Heart to Heart
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
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!
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?
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!
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
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!
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
Hookem, Havem and Fleecem
Thank you for the kind offer. I’ll let you know. Don’t
wait by the phone.
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?
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!
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?
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!
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.
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
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?
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.