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Heart to Heart with Hillary


Update December 30, 2016

Dear Hillary,

It is almost 2017 and after a year I am still without a lady. My mates keep on saying, “You got a missus yet?” and since they all have got one (from the bar) I’m starting to think there is something wrong with me. Plenty of ladies from the local bars have said they want to come and live with me, but I don’t really want a bar girl and all the hassles I read about in your column each week. I know you don’t know me or my situation, but you must have heard this sort of problem before. What do I do in 2017 that I wasn’t doing in 2016?



Dear Archie,

What you have to do is to stop actively looking for a friend/companion/wife and just let Miss Right find you. Once you stop wondering whether the next lady you meet is THE one, the best one will appear. I wouldn’t compare your situation with those of your friends. Their partners are what we call “mia chows” which translates to “rented wives”. If you want to have a good looking lady, to whom you pay a salary every month, then go ahead. But I think you want something different from that. Just continue to be the nice honest guy and before the end of 2017 you will have someone to cuddle up to watching DVD’s.


Dear Hillary,

Just want to wish you a Happy New Year. I won’t get into the Merry Xmas versus Happy Holidays nonsense. December 25 has been Xmas Day all my long life, and I’m not going to say December 25 is Holiday day! What rubbish! Keep entertaining all us guys out here in the sand box. You give me a smile every week.


Dear Richo,

Your name is interesting. Is it some Australian slang for Richard, or is it because you are very rich? If your money is burning a hole in your pocket, then you can send the rest to me, attached to a bottle of Veuve Clicqot (Vintage preferably, but NV is fine). Happy New Year to you Petal.


Dear Hillary,

Having been around Pattaya for about six months now, I have noticed that in every bar there is at least one girl with a “broken heart” sitting sobbing in the corner. Given the nature of their employment, surely this cannot be the real situation? Don’t they realize that all their associations are only temporary? The tourist is here today and gone tomorrow. So their chances of long term happiness are zero, zilch, nothing. Yet they are sitting there with another “broken heart”. Are they stupid, or what? Surely they understand this before they go to work in the bar. Tell me Hillary, or have you got a “broken heart” too?



Dear Marcus,

Well, aren’t you the milk of human kindness, my Petal! Why do the girls get a broken heart? Because no matter where they work, these girls are totally normal, with all the usual hopes and aspirations that even young farang men such as yourself have or have had at some stage in your life. Is this the person for me? Will this person really love me? Will this person bring me a new life? When you are working from a baseline of poverty and planting rice all day, any foreigner who has enough money to get over here has untold riches from the point of view of a young farm girl. If you suddenly found Venus Williams was dating you and you began to have high hopes of basking in her lifestyle, you’d have a broken heart too if she suddenly upped and left, wouldn’t you? The girls with the “broken hearts” are just the same. Has Hillary got a broken heart? Certainly not over heartless men like you, Poppet!


Dear Hillary,

My wife has run off with a motor bike taxi driver from Ubon after cleaning out my bank account. My friends say that this is not a bad thing as I have had a lot of trouble with her running off with all sorts of men before (three times), but every time she comes back to me I give in again and we start all over again. What should I do about it?



Dear Joe,

You might be lucky this time, Joe. She has taken a motorcycle taxi and they are generally pretty cheap, so she might get all the way to Laos before she runs out of (your) money. Honestly, you men amaze me some days. Why do you keep on doing it? Once was enough for Hillary. Perhaps you are not ready to start another relationship and that is why you keep on going back into this very unsatisfactory situation. Time to wake up, Joe. There’s plenty more out there – just keep saving up, there’s bound to be another who will help relieve the load on your wallet! In the meantime, stay at home and watch videos after you have changed the locks for the doors.

áUpdate December 24, 2016

Dear Hillary,

I look forward to your wise words every Friday for all those men out there who find themselves in the clutches of the bar girls. As you said last week, they are professionals. The good ones are very good. But where do you go to meet your “good girls”? Sure you can find them behind the counters in up-market shops, but they are just too hard to get close to. As a pensioner, I’m not in the situation of expensive dinners and a peck on the cheek, but the bar girls will make me feel young again, all the good girls want is for me to make them feel young again. No, Hillary, I’ll stick with the ladies of the night. I know what I’m getting and I know how much it will cost me.



Dear Raymond,

As a pensioner you are not looking for a long term commitment (you probably don’t have a long term anyway), but you are looking for a sexy nurse who will look after your every need, 24 hours a day. Unfortunately for you, the pensions department won’t give you an allowance for that. That’s any pensions department, but especially the UK and the US. (The Aussies won’t pay at all if you don’t actually live Down-Under.) I agree with you, a professional lady is as good as it’s going to get, so enjoy. Pension day is next Thursday, I believe. Can you hold on till then?


Dear Hillary,

I used to play pool back home and was in a weekly league so I wasn’t bad. I’ve been here six months and I find there are quite a few pool competitions out of the watering holes. My problem is that I’m nowhere compared to the girls in the bars. They are totally cut-throat as well as being damn good players. I’m just not good enough. Any suggestions?


Dear Jimmy,

Rule number 1 in Bar Room etiquette is “Never play the girls.” You are breaking the rules, Jimmy old friend. Pool, like any other sport, relies on practice, and the girls practice a minimum of eight hours a day. How much time do you practice for? Long enough for two beers and out the door before she asks you for another? The answer, my Petal, is to find a mate to play with and spend a couple of hours in the quiet afternoons to play each other as practice. And I don’t mean a bar girl “mate” either. After a couple of months you’ll be ready for a pool competition.


Dear Hillary,

I have noticed that every time you walk near an up-market restaurant some young person tries to drag you inside. Surely this cannot be good for business as I find it turns me off the place, rather than make me want to eat there. This behavior seems to happen with many restaurants along Second Road and Beach Road, and even is now happening in Jomtien. Why do they do this, as surely they would be better off serving at the tables inside the restaurant? Can you tell me why, as nobody else seems to know the answer?

Toothsome Tina


Dear Toothsome Tina,

These young people are called “Greeters” in the trade, and their job is just as you said, to entice people inside. Like all people in jobs anywhere, some are better at it than others. The good ones make you feel honored that you have been “chosen” to come into their restaurant, while the not so good make you want to run away. Just take it all in your stride Tina and go and eat at the places you want to go to. With 300 restaurants in Pattaya, there’s enough to go round. Check Miss Terry Diner’s Dining Out column each week for different places to go.


Dear Hillary,

This request for information may sound kinda silly, but for me it’s a big thing right now. Hubby and I have only been here a short time (he’s on an 18 month contract), so I am a bit at sea getting around. Hubby has a car and driver with this job, and the driver takes me around too, shopping and such. I have just joined a couple of clubs and organizations and know that soon I will need to go all over town and want to do this by myself. Hubby says I’m loco as that’s what the driver is there for, but I value my independence too. Another point – is it safe for women to drive here? Do you drive?

Daisy Driver


Dear Daisy Driver,

To begin at the end, do I drive? Yes, but I’ve been driving here for many years. Your other point, is it safe for women to drive here? The correct answer is that it is just as safe for women as it is for men. It is just as dangerous for both. Motorcycles don’t care what the driver’s sex is. I know what I’d rather do. It’s the back seat for me and the front seat for the chauffeur, Petal. Think about it. You are here for 18 months – how often have you had your own driver? I’d sit back and enjoy and let Jeeves face the traffic.

Update December 17, 2016

Dear Hillary,

You’ve been asked this before, but can a marriage work between a genuine farang and a girl who has worked in the bar for five years? She has been married before, usual story two kids and husband did a runner during the second pregnancy. Sends money home to her mother to keep the kids which are now 7 and 5. She and I have a basic attraction for each other and I am now going to the bar every evening and we sit and talk. She has come home with me a couple of times and I didn’t want her to leave in the morning. She wants to “take care” of me, and I am sure I would like that - BUT - you hear so many tales, I am hanging back. What do you think Hillary?



Dear Gerrard,

Can a marriage with a bar girl work? Yes it can, in her favor. Can a marriage with a bar girl collapse in a heap? Yes it can, in her favor. What you have to accept, my Petal, is that this girl is a long time professional. She has had five years of on the job training, and you are a babe in the wood. Look, it always takes two to tango, and you will never know by asking around. There are so many unanswered questions. What has she done in the five years? Probably some details that you don’t want to hear. Whatever, why don’t you dip the toe in the water (not the whole foot) and get her to live with you for three months. It will cost you to get her to leave the bar, it will cost you as now you will have double the expenses. Two can never live as cheaply as one. Get advice from a lawyer as to protecting yourself and assets if you want to finish after three months. And be careful how you step. It’s a minefield out there.

Dear Hillary,

I see in the Pattaya Mail that another foreigner jumped to his death from the 6th floor of a shopping center. There seems to be one a week. Why do they choose to end it this way?



Dear Jack,

When people are depressed they can only see the black side. Nobody commits suicide when they are happy. Lady and love problems usually here in Pattaya. Nothing can be done now, other than wish his spirit RIP.


Dear Hillary,

The other night I saw my boss’s wife, who is Thai, at a Boys Town club. She was there with another woman and they bought a couple of drinks for some of the dancers (boys). They were laughing and having a good time it seemed. Should I tell him?

Vigilant employee.


Dear Vigilant (or is that Vigilante?),

Are you serious and do you seriously wish to remain employed? I suggest you mind your own business. What were you doing there anyway? Everyone is entitled to have some fun in their lives. Time you did too! Haven’t you heard that Pattaya is “Fun City by the Sea”? Nasty little voyeur!


Dear Hillary,

I have a small problem. I am noticing that I am getting a few grey hairs at the temples and one of my friends suggested I use some preparation to bring the color back again. As I am almost 50 years old, I can see this will start to get worse. Like most people I really do not want to start looking old before my time, but I am just a little hesitant. As a woman of the world, Hillary, do you think I should do it?

English Brian


Dear greying English Brian,

Here’s the news and it’s all bad, Petal. The preparation doesn’t bring the color back, it just paints the hair. As soon as you’ve done that the hair continues to grow so you get grey roots and it is a battle you can’t win. After a few weeks the hair goes that strange orange color that you see round town too. You can either let it go grey naturally or shave the lot off. It’s up to you as they say in the classics. Anyway, grey hair gets respect in this country, it’s not like jolly old England, old chap.


Dear Hillary,

Referring to a letter from a reader with no lady friend who is looking for someone “nice” and have an “ordinary” life. Please you could let me have his e-mail address. Thanking you very much for your kind assistance and your soonest reply.

“Ordinary Lady”


Dear Ordinary Lady,

You do sound “nice”, but you are not “ordinary” as it is rare for someone Thai to take the initiative such as you have done – but top marks, anyway! Hillary applauds anyone who constructively tries to influence their future, and not just sit back and wait and hope (and be disappointed). I shall pass on your email address to the man but we must leave it up to him if he wishes to take you up any further on your offer. Remember too, that there are a lot of lonely men out there, but there are not as many “genuine” and lonely men! Beware!

Update December 10, 2016

Dear Hills old fruit,

How’s things in Patts right now? I didn’t go your way this year, too many problems both here and there where you are. If things look a bit better I’m thinking about bringing the cheese and kisses with me in March. Safe enough? We would go to all the usual places, and a few bars to stop us getting too thirsty. What do you say?


Dear Jacky,

Definitely not safe – your wife (after I translated cheese and kisses) will not take kindly to the attention you will be getting from the “Hello sexy man” brigade, even though you are only going there to counteract the thirst you work up walking from one bar to the next one. But that is your problem, Petal. Pattaya itself will be OK, as it has been for as long as I can remember. Your problems are beyond my help. And I don’t like being called “old fruit”. Would you like me to call you “young vegetable?”


Last week we had a Robert who quoted Mark Twain “Age is only mind over matter. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.” That brought a response from another reader called Robert, who wrote in this week: “Well since ‘other Robert’ likes Twain I will add with reference to ladies another quote: “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence and success will be assured.”


Dear Robert,

Wow! That is pretty deep sort of stuff, but when I read it again, it gives me hope for the future. I’ve got plenty of ignorance which will give me confidence and assures me of success. How can I go wrong? Actually I can probably answer this myself because ignorance I have found leads to doubtful deeds and empty purses.


Dear Hillary,

I’m a bit new to Thailand, so I’m probably not the first to ask this, but why do Thai women sit sideways on motorcycles? When did it start? Have they always done this? You would never see anything like this in England, so it really blows me away every time.

Sideways Sam

Dear Sideways Sam,

You seem to have your eyes open here, but you must have had them closed in the UK. Go to any horsey event there and you will see the women riding side-saddle. Even the Queen of England rode side-saddle for the trooping of the color when she was younger. However, getting back to your question regarding riding side-saddle here, it is for the sake of decency, young man. How can a woman in a long skirt, or even more in a short skirt, look polite and decorous with the hem hitched up above the hips, and legs hanging down each side of motorcycle (or horse or elephant)? Thai women have had wrap skirts for years and rode buffaloes side-saddle, long before the motorcycle arrived in the villages.


Dear Hillary,

Please save me from the choppy swirling seas of desire. Either that or throw me a life jacket so I can enjoy the ride. You see, I think I arrived in Thailand 30 years too early. Sure I like the food, the lovely people and the cute way they slip 10 green chillies into my green papaya salad just for a laugh. But I look around and feel inadequate. Where’s my barely legal wife? Where’s my previous marriage experience? Where are my offshore assets, my pension, my triple bypass? Am I a bit immature for all this?

I must confess... After a couple of badly needed light refreshments, I accidentally found myself a really good girlfriend. She is steadily dissolving every reason I have to do a runner (although I still have a few up my sleeve). I’m not completely afraid of commitment, it could be a wonderful thing. But if I give up on the Dream, how will I ever write the chapter of my life titled “The fork of tragedy comes with a spoon of hope”? I could spend my retirement writing books and lecturing farang newbies on the subtle differences between love and sex.

I can still ditch her, go home, work hard, get a big mortgage, a big car, and a bigger bald spot. And in 30 years time, if all goes well, the Dream will be mine. It will won’t it?

Naive Nick

Oh Nick,

Love the title of your forthcoming book, but you should add the knife of Bobbit. You’re not na´ve, what you need is a Red Indian Dream Catcher. Just for you, I have done the research. Dream catchers are one of the most fascinating traditions of Native Americans. The traditional dream catcher was intended to protect the sleeping individual from negative dreams, while letting positive dreams through. The positive dreams would slip through the hole in the center of the dream catcher, and glide down the feathers to the sleeping person below. The negative dreams would get caught up in the web, and expire when the first rays of the sun struck them. You can buy them at the North American Indian bazaar, over near the tepee shop.

Update December 3, 2016

Dear Hillary

My girlfriend and I live in a studio in town. Been there for six months already. We have a good relationship except for the fact she keeps losing the keys and her mobile phone. This is very annoying, how can I stop her doing this?



Dear Annoyed

Have you ever considered the fact that your girlfriend is losing keys and telephones as a subconscious way of expressing her lack of satisfaction with the relationship or simply as a device to annoy you? It is very difficult if not impossible to change someone else’s behavior unless you change your own behavior first. I suggest you change the way you respond to her. One quick fix is to either don’t let her see that it annoys you or simply don’t speak to her for days every time she loses things. The best way though is to “Give her the monkey and let her feed it.” Which is a Thai expression for allowing her to take the consequence of her own actions. Do not let her have or use your mobile phone ever, keep a spare set of keys for you, but never unlock the apartment for her, and never give her another set after she has lost one. If this is too tedious, maybe losing this girlfriend would be less frustrating.


Dear Hillary,

I’ve been through the usual romances with Thai bar girls and I am just amazed at how good these girls are in snaring their man. What is the secret, so that next time I can give her the big swerve? I’ve been taken too many times. You don’t get anything near these girls with a western woman.



Dear Jack,

They are good, aren’t they, Petal. But what you seem to forget is these girls are professionals (I hesitate to use the word “pros”) so they are good at their craft, or calling, if you like. Those who aren’t so good go back to the village and harvest some rice, and then go to Bangkok and work on building sites. There is no secret, they just gaze into your eyes and give you 110 percent attention. Buy some drinks for her and her friends and there’s 120 percent attention. The best way to arm yourself against the enemy, all 46 kg of her, is to avoid going to the same bar two nights in a row and make sure the girl you pick is not the one you drank with last week. They’ll get tired of working on you if there is no jackpot at the end.


Dear Hillary,

Did you see that Leonard Cohen died this week aged 82? What a great age for a wonderful singer. Is he one of your favorites, Hillary?



Dear Frank,

I used to call his performances as “music to slash your wrists by”, but he was not really a melancholy soul and had some snippets he would use between numbers such as deeply investigating religions, but enjoyment kept on breaking out. He originally was a poet, but found he couldn’t make enough money out of poetry so began his singing career. Thank you for raising the tone of the column next week. Then you can write in and complain that you got ripped off by a young woman half your size.


Dear Hillary,

My uncle came to Thailand last month for a visit. I was excited, as I had not seen him or my aunt for some years. Imagine how I felt when my uncle arrived without my aunt, but he had a girl from Bangkok in tow. He said my aunt did not feel like travelling at her age (they are both in their eighties) but he didn’t want to disappoint me by not coming. He didn’t say anything about the strumpet, and they were in the same room in the hotel. (I only have a very small studio so they couldn’t stay with me.) Honestly, Hillary, should I tell my aunt or should I tell my uncle he is not welcome here again? I am so confused. Please help.

Confused of Chonburi.


Dear Confused,

Wow! Hillary is certainly glad you’re not her niece! You seem to be so delightfully judgmental, manipulative and interfering. Be thankful that there is life in the old dog yet and he came to visit you. Lordy, if you played your cards right and keep your mouth firmly shut and were exceptionally hospitable to both your uncle and his companion, your uncle might even remember you in his will. And for that matter, how do you know that your aunt wasn’t glad to see the back of the old boy for a while because he snores? Or, heaven forbid in your so morally upright family, that your Aunt may have wanted the opportunity to have it off with the milkman or meet up with a long lost lover. Personal morality is just that - personal, i.e., relating solely to the individual. I suggest you learn to live and let live, practicing mai pen lai and jai yen yen and stop judging people. One day, someone might be just as nastily judgmental about you. I hope they write to me too!.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Update December 30, 2016

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Update December 3, 2016