Heart to Heart
I will be coming to Pattaya at Xmas time and wonder if you
knew where I could rent a motorcycle for the time I will be there (2 weeks). Is
it insured and is it OK to drive with my French license? I want to go up to
Isaan. Thank you.
Which of these ways do you want to go back to France
after your holiday of a lifetime? Sealed wooden box with gilt handles? Encased
in bandages lying on your back? Or as certificates showing your organs were
There are plenty of places renting motorcycles my Petal,
and all you have to do is to let them keep your passport which you will get back
at the end of the rental period. You want a big bike? No problems, up to 1250
cc. French license? No problems Mon Ami.
The only problem comes when you want to claim, and
‘suddenly’ they find out that your French license is for under 250 cc and you
are responsible. For everything – medical bills, repair to lamp post and repairs
to the bike. Andre, Thailand has the second worst road toll in the world. The
Paris traffic has nothing like 6 p.m. on a wet Friday night in Pattaya. Road
Rules? It’s Rafferty’s Rules. Don’t do it Mon Brave. Catch a VIP bus (not a
Met a lovely girl at one of my locals (there’s three all
together). Chatty, joking, great personality, had me drinking far too much, but
it was fun. Thought we could have a lazy breakfast together, but by the time my
eyes were open she was dressed and ready to go, and the hand was straight out
for “salary”. Saw her at the bar again last night and it was if we’d never left.
Joking and all over me. When I went to go she put on a big pout and called me
names. Is this the usual, Hillary?
How old are you, Petal? Your “lovely girl” is a
professional. Time is money, and you had your money’s worth. All the fun in the
bar was just to get you to take up her offer of a good time. No more, no less.
Try the next bar when you are a couple of years older and can understand these
I am a successful Australian businessman who has worked
hard, accumulated a high level of wealth that provides me with a very
comfortable lifestyle. Despite my financial successes, I have failed miserably
in finding true love.
I have commenced a worldwide trek to track down that
elusive female butterfly. One who will be able to fill that void in my life,
love me, marry me and produce our children.
Australian women are not suitable. I have always believed
that any relationship is a 50 - 50 proposition, but Aussie women don’t
I flew to America. I met an attractive girl and took her to
Disneyland to enjoy the rides, but she took me for a ride.
In Canada I met a beautiful librarian, but she spent most
of her time reading my bank books.
In Paris I met a very tender person, but she was only
interested in legal tender.
I am now here in Pattaya, still searching for my butterfly.
I have met a cute local girl named Noi who works at a beer bar. She doesn’t seem
interested in taking my money for herself and only insists that I give her two
thousand baht every morning for her taxi ride home. It seems that both of her
parents are always ill as she needs additional money to send to them.
Please tell me about the local girls. Could Noi be my
elusive butterfly? She wants me to take her away from it all but could she take
it all away from me? Could the fact that her parents are always ill have any
detrimental genetic effect on any children we may have?
Awaiting your advice, as the lawyers write.
Aren’t you a little dear! Or should I say a little
expensive? Is Noi your elusive butterfly? Of course! Be aware, however, perhaps
elusive but not exclusive. Don’t worry about Noi’s health – she will only get
sick later in life when the daughter you have between you meets a rich
Australian who has worked hard and accumulated a high level of wealth and is
looking for an elusive butterfly. In the meantime, I suggest she takes a cheaper
taxi home, that Rolls-Royce is a little over the top. Give her 40 baht for a
motorcycle taxi and see how she goes! Or should I say “disappears”. As they say
here, you never lose your girl, you only lose your turn! Have you considered
having yourself cloned? Us girls all over the world need more of you!
(I stumbled across this letter to me from many years
ago. I wonder where Mick is now? And does he have any money left? If you’re
still out there, then drop me a line, Mick. I have just the girl for you – me!).
The age-old age dilemma was highlighted
again a couple of weeks ago, with a 70 year old torn between 20 year olds, right
the way through to 60 year olds. The writer felt it was wrong to date 20 year
olds, and the 60 year olds were just a tad on the old side. This was
conveniently glossing over the fact that at 70 your writer was no spring chicken
either. Let’s face it, the 70 year old chap isn’t going to be around all that
long either. One of your regulars, Robert, quoted Mark Twain: “Age is only mind
over matter. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.” How could you beat that?
You’re quite right, I couldn’t beat Mark
Twain, other than the fact he is dead, and I’m very much alive. Well, alive at
least. Thank you, Petal, you have given me new hope as I scour the streets
looking for “my” man.
My wife has started cheating on the grocery
bills and I am sure she has started to sneak the odd thousand baht from my
billfold when I am asleep. I also note that she seems to have less jewelry than
before, and when I have asked her where her necklace is she gets very defensive
and says she is having it cleaned. I am sure she is not having an affair, as she
is always home at nights with me, so what can I do to check? Where is the money
going? Do you think it might be gambling?
Hole in the wallet
Dear Hole in the wallet,
Thai women can be very inventive when
discussing money that goes missing. Loan to friends, money to Mama up-country,
instalment on new furniture and right the way through to vet bills for the
ailing family buffalo. However, by far the root cause of “missing” money is
gambling. What does your wife do all day? That might give you some planning.
Best of luck.
I have started to use the street corner
motorcycle taxis recently and have two questions. Is it safe to use them? How
much should I pay for shortish trips? I have found them very handy and will drop
me exactly where I want (especially off the Baht Bus routes), but I am a little
concerned about the correct fare.
The taxi motorcys are as safe as riding
any motorbike. Driving too fast is the real danger. Up to you to dictate the
speed he drives at. Bang him on the shoulder saying “cha cha” usually works if
he’s too quick for your comfort, or just get him to stop and catch another one.
Fares, like everything are going up, with City Hall saying they will peg the
fares. Don’t hang around waiting, Petal. About B. 60 for most trips in town.
We live in Jomtien and often go to the
beach there as it seems to be very popular with the Thais, as we see them
swimming there a lot. Why do the Thai people wear clothes when they go into the
sea? We don’t do that in America. Sometimes it looks like shipwreck survivors
from the Titanic. Some Thais wear bikinis, but they are in the minority. I even
see them going in wearing jeans! Why, Hillary please tell us.
Unless you are color blind, you will
have noticed that Thais do not want to get a tan. Beach fun is OK, but not if it
turns them “black”. Sitting in your deck chair, Thai people will point to your
arms and say “White, not black,” pointing to their own arms.” Everybody wants to
be what they are not. People with straight hair want it curly, the curly headed
ones want it straight, naturally brown people want their skin white, and girls
with no money want more spending power!
Why do the shops open so late in Pattaya?
The main shopping centers officially open at 11, but many of the shops are still
setting up at 11.30. I am sure they must lose an awful lot of business with this
late opening. Can’t the shopkeepers get out of bed in time? I’m intrigued.
This is the easiest question this week,
so thank you. Pattaya, if you hadn’t noticed, is a resort city and the
entertainment areas are still thumping away, long after I’ve gone to bed. Late
nights and early mornings don’t go together. So that explains why the
shopkeepers are a little slow setting up. However, the big supermarkets are open
from 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., so you can always do your shopping there.
We have not been here very long and already
we have had the water cut off from the house (twice!) and the electricity (once)
all because I do not understand when and how the bills come. I am sure we did
not receive at least two, but when I tried to explain this at the Water
Department I got nowhere – and had to pay an extra 500 baht to get re-connected.
What can we do?
Mark on your calendar the due date and
go in and pay. Easy!
What do you make of this weather? We
came here for a sunny holiday and it has bucketed down every day in the past
week. Is it like this every year? There’s rivers flowing down the streets in
East Pattaya and the taxi we had two days ago was an hour late because of
the flooding, and half the roads are impassable because of useless digging.
Who can you complain to?
Jerry and Elaine
Dear Jerry and Elaine,
I sympathize with you, in your
situation, but none of us down here have any say in the rainfall, neither
where, when, nor how much. Just bad luck I’m afraid. Who can you complain
to? Well, certainly not me, I have no influence anywhere, and certainly no
influence in the celestial sense. Buy a brolly, find a comfortable bar and
sip your way through. Best I can do, Petals.
My GF went up country to do a course in
hair dressing, for the first week we exchanged messages every day. The
second week she replied to half of mine. Now the third week and I hear
nothing personal, but loads of photos of her and the class mates in FB. Is
this usual, Hillary? Or what should I make of it?
What a lovely name you have. Love
it! Now then my Petal, time for you to look at the realities of the
situation. The fire went out of the relationship at the end of the first
week of separation. You have been living on hope, but that emotion is not
being returned, is it? If she has the time to post photos, there was time to
drop you a note as well. Time to move on, Red. There’s plenty of fish in the
ocean, as they say. Forget about your snapper and get a “Dolly” fish
Every time when we go to a party, all
the women congregate at one end of the veranda, and eat off the floor, while
all the men sit at a table at the other end. Are the Thai women taught to be
like that? I find it annoying to be honest. I am told it is their culture,
but surely that can be changed? Don’t tell me they haven’t got tables and
chairs in their own house.
It is the culture and stems from
living in small houses where tables and chairs would take up far too much
room, while the sheet on the floor is just rolled up and placed out of
We read all about the poor English and
American tourists (male) who find themselves heartbroken over another
fruitless romance with the local Thai ladies. We women have our needs too,
Hillary. Are there any places or people for us? Why do you not get any
letters from women, Hillary? Perhaps it is because we women have a better
idea on what can be achieved in this world, have our feet more firmly
planted on the ground, and when we do have a problem, learn to fix it
ourselves? Hillary, you have to agree, or admit you are one of “them”.
Admit I am one of “them”? Them
what’s Petal? Actually you astound me, Libby. Males have always been the
ones who are supposed to internalize their problems and we women are told to
tell the men that it’s alright to cry and let their feminine side come out a
little. Now here comes liberated Libby saying that women shouldn’t ask
advice or admit to problems of the heart, and if we do, we should
internalize it and fix it ourselves. The whole world really is upside down!
Sorry, Libby, I don’t agree with you at all. I think it is good for men to
have a shoulder to cry on. As for you, I can see you have a perfectly
balanced life – you have a chip on both shoulders.
I want to be rid of the easy bar scene
and sincerely want to settle down with a “nice Thai girl. The person I am
looking for will be professional, educated and attractive and will have
never worked in the entertainment industry. She should be single and have no
children. It would be a bonus if she spoke English, but that is not needed
100%. Where do I find my princess?
Your lady will be easy to find. Just
join in on the end of the queue of other hopeful males all chasing the
illusive and elusive butterfly. When you get to the top of the queue, she’s
yours! Honestly, what is wrong with you gormless guys? Stop looking in the
entertainment industry and look for professional women who work in the same
field as yourself. If your profession is propping up a bar, then you’re
already in the right place for the sort of mate you need, but if you are a
professional join the necessary chambers of commerce, service organizations
and the like. Your princess is out there, it’s just that you have to kiss a
lot of toads if you are not looking in the right place.
I am single, eligible, reasonably well off
and unattached. My big problem is where do I find ladies who like some fun and
want to remain unattached like me? If I invite one home, my wardrobe will be
filled with women’s clothes by the next afternoon and there’s a new toothbrush
in the cup. Now I know I’m a great catch, but how do I stop it?
What a pickle you are in, my Petal. I
don’t know how old you are, but not too old I take it, and with your wonderful
looks and a full bankbook, yes a great catch for one young lady to land. Can you
blame them for thinking that all the attention you gave them last night (I’m
sure the relationship wasn’t purely platonic) would still be there the next day.
If you don’t make noises like let’s do it again, let me assure you they have
memorized your address and her motorcycle taxi brother will bring over the heavy
stuff. But you know that already. Jerry, my blushing petunia, you can either
live like a hermit or put up with the home invasions. However, the third option,
and the preferred one for you, is not to take the ladies home, but to your
closest ST hotel, and there will be one near you (there’s one near everyone but
This is a food problem, but you are the
only one I can think of who can get me through this very trying period in my
life. It’s a sort of mid-life food crisis if you like. My new teerak is
wonderful in every way – except kitchen duties, and I don’t mean washing up, I’m
quite happy to do that myself. When she came aboard the Good Ship Jackson she
said she could cook and she would keep me well and healthy with her expertise
with the wok. I her favor, yes she can cook in the wok, against that is the fact
that the food is inedible and even the soi dogs give it a miss. I have heard
Isaan cooking (that’s where she’s from) described as trees and weeds with no
nutritional value, and that’s why they need to eat every two hours or even less.
Anyway, I can’t eat it, that green watery stuff with the odd bone floating in
it. What do I do?
We must do something urgently my Petal
before you waste away to a shadow. What you didn’t tell me was how long you’ve
had the live-in cook? If this is a new appointment at Good Ship Jackson, it is
not too difficult to point the barge in the right direction. Just tell her what
you want to eat and give her a cook book, with the edible items marked in red.
All new cooks should be on a three month trial period anyway. But if she’s a
fixture, it may take quite a bit of retraining. Remember that her mother taught
her to cook, and it wasn’t Eggs Benedict either. What you have to do is take her
to some of the better Thai restaurants and show her what you can eat and what
you can’t eat. Offer to buy her the aforesaid cook book and go from there! Best
of luck, Petal.
All the security guards round Pattaya seem
to be armed to the teeth with night sticks, truncheons and handcuffs. Is this
really necessary and do they have a license to use them? I’d be interested to
Dear Old Bill,
License? What’s a license? This is
Pattaya. You want a license, you make it yourself! Jokes aside, let’s put it
this way, Bill. Does the felon have a license to break and enter? Be thankful
your security guard has the equipment to protect you and yours and don’t worry
I think I’ve done something really stupid.
I read a few weeks ago that you said not to give money to the girls round here.
I loaned ten thousand baht to one lady I know who said she would pay it back
within three weeks. It’s a month now and I haven’t seen her or heard from her
and her friends say she has gone up country. Do you think I’ve lost the money?
What should I do now?
You haven’t “lost” your money. You know
perfectly well where it is. It’s with some girl up country, you silly fellow.
You gave it away, that’s what you did with it. Mind you, I didn’t say you
shouldn’t give your money away, I said you shouldn’t lend it. There’s a big
difference. Yes, Hillary doesn’t think you’ll see that money again (or the
girl). Next time give it to me for “safe” keeping. At least you’ll know I’m
enjoying it. In the meantime, what you should do is to get one of those T shirts
that says, “I spent all my money on women and booze. The rest I wasted.” It
fits. Hope the shirt does too.