Like you always advise us, look for the “good” girls, and I have found one, but there’s still a problem. She works in a dress shop and is really quite a stunner. I pass by every day and if she spots me, I always get a wave and a big smile. Sometimes I catch her outside the shop and she is always happy to chat. In English which makes it even better, because my Thai is not so good. She saw that I had bought a soft drink one day and told me what soft drink she likes and so I have been buying a can for her and giving it to her if she is outside. But today she just looked away and I was too embarrassed to go further. Hillary, I have put six months into this, and I am starting to feel the chase after “good” girls isn’t worth it. What do you suggest?
Dear Drink Can,
You are certainly not the one to be pro-active, are you? After six months and the best you have been able to do in this relationship is to buy her a 10 baht can of drink and chat for a few minutes outside a dress shop. For six months this wonderful “good” girl has been waiting for something a little better than a can of soft drink. Just what do you chat about? The merits of aluminium cans over steel ones? The weather? Dress fashions? You are wimp, my Petal. Just what have you put into this relationship in the six months? She has been waiting for you to ask her out, to dinner, to a disco, to the movies - anywhere that young people go to starting a relationship. And the best you have managed is a can of soft drink. Honestly, what is wrong with you young people these days? You don’t deserve a good girl.
My wife is 15 years younger than me and this gives us a problem. When we go out to a bar, many foreigners assume that my wife must be, or have been, a bar girl. I realize that 85 percent of all Thai-foreigner marriages are between bar girls and “sex tourists”, so what should we do?
Where did you get this 85 percent figure from? Total nonsense, Petal. “Sex tourists” don’t come over here to get married. That’s the last thing on their minds. I suggest you and your wife stay away from the bars and drink somewhere with better clientele.
As a widower I went looking for a partner in my home country. All the ladies were more interested in what kind of car I drove, how much money I made per year and on and on. They were not interested in anything else.
With much misgiving I started looking in other countries. The dating services did not manage to find anyone near my requirements, but then I hit the jackpot and met a great lady who was 50 at the time, never been married, and ran a small corner shop.
Now after 10 years I do not regret anything. She has been a wonderful partner. Yes, there were cultural differences to overcome and yes I married the whole family. So we send some money to her mother, not a lot and it is a small price to pay for my own personal happiness.
Despite all the doom and gloom letters you get, this is just to show there is another side. I am sure my experience is not unique.
I am very glad to read of your finding the ‘right’ person for you. You obviously went looking in the right places and not the ‘easy’ places, which is where so many men on the mission go wrong. As I have said many times, you don’t go looking in a hardware shop for a round of cheese.
I have come to the sad conclusion that all the women in Thailand are on the make. Every last one seems to have her hand into your wallet within days of going into a live-in relationship. At first it was money to buy groceries, and I thought that was great, looking after me. But then the grocery bill seemed to be going up all the time and the amount of food was getting smaller. Then it was some to send to Mama, school fees (in a village school?) for her children being looked after by Mama, it just went on and on. That ended that one. Then the next one was the same, and the one after that. Is there one honest woman in Thailand looking for a partner and not an ATM?
Enough is Enough
Dear Enough is Enough,
Is there an honest woman in Thailand? Of course there are plenty of them my Petal. Look at the letter above yours. “Easy” women who enter live-in relationships will generally turn out to be very hard to live with. You are looking in the wrong places.
I picked up one of those tourist magazines the other day and it had listings of good places to go for the tourists. The interesting thing I noticed was the dual pricing which was plainly printed for the tourists to see that they were going to pay something like twice the price of the Thais. I thought it was against the regulations to have dual pricing. We certainly don’t have that in the UK. What is the real situation?
I get embarrassed by this situation, but I can also understand why this arises. The majority of Thai households do not have the spending power of the tourists, which is the basic reason behind the double pricing. It would be much better if these attractions advertised one price, but offered a 50 percent reduction for Thai residents (and that would include the foreigners who live here).
Why do Thai women continue to wear such silly platform shoes and high heels? They are dangerous and many countries have already banned them. There is nothing wrong with wearing not-sexy wearing sensible shoes. What is your opinion, or do you wear such ankle breakers?
What do the Thai women use as personal transport round here? Motorcycles - correct! Now when you are only 1.5 meters tall what happens when you stop at the traffic lights? Your feet don’t touch the ground - correct! And you have to dismount or fall off. Thai people are very practical, my Petal, and they are safer with the platform shoes.
You hear of all these poor saps being ripped off when the short-term Thai GF goes off to greener pastures, and they then make out that it is all the Thai GF’s fault, and how crooked the Thai women are and the like. They should remember Greg Norman ($103m), Paul McCartney ($48.7m), Prince Charles ($45.2m), for a start. While I understand you Hillary for trying to protect the uninitiated or naïve males from the not-so gentle sex at the bar, but please qualify the advice though by saying, that a Thai bar girl is really no different from many other ladies, bar girls or not.
I am not really in the position to comment on the ex’s of Greg Norman, Prince Charles and Paul McCartney, as I have no idea where they came from before marrying the money, but I am able to agree with some of your statement that a Thai bar girl is really no different from many other bar girls overseas, but I cannot be as sweeping as you to include “other ladies”.
I have lived in Thailand for five years, and your writings I am sure have made me avoid many pitfalls. Pity folks could not read your pieces many times before they land. Look forward every Friday to your column.
You are indeed a nice man, and I do try to stop the lambs all rushing to the slaughter, with all the laughter from the go-go bars surrounding them. I have been tempted many times to make the column into a book form, and this has been suggested by a few of the readers, but I think it is too hard, or time consuming for me at this stage. But you never know, it could be the next Hairy Spotter.
With PM Yingluck at the top I had hopes that the disgraceful sex trade that tarnishes Thailand’s international reputation would show signs of decline. Sadly this is not the case and thousands of vulnerable Thai, Cambodian, Lao and Vietnamese children are still being exploited for profit. Any chance you could give this issue some coverage please? With hope!
Thank you for putting me above PM Yingluck as far as dealing with social problems is concerned. However, I have no power or status to be able to correct much. I am happy to give you the space in my (generally) lighthearted column, but have to point out that the problem you are highlighting is not just a Thailand one. Take the ructions in the UK at present with media stars being arraigned. In any society where there are “rich” next to “poor”, there is always the possibility of the trade in sex, as what else do the poor have to trade with? There is also the fact that there is a demand from the rich side, with the supply coming from the poor. There have been the cases where foreigners have been charged with the offences in their own country, even though the offence might have been carried out in Thailand, for example. Far too deep for the Hillary column, David, but take heart from the fact that there are far more people coming to Thailand for holidays, than there are sex tourists, and particularly those exploiting underprivileged children.
It takes you to put things in perspective for people that sometimes can be so oblivious to the most obvious things/situations. Yes, you’re darn right if you have to ask how much things cost you are probably cannot afford it. Mia Noi is a lucrative occupation for job seekers. There is no such thing as a fixed price for Mia Noi, just pay up. Love your column, you are always witty.
Your fan from the USA
Dear Fan from the USA,
Love your responses to my column, you are always so kind. Yes, being a Mia Noi is certainly a lucrative occupation, but it’s not all beer and skittles, my Petal. There are certain hazards to the job, such as an angry Mia Luang (number 1 wife), the need to be discreet, the fact that you have to be ready for the errant husband (the employer) who can call in at any time, so you have to be immaculately groomed 24 hours a day, and finally, there is no job security - you can be replaced at any time.