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Heart to Heart with Hillary


Update October 31, 2015

Dear Hillary,
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,

Dear Evil,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Marvin,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear John,
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.

Update October 24, 2015

Sparkling, sensational, super and sexy
Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Jimmy,
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
Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Rodj,
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.

Karaoke obsession
Dear Hillary,
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!
Dear Hillary,
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 offering!

Update October 17, 2015

Dear Hillary,

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 much?


Dear Jack,

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.

Dear Hillary,

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?


Dear Jeff,

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.

Dear Hilary

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.

Number one,

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.

Number two,

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,

Number three,

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.

Number four,

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.

Update October 10, 2015

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear John,
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!

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Dean,
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!

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Jacko,
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.

Update October 3, 2015

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Johnny,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Gerry,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Antoinette,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Annoyed
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.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Update October 31, 2015

Update October 24, 2015

Update October 17, 2015

Update October 10, 2015

Update October 3, 2015