What with clothes being so cheap in Thailand we have friends who keep telling me they are bringing an empty suitcase so that they take all their new clothes back with them. The problem is that both of them are around a size 18, or just about twice the size of the local women. They are really going to stand out here. I have been looking around the fashion shops before they come, but the clothes establishments (even the designer shops) just don’t stock size 18, and “one size fit all” just doesn’t work in this case. Do you know of any places that sell larger sizes? If you don’t, how do I tactfully break the news to them?
I am honored! A famous designer writing to Hillary. And wanting my advice on fitting dresses to models. It’s just a pity the models in question are so large. The best places for bargains in clothes is still Pratunam in Bangkok. If they are coming in three months, then they can spend some time looking – but size 18 is just a little bit optimistic. However, all is not lost. Tailoring for women as well as men is very inexpensive in Thailand. They will make anything to measure in 48 hours (they’ll tell you 24, but it usually takes a couple of fittings). Tell your friends to bring over any favorite outfits and they can also copy these right down to the last stitch, and at a price very much less than the cost of the original items in their home country.
This letter is to say Thank You and All at the “Mail”. A great local newspaper and your column is the icing on the cake. Only one question Hillary, many years ago I was in southern Italy visiting country villages, the local people would offer me a glass of their home made red wine. It was always sweet, more like a soft drink but it was wine. I loved it and wondered with your expertise have you any idea what wine I could buy today that would taste sweet Hillary? As you can tell I am far from being a wine connoisseur, liking a sweet wine is not on I guess for the experts. I was a Tea Taster working for a Tea Brokers in England fifty years ago and I do know my Brooke Bonds from my Lipton’s, but do I have to go back to Italy to get my sweet red wine Hillary? By the way I saw Evil’s protégé jump his motorcycle over twenty one buses, I might try that in Bangkok Hillary... Twenty one Tuk Tuks should be child’s play.
What a kind man you are, showering me with compliments (though chocolate and bubbles would be more appropriate). The wine you were guzzling in Italy would have been classed as a ‘sangria’ which is a sweet mixture. More than that I don’t know, sorry. I hope you have a good festive season, and try not to fall off so often. You will damage the side covers on the engine!
I hope this gets to you before Xmas. Sorry I can’t send you some champers but where I am there’s no alcohol for sale. Anyway, all the best Hillary, I enjoy your column each week and reading about the crazy people who go to Thailand. Some of them are incredible!
Sounds like you might be an oil and gas worker on a 28/28 roster in the Middle East. Am I right? And you are right about some crazy people here that leave their brains in the luggage lockers at Suvarnabhumi. I often wonder if they remember to pick them up as they leave. Merry Xmas to you too, Petal.
We’re new here and like to eat out. What suggestions do you have for budget restaurants? Not ready to try any of the side of the road food stalls, but willing to try any you recommend.
Dear Restaurant Ralf,
I don’t get out much these days and just sit at home with a half finished bottle of bubbles and some chocolates, but all you have to do is go to the Dining Out page of the Pattaya Mail and follow Miss Terry Diner’s recommendations. When you and your wife find a place you like, you can always invite me, but I only accept invitations on a day of the week with a Y in its name.
After my longtime GF left, I’ve been playing the field and it’s been great. Only problem now is I have three regulars (two ‘professionals’ and one business woman) and it is becoming harder and harder to keep them apart, and each one of them is making noises like they want to move in to my condo with me. TBH I am happier having my condo to myself, rather than walking around a second person in the place. You must have some suggestions for me in this delicate situation.
My first thought was “RUN”. The ‘professionals’ as you call them are in it to see how much money they can get out of the association, while the business woman will have you organized in no time flat. I don’t think that’s what you want either. You very quickly learned how to play the game, so continue, but just wind back from the three you have at present. There are plenty more out there, my Petal. Keep enjoying yourself, but don’t get so serious.
A few weeks ago you mentioned some cartoon books about life here, but I cannot find the reference. Can you help me? I haven’t been here very long, and I think I need a bit of guidance, as I think I’m falling into traps that the more experienced expats know how to avoid.
Yes. The cartoonist you are looking for is Mike Baird and everything in his books is based on truth. The name is “Falangs in Thailand” and 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 here long enough and the humorous situations as depicted by Mike Baird will happen to you, so be warned. You can order Mike’s books on-line and he usually has an advert in the classified pages of this newspaper.
My GF has a problem with body smell. She goes for showers every day, but by the evening she smells again. It’s not a bad smell, but it puts me off. What can I do about this? She’s a nice girl. I don’t want to kick her out over it.
What a lovely man you are. “Kick her out.” Glad I’m not sharing your bedtimes. Now, my sensitive Petal, the smell will be from some Thai herbs that she will eat. Even garlic comes through the skin. Find what she eats and one by one take the herbs out until the smell stops. There’s your answer, now go and have a shower yourself. People from your part of the world have a bad reputation too.
Every farang I talk to has had more than one Thai wife or steady girlfriend. Every farang says he was ripped off. Is this what Thai girls are good at?
You have totally missed the point. You say they have had more than one lady friend. If Thai women are so bad, why do they line up for a second time? Do you only have brave friends? Or is that stupid friends? You have heard of a few rip offs and then think that means every Thai lady is a rip off. Wrong, Jack. Wrong! Sounds to me like you have been bitten and you are trying to make it look that it was 100 percent the girl’s fault.
I have a relationship with a girl, from a bar, but she’s really nice. I take her out about twice a week and we’ll go to a restaurant and then a ST hotel. She won’t go with me to my condo. Just says no. She also wants to go back to the bar after a couple of hours. I pay her, because I know the bar would expect it. Really I would like to have a long term relationship with this girl, but don’t know where to go from here. What’s the next move, Hillary?
The next move is to the next bar. Your idea of the relationship and her idea of the relationship are quite different. She’s not looking for a long term, she’s looking for short term money markets. Ask her the current exchange rates for Zimbabwe dollars and she’ll know! But Bombay Rupees might be better. You are out of your league, Petal. Move on!
A girl gave me a pen for my birthday. Do you think this is a hint for me to write to her or something?
No my sweet Petal, she wants you to push it up your nose, and while there, look for any signs of brains. Promise me you won’t breed, Darling, there’s a good chap.