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My girlfriend likes to flirt with other guys
Dear Emma,
My Thai girlfriend and I have a busy social life, mainly due to her job as a PR person with a local business, sometimes I go with her but mostly she goes alone or with her boss. I don’t mind that these events keep her busy; it is her job after all. However, when I have gone with her to events I have found her flirting with the other men. I have asked some people I know who also attend these functions when I don’t go and the ones who are willing to be honest with me agree that she is flirting.
When I talk to her about it she usually just laughs at me. She always denies it and tells me I am being too jealous but I don’t think that is true. I am not normally a jealous guy and I don’t think I see things that are not real.
I don’t like it, it makes it seem as though she is available and it seems to me that she has no respect for me at all.
Am I overreacting? I am not sure I can live with this and I don’t know if our relationship can go anywhere when she behaves this way and with the way I feel.
Not a jealous man
Dear Jealous,
Well, what is one person’s friendly is another person’s flirting. Perhaps she is, perhaps she is not. Your friends may be telling you what they think you want to hear or perhaps your suggestion coloured their perceptions of her behavior. Or perhaps she really is flirting with men.
What you have to decide is whether or not you trust her answer. Does she really believe that she is not flirting or do you think she is lying to you? If you do not believe her then things are not going well. If you cannot trust her then the relationship is probably not going to succeed.
You have a decision to make and that decision is based more on yourself than on her.

My housekeeper asked me for a loan
Dear Emma,
I have had a wonderful housekeeper for a few years and she has always done an excellent job. However, the past few months her work has slipped. I finally asked her what was going on and she said she had eye problems and the doctor told her she needed surgery. She then asked me for a loan to have the surgery done because she couldn’t afford it.
I realize that Thailand has free medical care for Thai people but my maid is Burmese. She is legal, she has the work document and i.d. papers, I made sure of that. But I am not sure if she qualifies for medical care under the Thai social security system or not. As she is Burmese she is very suspicious of authorities and is hesitant to ask someone if she is eligible or not.
Can anyone assist me in finding out if she can get medical treatment or not? I can’t really afford to give her the money for the surgery and I know that she cannot afford to pay me back as she has family to take care of.
Want to help my maid

Dear Help,
I found an interesting article in the Nation newspaper in regards to this, stating that many documented workers do not receive the health care benefits they are legally entitled to. However, as to your housekeeper it would require that you pay into the social security system for your staff. The employees are required to pay 4 percent of their salaries to the system and you as the employer pay a matching 4 percent.
If you do not speak Thai find someone who does and go to the Social Security office with your employee and register her immediately. While she is required to pay the 4 percent if you feel she cannot afford it you can pay it for her. Consider it a bonus for good work.
The Social Security Office is located in the City Hall on Mae Rim Road. Once she has this card she can then obtain free to low cost medical care at the government hospital.

Wow it is cold!
Dear Emma,
This is my first winter in Chiang Mai and I while I used to laugh quietly at the notion of winter in Chiang Mai I am no longer laughing. It is really cold! I live in the typical cement condo building and it is freezing. Last month was so cold I bundled up in extra blankets. Now it is cold again. I didn’t realize it would get so cold or for so long. I am thinking of buying some kind of space heater. A friend told me that he saw one at the Mae Sai border but that seems quite far to go for a space heater. However if it’s the only place to get one then I will go to Mae Sai to buy one. Emma, do you have any suggestions on where to buy a space heater?
Shivering in Chiang Mai

Dear Shivering,
Indeed it has been quite cold. I understand it is the coldest it has been for 20 years! So it is no surprise that you and many others have been caught unawares. I have heard that there are heating units in Mae Sai but I understand they come over the border from China so I would be wary of buying one.
A friend told me she had heard from someone that they were available at Big C or maybe Home Pro. Personally, I would try Home Pro first but you never know with these superstores. I am afraid I cannot tell you how much this person paid for it, or even if they are still available but it would be worth a search. You may just find that they were sold out during the last cold spell!