Is she flirting?
I do not want to be one of these men who believes every
“you hansum man” line that he hears. Nor do I want to become one of these
men who think that every Thai woman is available and easy. I certainly know
this is not true and a very unfair characterization.
However, I met a very nice woman who waitresses at my
local favourite restaurant and she is very friendly to me. Friendlier to me
than to other patrons, it would seem to me. But perhaps I am wrong and she
is just angling for a better tip? I don’t know how to approach her without
offending. I do not want her to think I am one of those men. But I would
like to know how she feels.
How can I learn if she does like me or if it is all in my
head? It is so difficult here!
Yes indeed, it is difficult here; all the cues you are
used to are different. You must learn new ones! However male-female
attraction is as old as time and even with the different cues you must
surely have a sense if there is an attraction there or not?
If so, then try something simple like complimenting
her on her hair or asking how was her day. Personalizing yourself, and her,
creates a closer connection. Treat her like a person and not a waitress and
you will find a friendship can grow. Once you have established a friendship
and a better understanding of her as a person then you can try and grow a
real relationship. It is not the usual route most Western men take when
approaching Thai women they find attractive but in Emma’s opinion, it is one
that is likely to have a higher rate of success.
Attending a Thai wedding
A colleague has invited me to her wedding; they are both
Thai and will be having a traditional wedding back in her home village in
Phayao. I have never been to a Thai wedding and so am not sure what to wear
or what is expected of me. I am an English teacher here, so while not highly
paid, I certainly make more than she does. Can you help me dear Emma?
Fear of weddings
Thai weddings are rather simple affairs if you are not
an immediate relative of either the bride or the groom. The main thing
expected of you will be to go, enjoy yourself, and eat! All Thai events
feature food, it is true. A traditional wedding will take place in the very
early morning at the home of the bride.
The groom and his family and friends will walk to the
bride’s house bearing gifts. They will be stopped at the gate by the family
and friends of the bride who will demand something, it can be whiskey or
something else, and often require the groom to perform a dance or sing a
song. This is usually the merriest part of the wedding for once the groom is
finally allowed to enter; he and the bride will approach their parents and a
revered village elder. The groom will present the bride’s parents with the
sin sot, or bride price. The amount will vary on the wealth and social
standing of both bride and groom but usually consists of both cash and gold
jewellry. Then advice will be given by the parents and the village elder,
and water will be poured over the hands of the couple by the parents. Then
white strings will be tied on to their wrists by parents, relatives, and
While this is going on you will most likely be eating.
You will be expected to present some money in an envelope as a wedding gift.
Presents are not given at Thai weddings; the ever practical Thais realize no
couple needs three toasters and two coffee pots. The amount will depend on
the family and the closeness of your relationship with the bride. I would
ask a Thai colleague that is also going how much they plan to give.
Finally! Do not wear black to a wedding! Wearing all
white is usually not a good idea either. Dress nicely, but since it’s a
village wedding, don’t go over the top and don’t wear something sexy (if you
are girl that is). If you are a man then a very nice business type shirt
with trousers is appropriate.
Flowers in Chiang Mai
I love the smell and beauty of the blooming trees and
flowers in Chiang Mai in the cool season. I know about Royal Park Rajapruek
as they had that magnificent expo last year. Is it still open this year?
Also, can you recommend any other places to visit for a flower loving
Looking for flowers
Royal Park Rajapruek is open year round, not just for
the Expo and will have a special exhibition this year in honor of HM the
King’s 85th birthday. It is always worth a visit!
Another fantastic place to go is the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens. They
are also offering special exhibitions and seminars and is a most interesting
place, especially if you like to learn more. Last but not least is Chiang
Mai Mail special contributor Dokmai Gardens. Easily found going down Canal
Road towards Hang Dong. Read his column on Page 13 in every issue and you
will find his great love and knowledge of plants very appealing.