I lived in Loei, Issan for two years and I know how hard the people have to work for their daily rice. Their young people come to the big city to make money and send half back to their family. The girls who come to Pattaya go to the bars where they join the world’s oldest profession. If they get a job in a factory or shop the wage is THB 300 for one day. In Britain, the minimum wage is THB 300 for one hour. The bar girl naturally would like as much as she can get from the Farang. If he gives her too much money or gold, that is his fault, not hers. As to Robert’s derogatory remarks about my education, I know the difference between massacre and genocide. He does not. I hate what the British Empire was, but it subjugate people to make them workers or slaves, it did not annihilate them. Since he prefers German, he should read “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler and educate himself as to what Genocide means. All I can say to him is “G’Dai Mite, Austraaaalia is a long wai awai.” Hillary, my love, Scotland has waited for independence for 300 years. We can wait a little longer.
Thank you for the “my love”, nobody has called me that for so long, my Petal. While I do agree with you in the main, you can’t really compare earnings in Thailand with earnings in Britain. The cost of living there (or Australia) is sky high compared to here, you must agree, so they need much higher wages. There is also the fact that the Pattaya bar ladies are making a lot more than THB 300 an hour, I am told. Inflation has set in financially, as well as in the superstructures (God bless the inventor of silicone)! Genocide is a ticklish subject, especially for this column, and I am sorry to remind everyone that the British settlers in Australia (sorry Austraaaalia) did a cracking job with the aboriginals in Tasmania, did they not?
We have been discussing in our 7-11 conference area just how the price of everything has gone up. Not so much on the groceries side (as we can always cut down on the meat and veg and eat more rice) but on the fun parts of life, which was why we all came here. The COL (Cost Of Loving) index has far outstripped the increase in bread and petrol prices. What can we do about this, Hillary?
George and the lads out front 7-11
Dear George and the lads,
I’m not really into economics that much, I’m sorry to say, but I think the reason for the increased prices must be that the Pattaya ladies must use a lot of petrol and eat a lot of toast.
I sympathize with you, as I too have had a life-long battle with my addiction to chocolate. I went through hell as a teenager with pimples every day, but I had to keep nibbling the chocolates. I didn’t care. These days I need a Mars bar every day or I can get the withdrawals. What do you do about the cravings?
Dear Chas Chokkie,
You have me all wrong, Petal. I am not addicted to chocolate, I just like chocolate. I don’t need chocolate every day, and the chocolates (and champagne) have been pretty sparse recently anyway. If I was feeding your addiction, I’d be in very bad withdrawals by now. Seriously though, I think you should talk to your doctor about this. You might have sugar or something.
About a year ago I set up home with a Thai girl, who is many years my junior. Her family comes from the north east and I have been up there and met them, and they seemed nice enough farming folks. They accepted me quite readily, but I always felt a little left out at the family gatherings as they can only speak Thai and my girl had to translate all the time. (They also drink that awful Lao khao stuff!) For this reason, I have not been back up there, though my girl does go up frequently. Is this the usual way families behave in this country? If it is, I will say nothing, but she will often go back for two or three days, the last being the end of Buddhist Lent. Have I anything to worry about?
You may have lots to worry about, or nothing at all. Are you worrying because you think she is not going back to the family rice paddy? I am having to try and read between the lines too much here. It is very usual for daughters to go home and pay respects to their family, and contribute financially as well. Does your lady have children there that are being looked after by her Mama? Honestly, Petal, it sounds very normal to me. Talk to your friends who have been married to a Thai girl for some time. You’ll find it is the norm in this country.
So many of the blokes who write to you deserve everything they get from the girls in the bars. Why don’t the stupid B’s learn? They’re in the bar doing the job that you wouldn’t get your women from your home countries to do - that’s put up with grumpy old has beens. They’ve been forced down from the family farm because the family needs the dosh. That’s the way they make money to send home, Gramps!
You certainly got out of bed on the wrong side this morning, didn’t you, Petal? What you should also realize is that the girls who work in the bars do it because they can make more money than they would as a checkout girl in Family Mart, and not all of them are “forced”. OK, so the girls have to take some acting lessons, but the men who keep their brains turned on get enjoyable company, while their bar lady companions keep the rest of their bodies turned on. So there are casualties along the way who write in to me for help and sympathy, but don’t be too hard on them, Joe. You might have been that way once in your past, if I remember correctly.
We know you like chocolates, but last year we took some chocolate candy and some of those strange jellied candies in little cups (and some real food) out to one of the children’s homes. None of the children wanted the chocolates and all wanted the jellied candy. Do Thais - especially the ladies - not have taste for chocolate? I thought all women loved chocolates. And if they do, where is a good place to buy quality boxed chocolates?
Dear Chocoholic Charlie,
You should be able to smell out chocolate stores from 40 meters, Petal. However, I see you are from oversea, so I forgive you. Thailand has some of the best chocolate in the world, just remember to bring your wallet, Petal so you can afford them (and remember the champagne and extra chocolates for Ms. Hillary). Actually, whether Thais like chocolate depends upon where they come from. The Esarn peoples tend not to like sugary sweet things and chocolate is amongst that. By comparison, the southern Thais have a much sweeter tooth. Hillary? Well now, where do you get nice chocolates? It’s easy, you just pop down to the big supermarkets like a good boy and you will find quality boxed chocolates there. Wrap them securely, with a label addressed to Hillary, c/o the Pattaya Mail and I will get them. Thank you in advance, and also a big thank you for remembering the children less fortunate than ourselves.
My Thai GF has begun getting drunk when she goes out with her GFs. They think it’s a joke, because she gets hopeless. I have told her to stop the drinking, but once she starts she cannot stop until she’s falling down drunk again. Is she an alcoholic, or what? Is there a clinic she can go to?
Your GF has a problem, which means that you have a problem as well. No easy way out of this, but see if you can discuss it with her when she’s sober. If she will admit to a problem she is half way there towards getting over this problem. The major hospitals all have clinics for this very common problem. You didn’t say how long she has been like this, so make sure she’s not drinking because of you! But if she’s drinking champagne you should send it to me, c/o the Pattaya Mail office.
Can someone please tell me why all Thai women give the “V” sign when being photographed? None of them can tell me why they do it, nor what the significance is supposed to be. Any ideas, Hillary, the lady of letters, and hopefully of signs as well.
Like so many items in Thai culture, there undoubtedly is a reason, but that reason itself has been lost to obscurity (which merely means it is more than one generation old)! There is also confusion between the “V” sign of disrespect and the “V for Victory” sign as used by Winston Churchill (knuckles facing towards the giver, as opposed to the knuckles outwards while giving the sign of derision). So take another look, Jeff, you will find that most of the “V’s” are the Victory signs, probably a celebration by the model that she was beautiful enough to be photographed. From all that, you will have seen that I have no real idea, but my research showed that the “V” sign did not date back to English archers, as they needed three fingers to pull the long bows.
I hear that it is lucky to walk under an elephant. Is this true? Has anybody been trod on?
Yes it is lucky to walk under an elephant, and to my knowledge nobody has been stepped on - but watch out when it wants to pee!
My Thai bargirl “marriage” has lasted 10 years and she and her friends understand that us superior (superior, in Thai, means big money man) needs occasional new physical therapies to condition him for his matrimonial duties. If any you might choose don’t share this philosophy of Carnal Safaris, then dump her! “Wife” synonymous with “Anchor”!
Dear Superior Samuel,
I am certainly glad I have never met you, the ultimate male chauvinist. I thought you had all died out 15 years ago. We used to have a name for you and your ilk and that was MCP, Petal. That stood for Male Chauvinist Pig, and that’s what you are. Lording your superior financial power over your “wife” who just has to grin and bear it. And are you sure that the long suffering “her indoors” isn’t indulging in her own Carnal Safari? And I suggest you change the PIN number of your Visa card before she just raids the plastic and ups anchor. People like you can be replaced, Petal.