Wednesday, 04 June 2014 16:38

One lump or two?

Dear Hillary,

Why do the Thai girls all wear those molded plastic bras that look like two dumplings attached to the front of their chests?  It is obvious that the lumps don’t belong to them, but come from the bra shop.  I’m like a lot of guys and like a nice pair on a girl, but real ones, not plastic ones, please.

Tom the T-man


Dear Tom the T-man,

I presume you mean Tom the Toyman, you naughty little Petal!  Since Thai girls were standing behind the door when the chests were given out (the Russian ladies made it to the front row), we have to do something to catch the eye of Toymen like you, Tom.  So you have discovered our secret.  Don’t tell everyone, that’s a good boy.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:08

Trouble in the “hou”

Dear Hillary,

Regarding your recent contact with Horace and how Thais speak English.  You attempted to compare foreigners to Thais with your comment “educated Farangs think they can speak Thai, use incorrect tones and continue to make farcical mistakes”.  However, if it is explained to us then we make the correct adjustments.  You can tell a Thai 1 million times that the correct pronunciation is “house” and not “hou” and the very next time the Thai will still say “hou”. Your comparison isn’t valid.  The whole thing is simply ridiculous.



Dear JCB,

Of course it is ridiculous.  My column is neither a language school trainer nor a psychiatrist’s couch.  It is a fun look at all our lives and the tiny problems we give ourselves.  Lighten up, JCB and crawl back into your “hou” and have a beer.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:08

Go to work on an egg

Dear Hillary,

I remember some time ago that you got some food questions, and I was hoping you could answer mine.  I have seen people eating what looks like an egg “parcel” with meat inside it.  What is it?  And would it be too spicy for someone like me who is a little afraid of spicy food?

Spicy Sally


Dear Sally,

I am sure you are referring to a Thai omelet, called “Kai Yat Sai”.  Generally the filling is pork based, but you can get chicken as well - ask for “Kai Yat Sai Gai”.  It comes with a little bowl of red ketchup - but beware, it is chilli, not tomato, so I’d steer clear of the red stuff!  Around 50 baht at most food carts.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:07


Dear Hillary,

It seems impossible to buy furniture here that is not in “kit” form.  Since I do not know which end of a screwdriver to use (and my husband is just as technically challenged) what should I do?  Any suggestions?



Dear Kitty,

You are worrying too much, my Petal.  The nice friendly furniture shop will send a team of semi-trained carpenters who will put it all together for you, and a 100 baht tip will be very welcome.  If the shop says they don’t do the assembly, then go to another shop - there’s enough of them.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:06

Maid in Thailand

Dear Hillary,

We are fairly new to living in Asia and I am not sure what to do with our maid.  She came with the apartment and seems to be a very nice person.  My problem comes with the number of days off that she seems to have.  It is not that she does not come to work, it is that she tells me that she has to see her mother, or it is a special day for Chinese or something, so she will not be here on some day next week.  Is this the usual for Thai maids, or am I being made use of?



Dear Mary,

Hillary is sitting here having had to make her own coffee.  My maid is off at the temple.  But how many unscheduled days off a month does she have?  About one or two extra days off a month is standard custom.  Not one a week!  Most Thai employees and all maids take every Buddhist and Thai holiday off for which you are expected to pay.  Have you thought of joining one of the ladies’ organizations here (listed in the Pattaya Mail) so you can learn the ropes quickly.  Remember to smile a lot at your maid even if you can’t speak Thai and bring the odd sweet cakes for a present for her sometimes.  Good luck.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:04

Looking for a lovely loo

Dear Hillary,

I am trying to make a constructive criticism here.  I am a regular visitor to Pattaya and it beats me how the streets and footpaths and vacant lots and even the beaches are just so filthy.  The majority of the public toilets, except in the most expensive hotels, are indescribably putrid and filthy.  How can they stand it?  Don’t they care about health and sanitation or even the tourist dollar.  Don’t they have any National pride?  Isn’t there anyone assigned to clean up the place or doesn’t anyone care?



Dear Jim,

You’re throwing a bit of muck at us, aren’t you!  And a little unfairly, too.  The beach vendors do clean their area of the beach every morning.  The council workers do clean the streets and pick up the garbage here.  Certainly, nobody cares much about the rubbish lying around in vacant lots - the locals just don’t see it.  Thais have a different mind set to farangs and deliberately ignore anything unpleasant they do not want to see.  And yes the Asian loos do take a little getting used to.  However if everything was legislated out of existence and sparkling clean just like your home is supposed to be, exotic tropical Thailand would lose a lot of its appeal and you wouldn’t want to holiday here so often.  Part of our attraction is the fact that you can experience a freedom here, that the over-legislated western countries do not allow you to do.  Have you ever thought of that?

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 16:46

Is this a take-home pack?

Dear Hillary,

I am only here for a short holiday, so I hope you can answer me quickly.  I have fallen in love with a Thai girl and don’t know what to do.  She works in a bar, but she had only just come down from her village “up country” this week.  She makes friends very easily (all the other girls in the bar seem to know her) and speaks very good English.  I would like to take her back to the UK with me when I go next week.  How do I go about this?  Will she come with me (I haven’t asked her yet)?  Do I need to ask her parents’ permission to take her overseas?  Please hurry with the reply as I haven’t got much time left.



Dear Starstruck,

You have an entire lifetime ahead of you, not just next week.  How old are you, my Petal?  15?  16?  Your girl is not a newbie (“all the other girls seem to know her,”) and you don’t learn “very good English” up in Nakhon Nowhere.  Simple answer my Petal, is to leave her where she is, where she is happy and has lots of friends.  Don’t send her money, and grow up a bit more before your next trip to Thailand.  It’s not the place for you.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 16:45

Mother problems

Dear Hillary,

I have fallen very much in love with the cashier at the local optical shop.  She seems quite interested in me, we have been out together a few times, but there is one problem in our relationship.  I asked if I could come and meet her parents, but she immediately said no, and when I asked why she said because her mother does not like farangs.  I sort of feel that if this relationship is to progress any further I am going to have to get over the mother problem.  Any advice Hillary?

Myopic Mark


Dear Myopic Mark,

You’re not the leader of the Democrat party are you?  Anyway he’s not a farang, he was just educated in farangland.  Now then, your short-sightedness extends beyond your glasses I am afraid.  Before you go any further and make a spectacle of yourself, I would suggest you have to tread warily and slowly.  The wooing you have to do is with the mother, not the daughter, Petal.  Send flowers or a buffalo, or whatever is required, to mother before making the next move on the young damsel.  On second thoughts, have you tried the girl in the dentist surgery next door?  Your optical romance sounds as if it has terminal teething problems.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 16:44

Bar versus restaurant

Dear Hillary,

I used to be very friendly with a girl in a local café and often used to just say hello, as her English was not very good.  About three months ago she disappeared and the new waitress could not tell me where she had gone.  However, I bumped into her in a shopping center the other day and her English was much better, so I decided to ask her out for dinner.  She told me she couldn’t go as she was working in a bar in South Pattaya, but I could see her there.  Hillary I was just so disappointed.  How could a sweet young girl from a restaurant turn into yet another bar girl?  I still like her a lot.  Should I try to get her to leave?  She’s much too nice for the bar work.



Dear Jimmy,

In a word, No! There’s an old saying - You can take a girl out of a bar but you can’t take the bar out of the girl!  If that’s what your sweet young thing wants to do, you have to accept it.  Just think about it from her side of the fence.  She did not make much money as a waitress, the hours she works in the bar are up to her, and she gets to meet lots of native English speakers, as well as just you.  She’s made her decision and you have quite frankly nothing better to offer her.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 16:43

Workplace problems

Dear Hillary,

One of the women in my office was always meddling in everyone else’s business, telling them what to do, and generally being very aggressive about it if anyone crossed her or contradicted her.  Nobody knew what to do about her and she was becoming a real tyrant.  When she left the company we were all very pleased, and it became a good place to work again.  However, she has started doing part-time work in the office again, and we are all dreading what is going to happen when she decides she wants to work full-time again.  She has known the boss for many years and he seems reluctant to intervene.  This has depressed everyone of us.  What should we do?



Dear Depressed Dazza,

If there’s enough of you, then just ignore her and refuse to work with her.  You all got along OK without her, so surely you can continue doing that.  If that doesn’t work, then there’s always other offices to work in.  Unfortunately these types of people do spoil it for everyone else, and there is not much you can do without the support of those higher up.

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