I am thinking of retiring in Thailand and Pattaya in particular (I’m now 64) as I always enjoy myself when over there. It certainly is “fun city” where an older senior can feel that he still has a part to play in the society. What worries me is I see fellers my age sitting outside the local 7-Eleven nursing a hot bottle of beer, and that’s at 9 in the morning! Is that what the future would be for me too?
No, that is not your future, my Petal. You are much too savvy for that. To be able to live successfully in Pattaya, you should aim to live at the standard you live at in the US (I’ve guessed that you are from there, but the advice is just the same, no matter where you came from). Join some of the clubs that are here in Pattaya, with service clubs, special interest groups like Bridge or computers, and become an upright member the Pattaya society, then you won’t have time for the local 7-Eleven club!
Every week there’s somebody writing in that they’ve been cheated by their Thai GF. You pass it off that these are all girls from the bar, but that’s not always the case. I know of two husbands that were cheated on by their Thai wives, good types and not bar girls. Ask around and they are not the only ones. There are plenty of them. Is this the way Thai women work? OK when it’s new and exciting, but when it becomes routine go and play up. The Gik thing they all talk about, as if it is normal.
Thai women do like a little fun in their lives, and if the marriage has become dull, then they’ll go and spice it up a bit. Getting in the Gik situation is not healthy for any marriage which needs ‘trust’ to blossom, but it does mean that the two people in the marriage should look at their situations and both work to put the spark back into the relationship.
Keep the bright side of life going - for those of us not lucky enough to be in Thailand all the time we certainly appreciate the Thai sunshine you bring to us. My Thai wife and I get over about three times a year and you’ve got no idea just how much I look forward to it.
It is certainly refreshing to see a Farang / Thai marriage success story. For the doubters out there - yes, there are very many others who share in the wonderful experience of being married to a Thai woman. Dare I give advice? Okay then, but it is the same as for any other prospective long term union irrespective of nationality - “remember to engage the brain before slapping the gear stick into top and then pressing the turbo button.” Yes, there are many differences in culture to overcome and the rules are not quite the same, “face” was certainly a new concept for me to understand! But a good Thai woman with some education and a sensible and flexible Farang man who can listen and try to understand can match just perfectly - it is after all only the fool and his money that are soon parted, but parting with a little here and there occasionally to help the family is expected and is not so bad, is it? Not when you look at the rewards.
I am so glad I can add you and your wife to the ‘happy’ relationships pile, my Petal. You are correct when you say that there is a certain amount of flexibility required to overcome the cultural differences, but that comes from both sides. She has to understand you just as you have to understand her. Financial assistance for the family is expected in Thailand, but provided this is kept to within agreed limits there is no problem. In fact, most farang husbands enjoy taking on the additional responsibilities. I hope you will always remain “Happy”!
My husband and I have decided to retire in Thailand and Pattaya looks to be the most likely place for us. We are interested in purchasing either a house or an apartment, but we are not sure of what the laws are in relation to this. We have heard conflicting advice and wondered if you could steer us in the right direction?
I am always delighted to welcome people with money to Pattaya (as are many of the other residents in this town)! However, it is really not my place to tell you how to spend your nest egg - unless you want to spend it on Hillary of course (you can start with French Champagne, and I’ll tell you the rest after I inspect your bank books)! Seriously, Petal, when you want serious advice then go to the professionals. In your case you want a Real Estate firm and a lawyer. Look for ones with credentials and long standing reputation. They do advertise in the Pattaya Mail, by the way.
The other evening, after a few beers, I went and had a Thai massage at one of the many massage parlors in Pattaya. All I wanted was a straight massage, nothing else. I was very impressed with the massage she gave me and the young lady in question was very sweet, but I didn’t get her name. I went the next night to see her and I thought there was something wrong when I noticed she had a tattoo on her arm that wasn’t there the night before. When I questioned her about this, she said she had the tattoo done two years ago and she didn’t remember me from the night before. What worries me, Hillary, is - am I going mad and dreamed up the whole thing, or is she lying to me, or what?
Dear Massaged Michael,
It’s simple my dear boy. On the first night you were too inebriated to remember exactly where (or probably - what - you were) and on the second night you went to the wrong massage parlor! Or you chose the wrong masseuse if you went to the right massage parlor. She has nothing to gain by lying. You are suffering from only a temporary form of insanity.
My wife tells me every night that she is going to divorce me. She has lots of reasons, none of which make any sense. My problem is not the thought of attending the divorce courts, it is the fact that she never gets any further than saying it is going to happen. How do I get her to either stop the threats, or just go ahead and do it? There must be other things that husbands and wives talk about, not just threatening divorce. Or is this “martial” bliss after all? What is your advice, wise Hillary?
Previously one writer was asking about communication and I suggested that for some people, they think that the art of good communication is to shout louder. The Brits are well known for that. I think you or your wife needs to shout louder as there is something awry here. Have you thought that it is time to talk? Perhaps you could try that so next time when she threatens divorce, shout louder and tell her to either get on with it or give up talking about it. If that doesn’t work, you can always get divorce papers drawn up and when she threatens divorce, whip out the papers and say, “Sign here!” Lots of luck Roger, I think you’re going to need it.
My maid has told me today that she is pregnant and she will be going back to her village up country in a few months. This news has just made me very angry. I have spent the past six months training her and now, just when she has become very good she will be leaving me in the lurch. What can I do about this? How do I find a replacement? I went through three maids before I got this one. Why do these girls take a job if they know they are wishing to start a family? What should I do Hillary? What should I do?
I think you could keep me going for a week, Petal, with all your questions, but let’s take this situation and look at it realistically. So your maid has become pregnant. This happens, you know! As you should be aware of, this may or may not have been planned, but you should be supportive of this girl at this time, not saying “Why?” If you help this girl, then she will help you. It’s always a two way street, Jazzy. If you are sort of person your maid would recommend to others as an employer, she will find her own replacement and help train her too. Get excited about this pregnancy and stop thinking only about yourself. You are going to be a grandmother soon! Lighten up and relax!
I don’t know if you have time to sit down with your champagne and chocolates to watch the soap movies in the evening. As I read my book and my lady friend is watching these movies I can’t help but notice how these movies give the wrong or may be the right impression of Thai people in the land of smiles. They are nearly always screaming at each other or slapping one another around the face and very vindictive. Are most of the Thai wealthy people this callous and two faced, if they are they have a lot to learn. I hope the young children who watch these movies don’t think this is the way of life. I do enjoy your Heart to Heart column and if I am able to save a few baht I will send you champagne and chocolates. Best wishes,
I am definitely on your side, Petal. The Thai soaps are all the same, melodrama, over-acting and display a side of Thailand I do not want to see. The only Thai wealthy people I know do not watch the soaps, they are far too busy making money! It is more the “ordinary” people who watch the soaps for the never ending dramas, to brighten up their lives. The danger is that young children will grow up thinking this is “normal” behavior. And when enough of them think that way it does become “normal”, but not a “normal” Thailand wants or needs. Thank you for thinking about saving up for champers and chocs for me, but I’d rather you sit down and enjoy them with your lady friend!
I interested am very in photography art, and I am wonder if there is an art group I could join in Pattaya. I from Denmark and all major cities can join. If serious about photography will be happy. Can you tell me?
Thank you for your letter, with its quaint English, but as you say, you are from Scandinavia, so you are doing well! If I understand you correctly, you want to take arty photos of some of the local people here. However, I do not know of any photography groups catering to that branch of the arts, but undoubtedly there are ‘models’ available for a fee. Start looking in Walking Street.
Are all Thai women completely in love with themselves and their appearance? Since the world invented cell phones that can take “selfies”, the social media like FB is just full of Thai women posing and then posting their pictures. If it’s not themselves, then it’s what they ate for lunch - as if anyone cared. Even in group shots you can see the same poses day after day, the head to one side, the knee bent, the teeth, the boobs pushed out and the same over and over again. Hillary, where can you meet genuine Thai women - or aren’t there any?
You haven’t seen me with “boobs pushed out” have you, Jerry. So not all Thai women indulge themselves in “selfies” my Petal. Unfortunately, you are correct that the poses all become a bit boring, and I think the girls in these photos are probably a bit boring as well. Don’t go looking at the “society” pages, and some genuine girls will come your way, but not via the social media.