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Good luck Hillary
Dear Emma,
While it was quite delightful to see you handling questions so competently in this week’s issue of Heart to Heart with Hillary, where has Hillary gone? Did you do away with her, or did she finally dash off with some handsome younger man? I am not a resident of Chiang Mai, but read Chiang Mai Mail online as often as I can, but I must have missed this event. Hillary always brought a smile into my life, and I wish her every success and happiness where ever she is.
All the best to you with the new column.
Dear Peter
I will be sure to pass your good wishes on to Hillary, she is actually located in Pattaya and it was felt that a Chiang Mai resident could add more of a local flavor to our little newspaper. Chiang Mai concerns can often be far different from those of Pattaya, of course. So, we look forward to hearing from more of our readers.

Me time
Dear Emma
I am in my mid to late 40’s. People keep telling me this will be the best time of my life...I don’t know about that, it seems I am starting the change of life and now going it all on my own. They also suggest that I take this time for “ME“ I have not thought of me since I started having kids and husbands!! I need suggestions to try new things, maybe like salsa dancing not salsa! I don‘t have a lot of money so something cheap or free.
Desperate for some “me time”
Dear Me
Well, it’s lucky you live in Chiang Mai! There are so many things to do here and many of them very low cost. You can learn salsa! The 2nd Floor Gallery has salsa lessons (100 Baht minimum charge at the bar) every Thursday. Its quite well attended by beginners and more experienced people. It’s a friendly crowd, give it a shot! Then there is the photographic club, you don’t need to have a super fancy camera to join, just enjoy taking photos, the chess club, book clubs, The Bridge Club meets at the Pub and are a very nice crowd of people. Then there are art gallery openings around town regularly, a great way to get out, meet people and get some culture at the same time!
You don’t to join a gym to get in shape, there are Tai Chi classes at the Park early mornings, on Mondays and Wednesdays, badminton even softball.
Finally, you can help out at many of the charitable organizations around town and give back, there is nothing like helping out to make you feel good about yourself. Vieng Ping Children’s orphanage loves to have people come and visit the kids and bring toys and snacks, or go to Care for Dogs or Santisook Dogs and Cats home and play with the dogs and cats, donate food and supplies.
Sometimes we get so stuck in what’s wrong with our lives that we forget what is right.

Advice for a friend
Dear Emma
I was wondering if you could help me give a friend some advice! She has had this online relationship for almost 4 months now with a guy and he is going to sell everything in England and move here to help her with her business. She says he has been here before and taken her to Phuket (her ex never took her anywhere) and he wants to find a house or build a house and live together.
She says she likes him but is scared and does not know if she should move in with him and if she tells him this he might not come over to be with her? What do you suggest I tell her?
What to say?
Dear What to say,
This is a tough one, it sure sounds as though this guy is jumping into the deep end of the pool with his shoes on and your friend is sensible enough to realize this is a huge step for a relationship of such a short period of time. It is possible to develop a relationship online but in just four short months? It seems as though her boyfriend has what I like to call the “White knight syndrome” where he will come and fix her life, without much of a clue, it would seem, as to how things work here.
If your friend really does care for this guy she would do best to tell him to NOT sell everything he owns to move here but rather rent out his home and come give it a try for a trial period. She needs to tell him that they need to spend time together before figuring out if this will really work. If he gives everything up to move here and it doesn’t work out he will end up being a bitter man blaming the woman for his own decisions. Not a good thing for him or for her.

Employee problems
Dear Emma
I just recently lost an employee that was with my business for 3 years...he was great, he got along with everyone and me. But he came in for one hour and then just left. He is Thai. Now he does not answer his phone nor does his wife. I don’t want to fight with him or confront him but he is my family and I miss and worry about him. Should I try and find him? I can find out where his wife works and go from there or do you think Thai people really don’t want to lose face like if I were to do that?
I worry about my former employee
Dear Worried,
Many employers in Chiang Mai have had this problem, a seemingly happy and loyal employee just suddenly ups and leaves with no apparent cause. It could be many reasons, he could have been offered a better job with higher pay, perhaps there was an insult from a customer or perhaps he has had some problem with another employee. You could track him down but it is unlikely you will ever get the real reason he left, he won’t want you to feel bad if it turns out it was something you could have prevented.
It is best to just let him go, if possible find out from current employees if it was something that happened at work and if so, do your best to prevent it from happening again. And chalk it up to experience.