Heart to Heart
This is Evil here, I am hoping this letter will get to you in time to save
“Andy”. Andy was the man asking about a chaperone when taking a girl out to
dinner. Hillary, I invited a lady to dinner a while back, she asked if she
could bring her best friend (a lady), I said certainly. The three of us met
at the restaurant which was fine, until three more ladies arrived to sit
with us, all who were introduced as sisters of the lady I invited. These
sisters all looked like heavy weight wrestlers, nothing like the attractive
lady I had invited, they all drank like fish (luckily not champagne), only
beer Leo. To cap it all they ordered take away meals to be added to my bill.
So 3,000 baht later we parted company. Never to be seen again, my choice by
the way Hillary. So please warn Andy of what the “bring a friend” can lead
too. No other accidents to report Hillary.
I am so pleased to hear you haven’t stepped off awkwardly again. I think the
situation you experienced is not really a common one. How long had you known
the attractive lady and the heavyweight wrestler sisters? Sounds to me that
you should be doing a bit of groundwork before offering carte blanche at the
a la carte. You would never take your motorcycle for a trip to Cambodia
without checking over it first, would you? So likewise you should have done
a bit of checking first. Unfortunately, you young chaps only seem to learn
by experience, so I doubt if Andy will be any different.
My GF has just moved in with me, so everything’s a bit new and I’m pretty
unsure too. How much salary should I be paying her? I’ve asked at the pub
where I go after work and they all said different amounts from nothing to
fifty thousand. She does work in an office job and clears about fifteen
thousand baht a month, and will continue to work there. I don’t want to
chase her away, now she’s made the decision to bunk in with me. I know
others have written to you about this but always seems to be that these are
with bar girls who leave the bar and haven’t got a real job.
I take it that this has been a mutual decision, the moving in. I also take
it that you have known this girl for some time and this wasn’t a spur of the
moment decision, with no discussion other than “Wanna move in?” “Yeah, why
not.” You are quite correct when you point out that this is not the usual
bar girl leaving her source of finance for a “regular” position. Honestly,
my Petal, the pair of you have made the decision to move in and ‘share’ and
that’s the way the financial side should be looked at. Both of you put a
percentage of your salaries into a kitty which is used to spend on household
expenses like food, cleaning materials. Discuss with the GF what she thinks
is a reasonable sum for living expenses and then work out the split between
your two salaries to make up that sum (yours will be more than hers). You
both should have more to spend on yourselves because the other party is
helping pay living expenses. Do not think about giving her a “salary”, she
already gets a salary from her office job, and you get a salary as well, I
presume. You should be living together because you want to be near each
other, not adding another job to your lives.
I’ve taken a girl back, even though she cheated me out of close to a million
baht last time. I met her in a bar and it was an immediate attraction and
she moved in right away. We carried on like any normal couple, and I did
help her send money home. Then I paid for a house to be built up country and
gave her a little car to run around in. About two weeks after that she sold
the car and went to live with her mother – in the new house in her name.
Anyway I carried on by myself, but I kept on thinking about her and
contacted her after three months to make sure she was OK. Turned out she was
back in Pattaya, but at a different bar, and so I went round to see her. She
started to cry and said she was sorry, and so I said she could come back. My
friends all think I’m loco, but she’s the only one for me. Are my friends
right, or am I?
There’s no such thing as right or wrong in these situations, my Petal.
You’ve gone into this again with your eyes open this time, just don’t get
carried away with this second honeymoon. Remember the saying, “He who cheats
me once – shame on him. He who cheats me twice – shame on me.” I hope you
are going to be lucky this second time around, but lay some ground rules
I do enjoy your column very much and your quotations which I have noted just
a few – Rumpy Pumpy, old ladies in Blighty, having been fleeced, being a
wallflower, skinny dipping, my attic, I got ripped off. That makes me think
that you are no spring chicken but a mature knowledgeable well traveled
person not of Thai nationality. I asked my lovely Thai lady partner who
speaks good English if she could tell me what these quotes mean, but no
luck. Come on Hillary, do tell us a little about yourself. I was going to
send a bottle of bubbly but you are a connoisseur and I was afraid you may
think I am a cheap Charlie or a skinflint if I bought the wrong one. Keep up
the good work.
Dear UK Ian,
Are you (or were you) “Inspector Ian of Scotland Yard”? Such deduction and
attention to detail, but you glossed over one important fact. Yes, I suppose
I could be called a mature knowledgeable well traveled person, but why not
Thai nationality? Many Thai people are educated overseas for more than a 12
month toe in the water exercise, but they always return to Thailand having
learned the lingo, so to speak. Does your lovely Thai lady partner fit that
history? I think not Inspector Ian, because she would have known all those
common idioms (another overseas word for you, my Petal). And thank you for
thinking about the champagne, even if it never eventuated. French,
Australian or Californian are generally good, and anyway, too hard to fit in
My girlfriend tells me she is three months pregnant and wants me to pay for
the doctor’s visits and the birth which she says will be in February. I am
not here all the time, just every four weeks, but I am suspicious as she
looks more pregnant than that to me. I’ve only known her since September.
What should I do about this?
Somebody’s maths are not too good, Petal. Your GF is 3 months pregnant, but
it is only three months to February. That’s a six months pregnancy. So she
has either discovered a new way to carry a baby, or … Ern, start looking at
your dates as to when you were here, and count backwards (use your fingers
if necessary) and work out where you were in May. And after that start
learning the times tables.
One of the girls at my office has been very friendly to me recently. Holds
my hand when talking to me in the corridor, and always goes out of her way
to talk to me and smiles a lot in my direction. Her English seems pretty
good, but I don’t know if she is married or not. She did ask me what I was
going to give her for Xmas and this knocked me over a bit, so I did give her
some chocolates as a pre-Xmas gift. Where do I go from here?
Where do you go from here? Well it certainly isn’t the walk of the brave, is
it? For goodness me, young man (you must be young to be asking these sorts
of questions), just ask her. “Are you married?” is the start. If “Yes” do
not pass go, do not collect 200. However, if no, then does she have a Thai
boyfriend? A “Yes” here is worse than the marriage question. Run, run, run.
So there you are. Easy peasy, done and dusted.
I read so much tripe about our bar girls. My own experience is that you can
meet and fall in love with a lady from a bar. You can also be treated like a
king and rest easy with the feeling that you have found a long term partner.
I have been with my Thai wife now for some years and have been incredibly
happy. My own experience of a former falang wife was that she gave up work
once we were married and never expected to have to work again. She took more
money from me in a month than my Thai partner has taken in two years and
when we split up, she took everything else. I will take my chances with a
bar girl any day over a falang lady. With any woman you will have to pay,
one way or another. The Thai way is cheaper in the long run, believe me, and
all you guys out there, start thinking and stop whining.
Dear Very Satisfied,
It is always nice for me to read a letter from someone who is not putting
down our ladies of the night. Sure you have to pay for their company, that’s
what they are there for. And the good ones do a fantastic job, much better
than some day-time ladies, as Very Satisfied has written. Now there are good
and bad everythings in life, but the way to choose is to go slowly and get
to know your intended partner very well over a period of quite a few months.
You will know her and she will know you. That’s the way you do it (Dire
Last week one chap was unsure whether he was a being set up by his Thai
lady. If you are so happy don’t waste your time in bars at all. Bars are
where you will only find “sob stories.” And yes, your mate is interested in
you for financial security. Otherwise she would be with someone her own age
and from her own culture. What outer ring planet did you beam down from?
I think you are being a little harsh on the chap. There are many successful
unions across the cultural divide. No need to delve into the whys and
wherefores. Keep your wits around you, and enjoy the company. Mind you, they
say Pluto is quite nice this time of year.
Re the disappearing band at an advertised music night, one must ask “why”
this would happen if a band had been advertised that was “top drawer”
playing on the... Dark Side? Could someone have lied?... to the public... to
the band? Were they paid? Did something take off after mooching?
Mooching? What on earth is that? I consulted my well-thumbed Merriam-Webster
dictionary and was told that mooching was to ask for and get things from
other people without paying for them or doing anything for them. That sounds
more like the question above yours and the Thai GF and farang BF. Sorry, but
I cannot throw any light on the subject, as I wasn’t there.
I have an ornamental fish pond with two sucker fish and another fish that
looks like a trout. I clean it out every three months or so but this time I
find I have three sucker fish and a trout. I can’t imagine somebody coming
and adding one fish to those already in the pond. Have you got any
suggestions, Hillary? This has been worrying me.
I am presuming you have had a good talk with your father about the birds and
the bees. Now it may be time to add fish in as well. How do you think the
fish population grows? The angels do not come down with baskets of fish and
hand them out willy nilly (well, not without some bread rolls as well). For
you, I think you should just be happy that your fish are such good friends,
and for the person who told you to write to me, they are just as silly as
I would first like to say I love your column. I enjoy it every week. A bit
of background, I married a bar girl and have been happily married for going
on 14 years. And yes I know that many girls from the bar are right in some
respects when they say the foreign man likes to have his cake and eat it
I visit Thailand at least 3-4 times a year and apart from visiting family,
my wife and I visit her friends at the bar even though the girls change
throughout the year as expected, but they are all basically from the same
region in Thailand and know each other, and of each other. But my wife
always includes me on her outings and hides nothing from me. Our marriage is
very happy and she has told me that she is happy, and being together for 14
years would make me think that is correct.
I do not deny her many things and she understands when I do say no to some
things. All it takes is a little co-operation between each other and that
goes along way. You’d call it trusting each other.
Hillary keep up the good work. I believe you have plenty of readers both in
Thailand and overseas, who turn to your page before anything else. We’ll
bring you something on our next trip.
Baz and Tina
Dear Baz and Tina,
Well, aren’t you the sweetest thing? A present from China? I don’t think
they make champagne over there (yes, yes, I know that “champagne” can only
come from the champagne area in France), but I haven’t heard of Chinese
‘methode champenoise’ wines, but it might be fun to try? Getting real (for a
change), you have hit the nail right on its head when you say, “All it takes
is a little co-operation between each other and that goes along way.” That’s
what Thai women are looking for, and you too admitted that “the foreign man
likes to have his cake and eat it too.” If there were more foreign men like
you, the world would be a happier place. Finally, Baz, are you from
Australia? Your spelling was atrocious. You will see I have corrected the
An old GF from the UK has contacted me to say she is coming out for a
holiday for a couple of weeks in December. She is making it obvious that she
expects to stay with me, for old time’s sake, I think. We last had a fling
10 years ago but we are both now pensioners, and I wonder if I can still
perform as I find break dancing too strenuous, and her pacemaker must be due
for new batteries by now. Should I tell her that I am now living with George
and enjoying the gay life?
Pull the other leg, it plays Colonel Bogey. Honestly, my Petal, if you are
being serious, you know the answer already – you get the old GF to bring a
chap over for George, while you trip down memory lane with her. Simple.
It has always amazed me that the men here can get up to such impossible
situations that they end up having to ask you to get them out of their
problems. It must be very wearing for you.
What a dear sweet boy you are. Yes, it is difficult and wearing, and nobody
during my training as an Agony Aunt told me it would be like this. However,
you get stronger as you get older, and I don’t think there is any situation
I haven’t met by now, after all these years since the days of hardship
before biro pens and cling wrap. But you haven’t told me, Alfred, why have
you sent me an email? You are not worrying about others who write to me –
you are getting ready to write to me about your problems, when you are brave
enough. I am waiting, Petal.
Had a heated discussion (argument) the other night in the bar. Are Thai
women romantic, it was all about. I say that they are, but my drinking
buddies all say not. They said that all they are interested in are large
amounts of gold, and the larger the better. Surely there are still some
ladies out there who appreciate wine and chocolates (apart from you,
Hillary)? I need you to back me up here, Hillary.
Such a lovely thought – wine and chocolates, but I prefer champagne and
chocs. Of course there are romantic ladies left in Thailand, other than
myself. It sounds to me as if your drinking buddies are looking for ladies
from the wrong watering holes. The professional ladies who come to the
surface with the buffalos in tow are certainly only looking for gold. That
is their business, their profession (and an old one at that). However, by
looking in the universities, offices and even department stores, you will
find ladies who appreciate being appreciated. You are correct, Ross. Your
friends are taking too narrow a sample to base their findings. You don’t
have rose colored glasses. Your drinking buddies are looking at life through
If the Thai women are as grasping as it would seem, surely if they were all
that bad, word would have gotten out by now. I get the impression that
they’ve been given a bad name and it has stuck. Sure there has to be a few
rotten apples, but am I correct that the bad ones are a small percentage
It is not correct of me to comment on the bar girls as a group, but there is
certainly a good percentage of them out for what they can get. Certainly
these are the ones whose men ‘friends’ end up writing to me. Provided the
male holidaymaker understands the ground rules, everyone is a winner. But it
is the men who mistake financial arrangements for romance who fall for the
“I lub you too mut, dahling.” There are enough books out there, there are
enough internet sites out there about this side of a Thai holiday, and the
heart-rending advice from yours truly as well. Nobody should be puzzled,
Petal. Not even you.
I would like to invite one of the girls from my work to go to dinner, but I
am unsure of the way to go about it in Thailand. I have found that she is
single, and apparently does not have a Thai boyfriend. She is very reserved,
and I am told she comes from a “good” family. Should I offer to have someone
as a chaperone? Or is this not necessary these days?
Goodness me! There is an old-style gentlemen left in this world! Honestly,
my Petal, most educated Thai women are quite emancipated these days, but if
you want to be very politically correct, I would suggest you just ask her if
she would have dinner with you next Thursday night, and if she would like to
bring a friend, that is quite alright by you. If she turns you down, I will
keep Thursday night free, as long as there is French champagne on the menu!