Heart to Heart
September 22, 2018 - September 28, 2018
I don’t know if you have time to sit down
with your glass of champagne and chocolates to watch the soap movies in the
evening. As I read my book and my lady friend is watching these movies I can’t
help but notice how these movies give the wrong, or maybe the right impression
of Thai people in the land of smiles. They are nearly always screaming at each
other or slapping one another round the face and very vindictive. Are most of
the Thai wealthy people this callous and two faced, if they are they have a lot
to learn. I hope the young children who watch these movies don’t think this is
the way of life. I do enjoy your Heart to Heart column and if I am able to save
a few baht I will send you champagne and chocolates.
I am very sorry to be so slow in
replying but I have only just found your letter under a pile of other stuff,
which is dated March 2014. Which explains why no champagne or chocolates! Your
observation about the violence in Thai soaps is still valid today. However, you
are a farang and shouldn’t be watching them anyway. They’re not made for you!
The sweet and gentle image of saffron really does not show Thailand, but neither
do the screaming soaps.
Will you still be here in 2019? I enjoy
your bits each week and the advice is sometimes right on. A few weeks back
somebody said you should get a raise from your editor and I reckon so. You are
doing a public service so you should get the top dollar. All the ones in the US
like Oprah get big money, so you should too. Keep up the good work and all the
best with the boss.
Aren’t you just the nicest man!
Comparing poor little Hillary with the mighty Oprah! However there are some
differences between us, you know. She’s in America, for one! My Petal, if
Hillary could get even 10 percent of Oprah’s salary, I’d be on the next plane to
Milan for some new threads, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about creatures
like letter writers lusting after my flower prints. Every time I hang them out
on the line I have to be just so careful when the knicker man is around. Nicks
‘em. Gone, and my undies. He’s a terrible man. You worry me though, when you say
you “enjoy my bits” each week. What “bits” are we talking about here? Some of my
bits are never discussed here in the column. This is a family newspaper Hughie,
and anyway, you’d never get to see them either. As far as a raise is concerned,
I’ll show your letter to the editor, but he’ll probably just think I made it up,
just as some people think I dream up people. That’s no dream, it’s a nightmare,
and some of the damned things are so long and are handwritten! Life’s hard some
I was very interested to read your advice
to Valentino a few weeks ago and wondered if perhaps you could help me too. I
have a British motorcycle (a Triumph) and I park it in the garage when I go off
shore. I have noticed that when I come back these days, it no longer leaks oil
on the garage floor. I have my suspicions that my wife has given it to a Thai
boyfriend, and the motorcycle is staying at his place while I’m away. Why she
would do this is beyond me as I give her everything she wants, gold chains and
everything. I really cannot think of any other reason for the garage floor to be
so clean. Do you think the seals have taken up, or what is happening? Is there
another logical answer?
Just what have I brought on my head this
time? Now it’s a motorcycle clinic! No, my Petal, the seals on your Triumph have
not taken up. Good British bikes always leak oil, so there is a simple answer
for you. Have you checked the level of oil in the crankcase? For a logical
answer, I think you will find there is no oil left. That is the only feasible
explanation with your British bike. Unless it was made in Japan, whereupon it is
really a copy bike! Check the serial numbers, Poppet. And talk to the nice man
at the motorcycle shop, not Hillary. You could of course, try locking it up
while you are away. A good heavy chain, like the gold one your wife wears, with
a strong combination lock, should be enough to keep it in the garage, and you
will see if the drip is from the motorcycle, or perhaps it is you. By the way,
you’re not the phantom knicker knicker are you?
September 15, 2018 - September 21, 2018
Is this a common problem with Thai women? My Thai
girlfriend is always very friendly when I am here in Pattaya, but when I go back
to England she does not write too often and is even fairly cool in her emails
sometimes, especially if I have asked her what she is doing. I send her eight
thousand baht a month, so I reckon I have the right to ask. What do you think,
Hillary? Do you think I should get an investigator to follow her for a while? I
really don’t want to be spending money on someone who doesn’t give me the value
What do you expect for 8,000 baht a month Petal? A
girlfriend or a long distance slave? Have you also ever stopped to consider that
it might be very difficult for her to write to you in English? She is probably
having to get someone else to write her side of the emails. Hillary is quite
sure you don’t write to her in Thai, do you? So here she is, using her 8,000
baht allowance on internet time and probably having to get a translator to sit
in with her as well - and they cost money too. And what does she get in return,
my disbelieving Bob? Letters to Hillary asking if you should get her tailed by a
Private Dick. Time to grow up Baby Bob. You don’t own anybody ever, and you
certainly don’t buy loyalty for 8,000 baht a month. 8,000 baht a month doesn’t
even keep Hillary in champagne and chocolates! (I wish).
My husband’s job involves him in many social engagements.
Unfortunately, at one of these functions I had a little too much to drink (it’s
all free at these events) and my husband had to take me home in a hurry. Anyway
now my husband says it is better that I don’t go to these parties, so I get left
at home with a bottle of wine for company. Should I insist on going with him
next event, or let him go on his own? I could ring his boss, but not sure if
that is the done thing around here?
You admit that you did drink too much at the party, and
that is a no-no for company wives. I wouldn’t ring his boss, as it is most
likely that it is he who is telling your husband that you are banned. Company
wives have a difficult role, but you’ve fallen at the first hurdle I fear. Wait
a while and don’t keep a bottle of wine at home. I think you might have a
problem, my Petal.
I am 38 years old and have been in Thailand for six years
and have had quite a few Thai girlfriends in that time (both long time and short
time). When I first arrived I was blown away by the beauty of the Thai girls and
I was forever walking around seeing more and more attractive girls everywhere I
looked. However, I have noticed that I am getting excited over the European
girls I see in the city and they are becoming more and more desirable every day.
Problem is, I don’t know how to approach them. Thai girls make it easy, European
girls do not. Where do I go from here? Do you think I have a problem Mrs
Yes, Petal, you do have a problem. Part of your problem
is an excess of circulating hormones and the other part is your believing that
the grass in the next field is always greener than the one you are in. Bottle
the hormones; you’ll need them later when you are older. As far as hopping over
the fence into the next field - that is entirely up to you, but do be careful
you don’t snag any parts of your undercarriage on the barbed wire. By the way
it’s Miss Hillary, thank you!
I have noticed that up-market restaurants have some young
person trying to drag you inside. I find it turns me off the place, rather than
make me want to eat there. This behavior seems to happen with many restaurants
along Second Road and Beach Road, and even is now happening in Jomtien. Why do
they do this, as surely they would be better off serving at the tables inside
the restaurant? Can you tell me why, as nobody else seems to know the answer?
Dear Picky Eater,
These people are called “Greeters” in the trade, and
their job is just as you said: to entice people inside. Like all people in jobs
anywhere, some are better at it than others. The good ones make you feel honored
that you have been “chosen” to come into their restaurant, while the not so good
make you want to run away. Just take it all in your stride and go and eat at the
places you want to go to. With hundreds restaurants in Pattaya, there’s enough
to go round. Check Miss Terry Diner’s Dining Out column each week for different
places to go.
September 8, 2018 - September 14, 2018
I love your column, but it always amazes me that so
many Brits fall for the same traps. I come here with my wife every year for
three months and we of course don’t spend our time in the bars as there are
so many good things to see or do. How the traffic is going to handle the new
21 shopping center, complete with its own jet plane in the car park, I don’t
know. Our friends back home don’t believe us. Getting back to my question,
my wife suggests that there should be a warning on the airline tickets,
maybe using your wise words?
Albert and Maddy
Dear Albert and Maddy,
What a lovely couple you are, worrying about the
young lads on their holidays. Do the warnings on cigarette packets really
work? The same would go for warnings on airline tickets I think. There have
been many books written with warnings about falling in love with a Thai
lady, but like the fag packet warnings, do they actually get read? No, I
think that for the young lads Pattaya is just another step towards maturity.
A step they will remember all their lives. So, if they lose a little money
on the way, does it really matter? You get nothing for nothing.
Where do you suggest I take my Thai GF for dinner? She
is an up-country girl so not used to haute cuisine, but I’d like to take her
somewhere she will enjoy for her birthday, but not too expensive either.
What a lovely Scottish name. And a lovely Scottish
tight hand on the sporran. Or wherever you Scottish people keep your money.
Hamish, my Petal, your lovely girl from Isaan is used to sitting on the
floor, sharing the curries and rice, and not Canadian lobster. If she
invites a couple of friends, you are looking at spending 200 baht on food,
and 1,000 baht on Thai whisky. Cheap enough for you? You can always go
chasing balloons for a really top night if the balloons are too exy.
I read that the owners of the big flashy massage parlor
in Bangkok have been sent to jail for peddling prostitution. Are they
kidding? If some randy old blokes want to indulge, surely it is better in an
upmarket surroundings than a grubby suburban back street knocking shop?
Yes you have got yourself confused, Petal. They got
put away for promoting under-age prostitution, and that was under 15 years
old, not for the “shop” itself. The idea of a “happy ending” is something
between the masseuse and the client and is between two consenting adults,
and as far as I know does not break the law, but then I’ve never been in
Victoria’s Secret Massage, so it can remain “secret”.
I read with interest an article in headed “Good Old
Days”. It contained an extract from a home economics textbook printed in the
60’s “The Good Wife Guide”. I was hoping that you could have the text
translated into Thai and reprinting it in a future Pattaya Mail. My motives
are entirely honorable. I merely intend to have the Thai transcript of the
guide enlarged into poster size and hung up on my wall so that my Thai wife
can read it every time she forgets the reason she was put on this planet.
Thanks Hillary. An instruction manual for the after dinner entertainment
might be useful as well. There’s more to it than a muffled moan during
PS. I think the Thai poster version would sell like hot
Dear Honorable Neil,
A real MCP (left over from the 70’s) otherwise known
as a Male Chauvinist Pig! Neil, my precious Petal, you don’t honestly think
Hillary is going to support this cause, do you? I will ignore the reference
to “my boss” as Hillary is a self-determining lady of uncertain years, and
as such, doesn’t have a “boss”. But really, do you expect your Thai wife to
spend the finale for the day planning your evening needs? Come on, Neil.
However, if your wife is not giving a “small moan ... to indicate enjoyment”
during the act of “congress” then perhaps it’s your technique that is
lacking. Perhaps an instruction book in English, rather than your poster in
Thai might be a better plan.
I am sure that you must make up some of the letters in
your column because surely people are not that silly. What I want to know is
just how do you dream up the subject matter? Do you study other agony aunt
columns or what? Do you get your inspiration from real life? Tell me and I
promise not to tell a single solitary soul.
Are you suggesting Hillary makes up this drivel?
Sorry, Poppet, Hillary couldn’t possibly make up letters as silly as yours.
So you think people aren’t that silly - well think again - you are one of
them, my little turtle dove. Don’t take this too hard, but when you have
passed puberty you must write to me again.
Update September 1, 2018 - September 7, 2018
My Thai GF talks all the time. I can hardly
get a word in edgeways. She is always going on about what would I do if a) b) or
c) were to happen. When I’m in the car I can never get her to stop, even when I
say I’m busy in the traffic. Do all Thai women yak yak so much?
I’m sorry I can’t really reply to your
email because I’m talking to the girl next door… Come on my Petal, you know what
Thai women are like. Tell her you’ll give her 500 baht if she stops talking for
5 minutes. Or go into another room, and tell her why. That is the easiest
question I’ve had to answer all week.
Money again. She’s a great girl and I like
her a lot and she says she would be happy to come and live with me. I almost
said “Let’s go.” But she followed that up with, “How much you going to give me?”
Do they all expect to be paid? I mean I would be supplying everything – home,
food and suchlike. She has a good job in an office so wouldn’t need to pay out
for a living and eating. And then wants an allowance on top. Is this usual in
Have you ever heard of a Mia Chow? That
translates into a “rented wife”. She is just using you as a free meal ticket no
doubt ‘till someone with more money turns up. Not to be confused with a “Mia
Noi” who is a rented girlfriend (but you pay the rent anyway)! You get nothing
for nothing in Pattaya.
This query comes from a farang thinking
about buying a house and land up country. I know it’s supposed to be impossible,
but my lawyer says it can be done through a company. My GF could hold the
majority of the Thai shares and if I have 49 percent then between us we can have
the majority. My GF suggested that this is how to get around the 49/51 split. I
am looking at a place up-country in the GF’s village, and she says that her
parents know the lawyer and the local authorities and it will all go smoothly.
Does all this sound OK to you, Hillary?
On one side is the newbie and on the
other are the GF, the GF’s parents, the GF’s village and the lawyer and local
authorities. You are running head first into a trap my Petal. Your 49 percent is
nowhere near worthwhile against the other side which is stacked against you. Buy
some running shoes, of which you can own 100 percent, and get out of there now.
Money problems seem to be the story this
week. A Skandi loses 787 million on BitCoin. How much money do you have rolling
around without a home piggy bank to put it in? Relax, I can help you and lighten
the load. Those thousand baht notes can get quite heavy. Especially when there’s
a few hundred thousand up for grabs. A few hundred thousands has more buying
power than the warm feelings that “love” will bring you. You want some wise
words on how to live in Pattaya? No problem, just stay indoors, don’t answer the
door bell, don’t drive your car (if the police don’t get you, then the
motorcycles will) and don’t walk on the footpaths during the day, and finally
don’t walk on the footpaths at night. Other than those small restrictions,
Pattaya is still the freewheeling city it always was.
That’s not Soros is it? Sorry, my Petal,
I don’t understand BitCoin or Block Chains or this strange thing called
‘Cryptocurrency’. I just wish I could find these hundreds of thousands of Thai
Baht to stuff in the piggy bank, but being an Agony Aunt isn’t a money tree. Not
even a sapling.
I hear that one of your readers wants to
apply the British Standard (BS) Duck Test to all women. “If a bird looks like a
duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” He
must have really lost a lot to be so bitter. All women are not the same. Thai
women are not the same as western ones and bar girls are a different species
altogether. He should stop feeling sorry for himself and get out and enjoy the
company of the ladies in the bars. That’s what they’re there for. You don’t have
to buy the entire library when you want to read a book.
Despite the 50 percent divorce rate in
many countries all women are very obviously not the same. I’m not like that for
one. I agree that if you want a ‘good time’, the good time girls are there to
give it to you. It should also be understood that a beer bar is not a marriage
agency. I have said in this column many times that you don’t go into a hardware
shop if you are looking for a piece of cheese.