Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:37

Smelling salts

Dear Hillary,

Bit of a broo-ha-ha from one of the naughty bars in Walking Street I read. Was it as ‘bad’ as it looks, Hills old girl? Over here in straitlaced Blighty little old ladies would be swooning on the streets.



Dear Eric,

Firstly, I am not “Hills old girl” by any stretch of the imagination. My name is, and always has been, Hillary and to refer to me as “old girl” is simply very poor manners. Which is what I think about the Walking Street incident – very poor manners. There are some things best kept away from the children, and children do walk down Walking Street. I cannot comment on your swooning old ladies in Blighty, but I am sure you would be the kind of gentleman to render assistance to these ladies in need of smelling salts.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:36

Ray Charles to the rescue!

Dear Hillary,

Found the “good girl” from a good family and all that you are always banging on about, but progress is slow. So slow I’m thinking of giving up TBH. It has been two months and we’re up to holding hands (when nobody is around) and a peck on the cheek goodnight. We go out once a week, as that’s all she’ll do. She’s a nice girl but I’m running short of patience. What’s the next step?



Dear Jack,

I presume your acronym TBH is To Be Honest. So why not just write the full three words, so there can be no confusion? TAGB (that’s a good boy). Now to the go-slow romance which seems to be going nowhere. Mort, you are having yourself on. She is obviously so well mannered that she is trying to tell you, very gently, that even though you may be interested in her, she’s not interested in you. Your next step is to “Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more” that catchy song by Ray Charles. (You may be too young to remember the song, but never mind.)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:35

Pattaya ‘bared’ or is that ‘Baird’?

Dear Hillary,

You have often mentioned books that newcomers to Thailand should read and you should add “Falangs in Thailand” to that list. These cartoon books by Mike Baird are based on truth and everyone who laughs at the drawings should also remember that (it is based on truth). The cartoonist must have spent a lot of time watching what goes on in Pattaya, but what he shows is the same for Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai. “Private Dancer” by Stephen Leather is another book that anyone who spends time in the bars should read. Stay there long enough and it will happen to you, so be warned. I hope this helps, Hillary. I enjoy your column.



Dear Kevin,

I am so glad you like my weekly (weakly some days) column. Thank you for the information about suitable books, and I have enjoyed all of Mike’s books and do agree with your ideas. Unfortunately, I think many young chaps who come here (and some not so young as well) don’t seem to be able to read. Perhaps the cartoon books will be better for them, as long as they realize that Mike Baird is being very satirical. We can only hope, Petal. We can only hope.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:30

Finding the “good” girls

Dear Hillary,

I have to laugh at all your letter writers, wondering if they have found THE ONE, when they should start looking at themselves to see if they would be THE ONE for any of the women around here. I’m not talking about the girls from the bars, who are only there for one thing – money, while the blokes are also there for one thing – sex. They’ll never find the right one there. I’m talking about the ones you call “good girls”, and these blokes aren’t even looking in the right place, and I reckon no self respecting girl would want to be seen with some fat old bloke wobbling along with a skinful of booze every night. You try telling ‘em, Hillary, I’ve given up. They’ve got no (expletive removed) idea.

Al the Advisor


Dear Al,

I understand where you’re coming from Petal, but if you want to be an advisor you’ve got to do more than throwing a bucket of warm manure over the people wanting advice. Once the average chap understands what the bars are for, and what the girls who work in the bars are there for, then you’re about half way there to finding someone who might be THE ONE and obviously not from the bar scene. The bars are for fun, not forever. You are correct when you say that the chaps looking for a partner have to present themselves in a good way as well. No Thai lady is looking for the kind of farang you best know. Finding THE ONE is difficult in any society, in any country, and is no different here. Just keep on showing those who ask of you where they shouldn’t look, and you’ve done your bit, Al. You could start with Jack with his problems this week. And he has big problems!

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:29

A mail box full of tears

Dear Hillary,

How do you keep up with all the tears that must come through your mail box? Every week another tale of doom and destruction, another house lost, and pig farms as well I read a couple of weeks ago. Or are you a victim as well?



Dear James,

It’s easy, Petal. I save up all the tissues that come with the reporters’ take aways and mop the mail box with them. Now as to your second question, yes I am a victim - I got ripped off at the local market by one stall holder who short changed me, but I didn’t know till I was counting my satangs that evening.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:28

Waiting for my Veuve Cliquot

Dear Hillary,

You bleat on every week about not having any expensive French champagne. Why don’t you do what the rest of us do, and that is to drink the cheaper champagnes from Australia, Chile, Spain or Italy?

Methode Champenoise


Dear Methode Champenoise,

You have answered it already in your ‘nom de plume’ my Petal. You obviously know of the restrictions on using the name “champagne”. The Champagne producers successfully lobbied the European Union to restrict the use of that term within the EU to wines produced from their region. Thus, wines from elsewhere cannot even use the term “méthode champenoise” on products sold in the EU, and instead the term “traditional method” (méthode traditionnelle) or the local language equivalent may be seen; for instance, in Germany the term used is “klassische flaschengärung”. South African wines from the Western Cape are labelled with the term “Methode Cap Classique”. However, consumers outside the EU may see “méthode champenoise” used on labels for products made outside of France.

So for little people like me I would much rather drink the “real thing” than some other country’s copy. So, please send me the good stuff, that’s a nice chap.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:27

Cat getting in the way

Dear Hillary,

Do Thai women think differently from western women? Is the family really that important? The guys I drink with say that the neighborhood cat is higher up the tree than me, and I’m paying the bills. I’m only into the second month of this relationship and I’m starting to feel I’m being put upon. The hand is always out, and it is always for “family” problems.



Dear ATM?,

Are you any good at running? Olympic standard 100 meter sprints. Time you lined up on the starting blocks young ATM (you must be young not to know about the family ladder and where you are on it - just don’t climb over the cat on your way up)!

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:26

The ‘sniff kiss’ again

Dear Hillary,

Why don’t these Thai girls kiss properly? You go to give them a nice sloppy kiss and instead of returning it, you get a sniff on the cheek, or even on the arm? That’s a bit off isn’t it? Everybody all over the world knows what a French kiss is, surely?



Dear Willie,

Perhaps you have a problem with body odor and they are just checking. And do you brush your teeth three times a day? I don’t think I’d like sloppy kisses from someone who doesn’t have dental floss beside the bathroom sink. There is a big difference between French and Thai kisses. Just think yourself lucky you get any sort of show of affection. PS. Have you shown her your wallet? That might improve the kisses if the wallet is full enough!

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:23

Som Tam and a bar fine

Dear Hillary,

Can you tell me just what goes on in a Thai girl’s head? I have had this relationship with one of the girls in the local bar. If she wants a night off, I pay for her bar fine, and she comes home with me. We have a great time and I usually take her for som tam or something on the way. The other night I felt like seeing her, but when I went to the bar and suggested I pay bar for her she said no. I stayed for a while and then another farang came in and off she went off with him all lovey-dovey if you please. Are they all like this? I thought I had a pretty good understanding with the girl, but it must have meant nothing to her.



Dear Confused,

Let me tell you like it is Petal, and you won’t be confused in the future. “This relationship” as you call it, is nothing like the “relationship” as she sees it. You are as free as the proverbial bird, come along, pick up, put down and here’s a bowl of noodles. And be thankful. She sees one customer who she can get to buy her out when she’s got no better offers. The other farang was probably offering two bowls of noodles. A much better business deal if everything else is equal. Your girl in the bar is a businesswoman, Mr. Confused. That’s where you are going wrong. Your relationship does not “mean nothing to her”. It represents an “off” for the evening and a bowl of som tam and some small change. No more, no less. Stop confusing business with pleasure.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 15:22

15 years and still loving it

Dear Hillary,

I love your column. I have been coming to Asia from the US for 15 years. I bought a condominium here, got a drivers license, bought a car, and have a retirement visa. I am continually amazed how stupid western men are when they come here. They do not act the way they would back home and take women for granted. I frankly think they deserve to get taken for all they are stupidly worth or claim to be. I hear too many of them bragging (mostly lying) about how great they are, how much money they have, etc., I hope they get robbed. I live here and have many Thai friends. I respect them for their lifestyle and do not care that I may have more money that they, they have HUGE hearts and that is what I care about. Those idiots who come here to use them deserve to get ripped off. So, to those who do not learn or respect the culture, spend your money and get the hell out.



Dear Peter,

Anyone who starts their message with “I love your column” goes straight to the top. Flattery will get you everywhere, and some chockies and bubbles gets you even further! Unfortunately you are correct that many westerners do write their CV on the plane coming over, thinking that nobody in a third world country will ever know the truth - but the social networks soon show up the frauds. After that it is downhill from there. I am glad to hear you have some Thai friends and you respect their lifestyle, which can be quite different from the westerner’s, but you are here in Thailand and have really made the grade. Well done.

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