What do you suggest should be done with a wandering husband? Probably because of the unending opportunities that there seems to be for the men-folk here (but none for the women it seems), it must be a temptation to wander. I have caught several of my friends’ husbands out on more than one occasion at some beer bars, and I am sure that mine is just as shameful in his leisure hours. Any idea, Hillary, on keeping up with the wanders.
Seriously, I think you are a little off the mark when you say you have caught these wandering husbands out at beer bars. Sitting there drinking and laughing with the staff, or in flagrante delicto? There’s a big difference, Petal. You are also wrong when you say there’s nothing for us ladies, but then perhaps the real reason for your letter was to find out where. Ask the wandering husbands’ wives and you’ll find out. What were you doing wandering around the beer bars anyway? Finally, if you’re worried about his wandering, get him a map!
I have been in Pattaya for a few months now and am currently seeing a really nice pleasant girl that I met at Big C. I have been getting quite fed up so to speak with hotels. They are OK for a couple of weeks but a few months wear a little thin. This leads me to the next thing. I have been looking to rent long-term a condo or house and obviously have been shopping around. 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 two months security deposit back as I do not speak a word of Thai and my girl is as timid as a mouse when it comes to haggling or 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?
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? 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 month’s deposit and one month in advance is standard real estate practice in Pattaya.
The bar where my boyfriend has a few drinks after work bought him a birthday cake the other day, and the girls all made a big fuss of him. Is this the usual thing round here, or have I got something to worry about? I have no real reason to suspect him, it’s more that I think I need reassurance. Can you help me Hillary?
There is nothing to worry about. The girls in the bar are happy to celebrate anybody’s birthday, especially if they get a drink and a slice of cake themselves. This is the way things are done round here, my poppet, so stop worrying. On the other hand, if he’s having a birthday every week, then it might be worth worrying about.
Please help me here. I have been here for a few years and I thought I knew the ropes. One night I took my brother to a few of the bars when he was up on holidays. I warned him about bar girls that can latch onto a good looking young fellow like him and I gave up worrying when he seemed able to handle them all pretty well. He did, but elder brother found himself chatting to the one girl all night, taking her from bar to bar and she’s still with me one week later. OK it was a bit of fun to start with, but I want to do something about this before it gets too serious. She seems like a nice person with the usual two kids being looked after by her mother, husband done a runner like they do. I’m not really ready for a serious live-in girl; I’ve been on my own for the past five years, so I can look after myself. So where do I go from here, Hillary?
Obviously, this girl struck a nerve with you, or perhaps even a “need” with you. As you say, my Petal, you’ve been here for a few years, living on your own, and now suddenly a bar girl has walked into your life. Was this the right girl at the right time, or the wrong girl at the right time, or the right girl at the wrong time? Without wishing to be too critical we are talking about a bar girl here. A lady who makes her living by getting men to donate to the cause - her! Some of you may dance up and down at that, but that is the real situation. She is fishing for gold. You are a “catch” Jonny. Time you wriggled out of the net. Pack up her toothbrush for her and show her the door.
A couple of weeks ago you had one guy writing in about buying his new GF a motorbike. You suggested he buy it on HP and keep it in his name. Not such a good idea, Hillary, as he becomes liable all the time. Sure, pay the deposit, but let her be responsible for everything else, including the accidents. If it was me I’d give her a push bike and that’s all.
Dear Pushy Peter,
You’re all heart, aren’t you, but I can understand your motives, very much like the situation with Jonny in the letter above yours. The girl is making the most of the situation, while she can. Another one with a big fishing net, and not afraid to cast it out. Jump out now, Pushy Peter, before it is too late.
I have been visiting Pattaya regulary (sic) for the past 12 years and love the place. Regretably (sic) the many financial crisises (sic) have deleted my funds and I can not afford to live in the palatial rooms I was accustomed to in your fair city. I was wondering if you have space in your penthouse for a respectable Aussie gentleman? I can not pay much rent but am willing to provide any services you may require.
Don’t hold your breath, my Petal. Don’t they teach English in Australia? Your spellings seem to come from Ethiopia. And “deleted your funds” or was that supposed to be “depleted your funds”? Goodness me, Hillary is a lady of letters, and if we were sharing my penthouse I could see me all day correcting your English. Now, why are your funds so low, after 12 years? Do you think you might come and spend mine - is that it? I am also a little worried as you describe yourself as a “respectable Aussie gentleman.” My friends tell me that the person you describe does not exist, but is a dream. You sound far too much of a risk for me, Platypus Petal. Sorry, I must decline your kind offer of “services”, whatever they might (have) been.
The cost of living in Thailand has been going up alarmingly. Compared to when I was in Thailand 12 months ago, it seems as if everything has gone up at least 50 percent, and some items even more. Little roadside stalls that used to sell a decent plate of food for 20-25 baht are now charging 35-40 baht for the same dish. Even the items in the local fresh market are becoming expensive. How do you see this going when the AEC comes into being at the end of 2015?
I do agree with you, Kevin, but there’s nothing you and I can do about it. Every country seems to be going in the same direction. Rents are up, cost of houses is up, gasoline and diesel is up, bus fares are up. As far as the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) is concerned, will it really happen? I don’t know, my Petal, I really don’t know, but I am the wrong one to ask. Speak to someone in the Chambers of Commerce!
Some newbies wonder just how the local expats make it through the day with all the nudge-nudge wink-wink you know what I mean side benefits that are available here and you suggested it was the same as the kid in the candy store thing. Hillary, I am sorry to say you are not really right. All that happens is that half of the expats settle down and get married but the other half never get out of the candy store, and what’s wrong with that. I know of guys who are in their 70’s and 80’s and maybe even older who still go to the bars every day, and even if it does take a couple of blue diamonds to get them going, does it really matter? They’re having fun, the girls get paid and surely that is a win-win situation. You would have to agree, Miss Hillary, as well as admitting that you were wrong for once.
Dear Blue Diamond,
What you describe is certainly a win-win situation Mr. Blue Diamonds, but is real life just as much a win-win situation? Unfortunately no, as you will have seen from the thousands of letters that have been posted in this column over the years, Petal. If it were such a win-win situation, why would anyone be complaining about their lot? Here’s the real situation. The ones that get married suffer from the same divorce statistics as marriages in their own countries, with about 50 percent down the drain. That’s real marriages. Then there are the ‘marriages of convenience’ (mia chow - rented wife) which also do not last (usually because the money dries up and the mia chow departs with whatever is not too hot or too heavy), and then a large portion of the remainder just get tired of the lack of the chase. The foreplay being restricted to “You want short time?” Followed by “OK. How much?” This is hardly hunter and hunted. There’s no conquest, let along no contest here. You would have to agree, Mr. Blue Diamond, and some of the chaps you think are in their 70’s and 80’s are probably only 45, but very dissipated.
(Following on to the chap who found his wife cheating) In farangland as I know it, it was mostly the wife who would hang on to a cheating husband. I know a few here who tolerate their husbands cheating. But their choices are different, do they tolerate it because the alternative is worse? Here farang will hang on way past the bitter end with a Thai wife. I was married more than 10 years, though no kids between us, but the first proof of indiscretion and we’d be done. While it happens everywhere, I just can’t get my head around living in a torturous, stressful relationship. I can’t see the point of being with someone who causes unhappiness. I would instantly separate myself from anyone who causes me drama. While kids are a major concern, resign yourself to the fact that are so many other family members around, the kids will not go un-loved. I’d be sure they get what they need, and see them when possible, without being a nuisance, or you will turn the whole family against you. Move on and try to be friends. Like elephant poop in a soi, you can see it from a great distance, but continue walking toward it until you have to make a drastic change of course to avoid it, then maybe stumble on something and fall face first into it, when it didn’t have to come that.
You are quite the philosopher, Petal, but I stick to my point that I have always said, the children come first. I am not so sure they “will get what they need,” as you are. Children need that father figure and a farang father is what is needed for a “Luk krueng”
Can nothing be done about the songthaew drivers? For a tourist city they give the place a bad name with their stand-over tactics and demands for fares much greater than should be the case. No wonder the foreign tourists look for taxis, but unless they have their wits about them they will again be quoted exorbitant fares, rather than using the meters. Until our city fathers meet the songthaew monopoly head on and produce a real public transport system, this will always be a third world tourist destination.
Unfortunately you are quite correct, my Petal. The songthaews which do not have any fixed or marked destination will always be a turn-off for tourists, as the majority of the drivers do not speak another language. Why would you expect them to get on transport with unmarked destinations? Perhaps it is time for the TAT to get involved and issue ‘tourist bus’ licenses for drivers who meet a minimum standard in communication. Hillary has given up with the songthaews, taxis and tuk-tuks, and use motorcycle taxis when possible. They appear to be a friendlier bunch and will heed the “cha-cha” (slowly) instructions. You do have to barter first, but that’s part of the fun of living in the ‘third world’.