A kiss on the first date?
Is there a standard number of dates before you can kiss one of your “good”
girls? It’s not like I’m trying to drag her kicking and screaming into the
lion’s den, but while she is great company, there’s no sign of relaxing the
no kissing rule. Surely five dates are enough? With the “bad” girls it’s all
go after the first 30 seconds! So now you might see why 95 percent of blokes
end up at the beer bars.
It all depends upon what you want out of life. If your ambition is to prefer
shallow relationships (“Hello sexy man, I lub you too mut.”) then the beer
bar is the place you should be. But if you would like some intelligent
conversations with someone who knows that Ubon isn’t the center of the
galaxy, then look for the “good” girls. Sure, it will take a little more
time than the beer bar’s 30 seconds, but hang in there, Petal. It’s worth it
in the long run.
The fight of the century. Faucet versus mixer!
My problem I believe to be a common one. The morning fight with the mixer
tap for the shower. That little handle which you point to the right for
cold, or left for hot, or maybe vice-versa since you can never remember in
the morning. But it is worse than that. The pesky little lever has a hair
trigger mechanism behind its chrome exterior. Move it one millimeter one way
and the water is so hot it would take the fur off a moose. Move it one
millimeter the other way and you freeze to death. It can also do this
hot-cold trick on its own, usually when you are totally immersed with
shampoo in your hair, and now in your eyes! How do I correct this problem?
You are a lady of experience, so I’m sure you’ve met the problem and will
have the answer for me.
So I’m now an expert in hydroponics (no wait, that’s for growing organic
lettuce), no it’s called hydrodynamics (I looked it up). I most certainly do
have the answer for you, Faucet, my wet little Petal. You have to learn the
old adage, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. You are in Thailand, so do
what the Thais do - you have cold showers. The Thai people also found the
impossible mixer tap problem, and fixed it by bringing the lever all the way
to the right and letting it rip! See! That was easy!
Is this a troll?
Unlike the usual guys who write to you complaining about their unfaithful
girlfriend, I have twice the problem - two unfaithful girlfriends! What
makes my problem even more tricky, is they don’t know about each other. I
have their overnights on different days - one on even number days and the
other on odd numbers. Sundays I have off for me, and a little dalliance at
times. There’s nothing wrong with that. So, should I kick out number 1 or
number 2 or both? Or should I just toss a coin?
Dear Sunday, Sunday,
It is obvious to me that you should use the coin tossing method, because you
do sound like a bit of a tosser my Petal. Either that or you are trying to
pull my leg, and you can stop imagining about my legs. Whatever, I do think
this was a troll post.
Sam’s friendly loan service
After getting to know one of the bar girls quite well in my local beer bar,
she asked me for some money to send to her mother as her daughter was sick
and stays with her mother. It wasn’t much, only 5,000 baht and I really
didn’t care if she repaid me or not. The only problem is she’s come back to
me twice more since then and it’s starting to add up. It’s now 25,000 baht
and that’s getting up a bit, even if she doesn’t charge me anything any more
for short-times and stuff. How do I tactfully tell her that there’s no more
loans and I’d like her to start paying back the money I gave her? And please
no sermons, my buddies are good at doing that, but they’ve got no answers
Dear Sam (the sucker),
The whole situation revolves around the phrase “the money I gave her”. She
looks upon it as a gift, which you did originally, but now you want to
change it into a “loan”. It’s a little late for that, my Petal. No matter
how many short-times, as you quaintly put it, you are never going to see the
25,000 baht again. How do you tell her tactfully that the well has run dry?
Quite easily, next time she asks, just say no. She won’t fall apart, she’ll
just move on to the next customer. That is the occupation that these girls
have chosen. They live by their wits and the guilty consciences of the
suckers they fleece. Kiss it good bye, literally and metaphorically.
Ain’t love grand!
Is it possible to really get to know a Thai girl? I have been dating this
girl from the local bar in Jomtien for almost three weeks now and we get
along fantastically well. However, the other night she said that she was
going to go to Sweden in June as her “Sweden boyfriend” was sending her a
ticket and she had her visa to go. She never said anything about this bloke
from Sweden before. How can you ever trust them? I am shattered, as I
thought we had a good future together. Is it finished or what?
“Is it finished or what?” How old are you, my dear young boy? A very young
20 something? It hasn’t even started! Look at it this way, Petal. If someone
offered you a ticket to Brazil would you take it? Or would you say, “No,
I’ve met this person in a bar two and a bit weeks ago and we get along
fantastically well, so I’ll stay here and enjoy my lady drinks. Wake up!
Good future? That will last until next payday.
My water’s been cut off!
We have not been here very long and already we have had the water cut off
from the house (twice!) and the electricity (once) all because I do not
understand when and how the bills come. I am sure we did not receive at
least two, but when I tried to explain this at the Water Department I got
nowhere - and had to pay an extra 500 baht to get re-connected. What can we
Dear Bill (or is that “Bin”?),
There are all kinds of ways to make sure you get your bills, and the first
is to know what date the bills come each month. Ask your neighbors. Secondly
put a small letter box on your gate, with “For Electric and for Water” - but
in Thai writing, not in English! That should make sure you get them and now
you can pay them at your closest 7-11. Easy Peasy!
The disappointed morning shopper
Why do the shops open so late in Pattaya? The main shopping centers
officially open at 9, 10 or11, but many of the shops are still setting up at
11.30. I am sure they must lose an awful lot of business with this late
opening. Can’t the shopkeepers get out of bed in time?
Dear I’m intrigued,
Be intrigued no longer, Petal. How many shoppers do you see early in the
morning - other than yourself reflected in the closed glass doors. What time
do the shoppers finish in the evening? In the popular tourist areas you will
see them still open at 10 p.m., midnight and even 2 a.m. Let them have some
sleep as they need to lock up and have couple of Changs before bed, and then
get up to serve you! You obviously haven’t been here very long, have you?
Pattaya is a night time city.
Open your wallet and say after me, “Help yourself!”
As I am thinking about retiring here, I was hoping you could advise me on a
couple of points. It has always been one of my ambitions to have my own little
pub (I’ve spent a fair deal of time in little pubs and bars after work). There
seems to be quite a few very successful bars for sale and they only want about
600,000 baht for most of them. Since I will be getting a nice tidy sum for my
retirement, I thought I might invest in one by buying a half share or something.
It would be nice to make money at a bar, rather than spending money at a bar,
don’t you reckon, Hillary! My only worry is that I have heard that foreigners
have been ripped off and I am hoping you can advise me on what to watch for.
With apologies to the Charge of the Light Brigade - “Into the valley of death
rode the six hundred” (thousand baht). Gordon, Gordon! For a start, there are
very few successful bar owners who learned the trade from propping up the
outside of the bar. Even with half shares for sale, have you stopped to think
why the owner of such a successful establishment would want to give half of it
away? Things to watch for? There is always the scam where third or fourth 50
percent shares that gets sold. Unfortunately, with the economic downturn,
tourist cancellations etc etc etc, the bar will pay no dividend this year and
the regretful owner will buy your 50 percent share back for 100,000 baht. Yes,
there are quick profits to be made in the bar bizz - for the seller, not the
purchaser. Mind you, if you can get a half share in Jameson’s for 600,000 baht,
count me in too!
Good wine for a good girl
I am a newcomer as far as wines are concerned. Is there a fool-proof way to pick
a ‘good’ bottle of wine? I have started dating one of your “good” girls and
don’t want to look foolish.
Join a wine club. In the meantime, Veuve Clicquot makes a very fine champers.
You now owe me one!
The perfect bar girl lives here
I do love your column and it is the first one I read every week when the Mail
comes out. What gets me though (I’ve been here for almost 10 years) is the fact
that all these newcomers think they’ve got it all sussed out. They meet the only
bar girl in this world that is still a virgin, the only bar girl in the world
that hasn’t asked for money (even to buy sum tom) and the only bar girl in the
world that doesn’t have children staying with granny and whose husband didn’t
run away. Saying nothing about the family buffalo, which is in a picture of
bovine health. Help me, Hillary, I meet a couple of these deranged people every
week. What should I do?
It would be too easy to give them a ticket back home, and also expensive. The
best you can do is to give them a copy of Stephen Leather’s book Private Dancer
and make them read it aloud, with you standing there. On second thoughts, with
you sitting there with several beers will be better, as I am sure these people
will have difficulties with words which have more than four letters.
A maid with “extras”?
What should I do about the maid coming on to me? If we pass in the corridor, she
gives me a big smile and touches my arm, and holds my hand just a little too
long for it to be a coincidence. When I am lying down in the bedroom some
afternoons she will come in and insist that she brings me a coffee or cold water
and stays too long talking to me. She is married to our driver, so they came as
a package, so I haven’t said anything to my husband as he could fly off the
handle and sack them both on the spot, and I don’t want that. How do I gently
get the message across that I am not interested in her, and get her to just go
about her maid duties without coming on to me?
You have to be a little careful here, or you may precipitate a major incident,
which would also reflect badly on your husband and his work, as well as the
driver. You do not say what your command of the Thai language is like, but
unless it is very good, you really need a native Thai speaker to help you. Get
your Thai friend to gently tell her that you are a very busy woman and you don’t
have time to chat while she is working. Thank her and say she does a wonderful
job of keeping the house clean, and your husband also says what a good job she
has done. After that just be a little cool in your relationship with her and the
problem will go away. Best of luck, Petal.
Am I clever - or are they dumb?
I never realized I was smart until I came to Thailand one year ago. I always
used my common senses back home and here in Thailand and I never had any
problems but too many foreigners just can’t help themselves. Thailand receives
the world’s biggest jackasses and fools and every week I see or hear about some
guys who gets into problems with bar girls and complain and cry about everything
and everybody here. I’m tired of these fools bad mouthing Thais and Thailand. If
they don’t like it go home. Why do we get so many foolish, ignorant farangs who
makes us all look bad in front of Thai people?
Dear Happy Here,
You don’t sound all that happy to me, Petal, your letter is full of grumps and
grouches. I agree that there are many foreigners who don’t seem to use much
common sense (why is it called ‘common’ when there’s so little of it around?),
but I think you are overstepping the mark when you start painting your
foreigners as foolish and jackasses. I agree that there is nothing to be gained
by foreigners when they start bad mouthing Thais and Thailand, and you do have
to wonder why they left their own countries in the first place. There can be
many reasons I believe, and not all of them are lawful! Of course it is not too
difficult to see why some of these people become cannon fodder for the
sharp-shooters in the bars. It must be difficult to survive the “Buy me cola,
darling” when all they are used to in their home countries are women who want to
put them down all the time. “What are you looking at,” being a standard western
woman’s response to a bright appreciative smile I am reliably informed. Perhaps
you should be producing a lapel button which says “Don’t complain to me - I like
it here!” Finally, don’t let the idiots spoil it for you. You don’t have to
drink in bar beers, and if you take the effort to learn the language, then you
don’t have to talk to the foreigners either, as there are 60 million Thai people
out there who would like to know about you and your country of origin.