Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:36

Are they all in the banking business?

Dear Hillary,

I read all these tales of woe that your letter writers send to you about losing money and getting ripped off. Is it really that bad in Thailand? Surely there are some good ones, or are they all on the make? Do you know how many marriages to bar girls fail? Can’t be ‘all’ of them, can it? I’ve met so many great girls on my holidays each year and I can’t believe that they would be anything other than great wives for some lucky guys. What is the real situation?

Scottish John


Dear Scottish John,

Even in your highlands ‘mixed’ marriages fail, and that’s just marriages between men and women. Now look at the marriages you want to examine - the love sick visitor and the hardened professional girl behind the bar. One has been convinced that this is the marriage made in heaven. Besotted Billy just wants the ring on her finger, while business girl Bee can’t wait to investigate a joint bank account. She is in the banking business, Gary. This marriage lasts as long as the bank accounts.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 16:42

Winter woollies cheap!

Dear Hillary,

I just read an article in the dining out column where Don, Aka Nod, said for B. 450 they should dish up the whole sheep. This is more of a Legal or Moral question than a relationship one.

Many years ago I worked as a mechanic in outback Australia. My boss also ran a property with 20000+ sheep. He would sell me 1 sheep for $3.00 on the condition that I drove out there, selected a beast, killed and dressed it myself.

Being of good Irish Stock whose ancestors had been shipped to Australia on trumped up charges of stealing, I would round up two mates and drive out there and select a beast each.

We now had three sheep for an outlay of $3.00. I also had three hides that would fetch $4.00. By now I was showing a profit of one dollar and had enough lamb to feed me well till next time.

I know my boss was claiming losses on his taxes. So using the logic of the local priest (Irish) I was helping him out and the good lord would have no trouble with me if a leg of mutton were to show up at the manse back door.

I don’t know the statute of limitations on duffing but I fear I may be sent down rather than up when my time comes.

Please Hillary help me out. (Psst if you are heading down under I can let you have a nice sheepskin vest at a good price.)



Dear Bryan,

You have me totally confused, but thank you for your email and the offer of a woolly vest, just what I need in our tropical paradise! I also don’t quite understand what you want me to help you out with? Alter your course of destination from the fires of Hell to the balmy pursuit of the Heaven in the clouds which has herds of sheep for the taking and lamb chops for dinner? I am also a trifle worried with your information that your boss insisted you dress the sheep yourself. I didn’t know that Australian sheep wear dresses, but it probably goes a long way towards my understanding of some of the culture from Down-Under.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 16:41

Hillary hits the “aitches”

Hi Hillary,

First, I appreciate your column. Always get some insight and enjoyment. Kinda have to disagree with an house, an horse... I always say a house/ a horse/ a home... if I am wrong ... no problem... It won’t be the first time or last... keep writing... Thanx,



Dear Joe,

It all gets down in the end to what is called “common usage”, like the “got” or “gotten” idea, Petal. Personally I don’t worry about these things, as long as nobody is trying to drag me off to an hotel, or even a hotel, unless there is some Veuve Clicquot and Belgian chocolates in the dining salon!

Dear Hillary,

I agree with you that ‘an’ should come before a noun beginning with any of the vowels. In English, where a word begins with the letter “H”, this consonant must always be pronounced, although English people never do. So it is not an ‘orse, an ‘otel, an ‘ouse. It is a horse, a hotel, a house. The only European language to drop the “H” is French.

As to Robert’s comments on British accents, having worked on drilling rigs around the world for 25 years and known Americans from “Loozana Coonass”, Louisiana Cajun up through all of the Redneck states to the big city of “Noo Yoik”, New York, I have liked and understood them and they me.

The British Empire was guilty of many massacres, and for this I am ashamed, but the British people never took part in state sponsored genocide as did the Americans against their own native tribes.

I am an articulate, multilingual Scotsman looking forward to independence from the remnants of the Empire.



Dear Don,

What have I started? What have I done, Don? How do I gotten off this runaway ‘orse? We’ve even got ‘ercule Poirot waiting in the wings as well. I have heard the statement that Britain and the USA are “separated by a common language” even if just in the pronunciation of tomato or tomayto, and we’ll not get (gotten) into the argument over elevators and lifts.

Anyway, let’s get into something easy like jilted boyfriends and walking ATMs. I’m better equipped for those!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 16:39

Now it’s RAMS as well!

Dear Hillary,

Can you recommend a good computer technician? Every time my computer breaks down, the technician takes it away to fix it, and returns it several days later and when I go to use it, something else has packed up. “You haven’t got enough RAM,” seems to be the catchword with these people, but even after buying more, the problems are still there. Any ideas, Hillary?



Dear Frazzled,

You’re lucky it’s only a RAM problem. I’ve bought a veritable sheep station of RAMs and now they’re telling me it is my operating system that is no good. I ask you, what’s wrong with Windows 1946? It worked before, why not now? Honestly Petal, I have no idea about this modern technology. Bring back faxes, I say. I could understand those.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:50

Seven-11 gone broke

Dear Hillary,

When I complained about being broke, you said I should give up drinking. If I stopped drinking, the Singha company would go broke as well as 7-11.

Singha Jerry


Dear Singha Jerry,

Thanks for the advance knowledge, Petal. Seven-11 and Singha Beer are the basis of the entire Thai financial system. Thank you for keeping the country afloat. I will ask our new PM to give you an award, after he has kicked out all the grafters. Don’t wait up!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:50

Blossoming in the evening

Well Hilary you are really naïve. The “Evening Blossoms” to which I referred are those lovely young things apparently awaiting a bus on beach road and I, in a charitable mood, sometimes, offer a free “ride”! I tell them I have a full time lady in residence. Along with anatomy lessons, they frolic with full knowledge that they are part time and leaving no trace of their presence. I do not acknowledge the “cheating” description as the only thing my live-in companion is “cheated” out of is watching me sleep on the sofa and my “sports” activities bind my commitment to her more strongly.



Dear Don,

Thank you so much for the arboreal lessons. I had heard of Orange blossoms and Peach blossoms, but Evening blossoms were something quite new to me. Now, word of caution, my Petal, I hope you make sure that the bus they are waiting for is not one of the school busses. That could be a little dangerous for you, so please keep that in mind next time your live-in steady goes for a visit up country. I am also told that the ladies of the second gender like to frequent Beach Road, but fortunately the B. 100 fines administered by the local police force is keeping them under control. I also like to hear that your favorite blossoms don’t leave any petals behind. Perhaps you could employ one as a maid and get the best of both worlds?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:49

A delicate shade of pink

Dear Hillary,

We live in Jomtien and often go to the beach there as it seems to be very popular with the Thais, as we see them swimming there a lot. Why do the Thai people wear clothes when they go into the sea? Sometimes it looks like shipwreck survivors from the Titanic. Some Thais wear bikinis, but they are in the minority. I even see them going in wearing jeans! Why, Hillary please tell us.

Bikini Bob


Dear BB,

You are obviously someone with a keen eye and worried about the health of the local people. Will they drown? Do they have a change of clothes? Well, I have good news for you. No, they won’t drown and yes, they do have a change of clothes. The reason you don’t see them in bikinis is the skin color thing. Westerners who are white want to be brown, so you see them out in their bikinis getting toasted by the tropical sun and turning a lobster red usually, but the Thai people who are naturally brown all want to be white. They enjoy the beach and swimming, but must cover their skin to stop tanning.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:48

Lost keys - again

Dear Hillary

My girlfriend and I live in an apartment in town. We have a good relationship except for the fact she keeps losing the keys and mobile phone. This is very annoying, how can I stop her doing this?



Dear Annoyed

Have you ever considered the fact that your girlfriend is losing keys and telephones as a subconscious way of expressing her lack of satisfaction with the relationship or simply as a device to annoy you? It is very difficult if not impossible to change someone else’s behavior unless you change your own behavior first. I suggest you change the way you respond to her. One quick fix is to either don’t let her see that it annoys you or simply don’t speak to her for a few days every time she loses things. The best way though is to “Give her the monkey and let her feed it.” This is a Thai expression for making her to take the consequence of her own actions. Do not let her have or use your mobile phone ever, keep a spare set of keys for you, but never unlock the apartment for her, and never give her another set after she has lost one. If this is too tedious, maybe losing this girlfriend would be less frustrating.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:43

Bessame mucho

Dear Hillary,

I find this habit of social kissing here disgusting. People just making an excuse to slobber all their germs over you, it is just frightful and unhealthy too! How can I avoid it?



Dear Yurky,

Where have you been all your life? It seems as though you don’t like socializing either? Most people have social kissing down to the fine art of just kissing the air beside the victim’s face. What you do on greeting occasions is to step into the person’s space first, grab them by both upper arms and kiss the air nosily beside each ear. Then say, “Don’t come too close, I’ve got rabies.” The alternative is to stay at home and watch TV.

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