Re the guy with his 14 year old son getting abusive remarks. “Proud Dad” on the T shirt should do the trick. I recently saw a little child, about six, wandering around my condo lobby. In the otherwise deserted lobby a middle aged Belgian was peering at the bulletin board. All I asked was, “Is that your child?” because he was small and if unchaperoned I was going to call the guard to help little “wandering Billy” find his mom. The fellow became really ticked off at me. I was suggesting nothing about him or his habits, just natural concern for the safety of a little one. It works both ways, so take it in stride, and talk to your son about it so he understands what is happening and should not feel awkward. A fourteen year old today knows as much as most of us knew at seventeen “in the day.” You cannot protect him from what he should understand to protect himself when you are not on hand. Goodness, we had our first “stay away from the strange man offering candy in the park” movie when I was in grade school in the 1960s.
You have a good heart and looking at life sensibly. Your T-shirt should do the trick, otherwise ignore the people who are abusive.
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?
There a two reasons, to this hilarious puzzle. #1. No Thai ever wants to become sunburned or darker in the skin tone as they all equate light skin with beauty. They all believe the most beautiful Thai girls come from Chiang Mai as they are so light skinned! Most farangs want to become tanned and most Asians want to become white. Nobody is ever satisfied! #2. The second reason is for modesty! No proper decent Thai woman will ever display their bodies in public. It is against (current) Thai societal values. Believe me, the bar-girls and boys have to make a lot of merit to atone for their displays.
Drat and double drat, I’ve got nothing to moan about; no Thai ladies cleaning me out. I’d rather have women spending money on me, but I know that’s not likely to happen until it starts raining 1000 baht notes here in downwardly mobile Jomtien; and even then I doubt if I’ll get lucky.
No, I’m just staying in my room, watching DVDs on my otherwise blank TV screen (if anyone thinks I’m paying 400 baht a month for local cable TV, they’ve got another think coming). In the UK I have to make a 2 mile round trip to buy bread and groceries from the nearest Tesco; here I’m dead lucky, there’s one right on my doorstep.
Perhaps there is one big fat greasy fly in the ointment after all Hillary; not too many days from now I’m due to return to the UK by flying; if you could grant me immunity from dying in a plane crash while in transit, I might just be able to see you right in the chocs and champers dept. (A very small box of chocolate liquers should do it, shouldn’t it old girl?)
Dear Ken Morley-ish,
I’m sorry, but referring to me as “old girl” does not do anything for your case or cause, and I don’t care if you have to crawl to Tesco in the UK through the snow, my Petal. Never refer to another (almost) ‘senior’ lady as “old girl”. Got it? I don’t know, as well as fixing problems I’ve got to teach you manners as well! Then there’s that Dorian Farmer cartoonist who draws me in a bikini on the beach. A bikini! You wouldn’t catch me dead in a bikini! I even wear a one piece into the shower. Thank you Dorian for thinking of me anyway. By the way, how’s your friend Nairod these days? I do lead a difficult life.
Met a nice bird in a new bar the other day and went back to see her last night, but she wasn’t anywhere to be seen, then one of the service ladies said that she had been asking if I’d been in. What does this sound like to you Hillary? Genuine interest or not? What’s the next move?
I spelled your name wrong as I typed my reply. I had written “Brain”, when obviously you haven’t got one, or if you do, you’re not using it! Of course she’s got a genuine interest in you, or what’s in your trouser pocket at least (and not the famous trouser snake). Your wallet, Brian my Petal. She’s very interested in that. And in all the folded bits of paper (except it’s plastic these days) in that wallet. You are forgetting, or maybe you didn’t know, she is in the wallet cleaning business and you are lining yourself up for a good old clean out. Get real, use your brain, Brian. Your next move is to high tail it to the next bar where there are other wallet cleaners looking for Brians with no brains!
Staying with Mama? Or with the Gik?
You might think this is a trivial problem, but it isn’t for me. About a year ago I set up home with a Thai girl, who is many years my junior. This does not seem to bother her, though it bothers me at times. Her family comes from the north east and I have been up there and met them, and they seemed nice enough farming folks. They accepted me quite readily, but I always felt a little left out at the family gatherings as they can only speak Thai and my girl had to translate all the time. (They also drink that awful Lao khao stuff!) For this reason, and because I am busy at work, I have not been back up there, though my girl does go up frequently. Is this the usual way families behave in this country? If it is, I will say nothing, but she will often go back for two or three days, the last being for the Songkran holiday. She also often extends the stay from two or three days to up to 10 days on one occasion. Have I anything to worry about?
You may have lots to worry about, or nothing at all. Are you worrying because you think she is not going back to the family rice paddy? I am having to try and read between the lines too much here. It is very usual for daughters to go home and pay respects to their family, and often contribute financially as well. Does your lady have children there that are being looked after by her Mama? Honestly, Petal, it sounds very normal to me. Talk to your friends who have been married to a Thai girl for some time. You’ll find it is the norm in this country. Caring and following the family principles will carry over to you as well, if you allow her to follow her traditions. In the meantime you can always see your doctor for some anti-worrying pills.
There is a good local bar just about half a kilo from my unit. Comfortable and not a rip-off for price of beers either. Probably about 10 or a dozen girls and all very chatty and friendly. Here’s where I went wrong. I bar-fined the same girl twice, and so she now thinks I am her teelack, and the other girls won’t come near me as I am “hers”. She’s a nice enough pooying, but I don’t like my style cramped like this.
No simple way out of this, other than move to another bar. I’m sure you will find one between half a kilometer and one kilometer from your unit. And just think ahead in future. Let this be a lesson for you.
My latest squeeze is pretty good, but being Thai she wants to have cold showers. Me, being English, I cannot stand cold showers, and insist on hot showers. No problems, just turn the heater on or off - but she likes showering together and puts on the pouts if I refuse. Any suggestions?
Yes, I do have a suggestion and it mainly relates to the toilet seat. Do you leave it up and she leaves it down? Just as I thought. You are totally incompatible, so get rid of her today. Forget the showering thing, that’s a distraction. Get her out now! By the way, some people tell me that English people don’t like showering anyway. Surely that’s not true? Or was this whole thing a make-up?
Do you have any cure for a bad back? I know it sounds silly asking an Agony Aunt, but I am in agony, made worse by my Thai GF who likes me to be a bit more enthusiastic in bed, if you get my drift.
There, there, my Petal. Just lie quietly, take your tablets and buy your GF a battery operated rabbit for Songkran. While I remember, get some extra batteries, as they don’t seem to last long these days.
It amuses me when I read some of the letters that men send to you complaining about how the bar girls that move in with them seem to always want more money. You live with a bar girl until you are ready to move on or tired of being an ATM. You guys have it easy. I have been married to a Thai woman for eight years. When I met her she worked in a hospital, I guess you would call her a non-bar girl. Here’s my point; I have spent much more money since being married than I ever did when I had bar girl friends. When you marry a Thai girl, you also marry the entire family. My wife has six sisters, all married with kids. They never ask me for money; however, when I see that one of the them is having a hard paying off the bank loan because the rice crop was flooded out, a nephew or niece needs money for school, a brother-in-law is laid up in the hospital because one of his buffalos kicked him, or another bother-in-law drives around in an old rusted out P/U while I drive a New Nissan and our house is paid for, I help them. Do you think I turn my back on them and “move on”? The eight years I’ve been married to my Thai wife are the best years of my life and I hope for many more. Although I respect and admire the bar girls - theirs is not an easy life, they are just trying to survive - I will never go back to that kind of life.
Dear Uncle Bill,
Why didn’t you wait for me? I am having a hard time paying off a bank loan (tried to buy 50 kg of rice the other day and it was more than my salary, so I approached the bank for a food mortgage), and I have a rusty old bicycle as I can’t afford a pick-up (but I avoid buffalos at all costs). You have also correctly described the Thai families (that you marry into) - they are not (despite claims to the contrary) all standing in line with their hands out. They are ordinary people, who look after each other when needed. You sound like such a nice man, my Petal, I shall cry myself to sleep tonight having missed you. However, I am so happy to hear you are enjoying the “best years of my life”, and yet do understand the plight of the bar girls. Or rather, the trade of the bar girls, as they are not forced into working from around a chrome pole - they choose that existence. “Plight” is how they promote it, looking for (several) kind hearted gentlemen (ATMs) to give them their pin numbers and fantastic plastics. Stay well, Uncle Bill, we need you. Now about my rice loan, I know there’s been a bit of controversy about the rice price recently, but all that hasn’t helped poor widows like me. Unlike the bar girls, I didn’t choose this lifestyle, it was forced upon me!
Can you could help me with accommodation at Songkran? I want to keep enough money so that I can go trekking and I ride an elephant. I only want to spend about five quid a day for a place, is this possible? I know it’s probably a funny question, but I’m serious.
Dear Trekker Thomas,
Don’t worry, my little impecunious Petal, I have had sillier questions than yours. Not often, but I have had some. When I first read your letter, I thought you were asking to come and stay with me, and I was about to suggest that if you brought enough bottles of bubbly, I might just be able to help you. Then I read the “five quid” line. By “five quid” I presume you are from the UK and this is about 250 baht in Thai money, so you would not have much left over for champers, I fear. By the way, Hillary is not a travel agency, or an elephant mahout. Yes, you can get accommodation for that amount. Very basic, clean, but no air-conditioning, which you will probably need, coming from the UK, not known for its blistering temperatures in April.