Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:23

Does anybody know What’s Her Name?

Dear Hillary,

I went to a networking evening last night and ended up the night chatting to a very nice Thai woman.  I tried to get her name but it was so noisy and I was a little under the weather by then and I think I forgot it.  As I was driving I didn’t stay to the end but since then I haven’t got her out of my mind.  All I remember is that she came from Bang Saray and she was with another woman who was American (I think).  So what do I do from here to get her out of my mind?



Dear Garry,

I take it that you are looking for a lady, Petal.  There are a few things you can do.  You could always try walking the streets of Bang Saray hoping that you bump into her, but that could take a while.  A better idea would be to go to the next networking night and don’t get quite as under the weather that you can’t remember the woman’s name!  That is provided you can remember what she looks like!  Lots of luck.  It sounds as if you’ll need it.

Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:23

Fumble fingers

Dear Hillary,

This sounds stupid but I am having trouble with my mobile phone when I try to reply to a message.  I have big clumsy fingers and it takes me forever trying to type replies.  Short of dictating my reply (and I haven’t got that technology) have you any answers?



Dear Jeff,

I believe voice recognition technology is available in some top end smart phones, but there is a very easy way, which I call “Swipe” texting.  This is a program that allows you slide your finger over the letters of the words and with predictive texting it will show you three options for your word.  One of them will be the correct one.  I had it put on my phone and it is wonderful.  See your local phone dealer, they will be able to install it in your phone (unless it is a 1965 Motorola).

Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:22

Bringing a friend

Dear Hillary,

Is it usual that when you ask a Thai girl for a date, she brings a friend with her?  This has happened to me three times now, and I find it a bit off-putting.  I mean when you invite a girl out you want to get to know her, not her friend.  I find that she will then spend more time talking and giggling with the friend.  That’s when she’s not looking at her phone and answering calls.  As I said, I’ve done this three times now and I don’t think I’ll bother any more.

P Doff


Dear P Doff,

If you’re not going to bother any more, why are you writing emails to me, Petal?  But if you’re still going to try, then you should start realizing that this is the way “good girls” date in Thailand.  No, they are not going to sleep with you on the first date, or even the second or third, if they have brought along a chaperone.  Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey!  Learn to live with it, or go back to the bar.

Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:21

Liking Hillary’s bits

Dear Hillary,

I enjoy your bits each week and the advice is right on.  Somebody said you should get a raise from your editor and I reckon so too.  You are doing a public service so you should get the top dollar.  All the ones in the US like Oprah get big money, so should you.  Keep up the good work.



Dear Henry,

Aren’t you just the nicest man!  Comparing poor little Hillary with the mighty Oprah!  However there are some differences between us, you know.  She’s in America, for one!  You worry me though, when you say you “enjoy my bits” each week.  What “bits” are we talking about here?  Some of my bits are never discussed here in the column.  This is a family newspaper Hughie.  As far as a raise is concerned, I’ll show your letter to the editor, but he’ll just laugh and say I made it up.

Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:19

Hair today - gone tomorrow?

Dear Hillary,

I wanted a haircut so I went to my usual barbers the other day, to find it was closed.  This was something new to me, so I drove around to see the next one, and it was closed as well.  Asking around with my friends, I was told that all barbers close on Wednesdays.  Can you tell me why they all want to shut on that day.  I had to spend the rest of the afternoon in the pub instead.  Is it a government rule or what?  Just sign me Hairy.


Dear Hairy,

Aren’t you lucky, it was just the Bar-ber that was closed, and not the Bar-beer!  Your friends were correct, the barbers close on Wednesday.  It is not a government rule, but comes from the fact that we consider it to be bad luck to cut your hair on a Wednesday, so the clever barbers may as well close, rather than spread the bad luck.  It is something like the old religious edict of “no meat on Fridays” overseas, which gave the butchers a holiday as well.

Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:53

An Englishman’s home is his castle

Dear Hillary,

I have been married to my Thai wife for 10 years.  We get by on a pension from the UK, which buys less and less every year.  She runs a little Mom and Pop convenience store downstairs, but that isn’t doing too well recently, lucky to cover the rent.  Her two younger brothers have moved to Pattaya from Udon and they are staying with us as well and neither one has a job, but all they do all day is lie about the place watching telly.  I really don’t like this situation and I told my wife that as things are tough, they should pay rent.  She came back saying “I am not a foreigner.  They are my blood.”  I know the Thai’s keep the family as number one, but surely these two lumps should be looking for a job, instead of eating us out of house and home.  How do I handle this, Hillary?



Dear Ron,

You really do have a problem here, my Petal.  The “family” does come first - they learn this from an early age, and the girls are taught that they are there to look after the brothers.  You are not going to re-educate your wife, so unhappily, I think you are stuck with this situation.  You are married to a Thai woman with a Thai family and living in Thailand.  You can try discussing this with her, but you are outnumbered.  Learn to live with it, Ron.

Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:52

The polite brush-off

Dear Hillary,

My local bar has a few girls that work out of there and one of them has decided that I am her property and claims me as soon as I walk in the door.  All I want to do is to have a couple of drinks after work.  I don’t want this attention, how do I get her to stop it?  I don’t want to offend her, but she’s not my type.



Dear Mike,

You just have to be brave and tell her you don’t want her company, so “Bye-Bye” is called for.  She will give up very quickly and go looking for some other sucker, sorry, drinker.

Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:52

Lips are moving

Dear Hillary,

I get told that the old hands have a saying “How do you tell when your Thai GF is lying to you?  Her lips are moving.”  Is it really that bad?  I have a Thai GF and she hasn’t been lying to me.  Well, I suppose I think not!



Dear George,

Have you never told a lie, Petal?  Not even a teensy-weensy one?  Never fibbed to your Thai GF as to why you were late home?  Sorry George, I don’t believe you if you said you haven’t told a lie!  But seriously, a lot depends upon how good the relationship is.  In a good secure relationship there’s no need to lie, because there is honest discussion, and looking for the middle ground when there are contentious issues.

Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:50

Road Safety

Dear Hillary,

Is all of Thailand suffering with a “Mai pen rai” attitude to road safety?  We are coming up to Songkran and hundreds are killed, but “Mai pen rai”.  The “educated” Thais I socialize and do business with are embarrassed by the poor drivers in Pattaya and the even poorer enforcement of the traffic laws.  Seven years ago, the VP of the company I then worked for dismissed Thailand as quote, “Have you seen a Thai behind the wheel; they’re barbarians.”

When a foreigner gets hurt on the streets of Pattaya, he goes home and tells his friends - possibly a million baht loss in tourist income.  A foreigner gets killed and it makes the Western Papers - maybe a hundred million baht impact to Thailand.

As for “If you weren’t there in the first place the accident wouldn’t have happened” - if the Thai wasn’t acting like a two year old half-wit and showed some sense of social responsibility consistent with that of an emerging industrialized nation, the accident probably wouldn’t have happened either!

I, like most people, came to Pattaya for the climate and relaxation, not to be run down by some socially irresponsible idiot with a fourth world mentality.  Overall, I enjoy living in Pattaya, but a more civilized attitude behind the wheel would go a long way to changing the backward, third world country image many westerners have of Thailand.  In the future, I think that you should take this issue more seriously!



Dear Matthew,

Do you honestly expect Hillary to change the driving standards here?  Be real, Petal!  “My Pen Rai” is part of the “why” I would believe.  However, Matthew, there are people who do take this seriously - for example, the Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club has previously sponsored Driver Education in the schools - surely the best way to change the attitude of tomorrow’s drivers.  Quite frankly, I do not think that your calling Thais “two year old half wits” or “socially irresponsible idiots” helps the problem much either.  I am told Thailand has the second worst road toll statistics in the world, and I agree we should do something about it.  In the meantime, just walk everywhere, you’re safe 90 percent of the time on the footpaths.

Thursday, 03 April 2014 10:56

Deposit problems

Dear Hillary,

I will be moving into an apartment block next month, and I have said I will pay six months in advance.  I thought that was a pretty good deal for the owner and would show I am serious about the place.  I’ve been dealing through an agent and now she says that it isn’t six months in advance I gave her, it’s only four months as they keep two months as a deposit.  Isn’t it enough of a security that I was putting up six months in advance.  Is this usual?



Dear Jack,

I am not a real estate broker, but in Pattaya the “usual” is 12 months rental (not six months) and two months deposit, returned after you vacate and with all utilities being paid and any damages repaired.  You can’t say to take the deposit out of the rental.  It is on top, Petal.  Does that explain it all for you?  I hope so!

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