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ASK EMMA

 

Why doesn’t my girlfriend like to share my interests?

Dear Emma,

I started dating this really nice Thai girl, she is a couple of years younger than me and we have a lot of things in common. However, I really enjoy going to the gym and work out and while she does go with me, she doesn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I do. I feel responsible for teaching her how to use the equipment but she usually just ends up jogging slowly on the treadmill before sitting down and checking her phone.

Whilst I am a really keen weightlifter I certainly don’t expect her to join in lifting weights but it would be nice if she showed more interest in my hobbies and the things I enjoy.

What can I do to encourage her to join in?

Signed,

Wants to share

Dear Wants,

Let me ask if you also enthusiastically join in doing the things she enjoys doing? Are you there with her if she is out shoe shopping or are you trudging along complaining about women and their need to shop?

Emma has never really understood people who think it necessary that their partner share their enthusiasm for every thing they do. It is not necessary to spend every free moment together and it is certainly not vital the success of the relationship that she embrace your hobbies and interests.

In fact, your insistence that she pursue your interests may just end up damaging the relationship instead. For heaven’s sakes man, just let her get on with the things she likes to do and don’t try to force her to become what you want her to be. Either you like her or love her for who she is or you don’t and if you don’t then don’t try to mould her into the person you want her to be. From the sounds of it, a female version of yourself.

Yours,

Emma


Tired of the hate posts on Facebook

Dear Emma,

I have many Thai friends on Facebook and they come from both sides of the political divide and some of them post about it regularly. A couple of them post what would only be called ‘hate speech’ anywhere else and frankly, it makes me very uncomfortable as I consider these people good friends but their posts are just vicious. It makes me look at them in a different light, to be honest and wonder what is wrong with them that they are so hateful over this. It doesn’t affect them in any kind of real way, they have not lost their jobs or income or even lives. Yet their posts are really awful. I don’t want to look at them but occasionally these friends do post things I am interested in. I don’t want to unfriend them but neither do I feel comfortable having their hate filled posts as part of my life.

Yours,

At a loss

Dear Loss,

Rather than unfriend these people simply hide their posts. Telling them you are not comfortable with their hateful posts is probably only going to see them turn their bile onto you and that will surely end your friendships. Alternatively, if you really do wonder what kind of people they are then it may be best to unfriend them and distance yourself from them. You never know what they are up to in their real lives and you may not wish to be associated with them.

Yours,

Emma


Have a noisy neighbor

Dear Emma,

I live in a condo building and I have a neighbor who is really quite loud. Perhaps he is Frankenstein with lead feet or perhaps he is the Jolly Green Giant and can’t help thundering around like a herd of elephants. Worse, a herd of elephants that wanders around at 3 a.m. The sound wakes me up nearly every single night.

Unfortunately, he happens to be my upstairs neighbor. I am hesitant to go knock on his door because he sounds like he is about 2 meters and over 150 kilos or at least that is what his footsteps sound like from downstairs. I have lived in this condo for some years now and he must be new since I certainly would have noticed if he had lived upstairs before this. I don’t have any intention of leaving my building because this man is so rude. What do I need to do?

Signed,

Sleepless in Chiang Mai

Dear Sleepless,

Perhaps old thunderfoot doesn’t realize he’s making such noise. I would suggest, if you are fearful of a confrontation, to slip a note under his door asking him to please tread softly at 3 a.m. as he is waking up the below who live below him. A nice note is probably best since most likely he is not aware that the noise transmits so readily.

If it were something else, like loud music, then you could most likely put it down to simple selfish, self-centered behaviour. However, walking is a different issue so Emma thinks the best option is the note. Give it a try, if it doesn’t work then you will need to knock on his door and ask him to walk softly and not carry a big stick.

Yours,

Emma


I think the noodle lady likes me

Dear Emma,

I eat noodles at the same stall on a regular basis and the lady who sells the noodles is always trying to chat with me, she often gives me extra chicken in my noodles and today she gave me a discount. She is always smiling at me and is very friendly with me, more friendly than she is with other customers.

I eat there at least three times a week as I really like her noodles but don’t know how to answer what seem to be her advances. I am not interested in her, just her noodles.

Signed,

Noodle lover

Dear Noodle,

Sometimes a smile is just a smile. I wouldn’t assume she has any interest in you other than in retaining a good customer and keeping that good customer happy. Thai people smile. Chiang Mai people are friendly and chatty. Good businesspeople realize the value of offering extras and discounts for good customers to keep the coming back. To assume anything else will simply ruin your noodle enjoyment.

Yours,

Emma