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Heart to Heart with Hillary


Update July 30, 2016

Dear Hillary,

In reply to the Peter guy who thinks himself better than everyone, why keep one Peter? Kinda nice to wake up with someone alongside, someone who will bring your coffee to bed, someone to translate when confused, someone you don’t have to impress, someone to actually just nudge with your elbow when something funny or exciting happens on TV, or, perhaps, someone who can simply scratch that unreachable place on your back. Thai ladies, some not all, are extremely appreciative of a man of their very own and show that appreciation in many ways which you, will never experience! Who Peter, do you nudge?


Dear Don,

You are obviously a man of experience, and I could not have commented better than you have. I’m rubbing my back against the wall right now with my itchy spot!


Dear Hillary,

We’ve just had another extended holiday with no alcohol. This is supposed to be a tourist city and tourists like to have a wine with their dinner. What can be done about this?


Dear Gerry,

I understand you, but there are some basics you do not seem to know. First, “holiday” comes from “holy” day and this past holiday is one of the Buddhist special holy days, so it is very different from the forthcoming “Mother’s Day” for example, which has no religious significance. Sure, the bars won’t be making their usual results, but you will have seen that many of the bars were selling liquid refreshment in teacups!

Dear Hillary,

I asked a girl out a couple of weeks ago, but she said she couldn’t because her family would be going to the temple that day. Was she just trying to put me off, or is it true?



Dear Max,

Please see the letter above yours. Whether she was being truthful, I wouldn’t know, but goodness me, you’re a big boy now – ask her out again, my petal. There’s a limit to the number of holy days in the calendar.


Dear Hillary,

I know it sounds funny asking you to help, but I can’t find an electrician that I can trust to work on a project of mine. It is a new development of an old principle and I believe I can make a lot of money if I can get the electrics sorted out. Can you help me please?


Dear OHM,

Are you for real? What are you making? A portable electric chair? Have I got an electrician? No. Am I an electrician? No. Are you really this simple? Stick the red wire in one hole and the black one in the other and the green one you stick in the ground. Hope that helps.


Dear Hillary,

I have to laugh at all your letter writers, wondering if they have found THE ONE, when they should start looking at themselves to see if they would be THE ONE for any of the women around here. I’m not talking about the girls from the bars, who are only there for one thing – money, while the blokes are also there for one thing – sex. They’ll never find the right one there. I’m talking about the ones you call “good girls”, and these blokes aren’t even looking in the right place, and I reckon no self respecting girl would want to be seen with some fat bellied old bloke wobbling along with a skinful of booze every night. You try telling ‘em, Hillary, I’ve given up. They’ve got no (expletive removed) idea.

Al the Advisor 

Dear Al,

I understand where you’re coming from Petal, but if you want to be an advisor you’ve got to do more than throwing a bucket of warm manure over the people wanting advice. Once the average chap understands what the bars are for, and what the girls who work in the bars are there for, then you’re about half way there to finding someone who might be THE ONE and obviously not from the bar scene. The bars are for fun, not for evers. You are correct when you say that the chaps looking for a partner have to present themselves in a good way as well. No Thai lady is looking for the kind of farang you best know. Finding THE ONE is difficult in any society, in any country, and is no different here. Just keep on showing those who ask of you where they shouldn’t look, and you’ve done your bit, Al. Just tell them that you don’t go to a barber shop to buy cheese!


Dear Hillary,

Have you seen that your old “admirer” Nairod is back on the scene, professing his undying love for you. Having remembered his antics previously, I think this could be considered as “stalking”. Being a leading lawyer in these sorts of cases, I am willing to press charges on your behalf for only half of my usual inflated fee, and want to see this Nairod scoundrel dealt with as appropriate. Just say the word, Hillary, and I will give it my undivided attention.

Hookem, Havem and Fleecem


Dear HH&F,

Thank you for the kind offer. I’ll let you know. Don’t wait by the phone.

Update July 23, 2016

Dear Hillary,

I have been married to my Thai wife for 10 years. We get by on a pension from the UK, which buys less and less every year. She runs a little Mom and Pop convenience store downstairs, but that isn’t doing too well recently, lucky to cover the rent. Her two younger brothers have moved to Pattaya and they are staying with us but all they do all day is lie about the place watching telly. I really don’t like this situation and I told my wife that as things are tough, they should pay rent. She gets angry when I say this and threatens to leave. What can you suggest, Hillary?


Dear Bobby,

It looks to me that your wife is looking at you as the family ATM. This shows a breakdown in communications between husband and wife. After 10 years, she should have a very clear indication of your financial state (or lack of finances state). The two brothers should be out looking for jobs and earning their keep. Unfortunately some folk (especially males) look for the easy was through life, leaving all the hard work to the women of the household. You need to discuss this with your wife, urgently and come to some agreement, or she will have painted herself into a corner!

Dear Hillary,

My Thai girlfriend is perfect in every way, but one. When we go out for a beer she gets very ‘teary’ after a round or two and rehashes all the bad things that have happened to her in the past. As far as I am concerned, what’s in the past is in the past, so let’s not cry over spilt milk, as they say. She sees it this way too, until she’s had a skinful and then it’s back to the tears again. This then means no nooky for me that night. Have you any ideas what I can do to get her over this?


Dear Greg,

You men are all the same. Beer and sex, sex and beer. Don’t you think of anything else? Have you tried not plying her with drink? Beer is neither a stimulant nor a muscle strengthener, but is a depressant and a muscle relaxer (ever heard of brewer’s droop). Neither of these items are good for your nocturnal pursuits, you know. Try sticking with soft drinks for the little lady – and a few for yourself won’t go astray either!

Dear Hillary,

My name is Maleeporn, and I am a Thai woman, working in an office here in the sex and sin city who have been reading Pattaya Mail and your column for years. I wrote to you once long time ago, could not remember what it was, in hand writing. Anyway, I am writing you today again to tell you how I enjoy your column.

I enjoy learning foreigner’s point of view in life - I mean yours and your readers’, the style of putting out their opinions, their home countries and everything. Personally, I always admire their punctuality and being discipline which we Thais are so weak at this. Your column is very helpful to me to learn the differences of people in this world.

As I am studying Humanities at Ramkhamhaeng University major in English, I would like to say here that I have learned a great deal of knowledge from your column, and this has helped my studying to become a very interesting one. I thank you. You are like my religion here. I hope you keep doing this useful job for a very long time.

Lastly, to have my letter for a change in your column would not be so bad, yes? Readers need vacation, too.


Thai woman

Dear Thai woman,

How kind of you to write again, even if you can’t remember what it was about (and neither can I, but the advice would have been perfect). Yes, there are many differences between farangs and Thais, and more than just big noses and round eyes. Some of the differences are good, some bad. Foreigners have learned how to use a wrist watch, whilst the Thais think of them as fashion accessories and are still inventing excuses for being late. One day they will fix the traffic in Bangkok and hundreds of people will be without the ‘rot dit’ excuse, and then all we will have left is to blame the six hour clock system.

You are correct where you have noted that foreigners are not afraid to voice their opinions and most remain very proud of their roots, even though they have come to settle down in Thailand. This comes through a different style of education where the child is encouraged to put forward ideas.

However, I must take you to task over your suggesting that Pattaya is the “sin and sex city”. Where did you get that from? Since when did “sex” become a “sin”? Just because there are man-made laws to cover sex for sale, does not necessarily make the act a sin. And honestly, if Pattaya is a “sex and sin city”, what is Bangkok, with its Patpong Road, Soi Nana, Soi Cowboy and 3,596 karaoke bars? Or London, Amsterdam, Munich, Sydney, or Mumbai?

Update July 16, 2016

Dear Hillary,

I have been having a sort of long distance relationship with a very sweet girl for the past five years. I was on holidays here and met her as she was a travel agent and helped me with changing some flight plans. We got along well and had dinner together a couple of times before I returned to the UK. We stayed in touch by email and she asked me to correct her emails as she wanted to improve her English.

The next time I came over, she helped me again and we began seeing each other every day, and she even came with me on a trip up-country, but stayed in her own room, as she comes from a very strict family.

We did this for a couple of years, getting closer all the time, but never had relations. She did suggest, half joking I thought, that maybe we should get married, but I said that couldn’t happen as she was 32 years old and I was 60, and she never mentioned it again.

So now I have a permanent guide that I am very attached to, and really would like to pop the question. Should I do it, Hillary, or just put up with the situation as it is?

Hesitant Harry

Dear Hesitant Harry,

I am sure you are a lovely man, but it looks to me as if you have been hurt at some stage and you’re now afraid of letting this relationship develop further. Goodness me, my Petal, this woman has been giving you the green light for years, and you haven’t seen it. You are blind as well as hesitant, it seems. She is getting older, so she is no young thing out to empty your wallet, and the age difference is obviously something she had already taken in her stride some time ago.

I don’t think you should read my reply to your letter and then immediately rush out and buy the ring, but just let the relationship continue to build, as it was doing until you put the brakes on! Once you relax, it will all roll along quite nicely, until the right moment to pop the question will be normal. All the best, Harry.

Dear Hillary,

My letter is a little bit different from all the usual no-hopers who write in to you. I’m a happy, single man, well off, get my pick of the ladies, so why am I writing to you? My only problem is that after a couple of nights, the ladies all want to move in with me. Some of them bring over not just a change of clothes, but a whole wardrobe full. I have no intention of settling down – and why should I? Like I say, I get my pick, so why spoil it. You must have heard the saying ‘why buy a book when you can join a library?’


Dear Peter,

How lucky are you? You get to wake up with the most adorable man in the world, in your opinion – yourself. Time to change your name to Narcissus, though I would suggest you take all the mirrors down in your bathroom, or you might find yourself falling in love just like the long departed Narcissus. Poor Narcissus saw his reflection and fell in love with it, and could not be away from it, and pined to death looking into the pool. Meanwhile the nymph Echo who fell in love with Narcissus also pined away, just like your ‘lucky’ ladies who try and leave their clothes in your wardrobe. It is not often I can indulge myself in mythology and poetry, but Peter, read this little poem penned many years ago by William Cowper (AD 1731-1800) and entitled:

“On an ugly fellow”

“Beware, my friend, of crystal brook

Or fountain, lest that hideous hook.

Thy nose, thou chance to see;

Narcissus’ fate would then be thine,

And self-detested thou would’st pine,

As self-enamored he.”

You may think you are God’s gift to women, but you’re just another meal ticket, Petal. 

Dear Hillary,

My Thai GF says she is leaving me after two months of living with me. She says I am ‘keenieow’ and won’t let her do anything she wants, so she’s going. No more discussions, just going. I done everything for her, let her live with me in a great condo, maid three times a week, have her family over a couple of times, let her buy clothes using my account, I let her have B. 5,000 every second week too. I reckon I’ve spoiled her too much. Do you think that’s the problem?


Dear Tim,

Sorry Petal, but you have been restrictive to her in the relationship. You have not spoiled her at all, in my opinion. You really have been ‘keenieow’ (translates as “stingy”). You “let her” live in your condo, you “let her” buy clothes, you “let her” have an allowance … in other words, you controlled everything. Thai girls do not like being restricted or controlled. You are not ready for a permanent relationship with anyone Tim. Stick to short term liaisons till you grow up a bit. That’s the boy.

Update July 9, 2016

Dear Hillary,

Time and time again you have to tell some of these fellows with too much testosterone that the girls in the bars know what is going down and are good actresses. Is it that the visitors just don’t know, or are swayed by the moment into making stupid decisions? Do you know, Hillary?


Dear Eddie,

A right can of worms you’ve opened there, my Petal. You certainly won’t find any blushing brides in the beer bars. They are hardened campaigners, most of them, attracted to the lifestyle and the money that can be made in a bar. Which would you rather? 4,000 baht a week as a bar girl (“working” two nights), or 1,500 as a shop assistant (working five days)? I like the fact that you give these men “get out of jail cards free” by suggesting they are swayed by the moment. Swayed by the 10th bottle of beer might be closer to the mark. That and the fact that a gorgeous young thing is sitting next to him rubbing his leg.

Dear Hillary,

I’m coming down to Thailand next month for a couple of weeks. Where do you suggest I stay? Must be clean and quiet and close to the strip, lady OK.



Talk to a real travel agent

Dear Ged,

What do you think I am? A travel agent or something? Where anyone stays depends first on price, and that you can find that out by going to the web. You won’t get much for B. 500, and you’ll get everything for B. 5,000. How much have you got to spend for your holiday budget? I think “Lady OK” means can you bring a room mate home? Certainly, but you may be asked for a “joiners” fee, and they don’t mean a chap with a lump of wood and a saw. Go and talk to a real travel agent, not an Agony Aunt.


Dear Hillary,

Is it right that it is harmful to your liver to swap drinks? Mates say you are OK as long as you stick to one, like beer, but don’t then go on to the hard stuff. The headaches are less too.



Dear Mike,

I have it on good authority that your liver has no earthly idea what bottle your beer came in. Livers don’t have eyes. Alcohol is a chemical, and the only difference between the various ones is the percentage of alcohol in it. Beers are about 5 percent, while whisky is around 40 percent. Differences in liver damage and hangovers by mixing drinks are folklore. 

Dear Hillary,

I have come over here on holiday from the UK and I am shocked by what I see here, going on night and day. I can put up with the endless beer bars with young women trying to get people to sit down and drink. I can put up with the fact there are gogo bars with women displaying their bodies as some sort of tourist attraction, but I cannot put up with the way old foreign men walk around with barely teenage Thai girls hanging on to their arm. They all have such smug looks on their faces with a ‘Look at me, aren’t I clever’ expression. Don’t they know, or doesn’t anybody tell them that they are just being taken for a ride? They’re not clever. It’s disgusting.

Dear Mona from Manchester,

When you say “They all have such smug looks on their faces with a ‘Look at me, aren’t I clever’ expression” are you referring to the old foreign men, or the barely teenage girls, Petal? Honestly Mona, this can be applied to both of them. They are smiling because they have found themselves in a situation which is good for them. The young girls have found a ‘sponsor’, whilst the old foreign men have found themselves a gorgeous young thing who will take care of their every need. So just what is so wrong with that, Petal? It is a win-win situation, so no need to be shocked. Can the ‘man from Manchester’ get a deal like that back home in the UK? No, he’s more likely to get a moaner.

Dear Hillary,

A couple of weeks back you had some guy wondering how to stop the Soi 6 vacuum cleaners who seemed to be able to clean out his wallet very easily. My advice is simple. Try going out with the idea of having 500 baht cash only on you... or 1000 and a ten baht coin on you for a return songtow. Leave your credit, debit, and ATM cards locked in your safe. Don’t worry, in due course you will be the least popular farang on Soi 6. Perhaps then, rather than visiting with Soi 6 vacuum cleaners, you will put effort into finding a woman who could perhaps love you. This is if you are looking for “true love” actually of course, but I doubt you are.


Dear Robert

You certainly win the Scrooge McDuck award for this week. All good advice to get out of the “commercial” soi, but, pray tell, where do you get 10 baht songtows around Soi 6, that is unless you are going from 6 to 6/1.

Update July 2, 2016

Dear Hillary,

There appears to be a misconception that anybody marrying a Thai is doomed to have a cheater. Doesn’t matter how many years they have been married, it will fail. Some of your writers put it down to the age difference – the old farang and the young Thai girl. But what nobody seems to see is the older farang and the older Thai woman. With young Thai females, they are looking for financial stability, but the older Thai woman is looking for companionship. In the young and old situation, after the Thai girl sees her security covered (the house for example), she doesn’t need the old man anymore, so she goes out by herself to have a good time. The older Thai woman is already secure and enjoys the man’s company so they go out together, and doesn’t need to cheat.

I am American and have been blessed with a wonderful 59 year old Thai lady (we started going out 10 years ago) wife. We do everything together and is just the best companion an older man could wish for. So I say to all these old men who complain about being ripped off, they should be looking for the older ladies, not the young beautiful ones.


Dear Elmer,

Very wise advice, but always difficult to get the older farang to ignore the persistent attention of a girl 30 years younger than themselves. Known as ‘trophy wives’, these are the ones that go cheating once they have what they want. I am glad you wrote in. It is good to get the other side of the story from time to time.

Dear Hillary,

After saving for three years, I have been on an extended holiday here in Thailand for the past six weeks and will be going back to Blighty in two weeks time. I had a companion who I found in a bar in Pattaya who has been with me for all that time, and I have looked after her well in return including a weekly allowance of 15,000 baht. I would like to give her something when I leave for her to remember me by, and want you to suggest something that she will like. Please keep the suggestions within a reasonable budget. I am not a Cheap Charlie but it is the end of my holidays.


Dear Chris,

What do you really expect me to say, my Petal? Why not buy her a house, a motorcycle and a year’s free veterinary bills for the family buffalo? You’ll be able to get all that for under five million. And since you don’t want to appear as a Cheap Charlie, throw in a house for Mumma and Papa as well. Chris, come down from the clouds, you have had the services of a ‘mia chow’ (rented wife) for the past six weeks, for which you have already paid 60,000 baht a month which is well above the going market price. She will remember you, “He was the nice farang man who bought me this gold chain which I am now taking to the pawn shop.” Enjoy what is left of your holiday and spend your money on yourself.

Dear Hillary,

It amuses me when I read some of the letters that men send to you complaining about how the bar girls that move in with them seem to always want more money. You live with a bar girl until you are ready to move on or tired of being an ATM. You guys have it easy. I have been married to a Thai woman for 8 years. When I met her she worked in a hospital, I guess you would call her a non-bar girl. Here’s my point; I have spent much more money since being married than I ever did when I had bar girl friends. When you marry a Thai girl, you also marry the entire family. My wife has six sisters, all married with kids. They never ask me for money, however, when I see that one of them is having a hard time paying off the bank loan because the rice crop was flooded out, a nephew or niece needs money for school, I help them. The eight years I’ve been married to my Thai wife are the best years of my life and I hope for many more. Although I respect and admire the bar girls – theirs is not an easy life, they are just trying to survive.

Uncle Bob

Dear Uncle Bob,

Why didn’t you wait for me? I am having a hard time paying off a bank loan (food mortgage). You have also correctly described the Thai families (that you marry into) – they are not all standing in line with their hands out. They are ordinary people, who look after each other when needed. You sound like such a nice man, my Petal, I shall cry myself to sleep tonight having missed you. However, I am so happy to hear you are enjoying the “best years of my life”, and yet do understand the plight of the bar girls. Or rather, the trade of the bar girls, as they are not forced into working from around a chrome pole – they choose that existence.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Update July 30, 2016

Update July 23, 2016

Update July 16, 2016

Update July 9, 2016

Update July 2, 2016