After writing to a Thai girl for almost one year, I met her at Xmas and she was everything I could have ever hoped for. Loving and caring in a way no woman from home has ever been. I spent three wonderful weeks with her, met the family and her son (aged 5), all nice people. I will be coming back in March and we will get engaged officially and look at marriage later in the year when I am due more vacation. My girl has mentioned that something called “sinsot” must be paid to her parents, which I think is like a dowry. She is saying a million baht which is more than 30,000 dollars, and that is quite a lot of money for me to put my hands on at one time, after paying for air fares and accommodation. Is this usual, Hillary? If so, it is turning me off marrying this girl.
After three weeks, you are so sure of this relationship that you will be returning to get engaged and married later in the year. And then you are lining up to pay a dowry as well. My Petal, please go and look in the mirror and see if you have the letters ATM tattooed on your forehead. Your “loving and caring” girl has a son already and is not a virgin, so there is no need to pay a dowry, unless of course it was a virgin birth, but I’ll let you work that one out. My Petal, you haven’t got a relationship with enough depth to even start to contemplate marriage, and you are being led up the proverbial garden path by the carrot. My advice is simple - RUN.
One of your guys wrote to you complaining that he couldn’t get his live-in GF to go. You suggested to him that he might have to pay a little money as a sweetener. I agree with you Hillary. And the more you will give, the sooner she will go. Important is you stay there when she will move, and check. Next time, think before taking one of them home.
Is that you River Phoenix? Amazing what you can do on the internet these days! But wise words indeed, Petal. Especially being there on leaving day, just to make sure the silverware doesn’t accidentally get packed with the jeans!
Have you ever been embarrassed because everywhere you go, your partner makes you late? What do you do about hopeless time keepers? (Or are you one of them too?) My Thai girlfriend is wonderful in every way, other than the fact she can never be on time for anything! And I mean anything. I bought her a watch, I’ve put a clock on the bedroom wall, but that does not get her into better time habits either. I know Thai people are supposed to have this free and easy attitude to time, but my friends expect me to be on time for appointments, lunches and the like, and if I bring Noi we will always be late and I get hassled and irritated, which can spoil the day. What suggestions do you have, Hillary?
Dear Tick Tock,
It is “time” (sorry about that) for you to sit down with your girlfriend and explain why you have a need to be “on time” everywhere. “Secondly” (sorry about that again, but some days I can’t help myself) you should also make “time” (there I go again) to sit down and make sure that you are not needlessly making life more difficult for yourself than it need be. Is it always imperative that you be exactly on time? There is always a middle way, Petal, especially in Thailand. Telling your friends that you will be at the venue between 7-7.30 gives you 30 minutes of wriggle room, and you can always fib and tell your girlfriend you are expected to be there at 6.30. (But I’ll deny I ever said that!)
The wife of one of my husband’s friends will be coming to visit Thailand next month, along with a couple of her girl friends. They would all be in their 50’s, and have been very active in Parent-Teacher associations and the like. Well respected people. However she shocked me when she wrote and said they wanted to see a “sex show” while they are here. Do you think it’s proper for me to take them to some of the more outrageous places, or what? I have to admit I haven’t ever been to one myself. I’m really blown away by this. What do you recommend, Hillary?
Dear Blown Away,
There is nothing to worry about, my dear. You say that you haven’t been to any of the “outrageous places” but it is obvious that you know where they are if nothing else. Sure you didn’t sneak out one night, Petal? However, everybody knows we don’t have sex shows in Thailand. The nice policeman told me so. If you’re really worried, get your husband to take them.
Need your help with the family buffalo. I have been getting along fine with a Thai girl I met last October. I met her when I was over on holidays and we have been emailing each week. I also send her some money, not much, but 30,000 THB should be enough to keep her happy. This month I was given a new request regarding money for the family buffalo up-country. I have read that this is a scam, but I don’t want to disbelieve her. Should I ask for a copy of the bill from the vet? I don’t want to upset her, but am not sure.
Here you are sending 30,000 baht a month to someone you met eight weeks ago. You must have “sucker” tattooed on your forehead. Come on, Jack, be real. Of course this is a scam. If the buffalo is that sick, let her pay the vet’s bills from the “salary” you send her each month.
So I miss spelt a couple of names: you can call it quits if you want: actually you can do whatever you like, it’s your column. You can do whatever you like that is, except to convince me that your figure of 85 percent (reply to James) of all Thai foreigner marriages, are between foreigners and processional (sic) Thai’s, is anything but an overindulgence of the Yuletide spirit. Unless of course there is relatively little difference between Professional Thai women and the sex workers that frequent the bars. I have only ever had experience of one Thai woman, who without doubt came from the ‘professional classes,’ and she exhibited all the same characteristics of the ‘bar girl’: an obsession with money and what it was spent on, jealousy, a stubborn refusal to improve her English (despite being widowed by a young Englishman, and having lived in England for several years), an aversion to all cuisine except Thai and an inclination to laziness; the main differences were that she didn’t have tattoos, didn’t smoke or drink. Isn’t it the case Hillary, that all Thai women are fundamentally alike, and the individual characteristics are just fashioned by circumstance?
Happy New Year,
Dear Johnny Foreigner,
With as much respect as I can muster, please try reading James letter again. He is a man happy with his marriage to a Thai woman, but voiced the opinion that 85 percent of marriages to Thai women were by sex tourists. I replied, “Where did you get that figure of 85 percent of Thai-foreigner marriages are between bar girls and what you call ‘sex tourists’? Let me assure you that “sex tourists” do not come to Thailand to get married.”
You then go on to say that all Thai women are just the same as the bar girls, and your opinion comes from your “experience of one Thai woman.” Come on Johnny! You met one Thai woman, made up your mind, and so all Thai women are the same. Please re-think that statement, and be a little more polite in your letters in future, which is why I cut out some of your more colorful language. And, a Happy New Year to you too, Johnny.
What do you think of the current smart-phone craze? Everywhere you go you see young people tapping away on their phones instead of talking to each other in person. I have seen four girls at a table, none talking to the others, but all studying their phones instead. I have heard of women (they seem the worst) sending messages to their friends instead of just ringing them up. Is this just a passing fad or is it going to be worse?
The age of the “social media” is upon us, Petal, and there’s nothing you or I could do about it. I have heard it described as the “anti-social media” and your description of the girls at a table fits that idea very well. The old saying “If you can’t beat them, join them” comes to mind. I honestly believe that there will be a swing back towards people talking to each other in the flesh again. The smartphone is the current “new thing”, but there will be something else just as diabolical in its place, I am sure. “Virtual handshakes” perhaps followed by “virtual gropes” or worse! I eagerly await these new developments!
I just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year and to let you know I will bring some more bubbles over with me when I come back to Thailand in June. It annoys me when people attack you personally, Hillary. I don’t agree with your comments every time, but there’s no need to be doggone rude over it.
I just wish all of the people who write to me for advice were as nice as you, Josh. I remember you sending me a lovely bottle of bubbles last year, which I enjoyed very much. True gentlemen are very hard to find these days, so you are a breath of fresh air (something that is hard to find in Pattaya these days, with all the tourist buses).
I kicked my Thai GF out of the house three months ago for playing around, but now with the holidays coming up I am lonely on my own. When I was at work, I was too busy to worry about it, but now isn’t the “time to be jolly” for me. Should I contact her again and get together maybe just for these New Year holidays? What do you reckon, Hillary?
You have to remember just why you gave your GF her marching orders. Will you be sticking your hand in the fire again? Is it worth risking your independence for a couple of weeks of companionship? I think you don’t need Hillary to tell you the answers. Take a long-term view, my Petal and don’t go back to tempt the past. If it is just company you need for the holidays, there is plenty to be had around town. Sure, you pay for it financially, but that is better than paying for it emotionally.
My son wants a bicycle. He’s eight, so there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is that he stays in a shophouse with his mother, so there’s no place for him to ride it, other than on the road and it is on a very busy street. His mother says she’ll take him to the park each day, but I can’t see that lasting. I have already said I do not agree with this bike buying. Should I turn my back on this latest request and my son think of me as being mean, or just go with the flow?
Quite a predicament you have there, Petal. If the mother (who I suspect you are not living with) will take him to the park at least three times a week, I think that is the best answer. Tell her to stock up on plasters.