Heart to Heart
Hasn’t it been cold recently. Thought I was back in TX for a while there.
Anyway I’ve got myself a great little bed warmer, but here’s the problem - I
am going back Stateside in February next year, and much as I’d like to have
her along, I know that bed warmer wouldn’t get a visa from the folks at
Uncle Sam’s place here in Bangkok. I will be back later in the year,
probably around July/August, so what should I do with bed warmer in between
times? I have my own condo here, all paid for and the like, but should I
let her stay there? I hear all these dreadful stories about the girl
renting out the apartment and keeping the money, or having parties every
night with her Isaan friends and stinking the place out with the herbs they
all eat. Or should I just call it quits and lock the place up?
You are obviously not totally committed to your bed warmer, and since the
weather will be warmer in February, the need for such close company will not
be so strong either. So to answer your questions - since the relationship
is not a deep one, you will be better off closing the condo (and changing
the lock, Petal), and it will all be there when you come back. But please
let bed warmer know that she has been replaced by an electric blanket!
Lots of long faces everywhere, but not mine. I think many people talk
themselves into feeling down, but I read you every week and I always get a
smile, reading about how these guys end up in the same sort of trouble every
week. How do you keep a straight face some days, Hillary? Have a great
Christmas and New Year. I’m stuck in the US this year, but I’ll be over
later in 2012 and I’ll bring some bubbles and bon-bons with me. All the
Thank you, my Petal, for being a regular reader, and I shall await the
promised bubbles and baubles. As you say, there are plenty of long faces
around, especially with the downturn from the floods, but by staying
positive you have a much greater chance of finding the way through the
financial mess. By the way, don’t worry about chilling the wine, the fridge
in my office works well, but keep the bon-bons in a cool place!
My wife and I have been together for 10 years now, and it has slipped into a
fairly boring relationship. I look around and I see great looking ladies
everywhere, with many of them making it very obvious they would be happy to
be my “Mia Noy”. Somebody new would certainly put some excitement back in
my life. How do I break the news to my wife that I want a minor wife? I
know lots of men with minor wives, but I don’t want to ask them whether the
number 1 wife knows about it.
A swashbuckling adventurer are you? Believe in living dangerously do we, my
Petal? You are looking at some options which are strewn with physical
problems, which are all in store for you. Have you heard the saying “cut it
off and feed it to the ducks”? Well that was the old method of rewards for
men who kept minor wives and that was when households kept ducks. Now it is
much more of a problem for the men who stray, with the food blenders that
every household has these days substituting for the ducks. Pureed penis
doesn’t bear thinking about, does it. So there you have it Petal, you can
take the risk (as you say there are plenty of ladies looking for a sponsor),
or you can buckle down and work out how to put some sparkle back into the
relationship. Up to you!
A few weeks ago a guy wrote asking whether you thought his letters to his
Thai girlfriend had got through as he had gotten no reply. This is a real
problem, as I have had letters go missing many times when I have posted them
from overseas to my girlfriend in Chiang Mai. It is not only Chiang Mai, as
letters I have sent to girls in Bangkok, Pattaya, Korat, Khon Kaen and
Phuket have also gone missing. It is very worrying when you don’t get
Are you really serious, or are you trying to impress me with how many Thai
girlfriends you have? The answer to all your problems is called the email
system. You can write away to your heart’s content and be happy in the
knowledge that all the Nois, Aoys and Toys will get your undying love -
though you will obviously have to do yours with a CC to Bangkok, Chiang Mai,
Korat, Khon Kaen, Phuket, etc, because I am sure you are far too busy to
write separate emails! Only problem is getting the A drive to accept the
$100 banknotes that will be asked for!
Against all the advice of people I used to call friends, I am going to marry
a sweet little doll, who used to work in a beer bar. She was only there for
a couple of years and doesn’t work there any more and hasn’t for about six
months. I want to marry this woman, but because of her past life, do you
think I should get a check-up before we tie the knot?
You’re having me on, aren’t you my Petal. Do I think you should have a
check-up? Yes Jim, and start off with a psychiatric evaluation first. Do I
think she should have a check-up? Yes Jim, and a few blood tests would be
in order too. I suppose you want to have children as well, so in that case
that’s more testing, and for both of you. I hope you make it, Jim. But I
wouldn’t want to wager much money on it.
There’s signs all over the place about motorcycle riders should wear helmets
and every so often (towards the end of the month when police salaries are
running low) there’s a blitz on them. Yet the riders continue to disobey
the rules. Forget about the fact that they’re risking severe injuries and
even death, how come they don’t get the message and just wear the damn
Everything you have said is quite true, but there are a couple of reasons
why this situation arises. Firstly, Thailand is very hot and helmets are
hot to wear, so the best place for the helmet is in the wire basket up
front. Secondly, wearing a helmet messes up the rider’s hair, and Thai
women wish to remain glamorous at all times. Thirdly, there’s always risks
in life, and the chance that the friendly boys in brown are around the
corner is just one the risks that Thai people are prepared to take. Just
like riding up one-way streets the wrong way. Or riding under the influence
of several liters of beer at Songkran. Or, or, or … the list is endless.
While still on helmets, many of them are so flimsy they are quite useless,
and the better ones don’t get done up. It’s a long hard road to sense, Leo.
I know this is supposed to be a column for all those guys with broken
hearts, and there’s plenty of them around, but I was wondering if you could
tell me where I can find a good stationary shop? I don’t like blue biro’s,
and have used a nib pen with black ink almost all my life, but for the life
of me I cannot seem to find black ink and refillable nib pens, other than
the dreadfully expensive ones like Mont Blanc and Cross and suchlike. Do
you know Hillary?
Goodness me, you are one for the old-fashioned ways. I didn’t know anyone
still used ink pens! However, I am told that B2B (in Central Festival) does
have ink refills. There may be others, but I find that between the
computer, text messages and the phone I don’t need to write on compressed
trees any more.
I never thought I would have this problem, but I’ve certainly got it now. I
have met absolutely the best girl for me. She is really super and works in
an office near mine, in the same building in fact, so I see her here every
day. I’m not the sort to rush in, I have done the homework and she’s not
married or attached or anything like that, but here’s the problem. The
girls in my office who have done the detective work tell me that she doesn’t
speak English. In fact, it seems she has no English at all. I really want
to get close to this woman, but I haven’t got enough Thai to be able to chat
her up or anything. What’s my next step, Hillary
Tongue Tied Ted
Dear Tongue Tied Ted,
What a dilemma! After hours of surveillance, and some none too subtle
investigations, here you are, hormones raging at the thought of this nice
young woman and you don’t know how to pop the question. Or any question,
for that matter. You have just discovered a simple and inescapable fact, my
tongue tied Petal. The country this woman lives and works in is called
Thailand. That’s not “tongue tie”-land, either. This is her country, and
the language she speaks gets her everywhere, and everything. There is a
lesson for you here. If you want to have a relationship with this Thai
lady, then go and learn some basic Thai. Then go and try it out on her. If
she thinks you are a nice chap, she will even help you with the
pronunciations. However, if she doesn’t respond, then you have to accept
the fact that you didn’t make her hormones explode, the way she made yours.
Best of luck with the language course, and better make it soon.
My Thai GF is a great gal in every way, but in general knowledge she is
really behind. Ask her the capital of Spain and she has no idea. Only by
digging, did I find she doesn’t know where Spain is either. In fact just
about every country holds no interest for her. Good movies don’t interest
her either, only those soppy Thai soap operas, or the supposed ‘quiz’ shows
complete with bangs, buzzes and whistles and the compulsory katoey and a
dwarf. How can I get her general knowledge improved? I don’t want her to
meet my parents like this and show off her amazing lack of interest in
anything other than spending money (mine) and eating.
I want you to go back in time to when you first met your GF. What was the
attraction? If it was just sex, then you did not think very far, did you,
my Petal. Sex is for sale all over the world, and certainly is not the
basis for a long and happy marriage. Your GF sounds like she is not an
educated lady, and would come from a family that also did not have the
advantages an education can give. You will not pack several years of school
into a couple of months, and if you insist she will go her own way, after
she finds another male with a bulging wallet. I’m sorry to say you have put
your money on a losing horse, Jack. If you want someone to discuss the
Eurozone, look elsewhere.
I met a girl who I thought was particularly attractive, and she was
attracted to me. I bought her out of the bar for two weeks while we toured
Thailand in my holidays. We kept in touch until my next holidays and she
was waiting for me at the airport. I had three weeks this time, but when I
went to buy her out she said she could only go with me for two weeks. I
thought this was rather strange, but she said she had a previous
appointment. Imagine just how I felt when I found out the “previous
appointment” turned out to be some chap from Germany. It still hurts me,
Hillary, as I really thought she meant what she said to me when we were
together, and how she wanted to be with me and go back to the UK with me.
Are they all like this?
How old are you, Petal? Didn’t you know that your wonderful companion for
two weeks was just doing a job? Imagine how the chap from Germany might
feel if he found out she has jumped out of your bed and into his? Girls
from the bars are called “Mia chow” (rented ‘wives’) and they will be with
you and be lots of fun during your ‘rental’ period. After that they go to
the next rental customer. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with this, but you
should be aware of the real situation before getting into the rental
contract. Are they all like this? Just most of them who come from the
bars. Entertaining customers and keeping them happy is their job - a job
that they do very well. But it is a job, Petal. Look elsewhere, or accept
I have a great ‘give and take’ relationship with my wife’s Thai family doing
all the taking, while I do all the giving. The association has been
mutually beneficial though, with me enjoying her company and the
attentiveness for which Thai women are so famous. However, that famous Thai
attentiveness comes at a price. You get nothing for nothing and men all
over the world forget this. Your readers think they deserve a free ride in
life, but nothing in life is free. I made my bed and now lie in it quite
happily, and meet the dues that the society I have chosen to live in
I don’t quite understand your letter, Petal. You start off sounding as if
you are hot under the collar, and not happy. But then half way through you
change your tack and say everything is fine. I agree that the western and
Asian societies are different in many ways, and I also agree that you must
fit in with the local customs - as you certainly won’t change the family’s
attitude while you live in Thailand.
Last night in the bar I met the most beautiful girl. I have never seen
anyone as gorgeous as this girl, she is tall even taller than me with long
black hair and a super figure. She can speak English but whispers in my ear
rather than talking out loud. Do you think she may have something wrong
with her throat. Could laryngitis be a symptom of some other disease? How
do I check?
Before rushing to the Ear, Nose and Throat department, I think you should
check with the Gender Reassignment department. Stick to girls smaller than
yourself. It is much safer.
Are the people round this neck of the woods getting even more stupid than
before? Mid-sixty year old Australian executive meets the girl of his dreams
in a Pattaya bar and sets up house with her, in spite of counseling by his
friends over here. He goes back to sell his house, divorce his wife of 40
years and bring countless millions of baht back to Thailand. However,
Australian wife says “No way, Jose” and by the time the divorce lawyers have
finished with him he has nothing left, and so brings next to nothing to
Thailand, but at least his sweetheart is waiting in the house he bought for
her before he left. Only problem is that she has gone up country, after
selling the house, which was in her name, naturally. So now he has nothing
in either country, no wife in either country, and at his age no good job
prospects either. And that guy was an executive in the banking business!
What can you do with people like that, Hillary?
Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do in these circumstances. As you
say, all his friends counseled him, but to no avail, he just went ahead and
did it, going straight down the road to ruin. Probably the only plus in this
situation, is that he wasn’t dealing with your money.
When are you going to collect all your writings into a book? I reckon it
would have to be a great hit. I have mates overseas who read you every week,
just for the laugh at the poor sods who write in. I’ll buy the first copy.
Dear Reg the Reader,
It is always nice to know that the readers enjoy the column, especially
people like Big D from the USA who sends champagne and chocolates with his
letters. (Thanks again Big D!) We have discussed putting some of the best
letters together, but it is a lot of work, Reg my Petal. Maybe it will be
something for me to do when I retire. I’ll let you know and autograph that
first copy just for you. Of course the first copy will be more expensive
than the others, so in true fashion for these parts, there will be around
1,000 first copies, just like the third 50 percent share of many bars that
is sold so often! By the way, I would rather your friends laugh at my
answers, rather than at the readers’ problems.
One of my workmates is getting sillier and sillier in his old age (62). Goes
out, gets a skinful and starts giving away his money to the nearest bar
girl. They of course won’t accept the money because he is drunk, and if you
believe that you’ll believe anything! The money is gone in a flash, as does
the girl. Next night he’ll do it all again, and it’s no small bikkies
either. He generally has around 5,000 baht in his wallet, and away it goes.
I have to end up paying his check bin as he doesn’t have any more money
left. What should I do? Leave him there, or what?
You can’t really just leave him there, even though you might feel like it.
What you have to do is just not go out with him on these drinking sessions.
You must know which bars he frequents, so don’t go there. What he does on
his own is his responsibility, just don’t be there to end up having to pay
for his stupidity. Of course, if he has so much money he doesn’t miss the
odd 5,000 baht, tell him to pop into the Mail offices and leave the money in
a plain brown envelope, with “For Hillary Only” on the outside.
I am a 14 year old boy at one of the schools and I am not sure if I have a
problem. Every moning (sic) I have been waking up with a kinda stiffness
down below and since I cut my foot a week ago and did not go to hospittal
(sic) I am afraid this could be tetnus (sic). How can I tell? I begun to ask
one of the boys in my class but he laughed at me so I didn’t tell him about
the whole story about the tetnus (sic) problem. What should I do? Is it
Dear Worried Willy,
You certainly do have a problem, but that stiffness you are describing does
not sound like tetanus to me, my Petal. I think you should have a chat to
your father about this, or an elder brother if you have one. Just be aware
that this is a normal part of growing up, like your voice going deeper and
is just caused by natural hormonal changes. You’ll be looking for it later I
can assure you! Meanwhile take a cold shower in the mornings and you will be
able to fit into your school shorts. I would also suggest you stay back for
extra English classes. Your spelling is abysmal (look it up, darling)!
That’s your biggest problem.
This is Dickie Knee again. I live in Chonburi and I cannot beleave (sic)
the amount of garbage around. Their (sic) is a brand new market and
bars and shops and food carts who poor (sic) their cooking oils down
the drain and over the new pavement. Your own intelligence would tell you,
you don’t do that. And garbage bags with the smell of maggots in them. “Is
it no brain, no pain?” It would not hurt the gov (sic) to put
garbage bins on power polls (sic) to try and keep the place clean.
And they wonder why drains flood over if a dog cocks his leg. It is anought
(sic) to flood the place. Employ rangers to give out fines. A
tourist place it is not.
Yours Sincurley (sic),
Thailand is not known for community cleanliness, Petal, but there are worse
places than your new market, and they are in certain towns in England. I
also think it is wrong of you to insult the Thai people, suggesting they
have no brain. The stall holders and food carts are only doing what they
have always done. I do not agree with suggestions that the City Hall should
employ rangers to hand out fines. The reason many British people come out
here is to get away from ‘rangers’ handing out fines for anything and
everything. And Dickie, your spelling is atrocious! But if English is not
your native language, that wasn’t a bad try, I suppose.
Have you nothing better to do with your time than answering idiots who write
in (email in?) with their ridiculous problems, all caused by themselves
being so stupid that they can’t see they are being led around the garden by
the carrot by some slip of a girl a third of their age but five times as
savvy. It never ceases to amaze me just how stupid some of these western
men really are.
The first letter this week accuses the Thais of being stupid, and now you,
the second letter this week accuses the western males of being stupid.
Which one should I believe? But at least you can spell, Petal. That’s a
plus in anybody’s language. Honestly, Charles, it doesn’t really matter too
much. Some people will continue to get into trouble, whilst others do
cotton on (after a while). Until then, just remain light-hearted and enjoy
One of my best friends here has fallen for a real hussy from a beer bar who
is now milking him for everything. Unfortunately he is also married and his
wife has just got to hear about it. She is Thai and they have been together
for six years. She is now saying she is going to kill him and then kill
her. How serious do you think the threat really is? Should he just race
back to America and forget all about Thailand? Or should he stay here and
try to work out something with these two women? They know of each other but
they’ve never met. I’d like to help him, but he did get himself into this
You are correct when you say he got himself into this mess, and it would be
very tempting to just leave him alone and see what happens. I don’t think
his wife would follow through with her threats, but it has happened before,
so he should be very careful. And so should you. He can get out of this
situation, but like everything in Thailand, there is a financial aspect to
it. Help him buy off number two while he regains the affection of number
one. But go carefully, Harry. Go carefully.
You have often mentioned books that newcomers to Thailand should read like
Stephen Leather’s Private Dancer, and now you should add “Falangs in
Thailand” to that list. This cartoon book by Mike Baird the Pattaya Mail
cartoonist is based on truth and everyone who laughs at the drawings should
also remember that (it is based on truth). The cartoonist must have spent a
lot of time watching what goes on in Pattaya, but what he shows can be seen
in Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai, anywhere there is interaction between
Thai women (and some katoeys) and the lonely male. “Private Dancer” by
Stephen Leather is the other one that anyone who spends time in the bars
should read. Stay there long enough and it will happen to you, so be
warned. I hope this helps, Hillary. I enjoy your column.
Thank you for the information about suitable books, and I have looked at
both and do agree with your ideas. Unfortunately, I think many young chaps
who come here (and some not so youngs as well) don’t seem to be able to
read. Perhaps the cartoon books will be better for them, as long as they
realize that Mike Baird is being very satirical. We can only hope, Petal.
We can only hope.
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