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Update June 2015


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 

Heart to Heart with Hillary

 

Update June 27, 2015

Marriages to bar girls

Dear Hillary,
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 a difference?
Mark

Dear Mark,
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?

Dear Hillary,
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 Stayers”?
Bill

Dear Bill,
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?

Dear Hillary,
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.
Rufus

Dear Rufus,
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!


Family ties

Dear Hillary,
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?
George

Dear George,
My Petal, have you never heard the phrase “There’s no place like home”?


Update June 20, 2015

Feast or Famine

Dear Hillary,
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 what’s what!
Rick

Dear Rick,
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.


Skinny dipping

Dear Hillary,
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?
Frisco

Dear Frisco,
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 plunge in.


The high price of Veuve Clicquot

Dear Hillary,
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 year).
Mike

Dear Mike,
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?

Dear 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.
Les

Dear Les,
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 must know.


Update May 13, 2015

Resurrection in our time!

Dear Hillary,
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.
Delboy

Dear Delboy,
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

Dear Hillary,
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?
Generous George

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

Dear Hillary,
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!


Update May 6, 2015

Book learning

Dear Hillary,
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.
James

Dear James,
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?

Dear Hillary,
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.
Prince

Dear Prince,
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?

Dear Hillary,
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 wonderful vacation.
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.


Isaan “cooking”

Dear Hillary,
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.

 


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Marriages to bar girls

Better in the US or the LOS?

Are you suited for village life?

Family ties


Feast or Famine

Skinny dipping

The high price of Veuve Clicquot

An assistant for Hillary?


Resurrection in our time!

Enroll for the ATM classes

Hello sexy man and others


Book learning

Are you there Prince Charming?

Like a cold beer?

Isaan “cooking”

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