Heart to Heart
July 21, 2018 - July 27, 2018
What do you feel about the ‘crack downs’ on the bars the
BIB are running at present? Are they really trying to make Pattaya squeaky clean
or is it some Thailand-wide money generating scheme? Or perhaps money
laundering? I find it difficult to understand the logic (?) when they could
stand on any street corner and fine all the riders with no helmets. 800 riders
per hour at B. 400 per head is a tidy sum and it could go to saving somebody’s
Don’t be amazed my Petal, Thailand society works in some
strange ways which farangs do not understand. By stopping the motorcycles means
less fuel is used, so the petro-giants will begin to hurt. And we don’t want
that, do we?
I notice that most of the letters you get are from farang
males who are complaining about what has happened to them in the bar scene.
Surely they must see that there is a big difference between that side of Pattaya
and the other side? If they were only to look past the end of their noses they
would appreciate that there are some truly wonderful girls out there. I have
been married to my Thai wife for four years now and there has never been a “bad
moment” in all that time. She is beautiful, intelligent (a qualified accountant)
and caring. I do not have to change the locks on my doors or worry that my suits
will be cut up. She does not need ropes of gold to hold her in the marriage, or
motorcycles, or houses. We have a partnership and mutual trust. Why don’t some
of these men look for the “good” girls?
There may be lots of reasons. One may be that the supply
of “wonderful girls” is much less than the demand, so the single males gravitate
to the good-time girls, of which there is a more than adequate supply. Look
after your wonderful wife and buy her plenty of chocolates (you can send the
champagne to me, Hillary, c/o Pattaya Mail) and continue to build on your mutual
trust. Bar scene farangs generally are not looking past the end of their noses -
it is some other part of the anatomy.
I have been to Thailand 6 times, but unfortunately on my
last visit, I actually got a “knock back” from a bar girl. As I have been so
many times, and have a lot of Thai friends, I have picked up quite a bit of the
Thai language. The reason for my “KB” was that I was a farang who spoke, not
Thai very well, but Thai too much. Although my ego was shattered for all of
twenty seconds, I pulled myself together and continued to enjoy my night out,
and the rest of my stay. I have my next visit planned for Xmas/New Year, and you
are very welcome to join me and my friends for an evening out, with guaranteed
Champagne and unlimited chocolate. I love to read the Pattaya Mail from here in
the UK, and maybe if you decide to accept my invitation, you could go to the bar
in question, and politely tell the pretty young lady that she made a big
mistake. I have a very good heart, but life is full of ups and downs.
Rocker and knocker
Dear Rocker and knocker,
Ooooh what a lovely man you are. Champagne and unlimited
chocolates! What a shame it wasn’t chocolates and unlimited Champagne (French,
vintage, of course) and I would have come immediately, my precious Petal.
However, since you have been here 6 times already, you will no doubt realize
that the chances of the pretty young lady still being in that particular bar are
not high. Come to think of it, the chances of the ‘bar’ still being there are
probably not all that good either. Just remember that there are plenty of other
pebbles on the beach, and Hillary is sure you will have another wonderful time
this year too. Keep learning Thai - as you have already found out, you can be
surprised at what you can pick up - or how you can be dropped.
The shopping for tourists is very good in Pattaya, with
some excellent shopping centers and malls, but where do you go to find the true
authentic local markets? While we are here for three months every year we would
like to experience life from the Thai side, rather than from the tourist angle.
Where do you suggest we go?
You are correct, Pattaya is a shoppers paradise, but it
is becoming difficult if you are only looking from the Thai shoppers point of
view. The next ‘big thing’ in Pattaya is the Terminus 21 center. This place is
so big they even have a couple of planes sitting on the forecourt. Not small
run-abouts either, but planes like a 777 for example. I am not sure if they will
fly you home, but you can always ask. In the meantime, the Thepprasit market
might be your best bet.
July 14, 2018 - July 20, 2018
Can you recommend any Indian food places in
Pattaya? We do not mean the commercial pizza companies, but real Indian food. We
read you each week on the web and will be coming for a vacation this fall and we
are all Indian addicts. Where do you recommend?
Dear Alice (in Wonderland?),
I am delighted that you are coming over
to Pattaya for your holidays, and, yes, I adore Indian food too, especially when
taken with French Champagne. The Indians really haven’t got a handle on
champagne, do they Petal, but they do have a good handle on some other aspects
of life, like selling suits! Miss Terry Diner (you can get her on the Pattaya
Mail’s web site too), has given Ali Baba high recommendation. Try it and if you
find any others let me know and I’ll join you (with the proviso of copious
amounts of bubbly).
I have noticed that every time you walk
near an up-market restaurant some young person tries to drag you inside. Surely
this cannot be good for business as I find it turns me off the place, rather
than make me want to eat there. Why do they do this, as surely they would be
better off serving at the tables inside the restaurant? Can you tell me why?
Dear Toothsome Terri,
These young people are called “Greeters”
in the trade, and their job is just as you said: to entice people inside. Just
take it all in your stride Terri and go and eat at the places you want to go to.
Check Miss Terry Diner’s Dining Out column each week for different places to go.
My Thai girlfriend and I want to buy some
land upcountry where she comes from near Nong Khai. The price seems reasonable
and in a few years I would be happy to retire in that place. The other day she
went up country and rang me to say that we could buy some land OK, but it would
take two months for the deeds to be transferred into my company’s name. If she
were to buy it in her name then the deeds could be transferred in two days. This
doesn’t seem right to me, Hillary. Do you think I am being taken for a ride
First off, James my Petal, is to decide
whether it is “my Thai girlfriend and I” who want this land, or is it your Thai
girlfriend? I must say I do not know too many farangs who have successfully
retired to Nakhon Nowhere, approximately 20 kilometers this side of the Laos
border. Since you want the title deeds in your company name, I take it that you
want to retain control over it. Buying it in someone else’s name does not fit in
with that does it? Go and talk to a lawyer.
I think my wife was born in a tent because
she never shuts doors behind her. When we lived in America this was not really a
problem, but here in Thailand it is, because we have to run the air conditioners
very high to keep the house cool. I have tried to tell her that the air
conditioner has to work overtime when she leaves the doors open and that means
more electricity is used, so our power bills are so high, but it doesn’t seem to
have got through. I cannot spend my life closing doors behind her. What should I
Dear Door Closing Des,
Some people do get their knickers right
properly knotted, don’t they, Petal. Instead of wasting all that time and effort
and worry and emotion and excess money on the electric bill there was one easy
answer. Buy some automatic door closers, then she can swish in and out all day
and the doors will close behind her. Now wasn’t that easy? Sometimes I worry
about you people with the tunnel vision, or perhaps it is the glasses you wear.
I spend three months every year here in
Pattaya. My young Thai girlfriend and I were getting along so well I decided I
would help her out and buy a condominium for her, where she could stay for the
rest of the year so that she did not have to live in rented accommodation any
more, where I had been staying with her. When I told her I would do this and get
the condo she began to ask for money for telephone calls I had made, electricity
I had used and even demanded a sum for excess water I might have used in my
showers. This to me seemed to show a very grasping nature so I cancelled the
purchase and said goodbye. Do you think I was correct, or was I too hasty?
You were not too hasty, my Petal, you
were too slow. Gift horse and teeth springs to mind. Now if the condo’s a luxury
one on the beach, I will happily look after it for you for the nine months, but
please leave enough French champagne in the fridge to last.
July 7, 2018 - July 13, 2018
One of my colleagues at work keeps on
suggesting I go out with him to go bar hopping one night. When I asked which
bars he intended to visit, he was very vague and was trying to dodge the
issue. What do you think he is trying to do? He would be around 40 years old
with a Thai wife. I am 27 and unmarried.
Why are you trying to “read”
something into a situation before it has made itself evident? You are in
charge of your own destiny and if you don’t like the bar, then you move on.
If you think he is trying to seduce you, then again you are in charge of the
situation. Nobody is going to throw you flat on your back on the bar
counter, are they? Suggest to him it would be a great idea to go out and to
bring his Thai wife with him. His next move will show his hand, I am quite
sure. Unless his wife wants to seduce you!
I am about to try and learn the Thai
language (for the third time) and I have been getting some conflicting
advice and am hopeful that you, dear Hillary, can put me on the right path.
Some of my friends say I should just learn how to speak conversational Thai
and forget about reading it, while others I know who speak Thai fluently say
I should learn to read and write the language at the same time. I’m confused
enough as it is, what do you think?
No need to worry. Look at it this
way, do Thai children learn to read and write first or learn to speak the
language first? Do American kids learn to read and write before they speak
English? Of course they don’t. Children learn like parrots (but eat like
pigs). Sure, it helps to recognize some words in Thai, but take the easy way
and you should start like any Thai child and speak before you write.
I met a wonderful girl in a new bar the
other night. Beautiful nature, beautiful skin, lovely smile and figure, in
fact I just fell for her. She comes from Udom, and that’s about all I
managed to find out after about four hours and several “lady drinks”. The
biggest problem was that she doesn’t speak any English, so I was trying to
talk to her through a friend of hers who also works in the bar and who
didn’t speak much English either. By the end of the night I was pretty drunk
and did lend her 2000 baht. What should I do? Should I keep going, or should
I give up now before I get in too deep?
You’ve really got the telescope in
the blind eye, haven’t you petal. You spent four hours (and several lady
drinks) getting to know this lady and she can’t speak your lingo. What means
of communication did you use? Braille? One thing’s for sure, young man, she
certainly could talk her way into your wallet. Her fingers did the walking!
Or was that “talking”? Kiss your two grand goodbye and stick to the old bar.
It sounds safer.
How do I stop my husband tipping? I
know it probably sounds mean, but he is always leaving 20 baht here, 50 baht
there and it all mounts up. We have retired here from the UK and live off
his pension which is not all that much every month. When I chide him about
it he just says that everyone has to live or words to that effect. How do I
show him that the amounts he leaves are excessive?
You certainly are a little moaner
aren’t you my Petal. Leaving a tip for people in the hospitality industry is
how many of these people survive because their wages can be amazingly low.
There are not strong unions as there are in your country, so there is no
guarantee of minimum salaries, even though there may be legislation to that
effect. Provided you are living within your means, and your husband is
tipping within those means, let him feel good about it and let the
recipients enjoy their added “extras”. They’ll need it more than you do, my
I met this attractive lady at a concert
the other evening. She was well dressed (not provocative) and spoke good
English. We chatted for a while and I felt we got along rather well. I asked
if she had a business card and she gave me one. When I got back to my condo
I looked at it and it turns out she works for a massage agency. This is my
problem. How could I introduce her to my mother, for example? Have I been
taken in, or is she just a slippery customer?
A gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta
do in this world. Look at me, replying to drivel like yours every week! Let
your Mum find her own massage parlor.
June 30, 2018 - July 6, 2018
I am a new transplant to Pattaya. Today was
my first day reading your newspaper. I simply could not stop laughing hard after
reading your brutally honest responses to people’s queries on June/8th
publication. Total respect and salutations to you Hillary.
An interesting name you have chosen for
yourself, my Petal. You should be very careful round here as there are some
stunning creatures roaming the streets at night, looking for a transplant.
Especially new transplants! Stay indoors for a month or so before venturing out
into the wonderful world of Pattaya.
I have had a jokey type relationship with
my hairdresser for about six months. Last week she made it clear (I thought)
that she would be interested in a little after hours fun, and we ended up with
some slap and tickle in the back of the salon, nothing too deep, just what you’d
call petting. I dropped by today with the idea of floating the idea of her
closing the shop for an hour or two one afternoon, but she was not even in for a
bit of a cuddle, so I did not pursue the idea. What gives with these Thai women,
Hillary? I’ve had this before with lots of sexy suggestions, but then backing
out at the last minute. Is this the way their culture demands or what? And
should I keep trying with this dame?
My Petal, you have mistaken harmless fun
with the real thing. Your hairdresser is just trying to keep you as a customer.
A little snog every so often does not mean that she is ready for a roll between
the covers at the local Lonely Hearts Hotel, room by the hour. Don’t get so
serious with these ladies, they are just having some fun with you, but that’s
all. If you are only looking for short term rumpy pumpy company then a Bar beer,
rather than a Barber, is where you go. Understand now?
You bleat on every week about not having
any expensive French champagne. Why don’t you do what the rest of us do, and
that is to drink the cheaper champagnes from Australia, Chile, Spain or Italy?
They’re just as good.
Dear Methode Champenoise,
You have answered it already in your
‘nom de plume’ my Petal. You obviously know of the restrictions on using the
name “champagne”. The Champagne producers successfully lobbied the European
Union to restrict the use of that term within the EU to wines produced from
their region. Thus, wines from elsewhere cannot even use the term “méthode
champenoise” on products sold in the EU, and instead the term “traditional
method” (méthode traditionnelle) or the local language equivalent may be seen;
for instance, in Germany the term used is “klassische flaschengärung”. South
African wines from the Western Cape are labelled with the term “Methode Cap
Classique”. However, consumers outside the EU may see “méthode champenoise” used
on labels for products made outside of France. So for little people like me I
would much rather drink the “real thing” than some other country’s copy. So,
please send me the good stuff, that’s a nice chap. And don’t forget the
Can you tell me just what goes on in a Thai
girl’s head? I have had this relationship with one of the girls in the local
bar. If she wants a night off, I pay for her bar fine, and she comes home with
me. We have a great time and I usually take her for som tam or something that
she likes on the way. The other night I felt like seeing her, but when I went to
the bar and suggested I pay bar for her she said no. I stayed for a while and
then another farang came in and off she went with him all lovey-dovey if you
please. Are they all like this? I thought I had a pretty good understanding with
the girl, but it must have meant nothing to her.
Confused and Disappointed
Dear Confused and Disappointed,
Let me tell you like it is Petal, and
you won’t be confused and disappointed in the future. “This relationship” as you
see it, is nothing like the “relationship” as she sees it. You are as free as
the proverbial bird, come along, pick up, put down and here’s a bowl of noodles
for your trouble. And be thankful. She sees one customer who she can get to buy
her out when she’s got no better offers. The other farang was probably offering
two bowls of noodles. A much better business deal if everything else is equal.
Your girl in the bar is a businesswoman, Mr. Confused and disappointed. That’s
where you are going wrong. Your relationship does not “mean nothing to her”. It
represents an “off” for the evening and a bowl of som tam and some small change.
No more, no less. Stop confusing business with pleasure.