Wednesday, 09 December 2015 13:52

Any fries to go with that beer?

Dear Hillary,

This is not leaving the door open for you to send me a “Dear John” letter in reply, but what is wrong with these people who write to you claiming they have been hard done by a girl from the bar? That’s like saying I didn’t get a BBQ rock lobster in McDonalds. You get what you pay for, be that food or female company. How do you get the message across?



Dear Quentin,

I shall refrain from putting “San” in your name. The reason the deluded drinkers think that rock lobster is on the menu is because the “waitresses” are very good at up-selling and then convincing them that the som tam cart really is rock lobster. Next time tell them to try reading the menu without beer glasses.


Met a woman at a function the other night. Middle aged, pleasantly plump, laughing personality and interested in me (I think). How do I find out if she is married or whatever?



Dear Reg,

Try asking her. Please contact Les in the letter above you. You could start a club. You have a lot in common.

Wednesday, 09 December 2015 13:51

Who sells the chicken egg?

Dear Hillary,

Not long been here, but long enough to know that a knowledge of the Thai language is definitely an advantage. Even if nothing else to know what the girls are saying about us. What is the quickest way to learn, to a reasonable standard? I’m from the UK, so I’m used to French and German, if that makes it easier for me.



Dear Peter,

There are many ways to learn any foreign language and language schools is one of them. Look around and you will see there are many language schools offering courses in Thai. I can’t recommend one language school over another, but I do always suggest you learn the Thai alphabet, as being able to read Thai will certainly make life for you a little easier. Total immersion is one method which is reputedly very good and you would do that by going to live with a Thai family somewhere up-country. A Thai family with no English, so you have to try to understand Thai. However, don’t think you will understand the bar girls. They speak Lao!

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 13:12

Living in Bangers!

Dear Hillary,

(Further from my use of English idioms last week) The reason it is impossible to believe your Thai persona is that English literate Thai persons do not work on local papers, they work in Bangkok. After all, as you have said, you are horribly underpaid by your paper owners so surely a person with your knowledge and abilities would have moved on. Hope we got you a raise! Robert


Dear Robert,

Aren’t you just the sweetest thing! Hoping you get me a raise and all. But you forgot one very simple fact – would you rather live in the nation’s over-populated capital, or in a vibrant beachside resort city? There you are, my Petal, you’ve just answered your own question – why do you live here and not in Bangkok?

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 13:12

Unemployment plummets

Dear Hillary,

I have the answer to ED. After the age of 80 you should employ two bunnies to keep you warm and interested. It’s more than a one woman job beating the effects of Father Time. What’s your experience of this, Hillary?



Dear Greg,

You make me very happy to think there are generous gentlemen out there who are doing something to stop the unemployment in Thailand. In one fell swoop you have rescued two ladies from unemployment, and not just one. I just hope your bunnies can continue to provide the answer to this Education Deficit (that’s what ED is, isn’t it, Petal?), but if they start slacking, you can always employ a third, and then you have enough people for a game of bridge without looking for a fourth.

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 13:11

Can I join you for lunch?

Dear Hillary,

My problem’s a little different to most you get from guys who go to the bars for company. Each day I go to the local shopping center for a bite to eat. Recently I noticed a rather nice looking girl always sitting at the same table having lunch. She doesn’t seem to have anybody with her. Is it OK just to walk up and start talking to her? She doesn’t look like a street hawker or anything like that, so I’d like to get to know her a bit better. With what you hear in Thailand, I am not wishing to make her think that she is someone cheap or anything. I’ve only been here three weeks, so I have a lot to learn, I know. By the way, I’m 19 and quite mature.



Dear Ferdy,

You are certainly right. You do have a lot to learn, and it wouldn’t matter where you came from. (As an aside, did you write 9 or 19?) So you want to break the ice with the lunching lovely. It really isn’t too difficult as she is sitting at table on her own, so it is simple. Swallow hard, fix your grin and walk up to her table and say, “Do you mind if I sit here?” With one question you will find out if (a) she understands English, and (b) if she is happy for some company. It is that simple, my Petal. If she is happy for your company, just finish by saying, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” If she is there the next day, you build up your relationship just like that – slowly and no pressure. Contact me again in six months when you are ready for step two and the coffee shop and have had your 10th birthday.

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 13:09

There’s no such thing as the ‘free’ lunch

Dear Hillary,

I was told before my first holiday here a couple of years ago that you are never lonely in Thailand and it sure seems that way, but nobody tells you that you are going to pay for it, and big money too. By the time you pay the bar to let her out, and multiply that bar fine by the number of days you will be keeping her around for, you are getting into serious money. Then the girl has got her hand out for this and that, mobile phone needs replacement, money for Mama, money here, money there. It really does add up. I think you should be letting your readers know about these things, Hillary, or it can otherwise spoil the holiday.



Dear John,

Do I detect a little financial strain in your letter, my Petal? Nobody said it was ‘free’. There’s no sign up on the wall offering cut-price companionship. Sure, you are never lonely in Thailand, but you will pay. Compare that to the western countries where you will be lonely, but if you are not, you will be paying big money! What you have to understand, John, is that by going to the bars to make your selection of short term companions, you enter the commercial side of the business. The girls are there to earn money – and they get that money from the punters – that’s you! That’s their job (or ‘profession’). Go into the ‘pay for company’ end of the society, and what you have described is completely true. Over a few days, these costs will soon add up. The choice is always yours. I suggest you back out, making arrangements for the odd day only, while your piggy bank holds together. There’s nothing “free” in this world as you have found out.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 14:38

The Heavyweight championships

Dear Hillary,

This is Evil here, I am hoping this letter will get to you in time to save “Andy”. Andy was the man asking about a chaperone when taking a girl out to dinner. Hillary, I invited a lady to dinner a while back, she asked if she could bring her best friend (a lady), I said certainly. The three of us met at the restaurant which was fine, until three more ladies arrived to sit with us, all who were introduced as sisters of the lady I invited. These sisters all looked like heavy weight wrestlers, nothing like the attractive lady I had invited, they all drank like fish (luckily not champagne), only beer Leo. To cap it all they ordered take away meals to be added to my bill. So 3,000 baht later we parted company. Never to be seen again, my choice by the way Hillary. So please warn Andy of what the “bring a friend” can lead too. No other accidents to report Hillary.



Dear Evil,

I am so pleased to hear you haven’t stepped off awkwardly again. I think the situation you experienced is not really a common one. How long had you known the attractive lady and the heavyweight wrestler sisters? Sounds to me that you should be doing a bit of groundwork before offering carte blanche at the a la carte. You would never take your motorcycle for a trip to Cambodia without checking over it first, would you? So likewise you should have done a bit of checking first. Unfortunately, you young chaps only seem to learn by experience, so I doubt if Andy will be any different.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 14:37

Live-in lover or paid performer?

Dear Hillary,

My GF has just moved in with me, so everything’s a bit new and I’m pretty unsure too. How much salary should I be paying her? I’ve asked at the pub where I go after work and they all said different amounts from nothing to fifty thousand. She does work in an office job and clears about fifteen thousand baht a month, and will continue to work there. I don’t want to chase her away, now she’s made the decision to bunk in with me. I know others have written to you about this but always seems to be that these are with bar girls who leave the bar and haven’t got a real job.



Dear Marty,

I take it that this has been a mutual decision, the moving in. I also take it that you have known this girl for some time and this wasn’t a spur of the moment decision, with no discussion other than “Wanna move in?” “Yeah, why not.” You are quite correct when you point out that this is not the usual bar girl leaving her source of finance for a “regular” position. Honestly, my Petal, the pair of you have made the decision to move in and ‘share’ and that’s the way the financial side should be looked at. Both of you put a percentage of your salaries into a kitty which is used to spend on household expenses like food, cleaning materials. Discuss with the GF what she thinks is a reasonable sum for living expenses and then work out the split between your two salaries to make up that sum (yours will be more than hers). You both should have more to spend on yourselves because the other party is helping pay living expenses. Do not think about giving her a “salary”, she already gets a salary from her office job, and you get a salary as well, I presume. You should be living together because you want to be near each other, not adding another job to your lives.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 14:37

Second time lucky?

Dear Hillary,

I’ve taken a girl back, even though she cheated me out of close to a million baht last time. I met her in a bar and it was an immediate attraction and she moved in right away. We carried on like any normal couple, and I did help her send money home. Then I paid for a house to be built up country and gave her a little car to run around in. About two weeks after that she sold the car and went to live with her mother – in the new house in her name. Anyway I carried on by myself, but I kept on thinking about her and contacted her after three months to make sure she was OK. Turned out she was back in Pattaya, but at a different bar, and so I went round to see her. She started to cry and said she was sorry, and so I said she could come back. My friends all think I’m loco, but she’s the only one for me. Are my friends right, or am I?



Dear Robby,

There’s no such thing as right or wrong in these situations, my Petal. You’ve gone into this again with your eyes open this time, just don’t get carried away with this second honeymoon. Remember the saying, “He who cheats me once – shame on him. He who cheats me twice – shame on me.” I hope you are going to be lucky this second time around, but lay some ground rules about spending!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 13:33

Pardon my idioms!

Hi Hillary,

I do enjoy your column very much and your quotations which I have noted just a few – Rumpy Pumpy, old ladies in Blighty, having been fleeced, being a wallflower, skinny dipping, my attic, I got ripped off. That makes me think that you are no spring chicken but a mature knowledgeable well traveled person not of Thai nationality. I asked my lovely Thai lady partner who speaks good English if she could tell me what these quotes mean, but no luck. Come on Hillary, do tell us a little about yourself. I was going to send a bottle of bubbly but you are a connoisseur and I was afraid you may think I am a cheap Charlie or a skinflint if I bought the wrong one. Keep up the good work.

UK Ian


Dear UK Ian,

Are you (or were you) “Inspector Ian of Scotland Yard”? Such deduction and attention to detail, but you glossed over one important fact. Yes, I suppose I could be called a mature knowledgeable well traveled person, but why not Thai nationality? Many Thai people are educated overseas for more than a 12 month toe in the water exercise, but they always return to Thailand having learned the lingo, so to speak. Does your lovely Thai lady partner fit that history? I think not Inspector Ian, because she would have known all those common idioms (another overseas word for you, my Petal). And thank you for thinking about the champagne, even if it never eventuated. French, Australian or Californian are generally good, and anyway, too hard to fit in the envelope!

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