Heart to Heart
You’ve just had Songkran, which I believe is the Thai New Year, but is the
money that the tourists bring in the only important thing? Hundreds of
people are killed, so it isn’t much of a New Year for many Thai families. It
is advertised as the biggest water fight in the world, but nobody says
anything about it being the celebration with the biggest road toll in the
world. Has it always been like this?
No, it was not like this in the past. It was a sign of respect for one’s
elders to pour sacred water, which had been blessed by the monks, over the
hands of your relatives. That grew to a water fight between the little
children and then the older children and finally the adults. And then the
tourists joined in and it just grew from there. The official Songkran day
this year was on the 13th, but with public holidays and a weekend after
that, it went for over a week in Pattaya. You should also understand that
Thai people do not “celebrate” Songkran, they say they “play” Songkran. I
stay indoors for the week and order takeaway pizzas, which they can slide
under the door.
I know everything you say about the dangers of getting hooked up with a bar
girl, but there must be some honest ones amongst them, surely. I have been
seeing the same girl for four months, we have been on weekend trips
together, she doesn’t hide her mobile phone from me and offers to pay her
own way at mealtimes. She doesn’t wear gold strings around the neck and has
a very ordinary watch. She says she enjoys my company and she does not say
she is in love with me. Her English is not 100 percent, but we get by (as my
Thai is about five percent). Yes, she has two children up-country that her
mother cares for and she sends money to the village every month. Is it worth
taking the risk to have her move in with me?
You obviously like this girl, but come on, I can’t give you a guarantee that
she is honest and trustworthy. You say your relationship is only four months
old – that’s not very long, my Petal. There’s a difference between a long
lasting relationship and a short one with moving in. Should you take the
risk? I don’t think it is a good idea. Your first name makes me think you
are a young man, with your entire future in front of you. Go slowly, and if
you still feel the same at six months, then look at her moving in and after
three months of living together, reviewing the situation. Do you really want
the additional problems of two ready-made children?
Is that guy for real, who wrote in asking how to transfer big licks of money
to his ever-faithful sweetheart? He has fallen into the Thai trap of
bringing everything back to financial terms. “You want go with me? Give me
2,000 baht. You love me? Give me 20,000 baht. You really, really love me?
Give me 40,000 baht. You love me forever? Give me 100,000 baht!”
Relationships are not based on money, but on trust and that wonderful
emotion called love. Not infatuation, which is the bar girl’s stock in
trade. These old dudes start believing the lies that this 18 year old has
fallen in love with him, so “just send me some money honey and I’ll leave
the bar and go back to the village and wait for you coming next year.” So
the infatuated dork sends the money over to his “sweetheart”, so that she
doesn’t have to spend her nights going to bed with the endless supply of old
tossers like him. Hillary, you do try and warn these poor saps, but I think
you should have just tell them to stop being an idiot and wake up to
themselves. Remember “You can take a girl out of the bar, but you can’t take
the bar out of the girl!”
The ‘Real’ thing
Dear ‘Real’ thing’,
I think you are being a bit hard on many of the correspondents, my Petal.
There have been many relationships between bar girls and older “sponsors”
which have worked well for both parties. The problem is getting the old
chaps of this world to understand that it is a two-way street. She gets the
benefit of an income, while he gets the benefit of the company of a lovely
young girl. That works well for foreigners living here, but I don’t think it
works as well for the ones living overseas and coming over for their three
week holiday each year. It really is asking too much of the girl that she
gives up all opportunities of gaining money for the other 11 months 1 week.
Would you? If there is money to be made, then why not? Even 100,000 baht a
month does not guarantee faithfulness, when the relationship is only based
on money, I agree. And always remember, “You can lead a horse to drink, but
you can’t make it water!”
the whole cow
After nine visits I came to conclusion that beach
road girls and bar girls are the same, they hate men and they hate sex but they
act like they do for the money. Renting a girl "Mia chow" for a month with
salary is very very boring cause they speak very little street English and hang
with you for 24 hours with nothing to talk about. 6 hours of night sleep and one
hour of "boom boom". Leaves you with 17 hour of boredom.
My present girlfriend work in pharmacy and one
before working at clothing store. I would not rent a bar girl mainly because God
knows how many men she had. Bar girls are life saving for ugly fat and very old
tourist who would pay any price for a young girl who make him feel thin young
and attractive. After a month the man realized the price quadruple after feeding
the girl buying her clothes and all her needs. And of course for her "sick"
mother and a father who need "surgery" and her brother had a car "accident" and
money for her baby - all endless lies.
For that price the man could have 20 girls for one
night stand. Veriety (sic) is a spice of life. You don't buy a whole cow
for just a glass of milk.
Dear George (or is it really Goerge?),
You certainly do have a boring life, don’t you
Petal. One hour of Boom Boom and six hours of sleep and the next 17 hours are
boredom until the next day with Boom Boom, six hours of sleep and then bored. I
don’t know how your pharmacy girl puts up with you. And your justification for
not having a “mia chow” is that you can get 20 girls for a one night stand for
the same money. You are certainly one helluva athlete, as well as being “kee
niow”. Even at 4,000 baht a day for the mia chow (which I believe is twice the
going rate) that means the 20 one night standers get a whopping 200 baht each.
Goerge, you are all heart and milk of human kindness (one glass, not the whole
Did you know that Pattaya seems to be the scam
capital of the world? And it’s not Nigerian scams either, but local home-grown
ones. I know of one chap who lost eight million baht to “rescue” his wife from
the stand-over gang because she had an outstanding gambling debt. They give the
woman an unlimited credit line, when they see she is married to a farang. End
result is the foreigner pays off the debt for his wife. No paper changes hands
either, so there’s no bill and receipt as protection against further financial
calls. They will squeeze you until there’s no more and the wife returns saying
she’ll never gamble again (till next time). This is not foreigners taking
advantage of Thais, but Thais taking advantage of Thais, and the foreigner is
the one who pays in the end. The police don’t want to know about this ‘domestic’
I hadn’t realized this scam was so widespread,
nor did I know that the famous American PI’s were here as well. The answer is
obviously not to get sucked into this cesspool in the first case, but if you
have already been hit, get as far away as possible. To continue a gambling
“habit” is a sickness and you should get the woman to ask for treatment. Even
so, the success rate is not high. Get legal advice and get your running shoes
Free love for Hillary?
Do you believe in free love? I cannot decide whether
you are a prude, or someone very liberated. Your replies are never consistent.
Tell me where you lie and make me happy.
I think that “Boy” is all you should use. I don’t
think you have matured enough yet to handle nudity, prudity or serendipity.
However, in answer to your query about free love, I do not believe in paying for
it, though at my age it is coming close! And where do I lie? On my bed, sweet
petunia. On my bed.
Rellies from Hell
Like many British expat pensioners I am living off
the small pension I get from the old country. This is enough for me and my lady.
But now her two grownup kids have come to stay with us. It’s been three months
now and they just sit around and drink Thai whisky, don’t work and live off me.
It’s costing me more than my pension. She tells me it is the Thai way. You know
these things, what should I do?
You certainly have to do something my Petal – you
have to show them the door! You are just being used. Forget all this nonsense
about Thai ways and the family, the way the system works is that as soon as they
are old enough the kids support the old folks, not the other way round. Put your
foot down and tell them they either have to contribute or return to their
week I printed a poem from Robert. He has continued on from there!)
A man who fails to look in the mirror,
Surely thinks that it is something queer,
Cannot believe there is anything more clear,
Than his skin, head, mind, body and beer.
And although some things have passed us by,
We can both, learn the reasons why,
and content ourselves with greater knowing,
To act our age and make our going,
Out to find friends and conversation
Part of pride of self and worth of our station.
Dignity may make a lonely blanket at times,
But it leaves us with lessons that shine.
For those dullards not happy with this advice,
Go ahead, pay the price, it will cost you thrice!
Hills darling, Make it a dry Gordon’s martini frozen into a glass.
I do not drink of beer alas!
You have your priorities mixed up, petal. You buy the lady a drink, not the
other way round. Sorry you will be waiting a long time for that Gordon’s
I asked a girl out from work as she always gave me great come-on smiles
every time I would see her. After three days and hearing nothing I sent her
another SMS and she replied saying it was her birthday and she would have to
spend the time with her family, so sorry. What do you think, Hillary? Was
she letting me down gently or should I try again?
You are certainly a bit thick. If she wanted to go out with you she would
have suggested a different day. You have mistaken a Thai smile shown to you
for interest in you. Keep looking, but that one is for experience.
There’s a lot of blokes who write to you all worried about money that their
GFs ask them for. What’s wrong with these blokes? If you don’t want to give
them money, then don’t do it. If they leave then you know what it was they
wanted above everything else, so why fret? Good riddance from bad rubbish I
You aren‘t a very romantic soul, are you! You are not describing a
girlfriend, you are describing a maid. Big difference. Maids will go to the
highest bidder. Girlfriends are someone who contributes something to the
relationship. You have got the two confused, Petal. Stick with your maid
plus extras until a woman comes along who sets your heart on fire, and you
will understand the people who have written in to me.
(Following on to the chap who found his wife cheating after 10 years) In
farangland as I know it, it was mostly the wife who would hang on to a
cheating husband. I know a few here, who tolerate their husbands cheating,
some I know. But their choices are different, do they tolerate it because
the alternative is worse? Here farang will hang on way past the bitter end
with a Thai wife. I, too married more than 10 yrs. though no kids between us
involved, the first proof of indiscretion and we’d be done. While it happens
everywhere, I just can’t get my head around being in a torturous, stressful
relationship. I can’t see the point of being with someone who causes
unhappiness. I can instantly separate myself from anyone who causes me
drama, living alone is not a problem.
While the kids are a major concern, resign yourself to the fact that with so
many other family members around, the kids will not go un-loved. I’d be sure
they get what they need, and see them when possible, without being a
nuisance, or you will turn the whole family against you. Move on and try to
Like elephant poop in a Soi, you can see it from a great distance, but
continue walking toward it until you have to make a drastic change of course
to avoid it, then maybe stumble on something and fall face first into it,
when it didn’t have to come that.
You are quite the philosopher at times, Petal, but I stick to my point that
I always make in these circumstances, and that is that the children come
first. I am not so sure they “will get what they need,” as you are. Children
need that father figure and a farang father is what is needed for “Luk
So sorry to hear that you look like losing out on the president’s job. I
thought you’d make for a great president, never mind the first woman. What
are you going to do now, and how much did the attempt to get into the White
House cost ya?
You are pulling my leg, aren’t you, Abe? Why do I think this is a spoof?
Probably because Abe’s been dead a long time now, Petal, and anyway you
should know that the person you have written to is Hillary, and not Hillary
Clinton. How much did it cost her? Several millions of dollars I believe,
and they talk about local politicians buying votes! Nothing compared to the
I am looking for a nice lady to give me company when eating out and who is
happy to just stay at home and watch the telly at other times. At my age
(67) I’m not into discos and the like. A nice stay at home girl is what I
need. What do I do to find one?
You are not making it easy for yourself, Petal. With your home buddy
watching TV every night, how do you find her? Not by direct contact, but you
will have to rely on word of mouth I think. You will have to speak to the
wives of some of your friends and tell them what you are looking for. I’m
sure they will have an older friend who doesn’t go to discos. In fact I
think you will be swamped by potential stay at homers looking for a nice
67-year old to support them. Best of luck, but take your time. Don’t rush
off to the TV set with the first one that is suggested!
We’ve just had Easter and a girl in my office gave me some chocolate eggs.
With Songkran just around the corner, should I be giving her something to
You are obviously a nice person, thinking about giving something to the girl
in the office. But Songkran is the water throwing festival and I don’t think
giving her an umbrella is really suitable. Give her some chocolates if you
are trying to get a relationship going, and see what happens after that!
A guy wrote to you a couple of months back wondering just how the local
expats make it through the day with all the nudge-nudge wink-wink you know
what I mean side benefits that are available here and you suggested it was
the same as just getting over the kid in the candy store thing. Hillary, I
am sorry to say, Petal, you are not really right. All that happens is that
half of the expats settle down and get married but the other half never get
out of the candy store, and what’s wrong with that. I know of guys who are
in their 70’s and 80’s and maybe even older who still go to the bars every
day, and even if it does take a couple of blue diamonds to get them going,
does it really matter? They’re having fun, the girls get paid and surely
that is a win-win situation. You would have to agree, Miss Hillary, as well
as admitting that you were wrong for once.
Dear Blue Diamond,
What you describe is certainly a win-win situation Mr. Blue Diamonds, but is
real life just as much a win-win situation? Unfortunately no, as you will
have seen from the thousands of letters that have been posted in this column
over the years, Petal. If it were such a win-win situation, why would anyone
be complaining about their lot? Here’s the real situation. The ones that get
married suffer from the same divorce statistics as marriages in their own
countries, with about 50 percent down the drain. That’s real marriages. Then
there are the ‘marriages of convenience’ (mia chow – rented wife) which also
do not last (usually because the money dries up and the mia chow departs
with whatever is not too hot or too heavy), and then a large portion of the
remainder just get tired of the lack of the chase. The foreplay being
restricted to “You want short time?” Followed by “OK. How much?” This is
hardly hunter and hunted. There’s no conquest, let along no contest here.
You would have to agree, Mr. Blue Diamond, and some of the chaps you think
are in their 70’s and 80’s are probably only 45, but very dissipated.
I have a nice relationship with my Thai girlfriend, even though I only get
to see her for about two times four weeks every year. We set up a condo
together (it’s in my name) and she seems happy enough there, though I am a
little worried by the amount she tells me she spends every month. She has a
good job and should be able to live on what she earns, but every month she
needs about another 40-50,000 baht to keep going. The money she tells me is
for maintenance of the condo, then her mother who looks after her two kids
up jungle needs money, then the phone bills seem astronomical, and on and on
and on. I enjoy my times over there, but I am starting to think that maybe
I’m getting ripped off somewhere down the line. Do you think I am?
Dear Rip (toff),
Look in the mirror. I think you will see tattooed on your forehead the
letters S-U-C-K-E-R. You most certainly are getting ripped off. My
suggestion is to put me in the condo and I’ll only charge you for an extra
30,000 baht each month. There’s a story about geese and golden eggs here. I
think you’ve already reached that point. Correct?
Having lived a long life and now in my twilight years I look back on past
events. I was once granted a 13 day leave pass in Tokyo. On our first day my
mate and I met two local women, one was a beauty whereas the other was more
homely looking. We drew straws and my mate got the pick of the litter.
I spent the next 13 days with what you term as a Barker (derogatory term and
uncalled for). I will never forget Satchiko Takahara and still have her
photos in my album. I returned to my unit but my mate had to attend the
Regimental Aid Post for injections of Streptomycin.
Beauty is only skin deep. To quote the old cliche: The eyes are the window
of the heart.
Thank you for your recollections from days gone past – but obviously not
forgotten. I wonder if Satchiko Takahara has your photo in her purse? The
important factor to remember is that ‘beauty’ does not last forever, while
good nature does. Hillary has never been so lucky as you, and all I’ve had
to put up with is mongrels with twitchy noses. It’s been a difficult life,
Bryan. No wonder I need chocolates and champagne, just to get me through the
About a month ago you received some letters discussing whether all that Thai
women want is money (or gold), so I hope you don’t mind if I put my two
bob’s worth in here as well. Yes, all they want is money, and by the
bucketload. After they’ve cleaned you out, they disappear and you are left
with nothing and they don’t show any remorse either. As a foreigner you are
fair game, better get used to it.
Your bank account’s still empty and you are hurting, aren’t you, my poor
Petal. But with any partnership there has to be an equal split. If you leave
it so that she has everything and you have nothing, like the bee, she will
buzz to the next flower. Be more honest with yourself, Jack. Let her have
her own bank account, you have your own bank account, and a third one a
joint account for the two of you. That way you are providing, but not
leaving yourself open to being shafted. And being shafted happens in all
countries, Jack. Not just Thailand.
I’ve been reading you for some time and it seams (sic) to me that you’ve got
a down on the bar girls. Why? They all speak English and know how to keep a
feller entertained. They’d make a much better wife than the stuck up society
girls you are telling everyone to hook up with. Time for you to be a bit
more real old gal, and stop knocking the working girls.
I think it is time you went through the back copies of this illustrious
newspaper, my Petal, and see and note what I have really been saying.
However, you are right, the bar girls do speak (some kind of) English, and
so I suppose if you are looking for a long term relationship with a woman
and you are happy with the in-depth conversations of “Hello sexy man,” and
“Sit down please” and “Buy me cola”, then you are in paradise. This depends
upon, of course, you having an endless supply of cola at home, plus a rather
large always-full wallet. The “working girls” are just that – they are
working and like all good workers deserve their hire. What is forgotten in
that heady rush of blood to the brain is that you are doing exactly that –
hiring. “Mia chow” (rented wife) expects a monthly salary for her. It is not
the more commonly thought of “housekeeping” money. She will demand a salary,
which is untouchable. Does this make them a “better wife” as you claim? Each
to his own, I suppose, but long term liaisons with working girls do not have
a good long term history, Peter.
Don’t you get tired of all these men who write in complaining that they have
been ripped off, jilted, robbed and bankrupted by women half their size and
half their age. Is this some inbuilt male self-destroying mechanism, or are
they all just suckers for a pretty face? Or is it just all the beer that
And I believe that must be Ms. Amazed judging by the tone of your letter.
Now, have you lost someone to the brown maidens, I wonder? No, males
generally do not show self-destruction as one of their less redeeming
features, well, not to my knowledge at least. However, you are correct that
some (not all, my Petal) of them fall prey to the flattery found in the beer
bars, and when viewing the world through beer glasses, you can get a
somewhat distorted idea of what is real compared to clever salesmanship. So
I’m sorry I cannot fully answer your queries, but perhaps you can answer
just why do these men succumb so readily? Is there something missing in
their previous relationships?