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Update June 2017


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 

Heart to Heart with Hillary

 

 Update June 24, 2017

Dear Hillary,

My GF has been great for the past year and I’m really thinking of marrying her. She gave up working when she moved in with me, and I pay all the bills and give her an allowance as well. She has hinted at getting married, with talks about what if we have a baby I would like the baby to have my name and the like. Only problem has come up in the last three months where she goes to a friend’s house and comes back drunk. This is now happening two to three times a week and when she gets back to the condo she just collapses on the bed and tells me to make my own dinner as she is “too lazy to cook” as she puts it. A couple of times she has rung me to say she won’t be back till later as some more of her friends have arrived and they are going to cook Isaan food there. This may be standard Thai girl behavior, but I don’t like it, nor know what to do. Any suggestions, Hillary?

Mike

 

Dear Mike,

Yes I have a suggestion for you, my Petal. Leave, change the locks and write the whole thing down to experience. She is already showing you what is most important and that’s drinking with her friends, not looking after you as would be expected of a “wife” (and mother, if you’re not careful). You hit it all on the head when you said “GF has been great” and then go on to say there’s been a problem for the last three months. Consider yourself lucky that she showed her true hand early in the piece. Pay her some money and she will leave quietly. Do it this month. Don’t wait.

 

Dear Hillary,

Is it true that it is difficult to marry a Thai girl, with lots of paper work and stuff? I get told that it’s difficult, then some of my other mates say it’s just a party in the village and some moolah to the mother and you’re done. You’ve got yourself a wife. Even the bar room lawyers seem confused. I’ve got a chicky on the go and wouldn’t mind if it’s that easy.

Gordy

 

Dear Gordy,

If you want a party in the village and spend 200,000 baht on what is really another way of describing a ‘dowry’, then go ahead, remembering that the village marriage is not a marriage at all. If your newly just married wife walks out, you haven’t got the law on your side. Village marriages are not even accepted by the Thai authorities as being a proper marriage. No, if you want a proper marriage then it is done through the local amphur office and there is plenty of paperwork, certificates and translating, all of which will take you at least eight weeks. This is good as it gives you a couple of months to think hard about the decision.

 

Dear Hillary,

Every time my GF has a beer, her face goes red. I’ve noticed that quite a few of her girlfriends are the same. Is it she didn’t get enough to get used to beer or what? Is it dangerous? Is the beer too strong or something? Should she stick to whisky and coke, that’s what my friends say.

Jimmy

Dear Jimmy,

This is common with people from SE Asia and is something to do with enzymes. It is called alcohol flush, so perhaps your lady friend should limit her drinking? And you too, from what I hear from your friends as well, Petal.

 

Dear Hillary,

I did the right thing, that you talk about all the time, where I courted this Thai woman for 18 months. Slowly went from holding hands to kissing on dates. She got drunk one night and I looked after her, bucket beside the bed and all that. Slowly went from there where she would stay watching movies with me, and finally sleep over, but no sex. It certainly took time, but I was accepting it as this was a professional woman. Come my birthday and we went to dinner to celebrate, and I thought this was going to be THE night and she then floors me by saying she wanted to go back to only seeing each other occasionally as it was too much for her. I had no option but to accept this, but then one of my office girls told me she had seen her with another man in the shopping center. A couple of weeks later she posts in Facebook that she was going to America with the boyfriend. That’s where she is now, so I’ve got no chance. If this is how your good girls work, I’ll stick to my local bar, I get looked after and not the other way around.

Taken for a ride

 

Dear Taken for a ride,

A sad tale, but human responses are difficult to understand at times. However, it doesn’t sound to me that she was stringing you along, but just that she met someone else and fell in love, while with you, she fell in ‘like’. Hard to take, but I hope writing about it makes you feel less bitter.


Update June 17, 2017

Do you get bombarded with letters asking you to say Amen after their post. This can be asking for money, to asking you to buy something, to write on walls and other silly things. What do they honestly think the word “amen” will do? There must be a pile of disappointed folk out there if they ever go and check six months later.

Leon

 

Dear Leon,

With a little research it comes out that Amen is a word that came to English from Latin, which got it from Greek, which got it from Aramaic, which got it from Hebrew (technically, Aramaic may have had it anyway, before it became the standard language of the Jewish people a few centuries before JC played for Bethlehem United). If people want to do this, then fine. What is wrong is telling other FB friends to do this too. However, it means very little in today’s world. All the very best. Amen.

 

Dear Hillary,

Is it right that it is harmful to your liver to swap drinks? Mates say you are OK as long as you stick to one, like beer, but don’t then go on to the hard stuff. That’s what makes you drunk. The headaches are less too. Do you agree?

Mike

 

Dear Mike,

I have it on good authority that your liver has no earthly idea what bottle your beer came in. Livers don’t have eyes. Alcohol is a chemical, and the only difference between the various ones is the percentage of alcohol in it. Beers are about 5 percent, unless it is a Belgian beer which can go as high as 12 percent, while whisky is around 40 percent. Differences in liver damage and hangovers by mixing drinks are folklore.

 

Dear Hillary,

I’ve been reading you for some time and it seams (sic) to me that you’ve got a down on the bar girls. Why? They all speak English and know how to keep a bloke entertained. They’d make a much better wife than the stuck up society girls you are telling everyone to hook up with. Time for you to be a bit more real old gal and stop knocking the working girls. At least you don’t have to get permission from her parents to hold her hand!

Pete

 

Dear Pete,

I think it is time you went through the back copies of this illustrious newspaper, my Petal, and see and note what I have really been saying. However, you are right, the bar girls do speak (some kind of) English, and so I suppose if you are looking for a long term relationship with a woman and you are happy with the in-depth conversations of “Hello sexy man,” and “Sit down please” and “Buy me cola”, then you are in paradise. This depends upon, of course, you having an endless supply of cola at home, plus a rather large always-full wallet. The “working girls” are just that – they are working and like all good workers deserve their hire. What is forgotten in that heady rush of blood to the brain is that you are doing exactly that – hiring. “Mia chow” (rented wife) expects a monthly salary for her. It is not the more commonly thought of “housekeeping” money. She will demand a salary, which is untouchable. Does this make them a “better wife” as you claim? Each to his own, I suppose, but long term liaisons with working girls do not have a good long term history, Pete.

 

Dear Hillary,

I married my Thai fiancée after a year of engagement. She is a professional lady and we have always done everything in a proper fashion. My wife is 15 years younger than me and this gives us a problem. When we go out, many foreigners assume that my wife must be, or have been, a bar girl even though she in no way acts like one. She has no tattoos or wears sexy dresses or even smokes. I realize that as high as 85 percent of all Thai-foreigner marriages are between bar girls and “sex tourists”, but this is not so for other 15 percent of Thai-foreigner marriages. Please tell your readers that not all Thai-foreigner marriages are between bar girls and “sex tourists,” and stop making false assumptions.

Jack

 

Dear Jack,

Now you’ve got all that off your chest, do you feel a little better, Petal? However, I think you have made a few false assumptions yourself too. Where did you get that figure of 85 percent of Thai-foreigner marriages are between bar girls and what you call “sex tourists”? Let me assure you that sex tourists do not come to Thailand to get married. That is why they are sex tourists – they want the fun in bed without the filling out forms at the local Ampur office. Honestly, Jack, 85 percent of Thai foreigner marriages are between people such as yourself and your wife. The foreigners who “look down” on you are the foreigners who are not in the marriage market, just the bar meat market. Ignore them, my Petal.


Update June 10, 2017

Dear Hillary,

I get different answers to my problem depending on the different people I ask, so I hope you will excuse me for asking you too. This is the first time my husband and I have been posted overseas, and I am told we are expected to employ a maid. The HR people tell my husband that we should pay her “whatever you want”. I don’t want to offer something too low, but I don’t want to go over the top either.

Angela

 

Dear Angela,

A common problem, Petal, especially with newbies. I do understand your problem. The basic wage in Thailand is B. 300 a day so that’s your starting point. How many days a week? Now come the add-ons or take offs if you like – does she sleep out, or do you have a dedicated maid’s room? Does she eat in or eat out? Does she do her laundry with your laundry? All these “savings” can be deducted from the basic daily rate then multiplied by the number of days. I know it is a rough guide, but it will get you somewhere in the ball park, and where you are happy with it.

 

Dear Hillary,

My friends who have been to Pattaya before tell me that you never lose your girl, you only lose your turn. I’m taking out a real stunner right now and she said she would wait for me, but there is money involved if she’s out of the bar and not earning. What do you think is a reasonable monthly amount that she can live on till I come back in three months?

Rick

 

Dear Rick,

I don’t know which shower you came down in, but you certainly have been hiding under a rock somewhere. Don’t you read my column with all the terrible stories of lads like you who find the “I’m back in the village” actually means “I’m at a new bar and please send the money soon because my brother broke his leg in a motorcycle accident.” If you have already donated to the leg fund, send the money to the arm fund. Please just go back to your home town and never come to Thailand again. Or listen to your friends, who have been listening to me.

 

Dear Hillary,

I will go out with a few boys and girls from work. I am the only foreigner, and they all try to understand me when we are working, but after hours it is a different situation and they all happily chat amongst themselves in Thai, leaving me out. Should I say something to them, or to their supervisor, because I would like to get to know them all, but after three months of this, I don’t think it is possible.

Gary

 

Dear Gary,

I want you to stand in front of the mirror and pose the following questions:

What country am I in?

What language do the natives speak?

Since even you will get the answers correct, then you will be able to work out that the answer to your problem is firmly fixed between your two ears. Learn Thai, my Petal, and all the friendships will soon follow.

 

Dear Hillary,

You do go on a bit about speaking Thai, but what is the best way to learn? It is very different from English, and I know several people who have tried but gave up. Plenty of places advertising ‘Education’ visas, but they don’t want you to graduate, as while ‘learning’ you are paying them for the privilege. So, is private tuition the best? Or a language school? Where do all these students go?

Giovanni

 

Dear Giovanni,

You forgot ‘pillow talk’ as another option, or is that what you call ‘private tuition’? My friends in the learning business all say the most important thing is to try and speak, and don’t worry about getting the words exactly right to start with. They all say that listening is also an important part of learning. Listen and then speak, in that order. All the best Giovanni, with whatever method you choose.

“Poot Thai geng.”

 

Dear Hillary,

Why do Thai women prefer to wear black underwear, when white looks so much better against their tanned skin? I can’t understand it. It has reached the point where I have been forced to purchase white underwear to give whatever bar girl I pick up to wear. That’s not fair really. I mean, why black underwear? Also, I am not some kind of deviant. I am a very serious photographer. Sure I am Skandi and I am old, but I am not some trench coat wearing deviant.

Norseman

 

Dear Norseman AKA trench coat wearing deviant,

Next you will be telling me that the Vikings didn’t rape and pillage, they were actually on a photo trip. But why should I doubt the man who has made Thai ladies underwear his fetish. I can feel sorry for you as it is difficult to find trench coats here, and those pink plastic throw away rain coats don’t fit the bill, do they?


Update June 3, 2017

Dear Hillary,

My wife and I are coming over before Xmas. We have read that the roadside food stalls will be removed as the hygiene is poor and people can get very sick. We eat simple meals at home here, so we’re not looking for Michelin stars. We will be in Pattaya for a week, so can you give us some help?

Andy and Marge

 

Dear Andy and Marge,

You will be blown away with the choices available from any of our over 400 restaurants. My best advice is to read the Dining Out columns in this paper and you will soon see what kind of cuisine is on offer, and the price range in food. By the way, there will still be very good roadside food available. It’s just some misguided soul trying to make Bangkok into a European eatery, instead of promoting the Asian, much loved, ordinary food. The general advice is always don’t eat food that has been sitting in pots and getting cold. Eat food that has been cooked in front of you. Come and enjoy yourselves!

 

Dear Hillary,

My GF is going to meet my parents for the first time next month. She doesn’t work, but did work in a bar where I met her. I told my parents that she worked in a shop but I think they will see through that, as she dresses very sexy. Just ‘fess up or what?

Rick

 

Dear Rick,

Just how old are you, Little Rick? 14? If you are old enough to have a relationship with a woman, you are old enough for your parents not to worry about you. I suggest you tell your parents you will come over there, and in the meantime tell the GF you are taking classes in adult behavior. And tell her she can also pack up the bras and knickers while you are away.

 

Dear Hillary,

You get many letters about western men exploited by Thai women. What about the reverse? Here is a situation that I am involved with as part of the ‘rescue’ team of ex-pats who could see what was happening and have gone to help the Thai woman in this instance.

Fortyish farang man from the UK meets 30ish Thai lady. She is well educated, has a good job with excellent likelihood of promotion, owns her own condo and car. Pleasant, sweet but in a country of very attractive women, kind of ordinary looking. He tells her he is in “security work”, some for the government and because of that can tell her little else and it does explain his reluctance to answer personal questions. He also wants a joint account in the bank as he cannot show where “his” money comes from.

He is very presentable, dresses well and romances her and moves into her condo, but is strangely short of money. Several of her friends question her but she is very defensive. Eventually, after a few months her friends do some detective work and find that he is an unemployed guy with a wife and family back in the UK and they are looking for him. She confronts him – he gets angry and drives off in her car and she has not seen guy or car since.

Rob the Rescuer

Dear Rob the Rescuer,

Yes, my Petal, the reverse does occur, just as you have described. I showed your letter to a psychologist I know and he said, here is how it happens. Despite all the warnings from the actions of this chap and the warnings from her friends, they both continued in the relationship. So why? Simple – the co-dependent relationship works with two people who have damaged self esteem, where they shore each other up to hide their own personal deficiencies. These relationships can go on like that for years until someone comes to the ‘rescue’ – makes the two people admit to their inadequacies and it all falls in a heap.

You see, Rob, 30ish Thai ladies don’t have much of a choice when it comes to relationships. Unmarried by 30 is to remain a spinster as all the gorgeous young things snap up the eligible males (Thai and farang). This lady doesn’t even have spectacular looks to attract whatever males are left. “Kind of ordinary looking,” you say, damning the poor woman with faint praise. I am a great believer in letting couples like that work out their lives for themselves. For a third party to get involved, even though it is with the best of intentions, just places an additional strain on the relationship and it will end in premature failure.

So what are you and her friends going to do now? As ‘rescuers’ you do have some responsibilities here. You will not be able to give her self esteem back. The best you can now do is inform the police about the stolen car. You may be able to get that back. There is a fine line between helping and meddling. You should let the professionals handle situations like this in the future.

   


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Update June 24, 2017

Update June 17, 2017

Update June 10, 2017

Update June 3, 2017

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