Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:30

Defrosting? Don’t bother

Dear Hillary,

I have been taking out a girl from the local bar for about three months or so. What I’d call a normal relationship and all was going fine. Last night I got drunk, went to the bar and she wasn’t there, so I took one of the other girls home. In the morning I woke with a headache and the other girl still with me. I sent her back to the bar, but now my real GF knows and I am getting nothing but frost from her. What’s the best way to break the ice?



Dear Don,

You are living in a dream world, my Petal. She’s not your GF, but a girl working out of a bar. She makes her money through people like you who pay her “bar fine” for the honor and glory of taking out your vision of loveliness. You are her meal ticket, Don. So where was she the night you dropped in drunk? I doubt that she was doing charity work somewhere. And her “friend” from the bar? She was just keeping you warm for the evening, as we’ve had a couple of cold snaps recently. Grow up Don, you are investing your money in the professional side of relationships where only money counts. It has been said many times that you can take a girl out of the bar, but you can’t take the bar out of the girl. Run away, Don, before you get in too deep.

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:29

Another lamb to the slaughter

Dear Hillary,

I was chatting to a Thai girl for about three months over the internet. I’m in the UK, but after we’ve been chatting together (though apart), I came over to Thailand to meet her and she is beautiful, much more than the photos she sent me. Are all Thai girls like this, or am I just lucky? She is so natural and has been staying with me in the hotel. She did tell me that I would have to pay some money to her work to allow her to have the two weeks off, but she has been worth every bit. Her English isn’t bad so we can talk to each other, though when we were internet chatting, I think her English was better than face to face. She wants to come with me back to the UK. How long does it take to get a visa for her to visit England?



Dear James,

You’ve really fallen for this girl, haven’t you, and you don’t really know her at all. Sorry to be blunt. Internet chat three months and two weeks away from work for her. Petal, workers do not have to pay the boss to get leave. They can either have some of their holiday pay, or unpaid leave of absence. The only “occupation” where they have to pay for their time off is in the bars, James. I am sure your lady friend is a professional, and she has been getting help with the written English to chat with you. Even if things were different, she is not going to get a visa for the UK on the strength of a three month association, and ‘professional’ ladies find it particularly hard. James, go and read Private Dancer and Money Number One and you will begin to get an idea of what happens here. Enjoy your holiday, hang onto your wallet and just go slow. This is no rare diamond you’ve found. More like a cubic zirconia.

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:28

The gentle art of tipping explained

Dear Hillary,

We enjoy coming to Thailand every year but the one thing that completely confuses me and leaves me embarrassed is the subject of tipping – when and how much? For example, if the restaurant charges a “service” fee, should you tip as well? I am told that the wages are not high for some of the up-country people in bars and restaurants and they need the tips, but I do not want to throw money away on our holiday trips either. I mean, the reason we come is because things are so much cheaper than at home. If the prices go up here, then it isn’t worth the traveling costs. What do you do as someone living there, for example? What’s your tip about tipping?

Gerry and Graham


Dear Gerry and Graham,

Look at the bill to see whether or not there is a service charge. If the establishment adds on 10 percent for service (the usual amount), then as far as I am concerned – that’s the tip. There are some places that no doubt pocket the service charge, but that’s not anything of our doing, nor can we change it. That is something between the employees and the owners to work out, and believe me that does happen. On the other hand, if I feel that the waiter or service staff has gone well beyond that which could be expected, then I reward them with a little extra something for that person, irrespective. In an establishment that has no standard add on service charge, then it really is up to you. Small change left over or up to 10 percent is quite normal. Thai people are grateful for anything you leave them.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 14:04

Insurance risk

Dear Hillary,

In response to a letter from James re that fish paste called Phra Ra, I was told it will stop an elephant at twenty paces. Seriously now Hillary, do you or any of your readers know of an insurance company that will give motorcycle accident insurance to a 75 year old. As you know I am bullet proof when it comes to accidents, so the Insurance Company would be on a winner with me. I will even sign a clause to say jumping the bike over parked Tuk Tuk’s a la Evil Knievel would not be on. One company said they would insure me, but only if I had another policy with them like a house or car insurance. I realize that if a company would insure me it will not be a cheap policy but that would be okay. Hillary. Thank you and the gang again for brightening the Pattaya Mail readers days up with your column. I am about to ride off into the sunset (with no insurance)...



Dear Evil,

You are a walking example of “only the good die young.” However, you actually don’t need insurance for motorcycle arcade games, because they aren’t going anywhere. Though it is possible to slip off one and do a nasty injury to one’s glasses. Being serious for a moment, I know absolutely nothing about insurance companies, other than the fact that they have huge palatial buildings, and I live in a converted tent ex WW2. There is an imbalance there I feel. Best of luck on the Vespa.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 14:03

Age differences matter?

Dear Hillary,

I have seen many older foreigners with young Thai wives, and wonder if these marriages ever work, with so many years between the two. They generally look happy enough, but you hear such terrible stories that I wonder if any of these young girls ever become settled wives and mothers, or do they just move on to the next foreigner who will give them a good lifestyle?



Dear Grant,

Marriages made in heaven can also end up in hell. The last time I looked, around 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce – and that isn’t Thailand – that is the US and UK. So if one out of every two marriages here end up in the Amphur being scrapped, that’s about world average. Are you looking at joining the Amphur club, Petal? Or just testing the water?

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 14:02

Will she still love me when I’m 64? (Beatles)

Dear Hillary,

She’s beautiful. She even helps me put on my socks. She is sexy. She tells me all the time she will look after me and take care when I am old. Only problem is I am already old (63) and I think she might just be hanging around till I get my pension. What’s your advice, Hillary?



Dear Mike,

I was going to say you should run, but then remembered that at your age, you might only be able to crawl. Stop having yourself on. It would be a marriage of convenience, with her supplying the bedroom delights and you the money. Make up your own mind. Is that what you want?

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 14:01

Cheap Charlie looking for inexpensive lady!

Dear Hillary,

Found the nice girl and now looking for somewhere to go for the first date. She’s in her late 20’s, likes music, says she can eat European food and OK with wine. Got any suggestions for me? I don’t want to spend too much as it’s the first date, but don’t want to look like a Cheap Charlie.



Dear Scotty,

You haven’t given me much to work on. She’s late 20’s (that means 35), likes music. What kind, Petal? Heavy Metal or Chamber music, or karaoke? And has black hair and dark brown eyes. And will eat spaghetti and sprinkles chilli powder on it. And, Oh Yes, you don’t want to be seen as the Cheap Charlie you really are. My suggestion is to go to Jomtien Beach Road and into one of those large restaurants that make everything, farang or Thai, not too expensive and they generally have a live band as well. That do?

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 14:00

Oooh! An invitation from a sexy man.

Dear Hillary,

Happy New Year, though I’m about a month late! I’ll be back in Party Town by March and I’ve learned not to go looking for the same girl I had with me for the six weeks. Did that once and spent half my holiday looking and then three weeks regretting. No, there’s plenty of lovely girls out there and I’m sure I will get looked after. Long winded, but would you like to have dinner with me and her (whoever she is) one night? You name it and it’s yours. You have given me so much good advice over the years, this is a ‘thank you’.



Dear Jimmy,

Aren’t you the sweetest thing, but you wouldn’t want to go to dinner with a gorgeous little thing on one arm, and an old lady well past her prime on the other. I don’t dance these days, even with a chrome pole to hang onto. Very slow crossing the street and in bed by 8.15 at night. No, Petal, thank you for the invitation, but you enjoy yourself with Miss Gorgeous Little Thing.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 14:59

The patter of tiny feet?

Dear Hillary,

Need your words of wisdom here. My GF is the sweetest thing and a delight to be with. We only have one problem and that is about whether we should have a family. She is 37, never had kids, while I am 65 and had four kids back in my home country, all grown up by now. She wants a kid before she turns 40, but I’ve done my raising kids. I keep trying to tell her that I’d be 75 by the time they finished primary school, but that doesn’t stop her. What’s your experience of this, Hillary?



Dear Gerry,

With such an age gap you must have thought about this before. She can see her chances of having children disappearing, while you are running away as fast as your 65 year old legs will carry you. It is time the two of you sat down and discussed this. She may have to trade her wish for children against a nice income from you, while you might have to trade your relaxed retirement for young children. One of you will be the loser here, I’m afraid, Petal. The only other scenario is for you both to go your separate ways, and in many ways I think that may be the only outcome. Sorry if this wasn’t the advice you were hoping to get.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 14:58

The Big O makes a come-back

Dear Hillary,

I was being sarcastic in describing myself as a ‘Roy Orbison Tribute Artiste’; I am an elderly, severely sight impaired Englishman; I have been likened to the Big O before now, which I always resented because I always thought he was really ugly. I’ll defend bar girls as ‘decent’, until proved otherwise, due to the nature of the work they have to do: being pawed and mauled by some of the most repulsive men on the planet, and I’m not just talking about being physically repulsive here. A lot of these men treat them like dirt, which they are not; they are escorts and should be treated with respect ... and caution. If I could see better I’d take full advantage of the bar scene to look for a partner here in Thailand, because trying to find a ‘nice’ Thai GF is a minefield that I can’t afford mentally or physically right now.

Lemmy Thinkalike (before he was dead obviously)


Dear Lemmy Thinkalike,

Did you see they are trying to make a Jack Daniels and Coke to be officially known as a “Lemmy”? Though, hang on for a second, you can’t see, as you said. That must be a real problem for you in some of those poorly illuminated bars, but I am sure you will find some willing ladies who will help the visually impaired, as they say. With all the political correctness we are not allowed to refer to you as half blind. Personally I think it is all nonsense. So do you really look like the Big O? Dark glasses and all? But as you told me, it doesn’t matter in the bars, in actual fact it is what your wallet looks like that is important, or should I say, what’s in your wallet that’s important. You sound like a nice man, Lemmy Thinkalike, so I hope they can do something for your eyesight. If they can’t, just grab the hand of the girl on the stool next to you and she will guide you down the street (to the nearest ATM).

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