Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:46

Hold that pose

Dear Hillary,

I interested am very in photography art, and I am wonder if there is an art group I could join in Pattaya.  I from Denmark and all major cities can join.  If serious about photography will be happy.  Can you tell me?



Dear Hans,

Thank you for your letter, with its quaint English, but as you say, you are from Scandinavia, so you are doing well!  If I understand you correctly, you want to take arty photos of some of the local people here.  However, I do not know of any photography groups catering to that branch of the arts, but undoubtedly there are ‘models’ available for a fee.  Start looking in Walking Street.

Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:45

Sick of ‘selfies’

Dear Hillary,

Are all Thai women completely in love with themselves and their appearance?  Since the world invented cell phones that can take “selfies”, the social media like FB is just full of Thai women posing and then posting their pictures.  If it’s not themselves, then it’s what they ate for lunch - as if anyone cared.  Even in group shots you can see the same poses day after day, the head to one side, the knee bent, the teeth, the boobs pushed out and the same over and over again.  Hillary, where can you meet genuine Thai women - or aren’t there any?


Dear Jerry,

You haven’t seen me with “boobs pushed out” have you, Jerry.  So not all Thai women indulge themselves in “selfies” my Petal.  Unfortunately, you are correct that the poses all become a bit boring, and I think the girls in these photos are probably a bit boring as well.  Don’t go looking at the “society” pages, and some genuine girls will come your way, but not via the social media.

Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:43

What to do with Mum?

Dear Hillary,

My mother is coming over for a holiday from the UK.  My problem is simply where should I take her?  It has been 9 months since I was over to home last.  I certainly don’t want to take her to South Pattaya because she might get the wrong idea of what I do with my spare time here.  I am also a little worried at how I explain the fact that the girls outside some of the bars I drink at wave to me as I drive by.  I am considering having to change the route I drive home when I have Mother in the car.  I have even thought about renting one while she’s here, one that the girls don’t know me in.  What should I do?



Dear Sam,

Let’s be truthful here.  You are more worried that your Mum will get the right idea about what you do in your spare time!  But relax, there are plenty of places you can take your Mum in Pattaya - you don’t have to line her up for Grannies-a-go-go you know.  South Pattaya has also some of the best seafood restaurants around and an Italian one as well (Don Joe - one of my favorites)!  Mum will love the Tiffany Shows - everyone does.  Look up the restaurant guide in the Pattaya Mail if you don’t know where to go, but do take her to some local Thai places as well.  Finally, don’t worry about your favorite bar.  If the girls like you, they will really make a fuss over Mum.  Anyway, I am sure your Mum knows what you’re like by now!  Relax and enjoy having her here, you randy soul, you.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 16:53

Tea for two

Dear Hillary,

This may sound silly, but I come over as a tourist from the UK three times a year, so you can see I love Thailand.  The only thing I really miss is my cup of tea in the mornings.  Where can I get a good cup of tea?



Dear Jenny,

Tea never sounds silly.  In Japan they make a ceremony out of serving delicate cups of tea, Chinese green tea is said to be slimming, Indian teas are reputed to be healing, Pitta tea with its mix of Cardamom, liquorice, ginger, cinnamon and rose petals is recommended for its cooling effect and to balance the mind and body when irritable and impatient.  Being a Brit, I am guessing that you are addicted to Twinings Earl Grey or Lemon Scented.  My advice to you is either bring your own over, or buy it from our big supermarkets.  Then again have you ever tasted the great Thai tea, a lot of little roadside restaurants make it, it is just a matter of wandering around and asking, “Cha ron mai?” that means “Hot Tea?”  It comes in a glass, hot, a bright orange color with a lemony taste.  Drink it without milk and just a squeeze of lemon.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 16:52

When do you stop forgiving?

Dear Hillary,

After 11 wonderful years I discovered that my Thai wife (legally married) had begun an affair with a guy from Isaan.  She admitted it after coming home drunk one night.  Thinking that it was a drunken fling I forgave her, after she said that she had started it, so she could finish it.  Having been drunk on the odd occasion myself and done silly things, I forgave her.

Six weeks later she went up country for a funeral.  I asked if she would be going to see him but was assured that no, she would be too busy with the funeral.  She kept in daily contact and I was happy for her in having a break.  Then she disappeared from the radar, phone turned off for two days.  I was suspicious.  After she returned, everything seemed OK and then I discovered her iPad which she had not turned off - and it was backwards and forward messages between her and the guy, complete with half naked photographs of her.

She admitted then that this was from the missing two days in Isaan.  She said never again would it happen and for me to trust her.  That was hard but I tried to forgive and forget.

The next episode was in July when she went to the temple for a religious ceremony.  She rang later that evening to say the ceremony was still on, so she and her friends would stay the night at the temple if that was OK.  I said yes and she returned the following evening.  Usually she posts lots of pix of herself and the Buddhist friends, but this time none.  Sure enough she did not go with lady friends, but with the guy again.  Tears, tears and protestations that she wanted to be with me to look after me as I got older.

I decided to put everything behind me and give her another chance, even though I was heartbroken.

Then in October she went with friends to Bangkok.  The bus got back at 11 p.m. and she said she had to go to her classmate’s place as they had to write up the event.  Again I was suspicious.

The next day I saw her car outside an apartment block.  I rang her and then sat in her car and waited.  Sure enough, she came running out of the apartment.  So I moved out, enough was enough.

Is this a “normal” way of life in Thailand?  If so, I would warn every farang to consider this before hooking up with any of these Thai women.  By the way, she was not a bar girl.



Dear Roland,

I hope you feel better after getting that off your chest, my Petal.  It has been a very trying time for you, and I am sure everyone feels very sorry for you.  Undoubtedly this was a great disappointment, but you must not think that every marriage between a farang and a Thai is like this.  I get many letters from farangs who have been married to their Thai wives for much longer than you, and they are still happily married.  You do not say whether there are any children of your marriage, but if there is, their welfare must be taken into account as well, even before that of you and your wife.  Best of luck.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 16:44

Credit cards welcome here!

Dear Hillary,

One hears a lot about credit card fraud here in Thailand.  Is it safe to buy goods or services over the internet using a credit card?  I have been tempted on many occasions but cannot afford to lose a lot of money through a credit card scam.



Dear Veesa,

When dealing with big corporations, you are fairly safe, but I would ask in the bank that issued you the credit card, rather than asking me, Petal.  I don’t have enough money to have a credit card!

Thursday, 06 March 2014 10:11

Anyone have a spare nubile carer?

Dear Hillary,

I was interested in your response to the British chap who had found to his surprise that he was a traveling ATM, and not a soul partner, to the ladies who came for breakfast and stayed.  You were quite correct Hillary, that he was in the wrong end of the market, when looking for a lady to look after him in his old age.  But here’s the essence of the problem - he is in his dotage, getting close to cashing in his chips, while the ready market of nubiles is just starting off on life’s journey, and playing the part of carer is not exciting, but can be done for a fee.  Don’t pay the monthly salary on time and they are out the door, as he has found out.  The answer for these old chaps is to stop looking in the commercial area of “One more beer?” and go looking for an older woman to be a friend and carer.  Do you agree with me?



Dear Ron,

You are correct, My Petal, but while the concept of an older carer makes all the sense in the world, you will also take away an elderly man’s last hopes and make him face the unpleasant side of getting older.  He really isn’t a “sexy man” any more.

Thursday, 06 March 2014 10:10

Believing the copy label

Dear Hillary,

I bought some “copy” shirts the other day and told the girl in the shop that I needed XL size (I am a Farang).  She got me four shirts, but when I tried them on at home, three fitted and one was too big.  The labels all said XL, can I take the large one back and complain?

Ralph Lauren.


Dear Ralph,

“Copy” shirts have “copy” labels.  That’s the price you pay for getting a cheap shirt with a man playing polo on the pocket.  Never mind, stay here long enough and you’ll probably grow into it.  Every other Farang seems to self-inflate living here.

Thursday, 06 March 2014 10:10

The new Beer diet

Dear Hillary,

As I am now in my early 50’s it is becoming noticeable that my tummy is getting that little bit larger.  I have tried dieting but that just makes me hungry.  Are the gymnasiums round town OK, or do I have to give up drinking as my wife suggests?  I only have six to eight pints at night.



Dear Kenny,

Or is that “Kilkenny”?  I do think I might perceive a very slight chance that you are just the teensiest bit worried that someone might suggest cutting off the pipeline to the brewery.  OK, Kenny, I’ll believe you really want to do something and here’s the answer.  Cut the pints in half, join a gym (the Fitness Centers are better at fat burning than the musclemen types of places), cut your food intake by 25 percent, cut out sugar, drink more water (without the hops) and walk everywhere in town rather than driving, riding or catching baht busses. If all this is too difficult, contact Ralph from the letter above and make an offer on the shirt!

Dear Hillary,

I have been looking to rent long-term a condo or house and I was quite surprised to find that you have to give two months security deposit and a month in advance.  Now I am a little worried about getting my 2 months security deposit back as I do not speak a word of Thai and my girl who works at Big C, not a bar is as timid as a mouse when it comes to asking questions with the local business people.  She has since said that her cousin has a house and we would be safe renting through him.  Upon meeting the cousin at a bar he produced a contract in Thai that my girl read through and was quite happy with and relayed most of it back to me, and better still the cousin would only want 1 month’s security deposit but for me this is all going too fast.  It seems like a bargain but I would like some independent advice.  Should I go with the cousin or am I risking too much?  What would you suggest Hillary?



Dear Patrick,

What you need is a minder!  Answer me this - would you blindly sign a contract for a studio in Spain if you couldn’t read the language?  Or for a pension in Portugal?  Or a condo in Kosovo?  Come on Petal, what are you doing?  Are you a man or a mouse?  (Along with your girlfriend.)  Go to a reputable real estate agency that speaks your language and employs reputable English speaking lawyers to advise you.  You are right when you say it is all going a little too fast.  You’ve gone from the checkout at Big C to checking in to Heartbreak House in no time flat.  You are setting yourself up for a fall, Petal.  Do not do it.  Get the correct advice before going another step.  By the way, the two months deposit and one month in advance is standard real estate practice in Pattaya.

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