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What to do with this girl who likes me?
Dear Emma,
I have a problem with a girl that likes me, she is not my girlfriend, in fact we have never even dated. Yet she follows me around, tells people that she is in love with me and is generally quite a nuisance. She is not quite a stalker but she is walking a fine line between being overly interested to obsessive. I don’t know how to get her to leave me alone. I have told her many times I am not interested, at one point I was dating a girl I did like rather seriously but this girl started harassing the girl I liked and soon enough she left, she didn’t want to deal with a crazy woman is what she said.
She hangs out at my work, causing trouble for me there, she hangs out in front of my condo, the security guards have started making her leave as she starts quizzing any girl that walks in to see if she is dating me. I am seriously considering moving to another part of town just to get away from her but she knows where I work and she knows who my friends are. I don’t know how to get rid of her.
Can anyone give me advice on how to get rid of crazy stalker girl?
Fed up

Dear Fed Up,
Well, yes she certainly does sound like a crazy stalker. I know that the police can’t actually do anything until harm is done, unfortunately they don’t seem to have restraining orders here. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have her follow you to the police station and see you point her out to the police. Take photos of her whenever she is doing her “crazy stalker thing” and then let her know that you are sending these photos to the police.
If you have mutual friends talk to them. If you know where her family lives go visit her parents and tell them what their daughter is up to. She sounds as though she has a real mental illness to go to such extremes.
You may want to consider moving to a different part of town, change your habits and if possible change your work schedule. It sounds unfair but the other alternative is to leave Chiang Mai altogether. Be very careful around her, stay as far away as you can, stalkers have been known to turn violent when the object of their obsession doesn’t cooperate.
Best of luck Fed Up, I hope things work out

How do I admit I don’t like Thai food?
Dear Emma,
I have only lived in Chiang Mai a couple of years and while I love some Thai dishes there are many things here that just don’t suit my tastes. It is not just the spicy food, although that doesn’t help since it gives me heartburn. But it is also some of the flavors and the ingredients. I know I shouldn’t be so squeamish and I know that surely, like my favorite gorgonzola cheese, it is an acquired taste and yet I just cannot seem to acquire it.
So, how do I explain to my lovely Thai friends when they urge me to join them for dinner or bring me what they believe to be tasty snacks? The snacks I have learned to say “Thank you very much” and put it in the drawer to give to close friends later on but the dinner invitations are awkward.
I know how proud the people here are of their food and how popular Thai food is around the world. And yet, beyond a tom yam and a few other dishes, there is very little that I can eat with relish. Do I grin and bear it? Do I tell them the truth? What should I say?
Food phobic

Dear Food:
Well, given that you are in Thailand after all, this is the food the people here eat. Personally, when confronted with a dish she does not like, Emma grins and bears it, takes a small spoonful and then goes for the dishes she does like. However it sounds as though there is actually very little that you do eat! I must confess, I am with the Thai people here and am rather flabbergasted over your inability to eat Thai food.
However, if this is a course you feel you have no other choice to follow then no, I would not tell them you do not like Thai food. As you said, people here are very proud of their cuisine and it is a point of national pride that it is considered one of the best in the world.
So, yes a little white lie is good. “Oh thank you for the invitation but I have plans that night but perhaps I can invite you to such and such restaurant” rather, that is a restaurant you know that does not have Thai food.
You can claim an allergy to key ingredients or something else. Emma will not lecture you on your choices but would suggest that you do try to acquire the taste for some dishes at least. You will find your stay in Thailand far more pleasant if you open your mind, your heart and your tastebuds to the place.

Traditional Thai furniture
Dear Emma,
I want some traditional furniture; I moved here only last week and am just setting up a home. I rented a house on the outskirts of town and have purchased a motor scooter. Now I am ready to furnish my home but have no truck with which to carry furniture. Also, I want nice Thai furniture. Not chipboard stuff.
Where would you suggest I go?
Need furniture

Dear Furniture,
There are a few places you can go but as you are on a bike you are more limited. Emma would suggest starting at Baan Tawai to get the basics and then learn more about the city and the area to fill out your house.