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Heart to Heart with Hillary


Dear Hillary,
I’m a pretty easy going bloke and quite happy in my domestic situation, with a good little Thai chick I’ve had for four years.  Does everything I want like the cooking (not that she’s not much good at it if it’s not the Isan stuff) and the cleaning and washing and the hand isn’t out too often, but once a month she gets together with her mates and they go out to one of the Thai karaoke places and get sizzled and roll back in at 3 in the morning.  They don’t seem to get up to any malarkey but I wonder at times.  Do you think I should put my foot down and say no?  It eats at me a bit.


Dear Jack,
There’s a couple of things I think you should keep in mind, Petal.  Her outings with the girls is only once a month.  If it were every week, that would be a different story.  You know who she is going out with, and I would imagine she has a mobile phone (if not two).  Talk it through with her and settle on a time for the night to finish and the fact that she has to remain sober if she’s driving home.  Shouldn’t be too difficult, but I have to say I don’t like your “chick I’ve had for four years.”  Sort of suggests “ownership” and you don’t “own” Thai women.  Take away the independence and you have a different picture altogether.  I think you should be dividing the chores a bit.  You have told me everything she does, but I don’t hear anything Jack does.  OK?  So don’t let it eat you, let a real partnership grow and everything will be better.

Dear Hillary,
You have often mentioned books that newcomers to Thailand should read and you should add “Falangs in Thailand” to that list.  This cartoon book by Mike Baird 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 is the same for Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai.  “Private Dancer” by Stephen Leather is another 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 Kevin,
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.

Dear Hillary,
When are you going to collect all your writings and put them 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 suckers who write in.  I’ll buy the first copy, if you’ll autograph it.
Book Worm

Dear Book Worm,
It is always nice to know that the readers enjoy the column.  I have discussed with the editor the idea of putting some of the best letters together, but it is a lot of work, my Book Worm Petal.  Maybe that will be something for me to do when I retire (if I don’t die first).  I’ll let you know and autograph that first copy just for you.  That’s a promise.  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 shares of many bars that are sold around here!  By the way, I would rather your friends laugh at my answers, rather than at the suckers (sorry, readers)!

Dear Hillary,
Please don’t think that all English people are as rude as the chap who signed himself “Ron Phuket Thailand” in last week’s column, and well done for pointing out his abysmal spelling and grammar.  Unfortunately, these self-satisfied people think they are always in the right, and for some reason think that since they came from overseas, this gives them the right to be rude to everyone not from their culture (not that Ron had much of that).  While you are playfully rude yourself at times, it is obvious to everyone (other than Ron) that this is a column for entertainment, not a psychologist’s public consulting room.  Keep up the good work Hillary.  We come from the UK ourselves and look forward to your words of wisdom every week, and thank our lucky stars we have avoided all the traps for young players.
Joyce and George 

Dear Joyce and George,
Thank you for springing to my defense.  It is good to know that not everyone who considers themselves cultured is as crass as Ron.  However, let me assure you that I did not cry myself to sleep after receiving Ron’s riposte.  I get used to letters such as his.  They are not every week, because the majority of readers of the Mail are fairly normal human beings.  Note I wrote “fairly” (just to cover myself and you)!  Thank you again for your inspirational letter, and I’ve forgotten about Ronnie Boy already.

Dear Hillary,
I read somewhere about a Thai wife receiving 100,000 THB each month as a “salary”, but she ended up blowing the lot on drugs and gambling and got caught.  Why do these absent husbands hand over such ridiculously large sums to these women?  100,000 THB is well above 90 percent of the salaries paid in this country, and that is for very responsible positions in big companies.  Of course money like that would go to her head.  He is just as guilty as she is, but only she will have to go to jail.  I don’t think the penalties are even-handed enough.

Dear Anna,
I’m sorry Anna, my Petal, but I really don’t agree with you.  Sure, the lady was caught and will spend time in jail, but the husband was not breaking the law, his wife was.  Some people will say that the salary he was giving her was excessive (like yourself), but he cannot be held accountable, or looked upon as an accessory to the crime.  How much he gives his wife each month depends upon many factors. As well as how much the husband is earning.  The only problem I have with the entire scenario is where are these men when I need them?  100,000 baht a month would do just fine, thank you.  And I promise not spend it all at the same casino.

Dear Hillary,
Why is there so much in your Agony Aunt column about love-sick, spurned and hopeless men?  Don’t they understand that all of life is a lottery and there’s only a few winning tickets.  When you don’t win this one then you line up again for the next lottery - after all there’s plenty of lotteries and plenty of tickets in this country!  I buy a new lottery ticket every week and I’m enjoying every one of those tickets and one will be a big winner one day.  I know I’m younger than most of your correspondents so I’m well aware that I am more of an attraction to the Thai women than they are, but you only live once, as they say!  These hopeless guys should just get off their asses and stop moaning and get on with life, but I suppose for most of them they are really past it, so all that’s left is to write whingeing letters to their Agony Aunt Hillary.  These guys should just accept the fact that the world belongs to the young.  Don’t you agree Hillary, or are you past it too?
Larry the Lottery player

Dear Larry,
Don’t you think you are just the cat’s pajamas, my Petal.  I am so glad you admitted that you are a youngster as it helps explain your arrogance.  We were all young once, and in the next few years it will just be a memory for you too.  Your cock-sure attitude will mature, as you mature.  Normal men have emotions, just as do normal women do.  That is why men write in with their emotional problems.  It’s a bit of a release for them.  That is what these sorts of columns are about, my precious Larry.  However, you do show me that you also are a loving person, Larry, unfortunately it is only for yourself.  Have you ever thought about changing your name to Narcissus?  I am sure you can’t walk past a mirror without checking your reflection either.  Ever heard the expression “You’ve got tickets on yourself”?  Well you certainly have, and it’s not all lottery tickets.  Your time is coming Larry the lottery lover.  Now please go outside and play with your toys.

Dear Hillary,
I plan to visit Pattaya in the near future.  A friend of mine has recommended Thailand and Thai women.  He said that I could learn something about the country by reading the Mail.  I must say that after reading your column and the Mail a couple of weeks, I am confused and somewhat scared.  What is the best way to prepare myself for meeting a nice woman?  Learning Thai?  Vaccination?  Start in another place than Pattaya?
Curious Viking

Dear Curious Viking,
I am delighted to hear from you, and if my column has made you just a little cautious, that is good.  Unfortunately many of your fellow oarsmen rush into battle here waving their short axes (though I am told some are quite large), and get brought undone by the fair Thai ladies (though some are quite dark)!

As far as meeting “nice” Thai ladies is concerned, a smattering of Thai language skills will delight the local ladies, but unfortunately there is no vaccine to stop young Vikings falling in love with something small and brown with long black hair.  You have been warned.

Now, to be sensible, if you are going to be here for a few weeks only, you will find many girls willing to be your (paid) guide - just don’t fall in love.  If you are contemplating a long stay and are looking for your life’s partner, that will take a very long time.  “Nice” Thai ladies are shy, extremely polite and live at home with their parents.  They are not to be found hanging from chrome poles in their underwear.

Enjoy your time here, Curious Viking, as I am sure you will.

Dear Mr Hillary,
Because I suspect you (sic) possibly an Aussie male.  Have you thought about taking a holiday back to your country of origin, possibly for at least ten years, I feel that you have been here for far to long and reading many of your responses in your letters, it’s begining (sic) to affect your judgement (sic) and like many Farangs that live here, you really are losing the plot old boy, Ive (sic) seen this condition many times here.  ive (sic) been living here off and on for twenty years, but as Kiplin (sic) said east is east, west is west never the twain shall be (sic), you may like to ponder a little on that one.  It’s a shame that your column does nt (sic) discuss some positive Topics on Thailand instead of all the falang Bar bull… stories that give the girls working hard in the bars to support their families a bad name it really is that simple something one day you may like to explain to your correspondents, as I say your (sic) probably an aussie (sic) and myself being English and very cultured you will  probably not catch my drift Old Boy.

Yours in the real world

Ron, Phuket Thailand

Dear Ron,
As you can see, I did not print your entire name, just in case I embarrassed you.  Despite the English culture that you are so proud of, you made 10 elementary mistakes, writing in your native tongue and all.  Thank you for wanting me to have a holiday, but I’m sorry, Australia is not my country of origin, though I have visited there, so you got it wrong (again).  However, I have also visited England a few times to brush up on my English.  And Italy and Fiji, if that helps.

By the way, if you wish to quote someone famous to back up your argument, no matter how thin and weak, the least you could do is to get the name correct.  It is Rudyard Kipling, and his ‘Ballad of East and West’ is the poem by Kipling that was first published in 1889.  Its first line is often quoted (as you attempted to), sometimes as an example of attitudes to ethnicity; but those who quote it thus often completely miss the third and fourth lines (as you obviously have).  And just for you, Ron my English Rose, here is the poem in full, since I am sure you have never read it:

“Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,

When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!”

As you can see, what Kipling wrote was not as you have tried to show.  You may like to ponder a little on that one!  Kipling was showing that it makes no difference where one comes from, when the “two strong men stand face to face.”

Just in case your “culture” misses some of the important mistakes, when making a contraction of “you are”, it is “you’re”, and “I have” is written “I’ve”, and it is spelled “beginning” and “judgment”.  I won’t go on, you can look the others up by yourself, in between being irrationally smug.