Heart to Heart
It’s Evil here, not much happening on the motorcycle front, just the
occasional sounding the horn and giving the two finger salute. Not sure if
Thai motorists or motorcyclists understand what it all actually means but it
gets rid if my anger. I am up to G in the dictionary Hillary and found the
word Generic recently. It fits the Thai motorist and motorcyclist perfectly.
Why you ask? Well they cannot turn their heads left or right as you can see
when they come out of a side street into a major road. It has to be a
generic problem don’t you think Hillary? Also a problem exists with their
legs, if the 7/11 is more than twenty meters away the thought of walking,
well it would be out of the question. So there we have a problem that the
world’s medical profession could look into Hillary and I know you are the
lady who would know who to speak too regarding it. Don’t get me wrong
Hillary, that book I wrote about my life is thirty percent of good things
that have happened to me in Thailand, all from Thai people. I could not wish
to find any better anywhere and that’s for sure. But foreigners beware when
asking directions. I was visiting the big smoke to renew my Australian
passport Hillary, on heading from a BTS station to the Consulate I thought I
will ask a Thai council worker (road sweeper) to confirm I was going in the
right direction. Oh No I was told, well five kilometers later I did arrive
at the Australian Consulate, which was in fact about 300 meters from where I
spoke with the council worker. Well sorry for the long winded letter
Hillary, please keep us all smiling. Time to look for a Halloween outfit,
although if you saw me I know what you would say...Bye for now,
You remind me of the Irish road sweeper who when asked which was the road to
Dublin, said that if he was going to Dublin, he wouldn’t be leaving from
there. 55555! Now, my little Petal, you will have to be more careful when
reading your dictionary. “Generic”? I don’t think so. A couple of lines
further down you will see “genetic” which refers to a condition inherited
from the elders in the family, passed on through the genes, which is what
you meant. Correct? Please note the distinction between genes and jeans.
Both can have a part to play in the reproduction cycle, so be careful,
especially when giving two finger salutes. I also have it on good authority
that Aussies can speak English, but don’t like to! I thought it was only me
who has to have a dictionary on her desk.
I’m from the UK and went to hear a local band that was advertised as playing
at a music venue in Pattaya Dark Side. I was told they were a great band, so
I was looking forward to it. When I got there, it was packed so I thought
I’d come back later after having something to eat. When I did come back, the
parking was no problems and there was another (Thai) band playing as the
first big-name band had been asked to leave the stage, and let the local
house band take over. Is this common in Thailand? There’d be a riot if that
happened in England. We go to hear the top liners, not the house bands. That
place will never see me again.
Are you really Marvin Gaye? Of course you’re not, since he’s very dead, so
you must be the Marvin who’s gay? Relax! Take it easy Petal, I’m just trying
to put out the fire. I have heard of these situations before, and it takes a
brave man (or a foolhardy one) to substitute bands after the customers have
arrived. It doesn’t do any good for anyone and will result in lost customers
I imagine. Well, they’ve lost you.
Local pub mates tell me all that Thai women are interested in is money,
money, money. I am in a long time relationship with a Thai woman, but she is
a lot younger than me. Is she interested in me, or money? If it’s money she
hides it pretty well. Who should I believe?
No, my Petal, Thai women are not just interested in money. For example, I am
also interested in chocolates and champagne. All women are interested in
finding a mate who can support them and their children (and the family in
Thailand). Why should any woman be interested in marrying a pauper? Would
you? There are not too many couples you could call Romeo and Juliette in the
world, but there are thousands of successful marriages, which exist for the
mutual benefit of both parties. I am not saying that ‘romance’ is dead, but
likewise a union based on an unreal expectation is also headed for the scrap
heap. If you and your lady are happy as you are, with the money you have or
haven’t got, then just enjoy life and don’t spend time worrying about what
other people say in bars.
sensational, super and sexy
I’m in trouble again. Met this crazy bird who had me eating out of her hand
within 10 minutes. Sparkling, sensational, super and sexy. I took her home
and read all of the above. Had to miss the next two nights as I was sent to
Chiang Mai for work, but when I came back from up north, she didn’t want to
know me. Didn’t want a lady drink, nothing. It was as if I never existed and
the sexy night we had before never happened. What am I supposed to do now?
What do you want for your 16th birthday, Petal? You have a long way to go
yet in the battleground called “women”. You fell for a professional lady of
the night, who was doing her job, and very well too, it would seem. But just
by bobbing up again like a rabbit from a gopher hole, all bright eyed and
bushy tailed, doesn’t change the way she acts. Go to a better bar, and grow
up. Or rather, grow up first and then go to a bar. And, by the way, I think
you are telling porky pies.
Barefoot and pregnant
I think my steady GF will be moving in shortly, and I’ve got no problems
with that – other than the fact she can’t cook. You see, Hillary, I can’t
cook either. Burn water if I try to cook it! Is there a cooking school round
here anywhere that I could send her to?
Woman’s place is in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant? That’s the message
you’re giving me. I’m so glad to see that chauvinism isn’t dead. Look,
Petal, there’s not much cooking required with milk and breakfast cereal and
all other meals are catered for by the food carts at the street corner.
Sounds to me like you are getting cold feet worrying about warm evenings.
What is the attraction of karaoke bars for Thai people? My Thai GF and her
friends all end up in one of these places after work and they can spend
hours there. The Mail’s Dr. Iain, in one of his books, stated that karaoke
was Japan’s revenge for WW2 and I agree with him. People singing out of tune
in front of a TV screen being used as an auto prompter machine is certainly
not entertainment as far as I am concerned. They don’t seem to care about
singing ability either, and the screams of enjoyment is certainly not music
to the ears either.
Dear (Judgmental) Jason,
Have you some deep-down problem with karaoke itself, or karaoke and your
Thai GF and friends. Do they spend “hours there” which you feel is eating
into your time with your GF? I am also not a lover of karaoke, which is why
you won’t find me at one of these places, but the people who do enjoy it are
not hurting anyone, so you should not get so uptight, my Petal. Go and watch
football with your mates and holler every time a goal is scored, and maybe
you will find that this is a relief from the stresses of living, just as
your GF does with her karaoke friends.
Learning the lingo!
I have been transferred to Thailand by my company for the next two years. I
am a native English speaker, and so far I find the Thai language very
difficult, to almost well-nigh impossible. What is the best way to learn the
lingo? I see there are quite a few “language schools”, but I get the feeling
they are just out to rip me off with their high fees. I want to converse
with my lady friend a little better. Some suggestions please.
Dear Len the linguist,
I can’t recommend one language school above the others, as I haven’t needed
to go to one myself. The larger ones are fairly reputable I am told, Petal.
The best way, I am told, is ‘immersion’ where you go somewhere where nobody
speaks your language and you have to learn Thai, just the same as a small
child picks up Thai. Three year olds have a good command of the language,
after all. This might be difficult for you if you are employed down here, so
you might have to sign up for lessons. There is another method, called
‘pillow talk’ where your lady friend teaches you, but again, I am not
My Thai GF likes to go back to the village every couple of
months to see her mother. I’m cool with this but she never gets back when she
says she will be. It goes from a couple of days extra to 10 days on one trip.
There’s always lots of reasons why this happens like her dog gets run over, a
local boy was rude to her and she went to the police to complain, so had to be
there for the meeting with the police and the guy. The phone never seems to work
either. Then there’s a funeral about once a month it seems, and I’m starting to
get suspicious. What should I do about this? Or do you think I’m worrying too
I think you know the answer to this, my Petal. You’re
being played for a fool. I’m sure she gets money for the bus or plane from you,
so you are subsidizing her behavior. What can you do? Well, insist on her coming
back when she says and accept no excuses. The phone coverage in Thailand, even
to Isaan is good. So tell her she either starts playing the game or it’s all
over. Don’t continue to be a sucker.
What is the situation with Thai law when you split from a
live-in girlfriend? Does she have any legal rights to your property, cars,
houses and such. I’ve been with this girl for about a year, but it’s time to
change, but she’s already got the hand out and wants the house and the car. Hand
them over, or tough it out? What is your advice?
You are asking the wrong person, Petal. This is Hillary,
with heart balm for those injured in love, not a lawyer specializing in marital
problems, even though some days it seems like it. However, I would imagine that
the crux of the matter hinges on whose name is on the ownership documents.
Foreigners cannot own houses in Thailand in their own names, so many just put
the house in the girlfriend’s name, which is not such a smart move if there is a
break-up as it ends up as ‘martial’ problems. See a lawyer.
In response to the many letters that you receive from the
elite of UK and Europe etc, this letter is on behalf of the over sixties, pot
bellied, beer swilling, bar girl ogling, past-it guys.
We are not all as described above, there are a lot of us
expats who go to the local bar to meet up with our friends and discuss various
topics. When we are there we are greeted by the bar girls, and as long time
regulars of our particular watering hole, are treated with respect.
We don’t get the “come in sexy man” comments, and are
generally greeted by name and seated in our usual spot, our drinks are brought
to us without delay with the usual smile.
Where else will you get the bar girl to run out of the bar in
a tropical rainstorm to get your favorite snack from the passing vender without
any complaint or expecting something in return,
On occasion, when drinking a little too much of the mind
clouding liquid, where else will you get the bar girl, or any waitress for that
matter, to get you the regular taxi bike guy to take you home and make sure you
are not ripped off on the way.
We watch from our particular vantage point at the bar, at the
people who write in to you after their particular trip to Thailand, they walk
into the bar and look at us as if we are too old and shouldn’t be there, we then
watch the real experts (girls) go to work, and after several beers later, the
guy’s chest swells up and they give us the old knowing wink, as if to say that’s
how it’s done pop. A few more beers later and the old bar fine is handed over,
and the expert leaves with another captive, on the way out, giving us old
smiling guys, the old knowing smile and wink.
Thanks for letting me have my small say,
Not so Desperate Donald.
Dear NSD Donald,
Thank you for that wonderful snippet of the thoughts of
the ‘elder spectators at life’ group, but as you can see, I did have to shorten
it a little – the Editor gets twitchy if we run to two pages! I did have to
correct the spelling as well - I get a little twitchy with a letter full of
incredible spellings, such as yours. However, you certainly do know how to put
the tourist who thinks he knows everything in his place, and I loved the “expert
leaves with another captive.” I am glad to see that our local plus 60’s still
have fun, especially the last Friday of the month – is that pension day, my
Petal? I will make it my business to drop by one Friday.
One guy I know has just lost about everything, other than the clothes he
stands up in, to what we all thought was the sweetest Thai girl you’d ever
meet. They were married for 12 years and had two kids but she was cheating
on him for the last couple of years. He believed in her so much, he ignored
all the warning signs like staying out “with the girls” until four in the
morning. He left her a couple of times but she always got him back by
promises she would be faithful but that was just more lies. Now he’s
divorced and potless, the divorce lawyers taking anything that was left
after she took everything she could grab that wasn’t too hot or too heavy.
There are always two sides to any argument/discussion or divorce court. You
have been getting one side only from a man who is looking for sympathies and
another beer. The court finding for the woman is the same all over the
western world. Ask any UK citizen, American, Australian or European and they
will all say the same. Marriages made in Heaven can turn into divorces made
in Hell. Just be a friend to him and get him out of his igloo or wherever he
lives these days, but don’t be surprised when he does it all again!
The wife of a friend (sort of business acquaintance) is making it obvious
that she would like to have an affair with me. Sends me messages to say
where she is at any time, and do I have any free time to meet with her? This
has been going on for a couple of months and now she is having dinner
parties at her home and inviting me to come along, and even supplies a
partner for me, though these are always her friends and they don’t get near
me when she’s around. It is a good business we are in, and I don’t want to
spoil that. Any ideas Hillary?
Looks to me like you want to keep your cake and eat it as well. You are in
charge of the situation here, not her. She is saying there is an
opportunity, but that is all. What happens from now is up to you, my Petal,
but the best thing you can do is run. Very fast!
I have come over here on holiday from the UK and I am shocked by what I see
here, going on night and day. I can put up with the endless beer bars with
young women trying to get people to sit down and drink. I can put up with
the fact there are gogo bars with women displaying their bodies as some sort
of tourist attraction, but I cannot put up with the way old foreign men walk
around with barely teenage Thai girls hanging on to their arm. They all have
such smug looks on their faces with a ‘Look at me, aren’t I clever’
expression. Don’t they know, or doesn’t anybody tell them that they are just
being taken for a ride? They’re not clever. It’s disgusting.
Mona from Manchester
Dear Mona from Manchester,
When you say “They all have such smug looks on their faces with a ‘Look at
me, aren’t I clever’ expression” are you referring to the old foreign men,
or the barely teenage girls, Petal? Honestly Mona, this can be applied to
both of them. They are smiling because they have found themselves in a
situation which is good for both of them. The young girls have found a
financial ‘sponsor’, whilst the old foreign men have found themselves a
gorgeous young companion who will take care of their every need (until the
money runs out). They know what the name of the game is, Petal. So what is
so wrong with it? It is a win-win situation, so no need to be shocked. Can a
‘man from Manchester’ get a deal like that back home in the UK? No, he’s
more likely to get a moaner.
Saw another living dead expat this morning with two young lovelies, one each
side, keeping him upright walking down the street. I didn’t follow them to
see where they were going, but if you guess the ATM machine, I’m sure you
won’t be far wrong. Should we feel sorry for these old blokes being ripped
off by these girls? Or should we be sorry for the girls?
Read the letter above yours. The only person I feel sorry for is you, Petal.
The old expat isn’t complaining, the two girls aren’t complaining, so what
are you doing in this scenario? If you are going to call it a “crime”, then
it is a victimless one, can’t you see that? In actual fact it is a
win-win-win (as there’s three people) situation. He has two sexy “nurses”
looking after him and the two girls get a nice old gentleman looking after
their needs (I know it is financial). So what is wrong with that? Looks to
me that you are more than just a little jealous.
Why do some of your readers want to pick a fight with you? You are doing
your best and if they don’t like your advice they start complaining. Don’t
these people know this is an entertainment page? Even so, your advice is
pretty well on the mark.
Aren’t you just the sweetest man. But, Petal, I don’t let silly people worry
me, especially when I know there are readers out there who understand what
this column is about. These are readers with real problems, looking for
confidential advice. Thank you for your support.
People forget when they are calling Thai women names, that cheating happens
all over the world, not just in Thailand. How many who claim that they were
cheated upon didn’t cheat themselves too? How does it go about throwing the
first stone? I reckon that if you get cheated on you either forgive or take
a walk. I did both – forgave her first time but she did it again, so then I
took a walk. Should have done it the first time, I suppose, but we had been
married for five years, and I thought everything was OK. Lost a heap of
money, but you can’t live with a cheater I reckon these days. Should I try
again with a new woman, Hillary?
You are still hurting, aren’t you. Are you sure you didn’t throw the first
stone? It does sound as if you have finally made up your mind, so I hope it
works out for you. You were obviously not happy where you were, but take
your time in finding another lady for your life. They say a house is the
most expensive thing you will ever buy in your lifetime, but it isn’t – it’s
a wife, Petal. Tread carefully.
I never thought I would have to write to someone like you, but I’m here from
the UK to look after my old father (he’s almost 80) and is, I thought,
living on his own in Pattaya. When I spoke to him from England I got the
impression that he was still pining for my late mother who died just over 12
months ago, but when I got here that seems to be nothing like the true
situation. I find that he is going to girly bars at night and I have seen
them fondling him in a most indiscreet manner. It’s worse than that, because
he often brings one of them home. What can he possibly do at his age? Do you
agree that a man of his age (and a retired civil engineer too) should not be
handling himself in this way? I find it disgusting, and my mother would be
horrified if she knew just what depravity he is up to now she has passed on.
I would like your advice on how I get him to stop this sort of thing, as I
am sure you will be just as disgusted at this type of behavior being shown
by someone who used to be a loving husband to my late mother and father to
me. My mother used to handle him OK until she got sick. Is it a medical
problem, do you think?
No my dear, it is not a medical problem, it is a daughter problem. However,
I do not understand your saying that he has been “handling himself in this
way” when in the sentence before you give me to believe that he is being
more than adequately handled by others! You should be pleased that your 80
year old father is still showing signs of life and share in his enjoyment of
it. Life is for living, no matter what age you are. Time for you to lighten
up, Petal. If your father is not asking to be looked after in a ‘wifely’
way, you should not presume to do it. If you want to do something for your
father in a constructive fashion get him a medical check up and a packet of
Vitamin V if he is medically fit enough, though it sounds like he is more
than up to it already.
My girlfriend and I live in an apartment in town. We have a good
relationship except for the fact she keeps losing the keys and mobile phone.
This is very annoying, how can I stop her doing this?
Have you ever considered the fact that your girlfriend is losing keys and
telephones as a subconscious way of expressing her lack of satisfaction with
the relationship or simply as a device to annoy you? It is very difficult,
if not impossible to change someone else’s behavior, unless you change your
own behavior first. I suggest you change the way you respond to her. One
quick fix is to either don’t let her see that it annoys you or simply don’t
speak to her for days every time she loses things. The best way though is to
“Give her the monkey and let her feed it.” This is a Thai expression for
allowing her to take the consequence of her own actions. It might work.