schooling for her 6 year old that her mother is caring for, let alone Lao Khao for Pappa.

Heart to Heart - November 1, 2019 - November 14, 2019

Am I getting a message?

Dear Hillary,

My GF went up country to do a course in hair dressing in the village. For the first week we exchanged messages every day. The second week she replied to half of mine. Now the third week and I hear nothing personal, but loads of photos of her and her class mates in Line. Is this usual, Hillary? Or what should I make of it?


Dear Reid,

Now then my Petal, time for you to look at the realities of the situation. The fire went out of the relationship at the end of the first week of separation. You have been living in hope, but that emotion is not being returned, is it? If she has the time to post photos, there was time to drop you a note as well. Time to move on, Reid. There’s plenty of fish in the ocean, as they say. Forget about your snapper and get a “Dolly” fish instead.


Sparkling, sensational, super and sexy

Dear Hillary,

Help me! I’m in trouble again. Met this crazy bird. Sparkling, sensational, super and sexy, who had me eating out of her hand within 10 minutes. Had to miss the next two nights as I was sent to Chiang Mai for work, but when I came back from up north, she didn’t want to know me. Didn’t even want a lady drink, nothing. It was as if I never existed and the sexy time we had before never happened. What am I supposed to do now?


Dear Jimmy,

What do you want for your 15th birthday, Petal? You have a long way to go yet in the battleground called “women”. You fell for a professional lady of the night, who was doing her job, and very well too, it would seem. But just by bobbing up again like a rabbit from a gopher hole, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, doesn’t change the way she acts. Go to a better bar, and grow up. Or rather, grow up first and then go to a bar. And, by the way, I think you are telling porky pies.


Opportunity Knocks

Dear Hillary,

Nok, the cashier at my local has told me she wants to get out of the bar trade. Even though she’s cashier, she has managed to get someone to cover for her while we’ve been out together. She tells me that I have to buy her out of the bar, and that is going to cost me 30,000 baht, which I think is a lot, but she’s a really nice girl, woman actually. Is the price for buying her out correct, but Nok says she will look after me after that. Is this a risky thing, Hillary?


Dear Jimbo,

Have you ever heard of the saying “Opportunity Knocks”? Well in your case it is more like “Opportunity Noks”. Not for you – for her. How old are you, my pink Petal? The cashier story is used all the time, to make you think they are “good” girls and not bar girls. The figure of 30,000 baht is well inflated too. Jimbo you are being ripped off. What you do now is run, and never go anywhere near that bar again!


Jack Sparrow, swashbuckling hero, where are you?

Dear Hillary,

I’m coming your way in December. What are the safe bars to frequent in Pattaya? I don’t want to be ripped off. I’m told you’ve got to be careful in any go-go bar, but what about the bars out in the suburbs? What happens if you’re still there after official closing time? I’ve got a few more questions, but they can wait till closer to my trip. My lodgings are out in the western country, and nothing like Thailand (I was over once before a couple of years ago).


Dear Capt. Jack,

You are nothing like Capt. Jack Sparrow. There is no way I can give you a six month in advance bar forecast. Bars change weekly, some daily. Just use common savvy, Petal. If a bar is empty, then you can say that it isn’t the most popular one, can’t you? If it is thumping and full of people, then it is popular. There’s many more bars other than a-go-go, with sports bars, music bars, family hangouts and more. Just tread gently, go slowly and you’ll be OK. If you’re still there after closing time, don’t worry, the staff will put you right.


When is enough really enough?

Dear Hillary,

My live-in GF has started going out with “the girls” and was getting back at 2 a.m., then 3 a.m. and even later with the best being 11 a.m. the next morning. I am supposed to believe that they go to restaurants and karaoke bars and drink and have a few laughs. Is this usual? I am getting tired of this.


Dear Jimmy,

A “few laughs”? The laughs are on you, James. You are being used by your GF. There’s more than just drinks there. Show her the door as soon as possible. It will cost you some money as a good bye gift, but it is better than living with someone who is not thinking about you at all.  

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Heart to Heart - December 13, 2019 - December 26, 2019

Heart to Heart - November 29, 2019 - December 12, 2019

Heart to Heart - November 15, 2019 - November 20, 2019

Heart to Heart - November 1, 2019 - November 14, 2019