Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:27

Cat getting in the way

Dear Hillary,

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.



Dear ATM?,

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)!

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:26

The ‘sniff kiss’ again

Dear Hillary,

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?



Dear Willie,

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!

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:23

Som Tam and a bar fine

Dear Hillary,

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.



Dear Confused,

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.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 15:22

15 years and still loving it

Dear Hillary,

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.



Dear Peter,

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.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 15:21

The Evel Knievel of the North

Dear Hillary,

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.

Resurrected Delboy


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.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 15:18

The rules for dowries

Dear Hillary,

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.



Dear Andy,

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!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:48

Marriages to bar girls

Dear Hillary,

I used to think I was lucky. I saw all my mates have marriages that went down the tube, but I considered myself lucky, my marriage was great, and she wasn’t a bar girl, but my mates had married bar girls. Then I find she’s been seeing some bloke behind my back, lying all the time, even pretending she was staying a couple of days in the temple, when she was holed up in an apartment round the corner. I was heartbroken, but she said the affair was all over and I forgive her. Six weeks later, she’s at it again, and that’s when I left. Bar girl or no bar girl, they all seem the same to me. Is there a difference?



Dear Mark,

Relationships are strange things. Forget about the “bar girl” thing. It isn’t a Yes or No factor, you are talking about Thai women, that’s all of them, from all walks of life. Add in differences in ages and poor knowledge of the languages, Thai for you, English for her. No wonder it comes down to a financial arrangement. Money is something the Thai women all understand, and that is what many Thai-Foreigner marriages are based on. He gives her a better life and she gives him a better bed companion in return. That’s a win-win situation, but after the money arrangement goes sour, the relationship does the same. Nothing to do with her past occupation.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:47

Better in the US or the LOS?

Dear Hillary,

You drew attention to the “Long Stayers” a couple of weeks ago and highlighted a few problems with their living in Thailand. But in the good ole “Land of the Free” this week, police were charged with using excessive force on a minority group. A teenage pool party was raided by police with drawn guns and batons against 15 year girls who were thrown to the ground, sat on and handcuffed. Same treatment to innocent bystanders. Also this week a prisoner was released after 44 years in solitary confinement. Perhaps you have little time for minority groups and that is why you mentioned “Long Stayers”?



Dear Bill,

As a long stayer, you should by now be calling yourself “Bin”, but whilst everything you mention is true, you are comparing apples and oranges. The US has its own problems, just as Thailand has its own problems, which currently do not include breaking up pool parties with drawn guns. But you cannot directly compare the two. I think many Americans who live here are still proud to be American citizens, but prefer the lifestyle here, and we are happy to have the happy ones here.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:46

Are you suited for village life?

Dear Hillary,

I have just been watching some poor bloke’s tale of woe on facebook. Came out here, met the girl of his dreams in the bar. Shacked up together, wedding in the village, then blew all his savings building a home for her (and her family) and a pig farm. Money started to run short, the missus gives him short shrift and he has to return to the UK penniless. And he wonders how this can happen. There’s one born every minute as they say.



Dear Rufus,

There certainly is one born every minute, and it seems that at least 50 percent of them catch a plane to Bangkok where they meet the girl of their dreams, get married in the village, build the house, with or without pig farm and settle down into an alcohol fuzz, lost in a foreign culture which they will never understand. You have to feel sorry for them.

The culture here is so different from their own culture in the UK, USA, Europe, Australia, and without language skills they will never be able to bridge the great divide. Many people have tried to warn these star struck chaps, point them to books like Stephen Leather’s Private Dancer, counsel them, but to no avail. “This one’s different” is mentioned all the time as they go into the second and third relationship. Like lemmings they all rush over the matrimonial cliff together and end up sitting outside the local convenience store drinking cheap beer from 10 in the morning. A far cry from their initial thoughts of going back home with the beautiful trophy bride on the arm and show off in front of family and friends.

However, if you read this column regularly, you will find that there are some relationships that do work, but Hillary’s experience is there’s far more heart breaks than celebrations.

So what are you going to do, Rufus? I am doing my bit, now it’s time for you to join the warning party!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:44

Family ties

Dear Hillary,

What is the attraction of the primitive villages in the north east that these Thai girls come from? At every opportunity they seem to go back there, for to see Mama, or another funeral, or a special event at the local wat. Funerals? There seems to be one every month. These villages must be dangerous places! What is the pull that makes them go back?



Dear George,

My Petal, have you never heard the phrase “There’s no place like home”?

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