This sounds silly, but I come over as a tourist from the UK three times a year. The only thing I really miss is my cup of tea in the mornings. Where can I get a good cup of tea?
Tea never sounds silly. In Japan they make a ceremony out of serving delicate cups of tea. Chinese green tea is said to be slimming. Indian teas are reputed to be healing, Pitta tea with its mix of Cardamom, Liquorice, Ginger, Cinnamon and rose petals is recommended for it’s cooling effect and to balance the mind and body when irritable and impatient. Being a Brit, I am guessing that you are addicted to Twinings Earl Grey or Lemon Scented. My advice to you is either bring your own over, or buy it here from one of the local grocery markets, such as Friendship. Then again have you ever tasted the great Thai tea? A lot of little roadside restaurants make it. It is just a matter of wandering around and asking, “Cha ron mai?” that means “Hot Tea no?” It comes in a glass, hot, a bright orange color with a lemony taste. Drink it without milk and just a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy.
I know Thai girls wear mini-skirts, but the office girl at work seems to be wearing shorter skirts every day. Should I say anything to her, or would she take offence? This is a genuine question, Hillary.
What’s wrong? Has she got lousy legs? But before you do something you might regret, is it your position to say anything to her, are you her employer? If so, and you must do something, very tactfully explain that you would prefer her to wear knee length skirts or dresses, because you do not want to get any of the clients over excited. If you are not her boss, then I guess you just have to grin and bear it, although it sounds as if she’s the one grinning and baring it. You could always wolf-whistle every time she passes and say, “Ooh ooh ohh, sexy knickers!” Bear in mind though that she might resign - or is that “bare” in mind? Oh, forget it!
Please to read this because it is real and a big problem for me. I cannot understand the farang man. They say they do everything for you and then they not do. They say they not forget you and to send money and they not do, or maybe do for one two month only. Why they do this to Thai lady? I do everything for them and stay in room with them.
Thank you for your letter, and your English is good enough. No problem. Hillary knows it can be very difficult to understand the farang way of thinking and speaking. Even after many years it is still difficult, because you are a Thai and think like a Thai. They are farang and think in a different way. What is important for you is not always so important for them. You must also remember that when they are over here on holidays, it is very different to their own country, so they will often say things they do not really mean. Sorry, but that is the truth. Enjoy the company while they are here, but that’s all.
I am a regular shopper at Central World Mall. In the last few weeks I have noticed that a new mannequin in one of the stores looks just like my deceased neighbor. I have passed this mannequin from many directions and the resemblance is uncanny. In every way - noose (sic), cheekbones, hair, etc. I can look at it from any angle. It looks like the neighbor I was friendly with. Even the clothes that the mannequin was wearing is the kind of lightweight windbreaker jacket my neighbor would wear. It is unbelievable that this mannequin looks so much like my neighbor. Is it possible to contact the Central World Mall management to propose to buy this mannequin (after its use) so I may present it to my neighbor’s family? They would think this would be a very sentimental gesture. I think his co-workers would also like to have him remembered, so having him there would be good, therapeutic behavior for all. I was told to write to your column Heart to Heart with Hillary since you have such good reputation, after I inquired about buying this mannequin from the sales lady. (Very courteous, I might add.) I feel miscommunicated. They do not want to see me at all. One security guard even suggested that I might meet the same karma as the Men in Black General in 2010. He got a severe headache I was told. No further info given. But the Sales Lady was very helpful with my socks purchase. I got one pair in wool with small cute reindeers. Please Hillary, advise?
Are you asking my advice about the woolly socks and reindeers? Personally, I would imagine woolly socks to be a bit hot in this country, though the reindeers are a cooling influence I should imagine. Have you tried polyester and cotton mix? Much more suited to our tropical climate. The other mannequin problem. I believe I know what is happening here. The mannequin that looks exactly like your neighbor, is your neighbor, but he has been embalmed so that there is no decay. He is on loan to Central World (although they will deny it of course). You will find that after the sock promotion is over, the mannequin will be sent back to your neighbors.
Reportedly, women bathing nude are healthier and wealthier than their prudish peer group.
I would be very interested to find where you got these amazing reports. And what kind of bathing were they looking at? Sun bathing? Home bathtubs? Japanese hot tubs? Jacuzzi? I have also asked my friends and they all say that they take their clothes off to bathe. Was this what you meant?
There must be a way to see the difference between your “good” girls and the “bad” girls - the bar girls that we’ve all met and enjoyed their company. Your “good” girls look like more trouble than they are worth to be honest. Dinner only with a girlfriend along as well. Parents who don’t trust any farang. All come from families that have more money than me. Why bother? Both of them ending up cleaning your wallet as far as I can see. What about it, Hills?
Seems to me that you are lonely, my Petal. And if that is your reason for going looking, then the professionals know how to keep a man happy in a short time. You don’t have to worry about keeping them happy. But if you are looking at a long time companion, and judging by the cries of woe that I get weekly from problems with the professionals, then you are better off staying away from the ladies of the night and looking for someone who has a regular job, no buffaloes and no brother with a motorcycle. So you’ve got two women to dinner, not one. The friend might be even better looking than the first one! You never know your luck in a big city.
There is a shopping center very close to my office. There is a very pretty young girl in one of them and she always gives me a big smile. Lately she has been giving me a shy little wave as well. I would like to know a bit more about her, but how do I do it, Hillary?
Does RON stand for Run Over Now, or what? Ron, you are not going to be able to find out anything about your boutique girl from outside sources. There is no Hot Line for this kind of problem. The girl is doing one of two things - either she is interested in you, OR she wants to get you over to sell you some of her merchandise. How do you find out? It is easy, my Petal. Next time she waves, walk over to her little stand and say, “Hi, How long have you been in this shopping center?” or something equally as easy as an ice-breaker. You will soon see if she is interested in you, or what you’ve got in your pants - not that! Your wallet!
Not being a cheap Charlie I pay for distance covered (on the baht bus). 10 B should get you from Pattaya Thai to Tops super market, and you can stretch it out to Big C hand the driver B. 10 and walk away, but if you are that stingy you deserve to be ignored next time you wave a cab down. I have never had trouble when handing a B. 20 note over for a reasonable short trip and said “Kor Hi Sip Baht Khup.”
Thank you for replying to my query as to how far you can go in a baht bus for B. 10. I think you are correct, and with the price of everything going up these days, the baht bus driver is also looking at an increased weekly spend in the markets for groceries, so be fair, is my answer.
I am thinking of having an affair with one of the girls at work. She is obviously up for it and gives me all the right signals, but is discreet enough, so that nobody has guessed that we have sneaked away for some fun and excitement. Only problem is that I have a live-in Thai GF and even though she seems OK with me going out on my own which I do a couple of times a week, I don’t know just how she would take it if she found I was with another woman. Your understanding of this type of thing is much better than mine - I don’t even understand western women, let alone Thai ones!
Living on the edge
Dear Living on the edge,
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Cut it off and feed it to the ducks’? It happens frequently, Petal, and I’ll leave you to guess just what “it” is. You can always get the duck to cough it up, or make it into a duck stew, but Thai women have even more inventive methods of disposing of the “it” which has been visiting where “it” shouldn’t. The vegetable food processor makes it all pretty final. So if you want to run the risk of having to sit down to wee wee, just keep going. Lots of luck in finding “it”.
I think I am being ripped off. My Thai wife has recently started to ask me for more money than she normally gets for housekeeping and the monthly wage I give her. It was just a few hundred baht here and there to start with, but now she needs thousands at a time. When I ask her why she needs the extra she gets sulky and when I really push her for an answer the best I get is “for family - you farang no understand.” Hillary, is there something here that I should understand, or what? I am getting very tired of the continual cash hand-outs.
Dear ATM Matt,
It sounds like there is lots you don’t understand. “Family” is important to a Thai and is one of the strongest bonds for the individuals in that family. Family keeps them together, family gets them over problems of all types, financial and otherwise. Your girlfriend may be returning money borrowed from before, or may also be helping her brother/mother/father/cousin (delete that which is not applicable) out of a jam. And on the other hand, she may be gambling with it, another very common Thai pastime. You really have to start communicating better with your girlfriend, Petal, if you want to know where the money goes. If she is the money manager for the household, sit down each week and discuss the family budget. If you do this in a non-threatening way, then you will find out where the money goes. If it ends up in sulkiness or accusations, then it is time to review the entire relationship and handle the housekeeping yourself. I also note you are paying her a “wage”. What is that for, Marc? Is she a wife or a “mia chow” (rented wife)? To me, your relationship seems to be based only on money, which is never a long-term basis. Time to review everything, my Petal.