Heart to Heart
(Further to Mick’s letter of two weeks ago where he felt that the Thai women
didn’t care if he had a good time – all they wanted was money)
“30 years ago you were 22 and life was fun,
And you got it for nothing while you laid in the sun,
And probably still you could have such a time,
If you found the women from your long lost prime.”
Not only a poet who can rhyme and scan, but one with advice for the asking
man! Completely correct, my Petal. Buy yourself another beer.
One of your writers was wondering if his wife (or GF, I can’t remember if it
said) was cheating on him. Thai women have cheating down pat, and you can
tell the ones who are going up country and have up country friends staying
down here, that they are all covering for each other. The ones from the bars
slip into it more easily, but there (sic) sisters then follow. If it’s OK
for Lek then it’s OK for Mon. They have completely different morals and
different ideas on what’s right or wrong. The crime here is in being found
out, not in the cheating. All the overseas men should understand this before
hooking up with a Thai woman. Do you agree with me?
Reading between the lines, I think you are writing from experience, and
still hurting. Honestly Petal, there are just as many honest ones as there
are cheaters. But you are right that if the girl comes from the bar, that is
a cheating environment (big word for a Friday!) and remember that “When in
Rome, do as the Romans do.” If they work in a bar, they follow what bar
girls do. They have to start somewhere and once they are in that circle, it
is very rare that they will leave it totally.
Have you any suggestions to keep school age children interested during these
school holidays? There seems to be about 10 weeks of them!
I believe you need some planning here. A big calendar sheet on the wall with
one movie a week (Kung Fu Panda is great) marked off. Make a day out of
grocery shopping after cleaning out the fridge. They do the work, you just
record the items. There are many tourist attractions you can use, and again
make them one a week after the movies and domestic chores. Cleaning the
family car will take up one day and they are paid, since you don’t have to
go to the car wash you usually use. With a little imagination you will fill
your calendar. Enjoy the children!
My wife always forgets when her visa runs out and it always ends up with me
having to pay for her overstays. I even said I would handle it if she wanted
(we have a secretary in the office who handles all this stuff), so that this
did not happen all the time, but she asserts her independence all the time
and calls it interfering if I say I’ll take charge of it. This has happened
more than just a couple of times too. If she would only get her visa in line
with mine, it would be so much easier. I am getting a bit tired of it. How
do I make her see some sense? I don’t want to run her life, she is perfectly
capable of doing that herself. I just don’t like unnecessary hassles, and
with the new rules on overstays she could see herself deported.
You have a problem that will even be difficult for Hillary to fix, but as
always I am ready for the challenge. You don’t say whether your wife is from
the West, but I’ll guess that she is. I believe independent western women
should be given their independence, so why are you paying for her overstays?
With independence comes the responsibility for your own actions, but she is
making you responsible for her actions. This is not independence at all.
This is subjugation. She doesn’t want independence, she wants to be the
boss. Vic, you have to put your foot down, give her all the independence
that she wants, with everything that goes with it. If you are lucky, she
will amass such a huge bill from her overstays that she will be deported.
Don’t pay for the return ticket either. Some people learn the hard way.
We are coming over your way again, after five years away from Thailand. We
have kept up to date by reading the Pattaya Mail, and we always read your
column first, Petal! There have been many new restaurants in that time, can
you recommend a few we should try?
The Globe Trotters,
Dear Globe Trotters,
Thank you for the nice words, but you neglected to tell me just where you
will be going in Thailand. I also suggest that rather than coming through
me, go to Miss Terry Diner in Pattaya at
[email protected] or
in Chiang Mai go to
[email protected]. I hope you find our new restaurants simply
I love your column and am amazed at the patience you have. I am an ex pat
and live in Chiang Mai near the university. So, it is not the seedy part of
town like Loi Kroh. How you put up with letters every week from idiots is
beyond me. To all those who fall for lines from bar girls, I say good they
deserve to get the wallets emptied. As a friend of mine (a former model in
Los Angeles) said, Thailand is for those who could not get laid in their own
countries. For all those idiots I have seen in bars bragging about the money
they probably do not have, they just raise the prices for what they want and
none of the girls cares whether the ‘Rolex’ they have is real. These idiots
get what they deserve. As far as I am concerned, send them all to Pattaya!
I spoke with Pattaya City Hall but they said for you to keep them up there
in Chiang Mai, as we have as many idiots as we need already. However,
looking at the problem that you have highlighted, perhaps an identification
system is needed. A badge for the girls to state “Bar Girl wallet handler”
or something like that. For the males, as they come through Immigration they
get given a ‘Sucker badge’ with first timers getting the 100 percent sucker
rating. By the way, from the bar girl side of the pub the watch is a
“Lorek”. But always remember that for a Thai, a watch is not a way of
telling the time, but is more of a fashion accessory.
Further to the chap suspecting that his GF is gambling 2,000 baht a week -
what you may not realize is that “loans” are conveniently available to her
that would impress “Big Tuna Gambino” in New Jersey. I am acquainted with
one fellow who had to sell two condos when his wife got this bug. The 2K per
week could just be the interest. Oh, and the lender does not care if you do
not owe him the money directly. He still expects you to pay Farang.
I’m afraid you are much more experienced in this than me. B. 2,000 a week is
not small change for me, and I’ve never met the Big Tuna. I have heard of
loan sharks, but never loan tuna’s. If someone has to pay, it looks to me
that the chap who was asking about gambling debts last week should pack his
bags and join the Olympic taxi drivers training camp and flee the scene.
The other night in the bar we had a discussion whether Thai females are
romantic. 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, and a limitless ATM card. Surely there are still some
gals out there who appreciate roses and chocolates (apart from you,
Hillary)? I need you to back me up here, Hillary.
Such a lovely name, and chocolates and roses is nice, 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, Champagne.
Your friends are taking too narrow a sample to base their findings. You
don’t need to have rose colored glasses. Your drinking buddies are looking
at life through beer glasses.
One of the women at work told me she needed some money as deposit for a unit
close to work. It wasn’t much, only 4,500 baht, so I gave her 5,000 baht. I
didn’t expect the change. I forgot about it after she said she had moved in
to her new place. About a couple of months later she left the job, but came
back to see me as she was waiting to be paid and was behind in the rent, so
I stumped up for another 1,500 baht. She saw me a couple of weeks later and
said everything was going fine, but that didn’t last too long as she came
back again this week with another tale of woe. I realize I’m being played as
a sucker here, Hillary, but how should I deal with it. I don’t want to be
bad friends with anybody.
Willy the wallet, you have certainly been tagged as a soft touch, haven’t
you, my Petal. There’s no secret in what to do here, and you know it
already. Just say “No”. You can do it nicely, by saying you are a bit short
this month yourself, and that’s all.
Why is it that I seem to attract all the barkers any time I’m at a party? My
mates all seem to bag the good looking ones, leaving the dogs for me. I’m an
OK sort of guy, not loaded, but enough. Wash daily and shave. What is it?
You haven’t given me much to go on, Petal. You don’t mention the twice a day
tooth clean, perhaps that’s it? Bad Breath? How’s the dress sense? Go to
parties decently dressed? Clean clothes? Shoes? Or is it thongs? It’s just
too difficult for me to comment, Lee. Why don’t you ask your friends who
have won the pretty ladies? And remember, just because a girl is a looker,
doesn’t mean she’s a nice person. And some plain Jane’s can be wonderful
I know you are all things to all farangs (mainly men) so in desperation I
thought I’d run this dilemma past you. I’m living in a Thai run, mismanaged
and badly neglected condo complex; the 20-year old building is in a squalid
condition: lifts keep breaking down, the building has been totally blacked
out twice in the last 2 weeks, and if tiles come off the corridor floors
they’re just left there. The only thing the management is interested in is
screwing as much money out of helpless residents as they can. (They threaten
to cut off your water and electric if you don’t pay up.)
What I’d like to know Hillary, is there a relevant government department
that I can report these people to? By email please. Something needs to be
done before the building collapses or sets on fire.
How long have you lived in Thailand? You already know all the answers to
your questions. You wrote “Thai run” and you want to know which relevant
government department you should report them to. That’s a Thai government
department, correct? You can report this to local government, central
government or the government of San Salvador. You will get the same
immediate action. There’s only one piece of advice I can give you – leave
and move somewhere else.
There seems to be so much wrong with tipping that I don’t want to tip any
more. I heard the other day where the boss kept the tips that the waitress
earned and she didn’t get anything. Surely that’s wrong. How can the diner
get over the cheating bosses?
Here’s how it goes – tips are actually earned by everyone in the restaurant.
If the food is no good, there will be no tip. If the service is poor, there
will be no tip. If the restaurant is dirty, there will be no tip. So if the
diner wants to leave a tip, it should be shared by all the staff. However,
if the diner thinks that the waitress has done a particularly good job and
wants to reward her, then he should quietly give the tip directly to her,
separate from anything left after paying the bill. Hope that makes it easy.
In the case you mentioned, the staff should walk out.
Help me please. I came here on holiday about 30 years ago, when I was a
young buck. Had a wonderful time, which ended up costing me very little. The
ladies were more interested in my having a good time that the actual hand
wasn’t out all the time at all. I’ve been here on holidays now for two weeks
and I find the women here in Thailand are still the best eye candy I have
ever seen, but now all they want is my money, and they have so many reasons
that I should give it to them that it is just amazing. Amazing Thailand as
they say. What should I do, Hillary? Give them money or what? I sure like
having them around me, but at this rate I won’t have enough left to eat by
the end of the month. I’m 52, by the way.
You don’t say where all your begging eye candy comes from, my Petal, but let
me guess. From the bars, right? That is how they operate. Find a new
customer, drape themselves all over him, make him feel like he is some
irresistible young buck again, and they have you hooked. Once you’re hooked,
the next item is to land you, and they’ve done that when you pay for the
vet’s fees for the ailing family buffalo, shortly after there will be
medical bills for the brother with the broken leg after the motorcycle
accident. Remember to offer to buy him another motorcycle as well, it will
only cost you another 40,000 baht. Chicken feed. If you have a really thick
wallet, then building a new house for Mama and Papa puts you right up to the
top of the tree – that is, until you return to your home wherever, and
another 52 year old from Sweden takes over. Honestly Mick, this behavior is
so well documented, I find it amazing that there are still people who fall
for all this. A lot has changed in 30 years. Amazing Thailand indeed!
A couple of weeks ago one of you (sic) writers was wondering if his wife was
straying, with the friends from the village and temple trips. Of course
she’s cheating on you, Thai girls keep as many as they possibly can, as long
as you stay dumb.
Do I hear the voice of experience here? Not all Thai girls, but any girls
from any country can stray and will use local excuses to explain their
absence from the family home. So in Thailand it is friends from up-country
and dutiful visits to the temple, and one too far away to just drop by and
look inside. You don’t need PI’s, just careful monitoring and looking at the
photos taken there. She will get the tales mistaken if you wait. Then there
are three options, walk away, confrontation or send her packing. You work
out what is best for you, my Petal.
My GF has begun asking me for money so she can play cards with her friends.
Now she’s left the bar she tells me she is bored, so plays cards for
something to do. That would be OK, Hillary, but the sums of money are now
well over 2,000 baht a week. Looks to me like she isn’t playing cards for
fun, but for gambling. It used to be a couple of hundred baht, but now we
are getting into big numbers. What’s your advice?
Once the gambling bug takes over, you will not get rid of it easily. You can
try saying No and see what happens, but don’t expect a clean stop. You can
try giving her a budget to keep to, but that usually doesn’t work either.
Make it somebody else’s problem. Read the fine print on a Thai driver’s
license where it says, “In the case of an accident – Flee the scene!”
My GF won’t let me take photographs of her. She says she is “mai suay” and
puts her hand over the lens every time I try. Is this a cultural thing or
what? She lets me take as many shots as I want with all her clothes on, so
why not some good arty shots as well? Any pointers on what I should do?
Lennie the lensman
Dear Lennie the lensman,
It is quite obvious that your girlfriend is shy if nothing else, and you
should be aware of the fact that most Thai women are very modest, even in
intimate surroundings. When she says she is “mai suay” (not pretty), that is
just an excuse so that she does not have to explain to you that she would be
embarrassed by all this. You also do not say how long she has been your
girlfriend. You have to go slowly, Petal. If you have real feelings for this
girl, buy her a new outfit and photograph her in it in the park. Otherwise,
put the camera away if you want the relationship to continue.
Are there any sorts of clubs or something where you can meet Thai women, the
better class ones if you know what I mean. I’ve only been here a few weeks,
but I intend to stay for a while. I’m 64, not married (divorced) and I’m not
looking for a bimbo. What’s the right direction?
An experienced gentleman like yourself should join the various chambers of
commerce and networking events promoted by groups chambers of commerce. It
is at these networking evenings that you meet women involved in business
(and not the naughty business), who are there to promote their businesses
and are not there for the express purpose of finding a farang wallet. Best
of luck in your searching.
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 go
with you?” Apart from the fact that this is considered a very rude way of
starting a relationship in the west, I also find it very embarrassing when I
am over here. How do I get these people to stop doing this?
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. They are not in the
habit of issuing a gilt edged invitation to dinner, hand inscribed in Ye
Olde English. 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 invited at
all. In actual fact, those inquiries are very cleverly designed “standard”
bar girl questions to see if you are worthwhile bothering with at all. 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