You have often mentioned books that newcomers to Thailand should read and you should add “Falangs in Thailand” to that list. These cartoon books by Mike Baird are based on truth and everyone who laughs at the drawings should also remember that (it is based on truth). 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 there long enough and it will happen to you, so be warned. I hope this helps, Hillary. I enjoy your column.
I am so glad you like my weekly (weakly some days) column. Thank you for the information about suitable books, and I have enjoyed all of Mike’s books and do agree with your ideas. Unfortunately, I think many young chaps who come here (and some not so young as well) don’t seem to be able to read. Perhaps the cartoon books will be better for them, as long as they realize that Mike Baird is being very satirical. We can only hope, Petal. We can only hope.
I have to laugh at all your letter writers, wondering if they have found THE ONE, when they should start looking at themselves to see if they would be THE ONE for any of the women around here. I’m not talking about the girls from the bars, who are only there for one thing – money, while the blokes are also there for one thing – sex. They’ll never find the right one there. I’m talking about the ones you call “good girls”, and these blokes aren’t even looking in the right place, and I reckon no self respecting girl would want to be seen with some fat old bloke wobbling along with a skinful of booze every night. You try telling ‘em, Hillary, I’ve given up. They’ve got no (expletive removed) idea.
Al the Advisor
I understand where you’re coming from Petal, but if you want to be an advisor you’ve got to do more than throwing a bucket of warm manure over the people wanting advice. Once the average chap understands what the bars are for, and what the girls who work in the bars are there for, then you’re about half way there to finding someone who might be THE ONE and obviously not from the bar scene. The bars are for fun, not forever. You are correct when you say that the chaps looking for a partner have to present themselves in a good way as well. No Thai lady is looking for the kind of farang you best know. Finding THE ONE is difficult in any society, in any country, and is no different here. Just keep on showing those who ask of you where they shouldn’t look, and you’ve done your bit, Al. You could start with Jack with his problems this week. And he has big problems!
How do you keep up with all the tears that must come through your mail box? Every week another tale of doom and destruction, another house lost, and pig farms as well I read a couple of weeks ago. Or are you a victim as well?
It’s easy, Petal. I save up all the tissues that come with the reporters’ take aways and mop the mail box with them. Now as to your second question, yes I am a victim - I got ripped off at the local market by one stall holder who short changed me, but I didn’t know till I was counting my satangs that evening.
You bleat on every week about not having any expensive French champagne. Why don’t you do what the rest of us do, and that is to drink the cheaper champagnes from Australia, Chile, Spain or Italy?
Dear Methode Champenoise,
You have answered it already in your ‘nom de plume’ my Petal. You obviously know of the restrictions on using the name “champagne”. The Champagne producers successfully lobbied the European Union to restrict the use of that term within the EU to wines produced from their region. Thus, wines from elsewhere cannot even use the term “méthode champenoise” on products sold in the EU, and instead the term “traditional method” (méthode traditionnelle) or the local language equivalent may be seen; for instance, in Germany the term used is “klassische flaschengärung”. South African wines from the Western Cape are labelled with the term “Methode Cap Classique”. However, consumers outside the EU may see “méthode champenoise” used on labels for products made outside of France.
So for little people like me I would much rather drink the “real thing” than some other country’s copy. So, please send me the good stuff, that’s a nice chap.
Do Thai women think differently from western women? Is the family really that important? The guys I drink with say that the neighborhood cat is higher up the tree than me, and I’m paying the bills. I’m only into the second month of this relationship and I’m starting to feel I’m being put upon. The hand is always out, and it is always for “family” problems.
Are you any good at running? Olympic standard 100 meter sprints. Time you lined up on the starting blocks young ATM (you must be young not to know about the family ladder and where you are on it - just don’t climb over the cat on your way up)!
Why don’t these Thai girls kiss properly? You go to give them a nice sloppy kiss and instead of returning it, you get a sniff on the cheek, or even on the arm? That’s a bit off isn’t it? Everybody all over the world knows what a French kiss is, surely?
Perhaps you have a problem with body odor and they are just checking. And do you brush your teeth three times a day? I don’t think I’d like sloppy kisses from someone who doesn’t have dental floss beside the bathroom sink. There is a big difference between French and Thai kisses. Just think yourself lucky you get any sort of show of affection. PS. Have you shown her your wallet? That might improve the kisses if the wallet is full enough!
Can you tell me just what goes on in a Thai girl’s head? I have had this relationship with one of the girls in the local bar. If she wants a night off, I pay for her bar fine, and she comes home with me. We have a great time and I usually take her for som tam or something on the way. The other night I felt like seeing her, but when I went to the bar and suggested I pay bar for her she said no. I stayed for a while and then another farang came in and off she went off with him all lovey-dovey if you please. Are they all like this? I thought I had a pretty good understanding with the girl, but it must have meant nothing to her.
Let me tell you like it is Petal, and you won’t be confused in the future. “This relationship” as you call it, is nothing like the “relationship” as she sees it. You are as free as the proverbial bird, come along, pick up, put down and here’s a bowl of noodles. And be thankful. She sees one customer who she can get to buy her out when she’s got no better offers. The other farang was probably offering two bowls of noodles. A much better business deal if everything else is equal. Your girl in the bar is a businesswoman, Mr. Confused. That’s where you are going wrong. Your relationship does not “mean nothing to her”. It represents an “off” for the evening and a bowl of som tam and some small change. No more, no less. Stop confusing business with pleasure.
I love your column. I have been coming to Asia from the US for 15 years. I bought a condominium here, got a drivers license, bought a car, and have a retirement visa. I am continually amazed how stupid western men are when they come here. They do not act the way they would back home and take women for granted. I frankly think they deserve to get taken for all they are stupidly worth or claim to be. I hear too many of them bragging (mostly lying) about how great they are, how much money they have, etc., I hope they get robbed. I live here and have many Thai friends. I respect them for their lifestyle and do not care that I may have more money that they, they have HUGE hearts and that is what I care about. Those idiots who come here to use them deserve to get ripped off. So, to those who do not learn or respect the culture, spend your money and get the hell out.
Anyone who starts their message with “I love your column” goes straight to the top. Flattery will get you everywhere, and some chockies and bubbles gets you even further! Unfortunately you are correct that many westerners do write their CV on the plane coming over, thinking that nobody in a third world country will ever know the truth - but the social networks soon show up the frauds. After that it is downhill from there. I am glad to hear you have some Thai friends and you respect their lifestyle, which can be quite different from the westerner’s, but you are here in Thailand and have really made the grade. Well done.
Its Resurrected Delboy, I loved that title you have given me. You are a great asset to Pattaya Mail (hope the Editor is reading this). Hillary I have had three motorcycle accidents since that really serious one when two of the three guys on the bike that hit me head on died. So no cremations to pay for in the last three accidents, only replaced torn clothing to pay for. I guess I should not joke about things like that, but I am hoping to live long enough to be the oldest motorcyclist in Thailand. Back to Triple Wrapped Thailand Hillary, I cannot find any broken biscuits at my supermarket but I will ask the check out lady to open the outer wrapper for me, then my tea will still be warm by the time I open the inner wrappers. Thank you and all the team at Pattaya Mail for a great read and also the Email updates.
Dear Resurrected One,
If you want to be the oldest motorcyclist in the Kingdom, then you’d better be more careful. Three accidents since the last time we were in contact does not sound too good to me. I’m afraid I won’t ride pillion with you. Or is it a sidecar these days? Enjoy the tea and bikkies.
What is the situation here as far as dowries is concerned. I have been living with this girl I met in the local bar for a few weeks and I have been up to her home town to meet her folks, and they seem to be OK sort of people. Her mother looks after her child from a previous marriage. Her father has a small rice farm. My girl is now saying that her parents expect us to get married and we must go back to her village for the ceremony, and that I am expected to pay the dowry for her as well as paying for the monks and the marriage ceremony and party. I asked her how much did they expect and she tells me around 200,000 baht will cover everything. Honestly Hillary, that is a lot of money, being a bit close to 4,000 pounds, and I don’t know that I really want to go through this at that sort of money. I understand this may be the custom out here, but I want your opinion on it. I haven’t got anyone else I can ask to get some sensible advice.
Dowries are still expected in some regions of Thailand, but 200,000 baht is a bit steep for a blushing bride you met in a bar, who has been married before and already has one child being looked after by her mother. Are there any others hiding round the corner? Any contract of marriage should not be entered into when there are doubts, and you are certainly showing more than a few doubts (not that I blame you). You do not say how long you have been in Thailand, but I get the feeling you are a newcomer. A ‘real’ marriage, which is recognized in both Thai law and the UK, is not the one in the village, but is done at the local amphur office. You asked for my opinion, Petal, and here it is - run!