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Heart to Heart with Hillary


 Update November 26, 2016

Dear Hillary,

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.



Dear Andre,

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 harvested?

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 minibus).


Dear Hillary,

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?



Dear Greg,

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 things.


Dear Hillary,

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 understand fractions.

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.



Dear Mick,

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!).

Update November 19, 2016

Dear Hillary,

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?


Dear Robert,

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.


Dear Hillary,

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.


Dear Hillary,

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.


Dear Mardi,

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.


Dear Hillary,

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.


Dear Swimmers,

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!


Dear Hillary,

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. 

Dear 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.


Dear Hillary,

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?


Dear Bill,

Mark on your calendar the due date and go in and pay. Easy!

Update November 12, 2016

Dear Hillary,

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.


Dear Hillary,

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?


Dear Red,

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 instead.


Dear Hillary,

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.


Dear Geoff,

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 sight.


Dear Hillary,

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”.


Dear Libby,

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.


Dear Hillary,

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?


Dear Johnson,

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.

Update November 5, 2016

Dear Hillary,

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?


Dear Jeremy,

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 me).


Dear Hillary,

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?


Dear Jack,

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.


Dear Hillary,

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 know.

Old Bill

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 about licenses.


Dear Hillary,

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?


Dear Foolhardy,

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.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Update November 26, 2016

Update November 19, 2016

Update November 12, 2016

Update November 5, 2016