Heart to Heart
not all bad
You get so many letters written by guys complaining about their Thai
wives/girlfriends, that I wonder why these men come here in the first
place. Why do they think that things are different here compared to
their own home countries. A relationship has to have some foundation,
not just one night after several bottles of beer. No wonder these people
have problems, the relationship is built on a financial foundation, and
if there’s a hiccup one day, it all turns to dross and complaints about
being ripped off. They probably deserve all they get, but surely they
would start to learn something?
Will the Watcher
Dear Will the Watcher,
You are perfectly correct, Petal. Any relationship which has a chance of
surviving must be built on a strong foundation, and it is very rare that
“You pay bar for me,” is the way to start a firm relationship. A
relationship, certainly, but not one built on mutual respect. Mutual
distrust is more like it.
You say, “Surely they would start to learn something,” but you are
missing a point here - they do learn and move on, but along comes a new
batch of bachelors ready for the plucking, and the ladies of the beer
bars are ready and waiting. Then this new lot write to me, complaining
about being used, ripped off, etc. Same old, same old, you know what I
How much do you pay a ‘guide’?
I am after some advice. I am here for two weeks next month and since I
have been here before, I know the bar ropes (I think). I will be going
to Koh Samet for at least a week and will take a young lady with me as a
guide. What I need to know is how much should I pay for the service? I
don’t want to look mean and stingy, but I want to use my holiday money
wisely. What is your suggestion?
I think you are trying to pull my leg. You honestly think you are going
to contract a young girl from the bar and you call her “a guide”, and
you don’t know how much that will cost? If you are as knowing as you say
you are, then you would know that ‘guides’ are released from their place
of employment by paying a sum to the management. That management will
tell you exactly how much the rental for guides is this week. There will
also be a matter of private negotiation between you and your guide on
top. Have a great time in Koh Samet, and don’t get lost.
Lathered and then leathered?
I am a 71-year-old British expat who has recently been visiting
Thailand. I enjoy the life here so much that I am currently having a
house built here. I don’t have to worry about pensions losing their
value, as I have a private pension, which easily covers my simple needs.
I have taken up with a 22-year-old bargirl. I now enjoy wonderful soapy
massages, but I think she is into leather and bondage because when she
saw my wallet she wanted to get tied to it. I am wondering what do you
think are the chances of a long term relationship?
Did you know that you are a little self-centered, my Petal? Every
sentence starts with “I” and everything else is secondary. You do sound
like quite a catch for you little friend. 71 years old, plenty of money
and only too ready to flash it around. How long will this sudsy
relationship last? Depends on how long you keep your wallet filled,
Mark. You could also try keeping your money in a sock, rather than a
leather wallet if you think leather’s the attraction.
Thailand on B. 250 a day
Can you help me with accommodation at Xmas? I want to keep enough money
so that I can go trekking and I ride an elephant. I only want to spend
about five quid a day for a place, is this possible? I know it’s
probably a funny question, but I’m serious.
Dear Trekker Thomas,
Don’t worry, my little impecunious one, I have had sillier questions
than yours. Not often, but I have had some. When I first read your
letter, I thought you were asking to come and stay with me, and I was
about to suggest that if you brought enough bottles of bubbly, I might
just be able to help you. Then I read the “five quid” line. By “five
quid” I presume you are from the UK and this is about 250 baht in Thai
money, so you would not have much left over for champers, I fear. Having
said that, I must also point out that Hillary is not a travel agency, or
an elephant mahout. Yes, you will get accommodation for that amount.
Reasonable, basic, clean, but no air-conditioning, which you will
probably need, coming from the UK, not known for its blistering
temperatures in December.
I’m getting close to getting married to my little girl, but I’m just a
wee bit confused about the amount of money I’m supposed to give the
outlaws. I’ve asked around my mates and I get all sorts of answers, none
of which make much sense. The amounts range between 100,000 (which I can
afford) and one million (which I can’t afford). What is reasonable, Ms
You have not given me enough details Con, my Petal. If your “little
girl” has no children and never been married before, and comes from a
well-off family, the amount of the dowry is quite different from an
older lady with two children and two previous husbands from Isaan.
Village families will expect a dowry, but usually this is returned to
the couple (less a few baht for Lao Khao, roasted chickens, a couple of
pigs on the spit and several bottles of JW Red). City families are
generally not so traditional. So you are probably none the wiser. I
suggest you ask your intended bride. You should be able to discuss
everything with her before you get married, including your marital
history and what you have in the bank! If you are getting “close to
getting married” as you say, clear all these points up first, before you
make a very big mistake.
Have you been clubbing recently? Some of the new clubs are spectacular
and the lighting/sound systems are terrific. The girls that go clubbing
also look terrific, but they don’t want to mix with us. A couple of the
guys and myself have been to clubs in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, but come
away empty-handed every time. The Thai women seem more interested in
each other than they are with getting to know foreigners. Is this the
Jack and the lads
Dear Jack and the lads,
You didn’t do your homework first, did you now. While the clubbing scene
is all laser lights and thumping beat music and attracts girls like
bears to honey, clubbing is expensive. The girls that go clubbing are
well off, and are not there to be picked up, they are there to be seen.
One night stands are well catered for at the other end of the market,
which is where you should be looking, Petal.
I work in an office as a teacher but I am going nuts about one of the
women in the office who is screaming and yelling and giggling all day,
every day. There’s just one of me and seven of the Thai women. On their
own they are nice people, but all in one room, it is bedlam, and it is
this one girl that starts it all off, and keeps it going. I have thought
about having a word with her, but now I’ve found out that she is the
owner’s daughter. So where do I go from here, Hillary? Any sensible
Your problem is very easy to fix. Where do you go? Straight down the
road to the employment agency. You cannot change a group of Thai women
from chatting and laughing together. That is how we relate to each
other, Petal. And when one of them is the boss’ daughter, how far do you
think you will go? Push too much and you are the one who will be pushed
- out the door. No, maintain your dignity, and look for alternative
employment, and don’t forget that you will need a new work permit when
you do change jobs.
I need your advice urgently, Hillary my Petal! I know I should have
known better, after all I am not new to this country, but there I was at
my usual bar and met this vision of loveliness. She spoke very little
English but seems like a very genuine person and we got along just fine.
She comes from Udon Thani, but that’s about all I managed to find out
about her after about four hours and several “lady drinks”. The biggest
problem was only that she doesn’t speak much English, but we got by OK.
By the end of the night I was pretty drunk and I ended up lending her
5000 baht, which she was going to return three days later. It’s now a
week later and I haven’t heard from her. What should I do? Should I go
back to the bar and ask for my money? Should I keep going, or should I
give up now before I get in too deep?
You’ve got the telescope to the blind eye. Haven’t you! After four hours
of lady drinks you give this “vision of loveliness” 5,000 baht. How were
you communicating with your vision? It wasn’t English, according to you,
so I presume it must have been in Braille. That is 5,000 baht you will
never see again. But look at it this way - there is a very grateful
buffalo up there in Udon Thani thinking about you. And by the way, I am
not your Petal, Petal!