Heart to Heart
I know you’ve had quite a few guys writing in with GF problems. I just want
everyone to read this and remember that these Thai women work on a different set
of rules to us Europeans. Where we honor honesty in everything, including
relationships, the local women are also “honest” but only to what they are
thinking at the time. So they can say they will meet you at 3, that doesn’t mean
they will be there at that time, because of, because of, because of, but rather
than tell you why because you wouldn’t understand, they make up some fanciful
story which then becomes “honesty”. They work on if you say the same story over
and over, it becomes the truth. Different strokes for different folks!
Congratulations! You have discovered the secret of life in SE Asia. They are
different strokes, and the sooner some of the foreigners accept this, the better
off they will be. Some Westerners consider the Thai girls to be like children,
because they laugh a lot and can ignore some things that the Westerners consider
important – like time keeping, for example. However, those “children” can run
rings around westerners in critical thinking and determining what is ‘really’
important and what is not. Learn to accept the different cultures, and do not
forget that this country is called Thailand, not Farangland. Sorry.
I’ve met a real honey. A happy bouncy woman (at 39 she’s too old to be called a
‘girl’) and I have found myself becoming very attracted to her. Here’s my
problem, if she stays overnight, should I give her some money or not? She
doesn’t work in a bar, never worked in a bar (not even as ‘cashier’), has her
own little shop, but I’m sure it doesn’t bring in big licks. Is it expected that
I give her some money? Up till now I have been paying her, and she gratefully
accepts the two thousand, but what do I do if she moves in? Sorry, but I’m new
A rather wise expat once told me that he pays the girl in the morning, for her
to go away, not for having stayed. Now think about that in your circumstance, my
Petal. I suggest you stop paying for the overnighters, and start paying for her
company instead. No fixed rate for this kind of relationship, but I would ask
her what she wants and take it from there. Sensible numbers means a sensible
woman, silly numbers means an opportunist. Be guided by that. Best of luck,
I have been a loyal supporter of your particular column. I find your column very
rewarding in that it is sort of like group therapy for us Thailand stricken
folks. I find you very caring, loving, but mostly supportive of one and all who
write in with their trials and tribulations that are sincere and
straightforward. There are certainly so many varied experiences that us farangs
encounter when first arriving at the gates to heaven on earth. I do not want to
get into any long stories about my particular adventures in the wonderful land
of smiles, but suffice to say, they have all been earth shattering, and
downright addictive in nature. After many years of learning from my mistakes, I
now find myself engaged in a loving, caring, and real marriage to a bar girl. In
my eyes, and that’s the key; if we truly fall in love with another human being,
then we should be willing to ignore all the flack, and give all our hearts and
souls into that relationship, and embrace that individual’s culture and customs
and adapt! Simple as that! I think the key is learn from our mistakes! And make
the necessary adjustments if that is really what you want. MONEY! Money is for
here and now, so let’s enjoy all our adventures, good and bad, and try to make
this planet a better place for everyone, not just the chosen few. Thanks very
much for all your hard and entertaining work Ms. Hillary.
Thank you for all the nice words. It is always nice to think that someone
appreciates what goes into the column. You are also very caring and loving, and
have obviously developed a broader viewpoint of life, and as you say, “Let’s
enjoy all our adventures, good and bad, and try to make this planet a better
place for everyone, not just the chosen few.” I also like your philosophy on
love, especially putting hearts and souls into the relationship. Sure, you may
get burned on the way through, but it is never the end of the world. If you made
money once, you can make it again. If you loved once, you can love again. And
you are right, my Petal. Learn from your mistakes – in everything in life. Again
thank you. You made my world a better place today as well. Now I think I’ll go
and bark at somebody, just in case they think I’ve gone soft!
I have to tell you a typical story of relationship between farang and Thai
girl which I witnessed. I was on the car-taxi traveling along Beach Road and
across of me sat a British man very old at least 90 with a young girl 22 to
25. The man kept talking to her and even me, American, had problem
understanding what he said with his heavy accent not to mention that she
didn’t understand a word. The girl just smile and hold his sucker hand very
tight. Her fingers were full of gold plus wedding band. This is how I red
(sic) her face and her thinking: “I married this old fart and he won’t die,
I hope he die soon so I can get all his money. When he die my family and I
will have a big celebration. He probably think I am stupid, he is right, but
I will hire a very smart lawyer who will get me all his money.”
Any old man can hire a live in aid who will do the same work as wife.
Wouldn’t an old foolish man prefer that his money will go to his children?
This old man think that by marrying her she will have to have sex with him
which an aid would not.
What sex? At your age you can not perform and if you use a helpful drug you
might die from heart attack and then back to the celebrating wife.
You, my Petal, are certainly the most judgmental person I know. Just what is
wrong with your 90 year old enjoying his money in his retirement? These
children of his that you say the 90 year old would prefer to give his money
to are all 60-70 years old themselves. They get the pension and can spend
their own money on wine, women and song. And how do you know our
nonagenarian can’t perform? Leave him alone to enjoy his 25 year old
girlfriend. But your letter does remind me of the 70 year old walking down
the street with a 17 year old. When his mates all asked how did he end up
with such a beauty he replied, “It was easy, I lied about my age. I told her
I was 90.”
What is it with these men who complain about the way the Thai women relate
to the foreigners? Don’t they understand this isn’t NY City or London? Your
home country women have their own ways of getting money out of you, but they
are more sneaky than the Thai who are up front about it all. At the
beginning of the relationship it is “Buy me cola.” This later becomes “You
buy me house.” Whereas the foreign female gets you to buy a house for both
of you and then divorces you and keeps the lot. I’ll take my chances with
the local ladies.
There are always problems with these ‘mixed’ marriages – foreigners and
locals, but if you keep your brains under your hat and not in the underpants
you can survive very well. You look like you’ve got a good handle on the
situation. Enjoy your life, Mickey.
You have often mentioned books that newcomers to Thailand should read and
you should add “Falangs in Thailand” to that list. These cartoon books by
Mike Baird are based on truth and everyone who laughs at the drawings should
also remember that (it is based on truth). The cartoonist must have spent a
lot of time watching what goes on in Pattaya, but what he shows is the same
for Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai. “Private Dancer” by Stephen Leather is
another book that anyone who spends time in the bars should read. Stay there
long enough and it will happen to you, so be warned. I hope this helps,
Hillary. I enjoy your column.
I am so glad you like my weekly (weakly some days) column. Thank you for the
information about suitable books, and I have enjoyed all of Mike’s books and
do agree with your ideas. Unfortunately, I think many young chaps who come
here (and some not so young as well) don’t seem to be able to read. Perhaps
the cartoon books will be better for them, as long as they realize that Mike
Baird is being very satirical. We can only hope, Petal. We can only hope.
I’m lining up for a divorce after three years separation. I don’t want to
spend heaps on this, but she won’t agree with divorce unless I give her
large alimony payments. How to get around this?
As you have found out, to your sorrow, that where there’s a will, there’s
always a won’t. Your (hope to be ex-) wife doesn’t have all the aces, Petal,
but go and see a lawyer. Tell him or her that you only have so much money,
and can they do the job for that amount? If they can’t then all you can do
is tell the judge your situation. Lots of luck.
I see guys in their 20s come here to have sex with local girls. I feel sorry
for them, they lack self confidence and low self esteem. They pay for long
flight, hotel and the girl price. That a lot of money for sex. When I was
their age I had girls at my country coming out of my sleeves and never paid
for sex. Poor guys.
Bar girls are smart they trying to have as many “boyfriends” as possible.
They meet tourists who are here for short time pretend to fall in love,
telling you every day “I lab you” the man fall in love and agree to send her
about $300 a month till he come again next year for two weeks. She text him
every day “I lab you”. The man paid $300 a month time 12 it’s bht 130,000 a
year for two weeks sex-stupid. Some girls have few “boyfriends”. If two
boyfriends coming same two weeks vacation, she will keep one and notify the
other she will be with her parents in the mountains. There are too many
You have obviously not been listening properly to bar-girl English. It is “I
lub you”, not “I lab you.” I am also worried about the fact that you put a
financial value on all transactions, with “That a lot of money for sex” for
example. Are you an accountant in a bank? These men that you are worried
about, arriving here with no self-confidence and low self esteem seem to
have gone back after two weeks, just brimming with it. The much maligned bar
girl seems to have done a wonderful job with your emotional cripples, it
would appear. The $300 per month is cheap for such powerful medicine, and
the men are not complaining, it is only you Goerge, my Petal.
Am on the trail of a “good girl”. You know, the kind of girl you are always
bleating on about. Well, I started to have a chatting relationship with the
local laundry lady. She made it obvious that she was interested in me,
always made sure she served me and not one of the other staff members. Long
story short, I was passing her shop one night and she was just leaving so I
stopped and said perhaps she might like a meal, so she said yes and
suggested a little local place just up the road. We spent some time there,
and a few bottles of brown ale, and we ended up in bed together. She was
wonderful in the sack and I thought at the time that you were right,
Hillary, suggesting we look for the good girls. She left in the morning and
even took the laundry.
However, when I went to the laundry a couple of days later she told me she
was going to Bangkok for the weekend to visit her daughter and she had no
money, could I give her 2,000 baht? It certainly wasn’t a loan! Like a
sucker, I suppose, I opened my wallet and she had 2,000 baht in her fingers
in no time, while rubbing my back.
A couple of weeks later, the same scene. She’d come over, spend the night
and the next time I saw her in the laundry it was another 2,000 baht. The
only difference between this “good” girl and ones from the bar is you know
what is the going rate, and you pay then, not a few days down the road a
So what do I do, Hillary? Continue on, but put her in the bar girl basket,
or a pretend relationship as a “good” girl?
The lesson here, is you get nothing for nothing! With your laundry lady you
can go to restaurants and know people aren’t looking at the pair of you and
saying “bar girl” under their breath. You were not to know she might like a
financial contribution to help the relationship along. You never know, she
might be amenable to a discount on the laundry, in exchange for the
sleep-overs! We’ve all got to live, Will. Times are tough my Petal. Don’t be
My Thai GF no sooner finishes eating than she’s ready to go again. She’s as
thin as a rake, but eats all the time. Her mates are all just the same,
finish one round and they’re ready for the next. It gets me, I go out after
the third course. What’s the secret, Hillary?
Is that “wondering” or “wandering” I wonder? What do you do between courses
four and five? No, Petal, eating is more than just a meal for your Thai GF,
it is a very social time when friends can get together and share the food.
That can occur at any time of day or night, but the food they eat, such as
the favorite som tam is not high in sugar and calories, so that’s why your
GF remains thin. The chilli also hurries the food through the system. As the
TV program warns “Don’t try this at home!” The real som tum can be far too
spicy for foreigners.
I thought the most used saying in Thai was “Have you eaten yet?” I have
recently spent some time in Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, and the most used
phrase is when the nurse needs to change your sheets, she casually says “Up
Ooh, aren’t you the lucky one! There’s a fair percentage of people round
town waiting for an invitation like that. However, on behalf of all the hard
working nurses everywhere, I’m sure what she wanted you to do was raise your
There’s been some letters to you about the Kid in the Candy store. As was
pointed out, some foreigners never get over the candy store phase, but I
think you will find that this is because they haven’t found the girl they
really “clicked” with, so rather than become a crotchety old thing (I’m not
pointing the finger at you, Hillary) they stay in the candy store, and I
never hear many complaints. Have you heard of serial monogamy Hillary?
That’s what this leads to.
Billy the Kid
Dear Billy the Kid,
I am so glad you’ve got everything in your life mapped out so well. It’s
because of generous souls like yourself that the candy stores can continue
to trade. In the meantime a box of Maynard’s Wine Gums will be very
satisfactory. Thank you my Petal. However, this cereal mahogany has me a
little worried. Is this a breakfast cereal the candy store sells? With
colored hundreds and thousands on the top?
Do these writing in people understand what they are doing? They go to a bar
and in no time they are setting themselves up with the blushing virgin
beauty. After that it’s off to the village to meet the in-laws and the
entire village (some interbreeding I think) then getting a house built (it’s
cheap up country) then buying the house down here, in her name of course.
Then it all goes sour, the Thai husband arrives in the newly purchased
marital home, and he’s out. The dream had no substance, just his dreams in
the sky. Never mind the Nigerian scams, the Thai lady scams don’t even need
email. The chap in question runs head first into the trap, and some do it
more than once. Oh my dizzy aunt.
Your understanding of the village marriage goes far beyond that of someone
reading my column each week. You are relating the situation as it happened
to you. Am I not right, Petal? Don’t let it happen for a third time. For
you, I think looking at a ‘rental’ agreement is safer.
Are all Thai girls as forward as the one I met the other night? I was
sitting on my own in the bar and I didn’t want to listen to the usual inane
chatter that the bar girls carry on with, so I started to talk to the
service girl and she seemed a nice enough lady, so I bought her a couple of
drinks, but then went home. The next day she rolls up at my office with some
flowers for me! I was so embarrassed, as all my work mates were laughing. I
asked one of the girls to find out what she wanted, but all they said was
that the lady liked me. What do I do with this? The last thing I need is
Dear Embarrassed Eddie,
Just how did this girl know where you worked? If she is clairvoyant, then I
think you should keep her, my Petal, and cash up on all the winning lottery
tickets she will predict for you. But if, on the other hand, it was because
you gave her your business card, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.
Of course you can always use someone else’s card, but I didn’t tell you
Like you always advise us, look for the “good” girls, and I have found one,
but there’s still a problem. She works in a dress shop and is really quite a
stunner. I pass by every day and if she spots me, I always get a wave and a
big smile. Sometimes I catch her outside the shop and she is always happy to
chat. But today she just looked away and I was too embarrassed to go
further. Hillary, I have put six months into this, and I am starting to feel
the chase after “good” girls isn’t worth it. What do you suggest?
You have been smiling like an idiot and nodding for six months and you
wonder why this girl has given up on you? Come on, Jurgen, six months and no
invitation to dinner, movies, lunch and all the usual ways of getting to
know a “good” girl. I would have given up on you by three months, Petal.
Your girl from the dress shop was hoping for some excitement in her life.
What did she get? Grin, grin, smile and nothing else. Some days you men
amaze me with your gormless approach to life. Be a little more brave next