Wednesday, 17 September 2014 16:41

Hillary hits the “aitches”

Hi Hillary,

First, I appreciate your column. Always get some insight and enjoyment. Kinda have to disagree with an house, an horse... I always say a house/ a horse/ a home... if I am wrong ... no problem... It won’t be the first time or last... keep writing... Thanx,



Dear Joe,

It all gets down in the end to what is called “common usage”, like the “got” or “gotten” idea, Petal. Personally I don’t worry about these things, as long as nobody is trying to drag me off to an hotel, or even a hotel, unless there is some Veuve Clicquot and Belgian chocolates in the dining salon!

Dear Hillary,

I agree with you that ‘an’ should come before a noun beginning with any of the vowels. In English, where a word begins with the letter “H”, this consonant must always be pronounced, although English people never do. So it is not an ‘orse, an ‘otel, an ‘ouse. It is a horse, a hotel, a house. The only European language to drop the “H” is French.

As to Robert’s comments on British accents, having worked on drilling rigs around the world for 25 years and known Americans from “Loozana Coonass”, Louisiana Cajun up through all of the Redneck states to the big city of “Noo Yoik”, New York, I have liked and understood them and they me.

The British Empire was guilty of many massacres, and for this I am ashamed, but the British people never took part in state sponsored genocide as did the Americans against their own native tribes.

I am an articulate, multilingual Scotsman looking forward to independence from the remnants of the Empire.



Dear Don,

What have I started? What have I done, Don? How do I gotten off this runaway ‘orse? We’ve even got ‘ercule Poirot waiting in the wings as well. I have heard the statement that Britain and the USA are “separated by a common language” even if just in the pronunciation of tomato or tomayto, and we’ll not get (gotten) into the argument over elevators and lifts.

Anyway, let’s get into something easy like jilted boyfriends and walking ATMs. I’m better equipped for those!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 16:39

Now it’s RAMS as well!

Dear Hillary,

Can you recommend a good computer technician? Every time my computer breaks down, the technician takes it away to fix it, and returns it several days later and when I go to use it, something else has packed up. “You haven’t got enough RAM,” seems to be the catchword with these people, but even after buying more, the problems are still there. Any ideas, Hillary?



Dear Frazzled,

You’re lucky it’s only a RAM problem. I’ve bought a veritable sheep station of RAMs and now they’re telling me it is my operating system that is no good. I ask you, what’s wrong with Windows 1946? It worked before, why not now? Honestly Petal, I have no idea about this modern technology. Bring back faxes, I say. I could understand those.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:50

Seven-11 gone broke

Dear Hillary,

When I complained about being broke, you said I should give up drinking. If I stopped drinking, the Singha company would go broke as well as 7-11.

Singha Jerry


Dear Singha Jerry,

Thanks for the advance knowledge, Petal. Seven-11 and Singha Beer are the basis of the entire Thai financial system. Thank you for keeping the country afloat. I will ask our new PM to give you an award, after he has kicked out all the grafters. Don’t wait up!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:50

Blossoming in the evening

Well Hilary you are really naïve. The “Evening Blossoms” to which I referred are those lovely young things apparently awaiting a bus on beach road and I, in a charitable mood, sometimes, offer a free “ride”! I tell them I have a full time lady in residence. Along with anatomy lessons, they frolic with full knowledge that they are part time and leaving no trace of their presence. I do not acknowledge the “cheating” description as the only thing my live-in companion is “cheated” out of is watching me sleep on the sofa and my “sports” activities bind my commitment to her more strongly.



Dear Don,

Thank you so much for the arboreal lessons. I had heard of Orange blossoms and Peach blossoms, but Evening blossoms were something quite new to me. Now, word of caution, my Petal, I hope you make sure that the bus they are waiting for is not one of the school busses. That could be a little dangerous for you, so please keep that in mind next time your live-in steady goes for a visit up country. I am also told that the ladies of the second gender like to frequent Beach Road, but fortunately the B. 100 fines administered by the local police force is keeping them under control. I also like to hear that your favorite blossoms don’t leave any petals behind. Perhaps you could employ one as a maid and get the best of both worlds?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:49

A delicate shade of pink

Dear Hillary,

We live in Jomtien and often go to the beach there as it seems to be very popular with the Thais, as we see them swimming there a lot. Why do the Thai people wear clothes when they go into the sea? Sometimes it looks like shipwreck survivors from the Titanic. Some Thais wear bikinis, but they are in the minority. I even see them going in wearing jeans! Why, Hillary please tell us.

Bikini Bob


Dear BB,

You are obviously someone with a keen eye and worried about the health of the local people. Will they drown? Do they have a change of clothes? Well, I have good news for you. No, they won’t drown and yes, they do have a change of clothes. The reason you don’t see them in bikinis is the skin color thing. Westerners who are white want to be brown, so you see them out in their bikinis getting toasted by the tropical sun and turning a lobster red usually, but the Thai people who are naturally brown all want to be white. They enjoy the beach and swimming, but must cover their skin to stop tanning.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:48

Lost keys - again

Dear Hillary

My girlfriend and I live in an apartment in town. We have a good relationship except for the fact she keeps losing the keys and mobile phone. This is very annoying, how can I stop her doing this?



Dear Annoyed

Have you ever considered the fact that your girlfriend is losing keys and telephones as a subconscious way of expressing her lack of satisfaction with the relationship or simply as a device to annoy you? It is very difficult if not impossible to change someone else’s behavior unless you change your own behavior first. I suggest you change the way you respond to her. One quick fix is to either don’t let her see that it annoys you or simply don’t speak to her for a few days every time she loses things. The best way though is to “Give her the monkey and let her feed it.” This is a Thai expression for making her to take the consequence of her own actions. Do not let her have or use your mobile phone ever, keep a spare set of keys for you, but never unlock the apartment for her, and never give her another set after she has lost one. If this is too tedious, maybe losing this girlfriend would be less frustrating.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:43

Bessame mucho

Dear Hillary,

I find this habit of social kissing here disgusting. People just making an excuse to slobber all their germs over you, it is just frightful and unhealthy too! How can I avoid it?



Dear Yurky,

Where have you been all your life? It seems as though you don’t like socializing either? Most people have social kissing down to the fine art of just kissing the air beside the victim’s face. What you do on greeting occasions is to step into the person’s space first, grab them by both upper arms and kiss the air nosily beside each ear. Then say, “Don’t come too close, I’ve got rabies.” The alternative is to stay at home and watch TV.

Wednesday, 03 September 2014 16:29

Songthaews for 10 baht?

Dear Hillary,

A couple of weeks back you had some guy wondering how to stop the Soi 6 vacuum cleaners who seemed to be able to clean out his wallet very easily.  My advice is simple.  Try going out with the idea of having 500 baht cash only on you... or 1000 and a ten baht coin on you for a return songthaew.  Leave your credit, debit, and ATM cards locked in your safe.  Don’t worry, in due course you will be the least popular farang on Soi 6.  Perhaps then, rather than visiting with Soi 6 vacuum cleaners, you will put effort into finding a woman who could perhaps love you.  This is if you are looking for “true love” actually of course, but I doubt you are.



Dear Robert

You certainly win the Scrooge McDuck award for this week.  All good advice to get out of the “commercial” soi, but, pray tell, where do you get 10 baht songthaews around Soi 6, that is unless you are going from 6 to 6/1.

Wednesday, 03 September 2014 16:28

Bashful Bob’s first date

Dear Hillary,

‘Bashful Bob’ was wondering how to ask an educated Thai woman on a date.  ‘Bashful Bob’ obviously works for a living and is a newbie which is just grand for him.  Most likely he is even within ten years of her age which could make for an honest life together including perhaps family without dad being pushed around in a wheelchair himself someday.  He has found a woman of education who works for a living, speaks English, and is courteous to him.  To poor Bob I would say, I envy you, as you have found a beautiful bashful flower.  Proceed slowly, be prepared to put your best foot forward with the young lady’s family and ask if you may come to her home sometime to meet her mother and father.  Only then will you know if your suspicions that she is free are actual and she is really available.  As you have pointed out, in Thai culture family is everything.  If you are not a good fit with them your relationship will be complicated.



Dear Rob,

There are a few items you have forgotten in your very wise advice.  You forgot to tell him to enquire about the family buffalo and how her brother is after the motorcycle accident.  Also to ask if the family dines at the table or off the floor.  If she does have a table and doesn’t have a buffalo or a brother, you will have discovered a real gem.  In finishing, I have no buffalo or brother.  Chocolates should be sent to the Pattaya Mail office clearly marked “For Hillary”.

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