Thursday, 06 March 2014 10:10

Believing the copy label

Dear Hillary,

I bought some “copy” shirts the other day and told the girl in the shop that I needed XL size (I am a Farang).  She got me four shirts, but when I tried them on at home, three fitted and one was too big.  The labels all said XL, can I take the large one back and complain?

Ralph Lauren.


Dear Ralph,

“Copy” shirts have “copy” labels.  That’s the price you pay for getting a cheap shirt with a man playing polo on the pocket.  Never mind, stay here long enough and you’ll probably grow into it.  Every other Farang seems to self-inflate living here.

Thursday, 06 March 2014 10:10

The new Beer diet

Dear Hillary,

As I am now in my early 50’s it is becoming noticeable that my tummy is getting that little bit larger.  I have tried dieting but that just makes me hungry.  Are the gymnasiums round town OK, or do I have to give up drinking as my wife suggests?  I only have six to eight pints at night.



Dear Kenny,

Or is that “Kilkenny”?  I do think I might perceive a very slight chance that you are just the teensiest bit worried that someone might suggest cutting off the pipeline to the brewery.  OK, Kenny, I’ll believe you really want to do something and here’s the answer.  Cut the pints in half, join a gym (the Fitness Centers are better at fat burning than the musclemen types of places), cut your food intake by 25 percent, cut out sugar, drink more water (without the hops) and walk everywhere in town rather than driving, riding or catching baht busses. If all this is too difficult, contact Ralph from the letter above and make an offer on the shirt!

Dear Hillary,

I have been looking to rent long-term a condo or house and I was quite surprised to find that you have to give two months security deposit and a month in advance.  Now I am a little worried about getting my 2 months security deposit back as I do not speak a word of Thai and my girl who works at Big C, not a bar is as timid as a mouse when it comes to asking questions with the local business people.  She has since said that her cousin has a house and we would be safe renting through him.  Upon meeting the cousin at a bar he produced a contract in Thai that my girl read through and was quite happy with and relayed most of it back to me, and better still the cousin would only want 1 month’s security deposit but for me this is all going too fast.  It seems like a bargain but I would like some independent advice.  Should I go with the cousin or am I risking too much?  What would you suggest Hillary?



Dear Patrick,

What you need is a minder!  Answer me this - would you blindly sign a contract for a studio in Spain if you couldn’t read the language?  Or for a pension in Portugal?  Or a condo in Kosovo?  Come on Petal, what are you doing?  Are you a man or a mouse?  (Along with your girlfriend.)  Go to a reputable real estate agency that speaks your language and employs reputable English speaking lawyers to advise you.  You are right when you say it is all going a little too fast.  You’ve gone from the checkout at Big C to checking in to Heartbreak House in no time flat.  You are setting yourself up for a fall, Petal.  Do not do it.  Get the correct advice before going another step.  By the way, the two months deposit and one month in advance is standard real estate practice in Pattaya.

Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:35

Be my (lonely) Valentine

Dear Hillary,

I am sitting in my lonely room on Valentine’s Day, with no friends to visit me, no roses or Valentine’s Day cards, no chocolates, nothing.  I feel I am in prison, but worse.  At least in prison there are people to talk to.  What should I do, Hillary?



Dear Jerry,

Sorry you had a lonely St. Valentine’s Day.  If you had contacted me earlier you could have taken me to a lovely Valentine’s dinner, complete with roses, champagne (French and very, very cold) and chocolates.  Make a note in your next year’s diary to send me a letter two weeks before and you can call it Be my (lovely) Valentine.  BTW, you can buy electric bed warmers at the supermarkets.

Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:34

Missing Mum’s home cooking

Dear Hillary,

I am a terrible cook and my Thai GF won’t cook for me, saying it’s cheaper to eat out at the markets.  Maybe it is but really I don’t like the market side of the road stuff at all.  I just want to eat at home, with some good old fashioned home cooking ready for me after my day at work.  This is upsetting the relationship.  It’s not as if she doesn’t have the time because she doesn’t work and spends afternoons with her friends from the bar where she used to work, or shopping.



Dear Gordy,

You say you are a terrible cook - perhaps your GF is a terrible cook as well.  Have you ever stopped to consider that?  Your GF is also used to eating roadside fare, so you are lucky there’s not the odd water beetle in the polystyrene take home container.  But it is time for you to face just what kind of relationship have you got, Petal.  To me it looks as if you have only one thing in common - the one thing that she has been selling and you are currently buying, and that is not enough to keep a relationship going.

Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:32

Safety in Bangkok?

Dear Hillary,

Is it safe for us to come to Thailand at present?  I follow what is going down through the local Thai papers, as well as BBC, CNN and the like.  I get the feeling that it’s not quite as bad as I see on the TV, but would like your opinion, as you are one of the few people we can trust from this distance (UK).  We generally come over in April, but we should start booking our tickets very soon if we are to get the better fares and hotels.



Dear Marvin,

As you know, I live here and honestly I can say I have not seen one protestor, one army chap or one policeman (other than those doing roadside “checks”).  Sure, there are pockets in Bangkok where one should avoid, but that is all.  The lady selling noodle soup on the street corner is still selling soup on the street corner and is not in a flak jacket and tin helmet.  Book your flight and your hotel - the one good thing that this nonsense has done is to get the Bangkok hotels to offer very cheap packages.  And of course Pattaya is still the same, and with the airport being on the south of Bangkok, you don’t even need to go into Bangkok at all.  Just get a taxi straight down here, Petal.

Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:21

Uncle trouble

Dear Hillary,

My uncle came to Thailand last month for a visit.  I was excited, as I had not seen him or my aunt for some years.  Imagine how I felt when my uncle arrived without my aunt, but he had a girl from Bangkok in tow.  He said my aunt did not feel like travelling at her age (they are both in their eighties) but he didn’t want to disappoint me by not coming.  He didn’t say anything about the strumpet he was with, and they were in the same room in the hotel (I only have a very small studio so they couldn’t stay with me).  Honestly, Hillary, should I tell my aunt or should I tell my uncle he is not welcome here again?  I am so confused.



Dear Confused,

Hillary is certainly glad you’re not her niece!  You seem to be so delightfully judgmental, manipulative and interfering.  Be thankful that there is life in the old dog yet and he came to visit you.  Petal, if you play your cards right and keep your mouth firmly shut and were exceptionally hospitable to both your uncle AND his companion, your uncle might even remember you in his will.  And for that matter, how do you know that your aunt wasn’t glad to see the back of the old boy for a while because he snores?  Or, heaven forbid in your so morally upright family, that your Aunt may have wanted the opportunity to have it off with the milkman or meet up with a long lost lover.  Personal morality is just that - personal, i.e., relating solely to the individual. I suggest you learn to live and let live, practicing mai pen rai and jai yen yen and stop judging people.  One day, someone might be just as nastily judgmental about you.  I hope they write to me too!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014 17:14

Response for “Hello sexy man”

Dear Hillary,

I have a reply for the chap calling himself “Hello Sexy Man” and having a problem with the local “ladies”.  This is important so pay attention dear fellow.  How are you “carrying yourself and attiring yourself?”  Now, if you were me and it was a full sun afternoon you would be wearing a brimmed hat to keep the sun off, long sleeved shirts and pants because in Thai society this attire is expected when you are not directly in the beach areas.  At night you can forget the hat.  The short version is if you are dressed otherwise you are wearing a badge reading: “Here I am come and take advantage of me.”  On the rare occasions that I have women howl anyway despite my “appropriate dress” I have simply “wai-ed them” and greeted them in Thai and they have wai-ed me back (as a group) and remained silent and embarrassed for having made a fuss over a man who is not available (or desiring) to purchase their time, but who respects their traditions of greeting and expects to be treated as the “elder” I am.



Dear “Elderly” Robert,

I did not know there were any proper gentlemen left in Pattaya, but at least I know how to recognize you - by the hat and being the only farang not in cargo pants.  I get the feeling, reading your email again, that you are definitely not a “sexy man”, so I think the women howling at you could be considered a definite mistake, my Petal.  Forgive them.  Question: do you use a stick as well, with the hat and dark glasses?  If so, I have seen you at the plaza.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014 17:13

In response to Leroy’s 1 million dowry

Dear Leroy,

Don t listen at Hillary advice s, she just jelouse (sic) cannot get the money for champagne and chocolate.  Now instead, listen to me.  1 million is not a crazy amount, if the lady is good and take good care of you.  For example, about 15 years ago, they asked me 2 millions for another good lady (she is university graduate and had not sons, and now work at police).  Being a fool, I refused, and until now still regret that choice.  Dear Leroy, give, give the million, give even more, you will more accepted and respected.  Best wishes and regards.



Dear Phoenix,

I am not swayed by your passionate letter.  After knowing the woman for three weeks (who already has a child), Leroy was being led up the path by the proverbial carrot.  Dowry should not be paid under Leroy’s circumstances.  Your circumstances were different, but you were still being asked for far too much 15 years ago.  Don’t regret your refusal - you escaped!  And, for your information - I do not “buy” my champagne and chocolates, but they are freely given by my vast number of followers (well, two or three at least)!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014 17:10

Just an ATM?

Dear Hillary,

This is a real problem for men such as myself.  We come from a lonely life in the UK and come to Thailand - a paradise in comparison.  But then reality strikes home.  It seems to me and many of my friends that all the women in Thailand on the make.  It seems very easy (too easy?) to get a live-in partner.  Almost impossible in the UK, but every last one seems to have her hand into your wallet within days of hanging her clothes up in the wardrobe.  Of course there never is enough clothes, so I buy some for her.  Then it is money to buy groceries, and I thought that was great, thinking about me and looking after me, and it is so much cheaper from the local markets.  But then the grocery bill seemed to be going up all the time and the amount of food was going 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?

Not an ATM


Dear Not an ATM,

Is there one honest woman in Thailand?  Yes, my Petal - me.  Just send me your bank account details so I can see if you are a genuine match (woops, almost wrote ‘catch’ there) and really deserve me.  Petal, have you ever wondered why the women you have formed a relationship with do this so easily?  You are obviously looking for your paragon of virtue in an area selling commercial friendships.  Quite frankly, you will not get a non-bar girl to just move in like that.  However, when you select a lady who will move in tomorrow, then she will move out the day after that, once your financial support dries up.  These are ‘mia chow’ (rented wives), and it is a purely financial relationship.  It is time you began to look elsewhere and form a genuine bond with genuine women, and there are many of them.  But you won’t find them in a bar.

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