From what I have read in your column in the past, I think you are a Thai lady, so I hope you can give me a good answer. I recently met a Thai lady through the Internet. I am in my later years (70+) and she is in her 30s. She is educated, teaches in an elementary school, and is a smart lady. We have met twice, became intimate quite quickly, and it’s been a nice relationship so far. But one big problem for me - she is very fat. She needs to lose minimum 10 KG, 15 KG would be better. How do I let her know my feelings about this without hurting her feelings? Or am I being too fussy?
MH from Chiang Mai
Dear MH from Chiang Mai,
You have a downright cheek! Met her twice. Had your wicked way and now say she is too fat. Not so fat that a roll in the hay wasn’t on the cards. Your feelings? You’ve already shown your hand (and other bits of your body). Now we get to know the real MH. All you want is a “nice” relationship with someone half your age, nice and slender and sexy. Lots of luck looking.
My girlfriend’s boyfriend has stopped sending her money from Germany. It seems he found a man on his recent trip to happy land and no longer wants her. How can we straighten our benefactor out and get our money coming back. Are there pills that he can take to get him on the right track?
I was about to send your letter to the round file I keep under my desk, but someone must have purloined the bin while I was away last week. Are you for real? Or is this letter just to see what Hillary will make of it? Giving you the benefit of the doubt, you are nothing but a leech on society. You want some poor German to fund your lifestyle with his previous paramour. What sort of woman is she? Devastated at the dwindling funds? And what sort of person are you? I hope the German reads this and comes over and takes everything you have bought with his money.
Are all Thai women jealous? My sort of girlfriend will ring me up and say “My friend saw you last night in a restaurant with a lady.” This annoys me as apart from the fact that I didn’t go to a restaurant with a woman, I actually ate at home by myself. So either her friend is trying to make trouble, or my girlfriend is making trouble. Which is it, Hillary?
Didn’t anyone tell you that Thai women are not jealous - they are very jealous. When they find a boyfriend they want him to be faithful and not “go butterfly”. So they think up reasons to accuse you and then see how plausible is your story. Of course, her friend wants her to break up with you, so she can then get you instead. Or she wants to go to dinner and doesn’t like it when your “sort of” girlfriend goes to dinner with you instead of her. Anyway, what’s a “sort of” GF?
My Thai girlfriend is wonderful - except for one thing, she is timeless. She will arrange to meet me at three in the afternoon and rolls up at four saying, “Sorry I’m a little late.” I don’t think one hour to be a “little late”, that’s a lottle late, surely. She has been even more late than that, but every time it is the same, “Sorry I’m a little late.” Have you any ideas that I could try to get this girl to be punctual?
Dear (Punctual) Pete,
Have you tried buying her a watch, my poor punctual Petal? I suggest you buy her a digital watch, or else it will be endless descriptions of “When the little hand is at three and the big hand is at twelve...” You could also buy her a mobile phone and ring her up quarter of an hour before the appointment to remind her. Then you could also get her a motorbike, so that she doesn’t have to waste time looking for a songthaew. To keep the motorcycle serviceable, it should be kept under cover, so while you’re shelling out the shekels, you may as well buy her a little house. With that kind of investment you may as well marry the girl, so that next time you write to Hillary you can begin with “My Thai wife is wonderful - except for one thing. She is timeless.” My suggestion is to jump ship now, Pete, before it all becomes too much. Thais are not noted for their punctuality, and very few of them are ever “on time”. The concept is, that as long as nobody is killed because of lateness, there is really no problem. That’s life in the relaxed Thai world, and you may just have to learn to live with it, or keep moving on.
I know I am lucky to have a maid, as who could afford one in America. I know I am joining the band of women who are complaining about their maids. Everywhere I go to, the subject is always the same, what the maid has done this week! I do not speak very much Thai and my maid speaks even less English, but surely if she wants to be a maid for English speaking people, should I not get someone who can communicate? I did not choose the maid as she was supplied by my husband’s company and this is my first experience with domestic staff.
I could go on for hours about the way she refuses to use hot water for the dishes, will wash everything in the same sink, will use the dish cloth to wipe the floor. I am sure you have heard it all before. She also does weird things like leaving clothes out in the lounge room for a day, rather than putting them away. Why? Is this some special Thai ‘sign’ to tell me something? Routine cleaning and dusting seems to be beyond her and I have to tell her to do these simple tasks every time. She also tries to leave before 6 p.m. and always comes in late in the mornings, after 8 a.m. What can I do, Hillary?
At my wits end
Dear At my wits end,
You know the problem, right from the start when you say that you do not speak Thai and your maid does not speak English, Petal. No communication! Could your husband get what he wants done if his secretary only speaks Hindi and he speaks Swahili? Speak to your husband, if his company has supplied the poor woman. She probably goes home and talks to her friends, all of whom are complaining about their mistresses. However, how much does your maid get paid, my Petal? If you are only paying a low salary, you cannot expect a household whiz who is also multilingual. If she were that good she would be working as your husband’s secretary, not as your 10 hours a day slave. If it all becomes too much, you can always do the work yourself, as you did back home. Finally, as I have to remind many foreigners, this is Thai-land and the inhabitants speak Thai. How many maids in the English speaking world are multi-lingual?
A friend of mine is getting very tired of the ladies he meets in the bars, who only seem to be interested in money. They stay with him for a few weeks, and when he hasn’t coughed up the money for whatever they want, they move on to find another sucker who will. He has asked me where can he go to find a better class of lady in Thailand, or are they all like this. He has heard about introduction agencies. Are they worthwhile? I can’t help him because I’ve never had any experience of them.
Dear Introduction Ian,
What is wrong with you men these days? Your friend claims the girls he meets seem only interested in money - but what is the only thing your friend seems interested in? Why does he have them living with him? To learn how to eat Som Tum? Here’s the first piece of advice, how about meeting the girl of his dreams the same way he would in his own country? Go to places where the so-called ‘nice’ girls go. Join groups where ‘nice’ girls go. Meet eligible ladies at parties, social gatherings, art exhibitions. He will find that these are ladies who appreciate a gentleman, but on his down side will also not race off to bed on the first date and stay for a few weeks. As has been pointed out many times - you get what you pay for, Petal. And are you sure this is for a “friend” and not for you?
I just finish with boyfriend Sweden. He say he take me to Sweden but make big excuse every time. I get visa and everything. Pay myself, not ask him for money. Say take me over now for one year but not take over. I look after he when he come twice a year. Stay in room me. Not ask rent. I think him stingy man. Why farang tell lies all the time? I not look for farang man any more.
Thank you for your letter, and I am sorry you have been disappointed in this relationship. But you must remember that not all Thai girls are like you, and not all farang men are like your boyfriend. In the future, it will be better if you don’t go “looking” for a boyfriend, but just wait till the right man comes along. He is the one who makes your heart jump, and you do the same for him. He will appear, K. Rose, but just let it happen. Don’t go looking everywhere for where ‘your’ farang is hiding.
A very reliable source has told me that the Pattaya City Expats Club says Hillary works in the Accounts Dept of the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital. Hillary categorically denies this. The only corporation Hillary works for is the Pattaya Mail.
I enjoyed the festival New Year’s Eve. I went to Pattaya beach 6.30 pm walked among the sellers and bought some food, and left at 9 pm. When I arrived home I couldn’t get in. I have short shorts and a pocket on my knee with a Velcro flap. I only put a purse in there with a key and security card. There are 2 short narrow patches along the sellers, where you have to push your way through, the authorities should make sure there are none or put signs up going forward and back. Beware of pickpockets. I’m 77. Thai kamoy have no respect for age. I remember Thai girl push forward in front of me then turn around and push back.
What did you do when you arrived home and couldn’t get in? Break a window or what? You lost your key and security card. What about your money? Unfortunately, thieves are only looking to steal your belongings, and they aren’t interested in your birth certificate. Not much I can advise you, other than be very wary in crowds, and perhaps wear trousers with zipped pockets and not Velcro. Sorry.
I have just said farewell to the last of the in-laws and their cousins’ cousins who came to see in the New Year. All in all, there would have been around 20, but they were so mobile it was difficult to count them all at one time! They slept on the floor of our two bedroom condo unit, got up before me, prepared their own meals, brought their own rice and vegetables and tidied up and swept up after themselves. I know that many readers don’t like this sort of thing, an Englishman’s home is his castle and all that, but we aren’t living in jolly old England, we are living in Thailand, a country with its own customs and culture and if you want to stay in Thailand (and stay sane in Thailand), you have to say goodbye to your own customs. As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Make that “When in Thailand, do as the Thais do.”
How delighted I am to read something from an ex-pat who is not complaining at Thai customs and culture. You are so correct, my Petal. This country is Thailand, not the 53rd state of America. Keep enjoying yourself in your new country.
There is a very nice young lady in the office of my condo building. Efficient, good English and I have been very close to asking her out, but didn’t do it because I didn’t want to embarrass her (or myself). Last night I dropped into a go-go bar I hadn’t been into before and to my surprise, there was the girl from the condo office. She was happy enough to sit and chat (while I was buying lady drinks) and was quite happy at being there, while I was embarrassed. I have two questions for you, Hillary. This girl you would call a “good” girl in the daytime, but at nights she becomes a bar girl. Which one is she? Second, I would still like to invite her out, should I invite the office girl or pay the bar fine and take out the bar girl?
You are a little unsure of yourself, aren’t you Jim. However, your situation reminds me of that wonderful quote from Jerry Hall (Mick Jagger’s ex), which goes, “My mother said it was simple to keep a man, you must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.” Jerry went on to say, “I said I’d hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit.” I think there’s your answer, Petal. Are you looking for a maid or a whore? The ball’s in your court, Jim.