Marriages to bar girls
I used to think I was lucky. I saw all my mates have marriages that went
down the tube, but I considered myself lucky, my marriage was great, and she
wasn’t a bar girl, but my mates had married bar girls. Then I find she’s
been seeing some bloke behind my back, lying all the time, even pretending
she was staying a couple of days in the temple, when she was holed up in an
apartment round the corner. I was heartbroken, but she said the affair was
all over and I forgive her. Six weeks later, she’s at it again, and that’s
when I left. Bar girl or no bar girl, they all seem the same to me. Is there
Relationships are strange things. Forget about the “bar girl” thing. It
isn’t a Yes or No factor, you are talking about Thai women, that’s all of
them, from all walks of life. Add in differences in ages and poor knowledge
of the languages, Thai for you, English for her. No wonder it comes down to
a financial arrangement. Money is something the Thai women all understand,
and that is what many Thai-Foreigner marriages are based on. He gives her a
better life and she gives him a better bed companion in return. That’s a
win-win situation, but after the money arrangement goes sour, the
relationship does the same. Nothing to do with her past occupation.
Better in the US or the LOS?
You drew attention to the “Long Stayers” a couple of weeks ago and
highlighted a few problems with their living in Thailand. But in the good
ole “Land of the Free” this week, police were charged with using excessive
force on a minority group. A teenage pool party was raided by police with
drawn guns and batons against 15 year girls who were thrown to the ground,
sat on and handcuffed. Same treatment to innocent bystanders. Also this week
a prisoner was released after 44 years in solitary confinement. Perhaps you
have little time for minority groups and that is why you mentioned “Long
As a long stayer, you should by now be calling yourself “Bin”, but whilst
everything you mention is true, you are comparing apples and oranges. The US
has its own problems, just as Thailand has its own problems, which currently
do not include breaking up pool parties with drawn guns. But you cannot
directly compare the two. I think many Americans who live here are still
proud to be American citizens, but prefer the lifestyle here, and we are
happy to have the happy ones here.
Are you suited for village life?
I have just been watching some poor bloke’s tale of woe on facebook. Came
out here, met the girl of his dreams in the bar. Shacked up together,
wedding in the village, then blew all his savings building a home for her
(and her family) and a pig farm. Money started to run short, the missus
gives him short shrift and he has to return to the UK penniless. And he
wonders how this can happen. There’s one born every minute as they say.
There certainly is one born every minute, and it seems that at least 50
percent of them catch a plane to Bangkok where they meet the girl of their
dreams, get married in the village, build the house, with or without pig
farm and settle down into an alcohol fuzz, lost in a foreign culture which
they will never understand. You have to feel sorry for them.
The culture here is so different from their own culture in the UK, USA,
Europe, Australia, and without language skills they will never be able to
bridge the great divide. Many people have tried to warn these star struck
chaps, point them to books like Stephen Leather’s Private Dancer, counsel
them, but to no avail. “This one’s different” is mentioned all the time as
they go into the second and third relationship. Like lemmings they all rush
over the matrimonial cliff together and end up sitting outside the local
convenience store drinking cheap beer from 10 in the morning. A far cry from
their initial thoughts of going back home with the beautiful trophy bride on
the arm and show off in front of family and friends.
However, if you read this column regularly, you will find that there are
some relationships that do work, but Hillary’s experience is there’s far
more heart breaks than celebrations.
So what are you going to do, Rufus? I am doing my bit, now it’s time for you
to join the warning party!
What is the attraction of the primitive villages in the north east that
these Thai girls come from? At every opportunity they seem to go back there,
for to see Mama, or another funeral, or a special event at the local wat.
Funerals? There seems to be one every month. These villages must be
dangerous places! What is the pull that makes them go back?
My Petal, have you never heard the phrase “There’s no place like home”?
Feast or Famine
It seems that I get either a feast or a famine in the GF stakes here. A
couple of months ago, I was wondering if I should enquire about saffron
robes, and then, just as quickly, I have four on the trot, and it gets
difficult to roster the overnighters, without letting the other three know
This is not a real problem, Petal. All you have to do is line up another
three and you have one for every day of the week. Give them all a fixed
night of the week, so both you and they know if it is “their” night. Roster
problems fixed! See, it was easy.
I like skinny dipping in our pool at night, but my lady friend says she is
too shy to do this. How do I get her to change her mind?
What an interesting name you have, but I suppose it is easier than being the
San Fran Cisco kid. Thai ladies are really very shy, despite what you see in
Soi Half Dozen, so don’t think that just because you want to expose yourself
that she will do the same. If skinny dipping (or even fatty dipping) is your
thing in life, then get another lady who is happy to lose the underwear and
The high price of Veuve Clicquot
I dropped by the other day to your office, but the receptionist said you
were away for the day. Do you have a regular time where I could meet you and
then I could tell everyone that you are real and how I had met you? I could
even take you to lunch, but the champagne thing is a bit too much as I have
to watch the money as I am almost at the end of my holidays here (once a
What a dear and almost potless man you are, my Petal. Did you honestly think
I would jump at the chance to go to lunch with a Cheap Charlie like you?
What was it going to be? A bottle of Chang and two straws? At the front
apron of the local 7-Eleven? Sorry Mike, that I have to let you down like
that, but when you’ve saved up your pennies to cover the costs of my
favorite champagne and chocolates feel free to contact me again.
An assistant for Hillary?
Hello again, been reading you since I can’t remember, whether I was here in
Pattaya or in the U.S. In my 30 yrs of coming to Thailand, and always
Pattaya where I have had the most contact, the advice you offer, most of it
I had to learn the hard way, because it was before the time of Pattaya Mail.
While you are most knowledgeable, it’s one-sided. It’s always from the Thai
female psyche. While you always offer a gentle solution to their problems, I
feel some just have a hard heads. I know it’s immaterial whether or not they
take the advice you offer, it’s up to them. But when it comes to the
particularly stupid, I’d like to be of assistance if there is some way I
could be of aid in these hard core cases please contact me.
I’m still new at this being retired, and have yet to find a way to occupy my
time, sure that will change in the future. Because from what I read in your
column it’s always the newbie or nearly newbies who get themselves in
emotional/ financial trouble. Us old timers are pretty well set, if we don’t
know by now there is no helping us, nor are we seeking help. But not to
invade on your turf - if I could be of any assistance please contact me.
Aren’t you the kindest chap, with an offer of being Hillary’s little helper.
It is nice to know there are settled “old timers” as you called yourself,
ready, willing and able to step in at a moment’s notice. However, Petal, I
think the readers out there are looking for the Thai female psyche, as they
don’t understand what their long time partner of two days is thinking. I
would also be somewhat embarrassed if you went out on some sort of vigilante
exercise, slapping my correspondents around the head as you suggested. The
newspaper managing director would not be too happy at that.
Then there is another problem, and it’s not getting a work permit for you,
or your salary as Hillary’s assistant, because there isn’t any, it’s where
are we going to put you? The editorial desk is not very large, and just fits
into my attic with me. If I have a good meal at lunchtime, I can’t get in
until after three in the afternoon! In the days when we used to get real
paper letters I had to open the envelopes outside as there wasn’t enough
room to swing the proverbial cat. Not that I have anything against cats, you
Resurrection in our time!
Don’t feint (sic), its Delboy. So sorry for the long delay between drinks.
Sorry I mean between letters to you, the champagne is yet to come. I am
still living in Thailand, I would be mad to leave this country, as you know,
it’s the people that make it the best place on earth. My gripe is my
nickname for the country, I call it ‘’Triple Wrapped Thailand’’. There was I
with a nice cup of tea, thinking a biscuit would go down well with the
cuppa. I got the packet of biscuits from the cupboard, tried to prize the
plastic wrapper off but to no avail. Okay it was the scissors to the rescue.
On opening the wrapper I was confronted with a further eight plastic
wrappers each one containing two biscuits in each! I guess when I had the
strength of King Kong it would have been easy to get to into the final
wrappers but at 75 years of age my strength was not enough, so it was the
scissors again. By this time the tea was cold, thanks to good old triple
wrapped Thailand. Please can you give me a list of any single wrapped
biscuits you may know of. Or should I stick to iced tea?
PS. Please keep up your good advice, we do love it.
Rest assured I did not “feint” (common boxing term), but it was almost a
“faint” (common medical term) as I thought you must have died. Now then,
your triple-wrapped bikkies. Did they come from the local lunatic asylum?
Though I suppose you would then describe them as “shrink wrapped.” My local
supermarket sells broken biscuits very cheaply, that might be the best bet
and save money at the same time.
PS. Have you stepped off your motorcycle awkwardly recently?
Enroll for the ATM classes
Do all the Thai women go to some course at school to learn how to open a
man’s wallet, and then clean out the ATM machine? It seems they use the same
MO each time. Don’t ask for money at first, but later ask if they can have a
loan till they get salary, because they are behind in rent for their room.
After another couple of weeks, it is, “Sorry but I will have to go to
Bangkok to live, as I can’t make enough money here.” That leaves the man in
the situation where he has to cough up more money, or the romance is over.
Once he falls for that, it is the downhill financial slide to bankruptcy.
He’s hooked and ready for the ATM to be raided. The trap is now to establish
a little business for her, so she contributes to the joint (by this stage)
bank account. Then comes the request for someone to run the little shop, or
otherwise she is tied to it and can’t go out with him any more. Once more he
has to agree or it’s all over. It is always the same, Hillary. I have asked
around my social group and they’ve all been trapped. Is it taught to them,
or is it something in their make-up?
Dear Generous George,
You’ve given away all our secrets, haven’t you! But I detect a note of hurt
in your letter. Have you been fleeced, my Petal? If you have, I hope you
have forgiven her, but have learned from the situation, and your ATM is
healthy again. Don’t be so hasty. Take your time over relationships and
remember that ‘trust’ is the important ingredient.
Hello sexy man and others
Do all Thai people ask you the most personal questions? Things like “How much
money you make? You married yet? You got girlfriend? You want me to go with
you?” Apart from the fact that this is considered a very rude way of starting a
relationship in the UK, I also find it very embarrassing when I am over here.
How do I get these people to stop doing this? You seem to have the answers for
everyone else, so I hope you have some for me too.
Shy and Retiring
Dear Shy and Retiring,
Or is that Shy and Retired? You have to look at where are these women who ask
such direct questions. My bet is in a bar somewhere. Be real and be thankful
that ‘these people’ as you call them are interested enough in you to even ask
questions. There’s only one thing worse than being a wall-flower at parties, and
that’s not being asked at all. In actual fact, my Petal, those inquiries are
very cleverly designed “standard” bar girl questions to see if you are
worthwhile bothering with at all. If you have no money all interest will be lost
immediately. Likewise if you are married they will want to know if “You marry
Thai?” or whether your partner is waiting faithfully for you back home in the
UK, while you contemplate the unfaithful ideas. Lighten up and when you are
asked next time just say, “No money. Wife take all money to boy bar,” and then
laugh a lot. They’ll get the message and you will be left happily lonely, then
you can write me letters asking why does nobody talk to you!
I am starting to have doubts about my wife’s goings out all the time and rocking
home in the small hours and usually well under the weather. Is there an easy way
to check on her movements? I don’t want to hire a PI, because I don’t know just
how trustworthy they are. I’ve heard of cases where they go to the wife and tell
her they will say she’s not lying, for money of course. This way they get paid
twice! A good little earn.
I have the answer - though I didn’t until I read Christopher G Moore’s new
Calvino novel “Crack Down” where it suggests you can program her iPhone 6 to
show where she is at all times. Easiest way is to get the programming done at
the shop and give her the phone as a present. She will want to show it off to
her friends, and there you are, just like a drone, watching her every move. Ooh
it is exciting!
Are you there Prince Charming?
I met a woman at the party last night and I can’t get her out of my mind. I
didn’t get her name as we only briefly saw each other across the room,
before she flitted away, so I haven’t even spoken to her, but there was that
spark of magic there in her eyes promising just so much. Can you help me
find her again? I think I am going mad with desire. She was wearing a yellow
dress, and with her dark hair and dark eyes, the effect was fantastic. I
must find her again.
What sort of a love struck calf are you, my myopic Petal? How would Hillary
know where to find your lady with the bedroom eyes? Are you sure you weren’t
watching a Cinderella DVD? All you have to do is travel the length and
breadth of Pattaya with the glass slipper in your hand. Start with Soi 6,
I’m sure you’ll get to meet the elusive “her”, though do be careful there’s
a few not so elusive “hims” in that soi. On the other hand, how much money
do you have? I’m sure that for the right amount of money I can find a yellow
dress, and I’ve got the dark hair and dark circles around the eyes. Send me
a photocopy of your bank book, that’s a lad!
Like a cold beer?
I just don’t understand why people say they have negative experiences here. I’ve
been to over 40 countries and my favorite by far is Thailand. Since the first
time going to Pattaya, I have loved the people, atmosphere, weather, food, and
the cold beer. Right now, I still cannot wait to return and have another
Can’t wait to get back!
Dear Can’t wait to get back,
I agree with you, Petal. As you say, “I have loved the people, atmosphere,
weather, food, and the cold beer,” so what more could a young man (or an old
man) want? I do believe that most of the people who have a negative experience
have brought it upon themselves, and many of the long-stayers in Thailand say
that for this group of long-stay complainers it is a case of “Som nam na”, as
the Thais would say, or as the English speakers would say, “serves you right”. I
have read very similar complaints and “problems” with ex-pats and visitors to
Spain and South America, for example. But by the same token, there are many who
really enjoy their times in exotic places. Look at Ronnie Biggs, for example,
and what happened to him when he returned to the UK from Brazil. No, Can’t wait
to get back, you stick with your positive mental attitude and enjoy yourself as
always in the Land of Smiles. The cold beer sellers are looking forward to your
return as well.
I have a problem with my wife’s cooking. It’s not that she’s a bad cook or
anything. She does a mean sausage, egg and chips these days, and even has a go
at toad in the hole. So you think I should have no complaints. It’s not her
British cooking that’s the problem - it’s when her girlfriends come over and
they start cooking that Isaan stuff. The really, really, really bad smelling
stuff. Honestly Hillary, when I walk in the door of the house I get hit with it.
It’s so bad I come close to puking. She knows I hate the smell, but she does
this at least twice a week. It puts me right off my food as well. What should I
do? She’s a great woman, other than the Isaan cooking.
William, but they call me Bill
Dear William, but they call me Bill,
This is an easy one to fix, my Petal. All houses have a back door, and Isaan
food should be cooked outside. Most homes that foreigners live in have two
kitchens - one indoors for the sausage, egg and chips and the other outside for
the Isaan, where the pungent smells just waft away with the afternoon’s breezes.
The one outside is called the “Thai kitchen” and does not get used for toad in
the hole, either.