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Vol. X No.18 - December 1 - December 31, 2011

Around Town
Arts - Entertainment
Book Review
Animal Welfare
Birdwatching Tales
Care for Dogs
Community Happenings
Doctor's Consultation
Eating Out
Heart to Heart with Hillary
Let’s go to the movies
Life in Chiang Mai
Mail Bag
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Money Matters
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Travel & Tourism
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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern

Heart to Heart with Hillary


Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Harvey,
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  But please let bed warmer know that she has been replaced by an electric blanket!

Dear Hillary,
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 best.

Dear Chuck,
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!

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Jerry,
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!

Dear Hillary,
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 anything back.

Dear Sandy,
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!

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Jim,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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 things?

Dear Leo,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear George,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Jack,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Mark,
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 the situation.

Dear Hillary,
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 expects.

Dear Johnny,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Confused,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Flabbergasted,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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.
Regular Reader

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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Joe,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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 dangerus (sic)?
Worried William

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.

Dear Hillary,
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),

Dear Dickie,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Charles,
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 the fun!

Dear Hillary,
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 mess.

Dear Harry,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Carl,
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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