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Heart to Heart with Hillary


Dear Hillary,
I can’t stop myself trying to hit on middle-aged women.  I reckon that they should be getting pretty frustrated by the time they’re in their 40’s, and with so many young beauties about the place they should be pretty pleased to get some attention from a young good looking man like me.  Do you think this is a project that can work?  I don’t want to get a knock-back, so need to be pretty sure of the next step.  What do you reckon, Hillary?

Dear Jeff,
I love to read self-opinionated letters from young studs like you, who are so full of themselves, there’s nothing left for anybody else.  I wouldn’t go on with this “project”, Petal.  I think the first middle-aged lady you might try and “hit on” will slap your face and send you packing.  Not just a knock-back, but a slap-down as well.  Time you grew up young Jeff, and stick to ladies your own age (as long as they are more than 18 years old).

Dear Hillary,
I’ve been here for about 10 years already and it beats me how all these blokes get themselves into so much trouble with the local girls, and end up writing in to you for advice (but you can’t help these people).  Surely they know that their most important feeture (sic) lies in their trousers, and it’s not in the crutch, but in the pockets.  Don’t they know it after all this time?  Who would go out with these sad sacks if they weren’t being paid?  Somebody called them the “living dead” and I reckon that’s about the best they would be.  The local girls will soon finnish (sic) them off, or at least their bank accounts.
Pool table Pete

Dear Pool table Pete,
You sound like you’re speaking from experience.  Been ripped off too?  But aren’t you the high and mighty one now?  So what if these “living dead” as you and your friends call them are getting a little fun and excitement in their lives, even if it is towards the end.  At last count there were no pockets in shrouds, so they can’t take it with them.  Why not have a little fun, even if they are paying for it?  In their own countries, they can’t even pay for some fun, as all the moralists come down on such an idea.  When you look at it all, without putting some sort of judgment on it, it is a win-win situation all round.  He gets looked after, while she gets money to send home to mother who will be looking after the baby left to her by the boyfriend who ran away as soon as he knew she was pregnant.  It may not be the ideal situation, Pete, but we live in an imperfect world.  Just like your spelling.  Learn to live and let live, Petal.

Dear Hillary,
My car was involved in an accident while it was parked at the side of the road with nobody in it.  A large 4WD just clipped the front mudguard and bumper bar on my car.  Not much damage (probably about 4,000 baht and that’s all), but his insurance company made such a palaver, requiring copies of passports, blue book, driver’s license, etc.  The other driver admitted that it was his fault and we had to stand around for two hours with all the nonsense.  Surely there is a better way to fix this when there is only one driver involved?  I wasn’t even near the car, for Pete’s sake!  Is it always like this in Thailand?

Dear Henry,
You have my sympathies, Petal.  Thais that work for insurance companies are very good at form filling, as you have found out.  They also follow a proscribed flow sheet in times like this, and every line must be filled in and every t must be crossed and every i dotted.  Failure to complete any step means you go back to square one.  This is why you should employ the services of an agent who can take you through the minefield while you spend some happy hours at a bar of your choosing.  I have mentioned before that you should have an insurance broker to do all this for you.  Next time try a safe place to park.  The side of the road is just too dangerous round here!

Dear Hillary,
I have to laugh at all your letter writers, wondering if they have found THE ONE, when they should start looking at themselves to see if they would be THE ONE for any of the women around here.  I’m not talking about the girls from the bars, who are only there for one thing - money, while the blokes are also there for one thing - sex.  They’ll never find the right one there.  I’m talking about the ones you call “good girls”, and these blokes aren’t even looking in the right place, and I reckon no self respecting girl would want to be seen with some fat old bloke with a skinful of booze every night.  You try telling ‘em, Hillary, I’ve given up.  They’ve got no (expletive removed) idea.
Al the Advisor

Dear Al,
I understand where you’re coming from Petal, but if you want to be an advisor you’ve got to do more than throwing a bucket of manure over the people wanting advice.  Once the average chap understands what the bars are for, and what the girls who work in the bars are there for, then you’re about half way there to finding someone who might be THE ONE and obviously not from the bar scene.  The bars are for fun, not for evers.  You are correct when you say that the chaps looking for a partner have to present themselves in a good way as well.  No Thai lady is looking for the kind of farang you describe.  Finding THE ONE is difficult in any society, in any country, and is no different here.  Just keep on showing those who ask of you where they shouldn’t look, and you’ve done your bit, Al.

Dear Hillary,
We have been here for six months and I suppose we are considered very well off.  I have a problem though, and I don’t know if it is related to the fact that we have money.  I have an increasing attraction for our new young maid.  She is very beautiful and charming and appears to be interested in me too.  We have not spoken about this, but I will hold her hand when we are in the street and she does not pull away.  I know my husband would not approve of this so I have not said anything to him either.  Should I tell him?  Should I tell her?  I am unsure of what to do.
Billie Jean

Dear Billie Jean,
You are certainly new here, aren’t you, Petal.  Holding hands with another woman is perfectly normal and acceptable behavior here in Thailand.  It does not indicate a romantic relationship beyond a simple friendship, and certainly not the one you are implying.  What you should do is sit down and think about why you are looking to have any sort of an ‘affair’.  Has the relationship with your husband lost its sparkle?  Start holding his hand, instead of the maid’s.

Dear Hillary,
I used to be very friendly with a girl in a local café and often used to just pop in for a coffee and to say hello, as her English was not very good, though I thought I could probably teach her.  About three months ago she disappeared and the new waitress could not tell me where she had gone.  I bumped into her in the street the other day and I asked her where she had been.  Her English was so much better, that I decided to ask her out for dinner.  She told me she couldn’t go as she was working in a bar, but I could see her there.  I was just so disappointed.  How could a sweet young girl from a restaurant turn into yet another bar girl?  I still like her a lot.  Should I try to get her to leave?

Dear Wally,
In a word, No!  There’s an old saying - You can take a girl out of a bar but you can’t take the bar out of the girl!  If that’s what your sweet young thing wants to do, you have to accept it.  She has her reasons for working there, and they are probably financial.  You do not need to start a relationship based on financial need and your presumed ability to supply the cash to cover that need.  Beware, young Wally.  Beware!

Dear Hillary,
I am a 61 year old expat who has recently been visiting Thailand.  I am currently having a house built in Pattaya.  I have taken up with a 21 year old bargirl.  I think she is into leather and bondage because when she saw my wallet she wanted to get tied to it.  What do you think are the chances of a long term relationship?
Mark. D. Sade

Dear Mark,
How long?  Depends on how long you keep your wallet filled, Petal.  You could also try keeping your money in a sock, rather than a leather wallet if you think leather’s the attraction.

Dear Hillary,
One of the chaps at work I look on as a friend, as he’s from the UK like me.  We used to laugh and joke together and we could slap each other on the shoulder, but that’s as physical as it got.  Last week he suggested we “go somewhere” at lunchtime, so I thought he meant to local food stall or something like that.  Comes Tuesday and he says “OK, lets go somewhere this lunchtime.”  I pressed him for where and he told me he wanted us to go to a short-time hotel!  I didn’t know what to say and said that it wasn’t a good time and I had too much work to do.  Since then he asks every day when are we going, and I am getting confused as what to do next.  I don’t know why he thinks I want an M-M experience, I’m not that way inclined.  I don’t want to give up the job, as I like working there (or I used to).  Can I just tell him that I’m not interested, or will that make him angry?  He is in charge of my section.  Is he strange or something?
Worried (I don’t want to give my real name if you don’t mind),

Dear Worried,
That’s fine about your real name, I don’t need to know your name anyway.  Your supervisor has obviously taken your slaps on the shoulder as a physical ‘come-on’, which you have innocently done in return for his physical gestures.  All you can do is to say to him that it’s not your scene, and leave it at that.  You don’t have to make up excuses, as if you do, he’ll try and counter them.  There’s all kinds of different people in this world, so don’t imagine that he’s strange - he’s just different from you.

Dear Hillary,
My Thai GF and I get on just fine.  We’ve known each other for 18 months, and every time I come over which is usually a couple of times a year, it is just great.  She is starting to make marriage noises and takes me round to all her GFs who’ve got foreign husbands, to show me that it can work, I’m sure.  The thing that worries me most is this dowry thing.  I don’t have much money (I use most of my salary traveling backwards and forwards to Thailand) and even though I’m happy enough for us to get married, I don’t want this to mean I get hit with a big bill.  Is this still a big deal in Thailand?  I keep on wanting to ask some of the foreign husbands if they have paid it, but I don’t want to look stupid in front of them.

Dear Bill,
I don’t think you’ve thought this through, my Petal.  If you get married, where are you going to live?  There or here?  I read your letter as one situation where you continue to commute between here and your home town, but instead of her being a GF, she gets upgraded to “wife”.  Personally, Bill, I don’t think you are ready for a true commitment right now, and I suggest you just keep the status quo.  If she is happy to be your GF a couple of times a year, then fine, but if she wants something more permanent, you may have to let her go.  However, if you do go ahead with your plans (or her plans I think), you should sit down and discuss your finances with your GF, so that she doesn’t get a rude shock either.  She will soon tell you how much would be expected as a dowry, but remember every case is different.  A divorced woman with two children would not expect a dowry, but a young woman with a university degree and no children would be very different.

Dear Hillary,
This week I visited my favorite chrome pole palace and my eyes almost popped out.  She was not your average dancer, she was in a class of her own, making the stage come alive as she moved, bumped and swayed through her bracket of songs.  I know nothing of her background but her foreground was mind boggling.  She has movie star looks with flawless skin, and a tall, lithe curvy body.  I bought her a drink and learned that she has never married, has no kids, and her parents are healthy and wealthy and don’t own a water buffalo.  She doesn’t smoke, drink or eat fried bugs and is not motivated by money.  Her only wish is to meet somebody who will be kind enough to teach her English so that she can read and study her set of Encyclopedia Britannica, and she’s chosen me.

Dear Jimbo,
Or is that Jumbo?  Or even more like it “Dumbo”.  You should stop smoking those cigarettes made from funny tomato plants.  Not only is it against the law, but it gives people delusions.  Come on now, English teachers do not go to chrome pole palaces to run English classes, even if the said go-go dancer is standing on the complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica.  In the meantime, I have spoken to your doctor and he says to double the tablets immediately.