We know you like chocolates, but last year we took some chocolate candy and some of those strange jellied candies in little cups (and some real food) out to one of the children’s homes. None of the children wanted the chocolates and all wanted the jellied candy. Do Thais - especially the ladies - not have taste for chocolate? I thought all women loved chocolates. And if they do, where is a good place to buy quality boxed chocolates?
Dear Chocoholic Charlie,
You should be able to smell out chocolate stores from 40 meters, Petal. However, I see you are from oversea, so I forgive you. Thailand has some of the best chocolate in the world, just remember to bring your wallet, Petal so you can afford them (and remember the champagne and extra chocolates for Ms. Hillary). Actually, whether Thais like chocolate depends upon where they come from. The Esarn peoples tend not to like sugary sweet things and chocolate is amongst that. By comparison, the southern Thais have a much sweeter tooth. Hillary? Well now, where do you get nice chocolates? It’s easy, you just pop down to the big supermarkets like a good boy and you will find quality boxed chocolates there. Wrap them securely, with a label addressed to Hillary, c/o the Pattaya Mail and I will get them. Thank you in advance, and also a big thank you for remembering the children less fortunate than ourselves.
My Thai GF has begun getting drunk when she goes out with her GFs. They think it’s a joke, because she gets hopeless. I have told her to stop the drinking, but once she starts she cannot stop until she’s falling down drunk again. Is she an alcoholic, or what? Is there a clinic she can go to?
Your GF has a problem, which means that you have a problem as well. No easy way out of this, but see if you can discuss it with her when she’s sober. If she will admit to a problem she is half way there towards getting over this problem. The major hospitals all have clinics for this very common problem. You didn’t say how long she has been like this, so make sure she’s not drinking because of you! But if she’s drinking champagne you should send it to me, c/o the Pattaya Mail office.
Can someone please tell me why all Thai women give the “V” sign when being photographed? None of them can tell me why they do it, nor what the significance is supposed to be. Any ideas, Hillary, the lady of letters, and hopefully of signs as well.
Like so many items in Thai culture, there undoubtedly is a reason, but that reason itself has been lost to obscurity (which merely means it is more than one generation old)! There is also confusion between the “V” sign of disrespect and the “V for Victory” sign as used by Winston Churchill (knuckles facing towards the giver, as opposed to the knuckles outwards while giving the sign of derision). So take another look, Jeff, you will find that most of the “V’s” are the Victory signs, probably a celebration by the model that she was beautiful enough to be photographed. From all that, you will have seen that I have no real idea, but my research showed that the “V” sign did not date back to English archers, as they needed three fingers to pull the long bows.
I hear that it is lucky to walk under an elephant. Is this true? Has anybody been trod on?
Yes it is lucky to walk under an elephant, and to my knowledge nobody has been stepped on - but watch out when it wants to pee!
My Thai bargirl “marriage” has lasted 10 years and she and her friends understand that us superior (superior, in Thai, means big money man) needs occasional new physical therapies to condition him for his matrimonial duties. If any you might choose don’t share this philosophy of Carnal Safaris, then dump her! “Wife” synonymous with “Anchor”!
Dear Superior Samuel,
I am certainly glad I have never met you, the ultimate male chauvinist. I thought you had all died out 15 years ago. We used to have a name for you and your ilk and that was MCP, Petal. That stood for Male Chauvinist Pig, and that’s what you are. Lording your superior financial power over your “wife” who just has to grin and bear it. And are you sure that the long suffering “her indoors” isn’t indulging in her own Carnal Safari? And I suggest you change the PIN number of your Visa card before she just raids the plastic and ups anchor. People like you can be replaced, Petal.
Don’t you get tired of all these hopeless people writing in with hopeless problems that cannot be answered the way they want. What do you do to shake off the problems they dump on you?
That’s my job, Petal. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t want to take the problems on board for them. Sure, some I cannot help, but even if just by writing in helps a bit, then it is all worthwhile. And how do I relax after a heavy day at the Agony Aunt desk? I listen to Leonard Cohen and decide that no matter how dark and depressive the music, life is still what you make of it, and always beats the alternative!
Are Thai women naturally cheaters, or do they just seize opportunities? I caught out my fan of five years after she admitted cheating when she came home drunk one night. As she had been faithful up till then, we discussed and I forgave and she seemed to be her old self again. But I then caught her again six weeks later! The discussion wasn’t worth much when the opportunity came up again. So, Hillary, is this normal Thai behavior? I am weighing up my own opportunities here.
You probably won’t believe me, but this is not “normal” Thai behavior. With recurrent cheating, which goes deeply into your total relationship, you have a big problem, Petal. It will take some forgiving to get over this one. Do not expect too much too soon, I’m sorry. You sound like a nice man, Jerry.
In the latest edition I read again from poor foreigners complaining about Thai ladies. What do they expect? Do you really think that a sexy young beautiful lady wants an old ugly foreigner with beer belly? Let us be honest, all they want is their money and who are we to blame them if some foreigners behave so stupid. I am 59 and have a lovely friend 45 years young. She still has great looks, and more importantly we can talk on the same level. I don’t have anything to tell to a 25 years old as that is a completely other generation. There are enough great ladies in Pattaya in their forties who still look great and with good brains, also important if you want to live with someone I think. The 60 plus section who come to look for “Fresh young girls” should think of the fact that most of that young ladies also want a fresh young man. Have you ever thought about that? Ladies who want to escape from their poor life, just do that for the money and the promises some foreigners make them, but once in Europe they face other problems and get disappointed very quick as they found out that in Europe or elsewhere it is the same struggle for life. Many poor ladies get misled because they think that for example 100,000 baht a month is a lot of money, and it is...in Chiang Mai, but not in Belgium or Germany where it is only an average income. My friend is well educated and knows the differences between the West and the East. To put it simply, stop fooling yourselves and others and try to find or get a realistic relationship, you won’t regret it, I am sure.
I am so pleased to see you are thinking with your head and not with the (eponymous) organ, my Petal. There is so much more to any relationship than 20 minutes of sweaty rumpy-pumpy (and 20 minutes is probably an exaggeration for most of the over-60’s viagorous exercises). The ability to communicate on a similar level is even more important when you are contemplating mixed races. If all you want is the nocturnal nookie, then buy it and don’t waste your time and money on 24/7 relationships which will always be unsatisfactory in the end, and leave you writing to Ms. Hillary saying your wallets had a spring clean and vacuum. Thank you for a clear and lucid letter, Willy. Your lady (and you) are lucky people.
Where did you study history? Certainly not in Australia or Tasmania. I don’t think you studied any African history either. The Chinese have certain recollections of the “concession” ports they had to cede while their people were addicted to opium grown in India all for British profit. And among the many massacres who have been more prolific than the British? Who has been crueler or more self interested than they? The Native American experience was a horrible one. Perhaps if we had successfully spoken German we would have been more peaceful than you. It is enough to make me want to send “Long shanks” back to Scotland to clear up your misconceptions and historical errors. No British genocides? My god! Hillary I have held my peace this past week, but you deserve this and more because you chose to denigrate an ally to your country while you overlook the 180 countries Britain has invaded.
Pray tell, just why is it you think I “deserve this”? I have never been to Tasmania, though I am told they only use 10 surnames and that includes the sheep. (Joke, Robert, told to me by an Aussie.) Is all this because a Scotsman pointed a finger at America? It wasn’t me, Petal, it was Don who called himself “an articulate, multilingual Scotsman looking forward to independence from the remnants of the Empire.” Well, unfortunately for Don, the No Vote was more than the Yes Vote, but now I am getting the blame for Don’s “misconceptions and historical errors.” “Longshanks” didn’t come within a 10 baht taxi ride on a songthaew either, but he was very good at raising taxes I believe. He would have fitted in well with today’s ruling political parties (other than Tasmania). Now can we get back to heartbroken swains and female accountants who work in beer bars?
This sounds silly, but I come over as a tourist from the UK three times a year. The only thing I really miss is my cup of tea in the mornings. Where can I get a good cup of tea?
Tea never sounds silly. In Japan they make a ceremony out of serving delicate cups of tea. Chinese green tea is said to be slimming. Indian teas are reputed to be healing, Pitta tea with its mix of Cardamom, Liquorice, Ginger, Cinnamon and rose petals is recommended for it’s cooling effect and to balance the mind and body when irritable and impatient. Being a Brit, I am guessing that you are addicted to Twinings Earl Grey or Lemon Scented. My advice to you is either bring your own over, or buy it here from one of the local grocery markets, such as Friendship. Then again have you ever tasted the great Thai tea? A lot of little roadside restaurants make it. It is just a matter of wandering around and asking, “Cha ron mai?” that means “Hot Tea no?” It comes in a glass, hot, a bright orange color with a lemony taste. Drink it without milk and just a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy.