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Heart to Heart with Hillary


Update April 30, 2016

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Jeffery,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Jarred,
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?

Dear Hillary,
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!”

Update April 23, 2016

Buying the whole cow

Hi Hillary,

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.

Goerge (sic)

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 cow). 

Pattaya Scams

Dear Hillary,

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’ problem either.


Dear Pinkerton,

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 ready.


Free love for Hillary?

Dear 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.


Dear Lover-Boy,

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

Dear Hillary,

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?


Dear Ernie,

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 village.

Update April 16, 2016

(Last 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!

Dear Robert,
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 Dry!

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Jim,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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 say.

Dear Henry,
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.

Dear Hillary,
(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 be friends.
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.

Dear Ray,
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 krueng”

Dear Hillary,
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?
Abe Lincoln

Dear Abe,
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 US variety.

Update April 9, 2016

Dear Hillary,
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?

Dear Jarvis,
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!

Dear Hillary,
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 celebrate with?

Dear Jerry,
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!

Dear Hillary,
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.
Blue Diamond

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.

Dear Hillary,
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?

Update April 2, 2016

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Bryan,
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 day!

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Jack,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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.

Dear Peter,
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.

Dear Hillary,
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 they drink?
Amazing Thailand

Dear Amazed,
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?


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Update April 30, 2016

Update April 23, 2016

Update April 16, 2016

Update April 9, 2016

Update April 2, 2016