Heart to Heart
Heart to Heart - October 18, 2019 - October 31, 2019
I will be coming to Pattaya at Xmas time
and wonder if you knew where I could rent a motorcycle for the time I will be
there (2 weeks). Is it insured and is it OK to drive with my French license? I
want to go up to Isaan. Thank you.
Which of these ways do you want to go
back to France after your holiday of a lifetime? Sealed wooden box with gilt
handles? Encased in bandages lying on your back? Or as certificates showing your
organs were harvested? There are plenty of places renting motorcycles my Petal,
and all you have to do is to let them keep your passport which you will get back
at the end of the rental period. You want a big bike? No problems, up to 1250
cc. French license? No problems Mon Ami. The only problem comes when you want to
claim, and ‘suddenly’ they find out that your French license is for under 250 cc
and you are responsible. For everything – medical bills, repair to lamp post and
repairs to the bike. Pierre, Thailand has the second worst road toll in the
world. The Paris traffic has nothing like 6 p.m. on a wet Friday night in
Pattaya. Road Rules? It’s Rafferty’s Rules. Don’t do it Mon Brave. Catch a VIP
bus (not a minibus).
I love your column and am amazed at the
patience you have. I am an expat and live in Chiang Mai near the university. So,
it is not the seedy part of town like Loi Kroh. How you put up with letters
every week from idiots is beyond me. To all those who fall for lines from bar
girls, I say “good they deserve to get the wallets cleaned.” As a friend of mine
said, Thailand is for those who could not get laid in their own countries. For
all those idiots I have seen in bars bragging about the money they do not have,
they just raise the prices for what they want and none of the girls care whether
the ‘Rolex’ they have is real. These idiots get what they deserve. As far as I
am concerned, send them all to Pattaya!
I spoke with Pattaya City Hall but they
said for you to keep them up there in Chiang Mai, as we have as many idiots as
we need already. However, looking at the problem that you have highlighted,
perhaps an identification system is needed. A badge for the girls to state “Bar
Girl Wallet Cleaning” or something like that. For the males, as they come
through Immigration they get given a ‘Sucker badge’ with first timers getting
the 100 percent sucker rating. By the way, from the bar girl side of the pub the
watch is a “Lorek”. But always remember that for a Thai, a watch is not a way of
telling the time, but is more of a fashion accessory.
Am on the trail of a “good girl”. You know,
the kind of girl you are always bleating on about. Well, I started to have a
chatting relationship with the local laundry lady. She made it obvious that she
was interested in me, always made sure she served me and not one of the other
staff members. Long story short, I was passing her shop one night and she was
just leaving so I stopped and said perhaps she might like a meal, so she said
yes and suggested a little local place just up the road. We spent some time
there, and a few bottles of brown ale, and we ended up in bed together. She left
in the morning and even took the laundry. However, when I went to the laundry a
couple of days later she told me she was going to Bangkok for the weekend to
visit her daughter and she had no money, could I give her 2,000 baht? It
certainly wasn’t a loan! Like a sucker, I opened my wallet and she had 2,000
baht in her fingers in no time, while rubbing my back. A couple of weeks later,
the same scene. She’d come over, spend the night and the next time I saw her in
the laundry it was another 2,000 baht. The only difference between this “good”
girl and ones from the bar is you know what is the going rate, and you pay then,
not a few days down the road a bit. So what do I do, Hillary? Continue on, but
put her in the bar girl basket, or a pretend relationship as a “good” girl?
The lesson here, is you get nothing for
nothing! With your laundry lady you can go to restaurants and know people aren’t
looking at the pair of you and saying “bar girl” under their breath. You were
not to know she might like a financial contribution to help the relationship
along. You never know, she might be amenable to a discount on the laundry, in
exchange for the sleep-overs! We’ve all got to live, Will. Times are tough my
Petal. Don’t be so judgmental.
Heart to Heart - October 6, 2019
Malapropism on two wheels
(Found this older letter, but worth a re-run)
Its Evil here, not much happening on the motorcycle front,
just the occasional sounding the horn and giving the two finger salute. Not sure
if Thai Motorists or Motorcyclists understand what it all actually means but it
gets rid if my anger. I am up to G in the dictionary Hillary and found the word
Generic recently. It fits the Thai motorist and motorcyclist perfectly. Why you
ask? Well they cannot turn their heads left or right as you can see when they
come out of a side street into a major road. It has to be a generic problem
don't you think Hillary? Also a problem exists with their legs, if the 7/11 is
more than twenty meters away the thought of walking, well it would be out of the
question. So there we have a problem that the worlds medical profession could
look into Hillary and I know you are the lady who would know who to speak too
regarding it. Don't get me wrong Hillary, that book I wrote about my life is
thirty per cent of good things that have happened to me in Thailand, all from
Thai people. I could not wish to find any better anywhere and that's for sure.
But Foreigners beware when asking directions. I was visiting the big smoke to
renew my Australian passport Hilary, on heading from a BTS station to the
Consulate I thought I will ask a Thai council worker (road sweeper) to confirm I
was going in the right direction. Oh No I was told, well five kilometers later I
did arrive at the Australian Consulate, which was in fact about 300 meters from
where I spoke with the council worker. Well sorry for the long winded letter
Hillary, please keep us all smiling. Time to look for a Halloween outfit,
although if you saw me I know what you would say....Bye for now,
You remind me of the Irish road sweeper who when asked
which was the road to Dublin, said that if he was going to Dublin, he wouldn’t
be leaving from there! Now, my little Petal, you will have to be more careful
when reading your dictionary. “Generic”? I don’t think so. A couple of lines
further down you will see “genetic” which refers to a condition inherited from
the elders in the family, passed on through the genes, which is what you meant.
Correct? Please note the distinction between genes and jeans. Both can have a
part to play in the reproduction cycle, so be careful, especially when giving
two finger salutes. I also have it on good authority that Aussies can speak
English, but don’t like to! I thought it was only the French.
Place your bets, gentlemen
One of your readers was complaining that every Thai girl
was a rip-off. I say do people who squander huge sums at gambling in Las Vegas
get angry at the, often female card dealer? These girls are just that, really,
really good dealers with free physical therapy thrown in and don't take near the
Thank you for taking up the cause of the Thai bar girls
(they should make you president with what you’ve spent over the years), but you
missed the point that he felt all Thai women were rip-offs, and as you know, not
all Thai women work in beer bars.
Do you know that terrible smelling stuff called Pla Ra? My
lady brings it back from the Isaan region, and it has a smell like 100 year old
sox mixed up with sewage. It is so bad I won’t let her open it in the house.
What do they use it for?
You have just discovered one of the delights of the
North-East. It certainly isn’t the sweetest smelling stuff in the world, but if
you grew up with it, I suppose it smells OK. It is used in cooking, and as a
spicy dip. I agree with you – terrible smell, my Petal. Best thing to do is to
only allow it in the Thai kitchen at the back of the house. (You do have a Thai
kitchen, I hope?) It is a North-East specialty that is not found anywhere else
in Thailand. (Or probably in the world!)
In defence of pla ra
I write to soothe the pride of all those Isaan people
who’ve read the letter about phra ra, commonly pronounced “palah”. With respect,
it is much more than something they eat in Isaan, much, much more. Yes, it's on
the nose (and there are as many different phra ra brews as there are people
making it), but as a flavor enhancer it's great. Whether in any of the thousands
of little eateries or a private home, in Isaan you eat the national dish, and
that’s som tum, and there's no such thing as real som tum without phra ra. Those
pussies down south who eat pawpaw salad (or tum daeng or tum tua) without it are
missing a treat!
You need help, Petal. You need help! If you’re already
on treatment, I suggest you double the dose.
Heart to Heart - September 20, 2019 - October 03, 2019
With all these men writing to you to say how they have
been tricked or cheated but not everyone has a hard-luck story. Certainly
there are differences between Thai women and European/American women, but
that is part of their charm. There are also differences in culture, so to
say that looking after sick or needy relatives is an imposition means that
the man does not understand the “family” culture here, as opposed to the
selfish culture of “me first” above everything else, which is the usual
situation in the west. Certainly the relatives stay with us when they are in
town, but it is a small price to pay. I think many of these men who write to
you are selfish in their attitude, and they bring the end results upon
themselves. To those men who complain about all the problems they have, I
say treat the Thai women with consideration, respect their culture, this is
their country, not yours and you will be rewarded with a deep and satisfying
It pleases me very much to see there are some men
over here who are prepared to admit to and respect the fact that they are
guests in this country. Sure, there are societal differences as this is not
America, this is Amazing Thailand. Fitting in as you have done is very much
better than trying to make the women and the customs conform to your western
ways. By the same token, you should carefully choose your life’s mate,
slowly and thoughtfully, just as you would do when looking for a mate in
your own countries. One night of bar fine passion is not the basis for a
strong and lasting union, something many of you appear not to have
Advice from the bar
Local pub mates tell me all that the three things Thai
women are interested in is money, money, money. I am in a long time
relationship with a Thai woman, but she is a lot younger than me. Is she
interested in me, or money? If it’s money she hides it pretty well. Who
should I believe?
No, my Petal, Thai women are not just interested in
money. For example, I am also interested in chocolates and champagne. All
women, are interested in finding a mate who can support them and their
children (and the family in Thailand). Why should any woman be interested in
marrying a pauper? Would you? There are not too many couples you could call
Romeo and Juliette in the world, but there are thousands of successful
marriages, which exist for the mutual benefit of both parties. I am not
saying that ‘romance’ is dead, but likewise a union based on an unreal
expectation is also headed for the scrap heap. If you and your lady are
happy as you are, with the money you have or haven’t got, then just enjoy
life and don’t spend time worrying about what other people say in bars.
There’s been some letters to you about the Kid in the
Candy store. As was pointed out, some foreigners never get over the candy
store phase, but I think you will find that this is because they haven’t
found the girl they really “clicked” with, so rather than become a crotchety
old thing (I’m not pointing the finger at you, Hillary) they stay in the
candy store, and I never hear many complaints. Have you heard of serial
monogamy Hillary? That’s what this leads to.
Billy the Kid
Dear Billy the Kid,
I am so glad you’ve got everything in your life
mapped out so well. It’s because of generous souls like yourself that the
candy stores can continue to trade. In the meantime a box of Maynard’s Wine
Gums will be very satisfactory. Thank you my Petal. However, this cereal
mahogany has me a little worried. Is this a breakfast cereal the candy store
sells? With colored hundreds and thousands on the top?
Here’s my business card
Are all Thai girls as forward as the one I met the
other night? I was sitting on my own in the bar and I didn’t want to listen
to the usual inane chatter that the bar girls carry on with, so I started to
talk to the service girl and she seemed a nice enough lady, so I bought her
a couple of drinks, but then went home. The next day she rolls up at my
office with some flowers for me! I was so embarrassed, as all my work mates
were laughing. I asked one of the girls to find out what she wanted, but all
they said was that the lady liked me. What do I do with this? The last thing
I need is unwanted visits.
Dear Embarrassed Eddie,
Just how did this girl know where you worked? If she
is clairvoyant, then I think you should keep her, my Petal, and cash up on
all the winning tickets she will predict for you. But if, on the other hand,
it was because you gave her your business card, then you have nobody to
blame but yourself. Of course you can always use someone else’s card.
Heart to Heart - September 06, 2019 - September 19, 2019
Dundee where are you?!
I am a successful businessman, an Australian who has worked
hard, accumulated a high level of wealth that provides me with a very
comfortable lifestyle long before I would be eligible for a pension. Despite my
financial successes, I have failed miserably in finding true love. One might
even call me a failure in that regard.
I’m not a good loser, so I have commenced a world wide trek
to track down that elusive female butterfly. One who will be able to fill that
void in my life, love me, marry me and produce our children.
Here’s where I am in the quest for my future mate.
Australian women are not suitable. I have always believed that any relationship
is a 50/50 proposition, but Aussie women don't understand fractions.
I flew to America. I met an attractive girl there and took
her to Disneyland to enjoy the rides, but she took me for a ride instead.
In Canada I met a beautiful librarian, but she spent most
of her time reading my bank books.
In Paris I met a very tender person, but she was frankly
only interested in legal tender.
I am now here in Pattaya, still searching for my butterfly.
I have met a cute local girl named Noi who works at a beer bar. She doesn't seem
interested in taking my money for herself and only insists that I give her two
thousand baht every morning for her taxi ride home. It seems that both of her
parents are always ill as she needs additional money to send to them and her
brother who is always falling off his motorcycle (which I bought him).
Please tell me about the local girls. Could Noi be my
elusive butterfly? She wants me to take her away from it all but could she take
it all away from me? Could the fact that her parents are always ill have any
detrimental genetic effect on any children we may have?
Awaiting your advice, as the lawyers write.
Aren’t you a little dear! Or should I say a little
expensive? Is Noi your elusive butterfly? Of course! Be aware, however, perhaps
elusive but not exclusive. Don’t worry about Noi’s health – she will only get
sick later in life when the daughter you have between you meets a rich
Australian who has worked hard and accumulated a high level of wealth and is
looking for an elusive butterfly. In the meantime, I suggest she takes a cheaper
taxi home, that Rolls-Royce is a little over the top. Give her 40 baht for a
motorcycle taxi and see how she goes! Or should I say “disappears”. As they say
here, you never lose your girl, you only lose your turn! Have you considered
having yourself cloned? Us girls all over the world need more of you! (Other
than Australian, American and Canadian.)
(I stumbled across this letter to me from many years
ago. I wonder where Mick is now. And does he have any money left? If you’re
still out there, then drop me a line, Mick. I have just the girl for you – me!)
Organizing a SWAT team
Hello I have been reading your column for at least 20
years, so both of us are “experienced”. 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 point of view. 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.
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,
the kind the bank deposits will show, but if I need the US Army and a SWAT team,
I’ll let you know.