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Clothes don’t fit

Dear Emma

I am a curvaceous woman with hips larger than my waist. Trying to find trousers that fit is incredibly difficult. If they fit my small waist then I cannot get them up over my hips. If they are big enough for my hips they gap at the waist and are far too large.

I look around and while I see that yes, many Thai women have very small hips that are not much larger than their waist I also see many Thai women who do not have this slender shape with no curves.

Where do the curvy Thai ladies go to buy clothes?


Not large but curvy

Dear Curvy,

Emma feels your pain, many foreign women and yes, Thai women as well, suffer from this same problem. Those curvy on top cannot find blouses that do not gap at the buttons, those curvy on the bottom cannot find trousers that fit at the waist.

I am not sure where the Thai ladies go, I suspect they suffer in silence. Or just buy the bigger sizes and wear their belts cinched around their waists so that their trousers do not fall down. One alternative is to have clothes tailored for you. Ask around and you can find a seamstress who is willing to copy your favourite pair of trousers. You buy the fabric, she will copy the original. This is generally not that expensive and you then get custom clothes.

Or you can do what many of the other women here do, buy your clothes when you go back to your home country.

If it is any consolation, many foreign men have a similar problem being rather tall or much bigger than your average Thai man. So sympathise with that 6 foot man you see sometimes, he has difficulty as well.



Songkran Scrooge

Dear Emma,

My neighbor is a Songkran Scrooge. He complains endlessly about Songkran every single year. He starts complaining by mid-March! A full month of endless complaining. I used to smile and try to encourage him to leave the area or to stay inside. I used to try to be nice. But after four years of listening to his incessant complaining I gave up. Now I nod and smile and walk on. If I see him get into the elevator I wait for the next one, making some pretense of a phone call or something. I can barely speak to him even when it is not Songkran. He is so negative I just cannot listen to him any longer.

Am I rude Emma? Should I try harder to understand him? I am really unsure as to what to do here, I do try to be nice to people and I know the man is alone but I can’t help but wonder if he is alone because he is so negative all the time!


Sick of my neighbor

Dear Neighbor,

Well whilst not everyone loves Songkran neither is it necessary to torment one’s neighbors with one’s own unhappiness. Emma suggests that instead of smiling or politely nodding, which may be taken as encouragement, that you try a simple, “Oh I am so sorry to hear that, I LOVE Songkran, it is my favorite holiday,” with as much childish enthusiasm you can muster and then pull our your mobile and excuse yourself to take an imaginary phone call.

Most likely he will be stunned into silence and finally realise that you are not sympathetic to his negativity and hopefully, leave you alone!

Happy Songkran!



K-pop everywhere

Dear Emma,

I was recently in Kad Suan Kaew and saw clothes for sale on the main floor that claimed to be Korean fashion. They didn’t really look that different to me but what do I know? Also, I have WeTV and I see that Channel V seems obsessed with Korean pop music. Some of it is catchy and the dancing is good but they are really overboard on playing it.

Finally, also on WeTv, I see they play Korean soap operas regularly. What is the obsession with Korean fashion and music? Was it started by that Gangnam style guy who was popular last year (or was it two years ago?).

Frankly, it is a bit tedious, especially the music, but if it is more than a fad then I guess I need to get used to it.


Not Korean

Dear Korean,

Well, firstly it is important to remember that Korea and Japan (also another source of teenage trends in Thailand) are far closer to Thailand than is Europe or the United States or Australia. It makes logical sense that trends would move here from there much faster and be more popular than those from the West.

Add in the fact that Korean popular culture is cute, funky and fun and it is not surprising that Thai teens embrace that. Emma understands that the music can be a bit monotonous but hasn’t a lot of teen culture been that way over the years?



Obnoxious drunk friend

Dear Emma,

I have a friend, not a close friend but more of an acquaintance, although someone I see quite regularly, who is usually quite a nice person. Except when he is drunk and unfortunately he gets drunk rather more frequently than is good for him and everyone around him.

Mainly because he is not a pleasant drunk, he starts out alright then gets more and more aggressive, eventually getting angry at some poor service person or some other hapless soul who doesn’t manage to fly under his radar. Then he gets nasty and often times racist. I am waiting for the day he does this to the wrong person and gets beaten up.

I don’t believe he is an alcoholic but really, he should not be drinking alcohol, it is very unpleasant.

I don’t know what to do, to be honest. I am thinking of completely dropping the acquaintance since it is all really too much trouble.


Not a friend of drunks

Dear Not a Friend,

Emma would suggest you drop him as an acquaintance. People like that tend to suck others into their whirlpool of anger and you do not need to get involved in the trouble this person will surely encounter. Also, Emma believes that the person you see drunk is most likely the real person as they would be if they didn’t have social inhibitions. Alcohol releases those inhibitions and the real person shines through. Or in this case, glares through.