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Why all the screaming?
Dear Emma,
This may have been brought up before, I cannot imagine that any right thinking foreigner living in Thailand is not also as equally disturbed as I. It is the soap operas on Thai television. My girlfriend loves them, the more screaming, violence and general horrible behaviour the better it seems.
This latest one takes the cake, wins the prize, whatever superlative you want to use for the most horrifically loud show ever. One character, when she was not gunning people down in cold blood, was screaming her head off. That was more screaming than I need in a lifetime.
Another show apparently had a character who was raped and then she fell in love with her rapist. That is just appalling. Even more appalling than the casual way physical abuse is treated in these programmes.
I do not understand these shows. They are all equally awful, there seems to be almost no interesting drama or crime shows on Thai television. There are just these awful soap operas and equally awful but in a different sort of way, game shows. Of course there is always cable or Truevisions I suppose. I like the documentaries and interesting shows there but my girlfriend prefers her screaming soaps and so screaming soaps it is. Turned on at a very high volume as well, it seems most of the time.
I have gotten to the point that when she turns on these shows I either leave the room or, better yet, leave the house, head to the nearest western owned bar and watch the football.
At least there the screaming is done either in the stadiums or on the pitch by the coach.
Fed up with the screaming

Dear Fed Up,
Emma can’t help but agree with you, these shows are awful. In fact, I do not think I know a single foreigner living in Thailand who can abide these shows. If there are any, well, they must be an incredibly small minority. Emma has heard that Thai soaps have a kinship with the equally awful telenovelas on Spanish speaking television in the Americas. However, Emma has heard that these Latin American dramas have a wider variety of plotlines than Thai shows but has no direct experience with them herself.
Do not despair for Thailand however, they are producing some excellent films, including the soon to be released “The Last Executioner” which Emma plans on seeing in the theatres. Take your girlfriend to see this film, or another quality Thai film, so as to introduce her to something that has style, taste, intelligence and interest. Perhaps it will rub off on her viewing habits. Even if it doesn’t at least you will have seen something worth watching other than the footie.

Help! My colleague’s wife is flirting with me!
Dear Emma,
I have a serious problem at work, one of my work colleagues (I am his superior at work, I should note) has a slightly younger wife who continues to flirt with me at work related events. She even comes into the office, ostensibly to visit her husband but she always drops by my office to bring me some snack or gift and to flirt. At first I thought perhaps she was just trying to make things easier for her husband at work by being nice to the boss but recently her overtures have been of a more sexual nature.
I can’t imagine that she thinks she can sleep her husband’s way to the top so perhaps she really is attracted to me. Either way, it is incredibly inappropriate and makes working with this man very uncomfortable.
I have made it clear to her I am not interested, I am happily married with the love of my life and two gorgeous kids. However, this woman seems to think that because my wife is not Thai I am fair game. I am not fair game, I am not interested and she is starting to jeopardize her husband’s position with her behavior.
What should I do Emma? Should I tell him what his wife is up to? Or just make it clear to her that if she continues not only will she not get her prize but her husband could lose his job?
He is good at what he does but honestly, he is not worth the hassle she brings.
Not fair game

Dear Not fair,
This seems to be a new twist on an old story. Emma suggests that you talk to her first. Do not be nice, do not be sweet. Be serious and be strong and tell her in a very firm and no-nonsense tone that she had better stop now or you will fire her husband from his job and tell him why he is fired.
Make it clear to her that you mean business. If that does not work then tell the husband that he needs to call his wife off or he is out of a job.
There really is no need for you to tolerate this kind of behavior and it certainly cannot help your wife any knowing that such a predator is eying her husband.
Best of luck,

I love to garden but live in a condo
Dear Emma,
I love gardening but have a small balcony so can’t really get in the dirt and dig. In New York City where I am from they have community gardens – there is a small rent to be paid but in it the gardener can grow whatever he or she wants; flowers, vegetables but not big trees of course. Does Chiang Mai have anything like this? And if so, where? If not, why not? And is there anywhere I can go to volunteer to help garden?
Avid gardener

Dear Gardener,
Emma does not know of any community gardens in Chiang Mai. Given the limited space and expensive real estate it is unlikely any private landowner would turn over their valuable property to gardeners. She has heard that there is one in the Pong Noi neighborhood (behind Wat Umong) and near Wat Pong Noi but does not know if it is still in use or if it would be available for those living outside the neighborhood.
Apologies for the negative response, perhaps one of our readers has a suggestion for you.