Heart to Heart
Update Saturday, Nov. 18 - Nov. 24, 2017
I write in response to a letter in your
25th Oct edition on the ever-popular subject of Bargirl/Farang relationships
from a gentleman who claims 47 years in Thailand.
I don’t know his social circle, but his
comment that almost all retirees to Thailand are ‘functionally broken
personalities’ is frankly risible and if he has indeed ‘seen it all’ little
wisdom seems to have sunk in.
His frequent use of the word ‘Whore’ to
describe bargirls also speaks volumes as this word is rarely used in a neutral
or descriptive sense, but invariably to denigrate and demean - as indeed his
tone and content showed.
However, I did not principally write to you
(the first time I have ever written to a newspaper) to discuss his opinions, but
to reflect that they are all too common and seem to be accepted by some as
received wisdom on the subject of Farangs forming relationships with Thai
I know you to be fair minded and open to
other views, so here goes.
Please permit me to comment on what I
observe and feel, as a corrective and balance to the endlessly repeated (and
often exaggerated) horror stories, which invariably are also only giving one
side of the tale. There are many, many thousands of successful and long lasting
such relationships, often involving children, in Pattaya, Thailand and across
As the manager of a popular Sports Bar in
East Pattaya I see and meet them every day. Don’t believe me? Let me take you on
the school run where many Farangs are picking up their Thai/Farang kids. This
being Pattaya I’ll bet my pension a fair percentage of the mothers are
ex-bargirls. Sure, some Bargirls are bad, some very bad, but many are also good
with a surprisingly large number of them very good for the right guy who treats
them well and is true.
My advice, for what it’s worth. Take your
time - like any partnership, work at it, understand the culture with tolerance,
watch out for red flags and remember that long-distance relationships rarely
last i.e: recognize you will either have to move to Thailand or take her back to
Last and not least, try to be faithful -
even in Pattaya - the inability of some chaps to keep their trousers up is the
number 1 reason I’ve seen for partnership troubles - far more than any bad
behavior by the Lady.
But there are times in life when you have
to take a risk for happiness, I did and my ex bargirl and I are blissfully
married after 8 years together and was the best thing I’ve ever done - a much
more common story than some suppose. Of her close friends when I met her in the
bar, one is married and pregnant in Sweden, one settled in Australia, a third
living in Korat with her German partner and the fourth still bar-working.
If the relationship fails, unless you have
been particularly stupid, what have you lost? A scar on the heart and a bit of
cash, with the plus point of time in the company of a lovely, sexy young Thai
woman and a million warm memories.
Sorry for going on, but the constant
negativity does grate after a time, happy couples don’t normally talk about it
much to newspapers or on the internet, so the whole subject is often distorted
and the nay-sayers have the field to themselves.
I’m aware some feel the need to warn others
of the dangers, fair enough - however patronizing this can be, but I do
sometimes wonder how many potentially wonderful and happy partnerships are
nipped in the bud because the chap has been frightened off by all the doom and
gloom from the ‘know-it-alls’.
Dear Darkside Dave,
You are certainly an avid observer of
human beings, from behind your sports bar, while polishing the glasses. I am
sorry I did have to hack a chunk out of your letter, it was a little lengthy.
Unfortunately, as you point out, the happy couples are not known for gracing the
pages of this newspaper, but those with an axe to grind certainly do. It is
impossible to guess just how many Farang-Thai relationships fail, but when you
look at statistics from other countries, failure rates are around 50 percent. I
also note that you look at marriage with a Thai lady as a financial partnership.
The old fashioned concept of “love” doesn’t come into it. A bit sad really.
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?
Have they always done this? You would never see anything like this in England,
so it really blows me away every time.
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 and you will
see the women riding side-saddle. Even the Queen of England rode side-saddle.
However, how can a woman in a short skirt look polite and decorous with the hem
hitched up above the hips, and legs either side of motorcycle (or horse or
Update Saturday, Nov. 11 - Nov. 17, 2017
I never thought of myself as a prude, but what do you
think of the way these girls dress round here. Or maybe I should have said
“undress” round here. Every day I see girls with dresses so short it barely
covers their panties and when they go up escalators, nothing is left to the
imagination. While they dress like that, they are asking to be molested. The
boy is the one who gets in trouble, but it is these girls who taunt the boys
with the sexy dresses that cause the trouble. Do you agree with me Hillary?
I’m sorry Jack, but while I agree some girls here
dress in a very sexually alluring manner, and it is the girl who gets
pregnant is also in trouble. If the society accepts the dress code which
worries you, it means the girls’ parents have given their agreement. I
believe it is back to sex education for the boys and the girls. I might also
suggest you stop being an ‘up-skirt voyeur’. You are not a prude – you are a
Dirty Old Man.
You may think this request is too simple to publish,
but I am sure my problem is one suffered by many young men in this country.
I am from the UK, here for a couple of years, and am enjoying just being
with such nice people (and the nice girls). Here’s the problem, I have met a
right stunner. She is super and works in an office near mine, in the same
building. I have done the homework through the Thai staff in the office, and
she’s not married or attached or anything like that, but here’s the problem.
She doesn’t speak English. I really want to get close to this woman (she
really turns me on), but I haven’t got enough Thai to be able to chat her up
or anything. What’s the next step, Hillary?
Dear Pasa Angkrit,
What a wonderful pseudonym you have chosen, Pasa
Angkrit indeed (‘English language’ for those who cannot speak Thai). But
what a dilemma! Here you are, hormones raging at the thought of this nice
young woman who really turns you on, even though you have never spoken to
her, or even got close enough to smell her perfume! And you don’t know how
to pop the question. Or any question, for that matter. You have just
discovered a simple and inescapable fact, my Petal. The country you are in
for the next two years and the country the woman lives and works in, is
called Thailand. That’s not tongue tie-land, either. This is her country,
and the language she speaks gets her everywhere she wants to go, and
everything she wants to do. There is a lesson for you here. If you want to
get to know this Thai lady, then go and learn some basic Thai. After a few
lessons, go and try it out on her (the language, Petal, the language). If
she thinks you are a nice chap, she will even help you with the
pronunciations. However, if she doesn’t respond, then you have to accept the
fact that you didn’t make her hormones explode, the way she made yours. Best
of luck with the language course. That is “Chok dii” as you will learn in
Thank you so much for your reply to a previous e-mail
where I had implied that I can’t get a bird in a brothel! I took your
advice, went into a bar and slapped 2,000 baht on the table and shouted “OK
birds, I am over here, come and get it!” And did they... they were all over
me, and it was all going fine. I had a great time. However, it slipped out!
It had to I suppose! What can I do! I didn’t mean to do it, but a ‘gnaam’
just slipped out. I think it was followed by a ‘lie der’. That was it, a
deathly silence. Then one of the birds said “Falang Laos” and the party was
over. Oh dear, I’ll try again next week. You lucky people that only speak
I aint bovvered
Dear I aint bovvered,
Despite your hiding behind your pseudonym of ‘I aint
bovvered’, I get the distinct impression that you are very ‘bovvered’ by it
all. Otherwise you wouldn’t continue writing to me with your tales of woe,
would you Possum? Re-reading your email, I am glad it was just a ‘gnaam’
that slipped out. For a while there I thought you were trying to make pun of
me. I also get the distinct impression that you are an antipodean with that
quaint way to refer to the bar girls as “birds”. The only way the ladies of
the night are similar to our feathered friends is that some of them have
been known to go “Cheep Cheap” under certain financial conditions and good
at midnight flights under other conditions. Do try again later, but is your
English really English? It doesn’t seem that you are all that lucky. Best of
luck and ‘kaneedur’.
Update Saturday, Nov. 4 - Nov. 10, 2017
Is there something wrong with me? Every
night I go out, and that’s most nights, I meet some of the most beautiful girls
in the world and I fall in love again and again and again. This would be OK if I
could remember which bar and which girl, but when I go back the next day there’s
even more beauties and I go through it all again. Is this something that happens
to all holidaymakers, or am I just lucky (or unlucky)? I say unlucky because it
all seems to be costing me a lot of money, and Thailand is supposed to be a
cheap place to come to for your holidays.
You certainly are a confused
holidaymaker, aren’t you, my Petal. However, Thailand is still cheap, provided
you don’t eat steak or drink petrol, but it is your ‘kid in the candy store’
approach to life that is draining your wallet. I am also sure that you are
drinking Love Potion Number 9, which in Thailand is generally sold in green
bottles and the lovely ladies in the bar will be making sure you get enough for
maximum effect. Do you remember the gorgeous young thing, with her hand on your
leg, saying, “Wun moah beeyah?” That is neither Thai nor Isaan dialect, but is
the universal bar girl’s approach to ensuring intoxication in their “lub you for
ebber tee rak” of the evening. Not only does Love Potion Number 9 affect your
vision, but it also aids in the opening of your wallet and causes large
denominations of money to fall out. If you are very lucky, your credit card will
not fall out as well, because Love Potion Number 9 also aids in helping you
reciting PIN numbers after several bottles are consumed. My advice is to only
drink at the bar within 50 meters of your hotel (there will be at least two
within that radius) and to only have 1,000 baht in your wallet before going out.
Where do all the dozeys come from that
write in for help? Every week they bob up with another ridiculous problem.
Thailand is the easiest place in the world to live in, so why do they have so
many problems? They should thank their lucky stars they are able to live here,
instead of moaning all the time. I live here and do everything here and I don’t
have any problems.
Living and Loving It
Dear Living and Loving It,
I am so pleased you are so pleased with
yourself, Petal. I take it that ‘humility’ is your middle name. Really, it is
time that you learned that not everyone is as fortunate as yourself, and for
many, Thailand is not such an easy place, with strange customs, language
problems and many distractions and traps for the unwary. Have you never bought a
buffalo, or bought a young lady a drink? You should thank your lucky stars you
have come through it all so easily.
I am 45 years old and I consider myself to
be a fairly normal person. Married with a couple of kids and ask anybody and
they would say I’m a happy person, but I’m not. It sounds stupid, but I have got
the hots for the maid at work. We smile every day, but it’s got no closer than
that, but I feel that she is returning my smiles with more than just being
polite. I have not been game enough to speak to her or even touch her as I have
a good, well paid, responsible position at work and I would not want to lose
that. The other thing is my husband also works for the same company, and I
wouldn’t want to hurt him, even though life at home is pretty boring these days.
What should I do, Hillary? I can’t ask anyone else, and sorry if I haven’t
signed this letter, but I am sure you understand why.
Dear No Name,
You already know what to do, my Petal.
This whole thing is just a flight of fancy. Many women at your age wonder what
it would be like to have an affair (with either sex) and you are beginning to
imagine something out of the ordinary, and transferring your emotions to this
poor maid at work, who you have not even spoken to. Does this sound the logical
way a woman in a “responsible position at work” would carry on? Mrs. No Name,
stop daydreaming, let the maid carry on her job without being jeopardized by
you, and just realize that this is a passing phase in your own life. If things
have become boring in the family home, then start making life less boring. Take
time to go to the movies or a picnic on the beach, or a drive to the zoo. There
is plenty for you to do, responsibly, that will not hurt your own job, or your
husband’s. Take heart in the fact that you are not abnormal, you are just
reacting foolishly to what are some of the normal things in life.