Can someone please tell me why Thai women give the “V” sign when being photographed? None of them can tell me why they do it, nor what the significance is supposed to be. Any ideas, Hillary, the lady of letters, and hopefully of signs as well.
Like so many items in Thai culture, there undoubtedly is a reason, but that reason itself has been lost to obscurity (which merely means it is more than one generation old)! There is also confusion between the “V” sign of disrespect and the “V for Victory” sign as used by Winston Churchill (knuckles facing towards the giver, as opposed to the knuckles outwards while giving the sign of derision). So take another look, Jeff, you will find that most of the “V’s” are the Victory signs, probably a celebration by the model that she was beautiful enough to be photographed. From all that, you will have seen that I have no real idea, but my research showed that the “V” sign did not date back to English archers, as they needed three fingers to pull the long bows.
I’m another of those idiot farangs. There was one bar girl that I liked a lot and I thought she liked me too, but I didn’t want her to stay with me. Overnight was fine and I thought we had built up a good relationship. She knew what I wanted, so it went on for a few months. Then about a year ago she asked me for some money as she had some problems, so I gave her 50,000 baht. She promised to repay me within six months. Well it’s now a year and she certainly hasn’t repaid anything and has moved from that bar. I realize that I’ve been an idiot, but I just wanted to let everyone else know to not be an idiot either. Please do not use my real name, as I am happily married.
I have just called you what you called yourself, so forgive me if it looks insulting. However, you have got yourself into this pickle by being very selfish, Petal. You happily admit “she knew what I wanted”, but you did not find out what she might have wanted, did you? You were happy enough to carry on with a relationship that could have no future, as you are already “happily married”, so what did you expect was going to happen? You wanted casual sex, and you got it. What you did not ascertain was that she wanted money - and she got it! Kiss the money goodbye and be thankful you didn’t have to kiss your marriage goodbye as well.
Last week you had someone from Australia saying that all women are different, and bar girls in particular, and roving males should “stop feeling sorry for themselves and get out and enjoy the company of the ladies in the bars. That’s what they’re there for. You don’t have to buy the library when you want to read a book.” He was suggesting that every male should go straight to the beer bars because that is where they can really enjoy themselves. I thought you gave him good advice, Hillary, when you wrote that bar girls are “A girl for the good times in life, not a girl who is good for life times.” The biggest problem is that these guys forget that, get suckered in by the sweet talk, hands massaging thighs and rubbing up against this warm and very available, girl. They can’t be blamed I suppose, but even though you are correct, how do we get the message through to the men out there? Especially after “One moah beer?”
I wish I knew too, my Petal. But then again, if we didn’t have the western warriors falling A over T for the local ladies, what a dull column this would turn out to be. You interest me though. You seem to know all the lady bar girl tricks. Did you once fall under the spell of “One moah”?
Is there some sort of private investigator group in Pattaya that can look at a Thai lady and tell foreigners whether they can be trusted or something? I’m not in Thailand for six months of the year, and I think my Thai GF is playing me for a sucker, with constant calls for more money for one reason or another. Friends who live in Pattaya tell me she is back in the bar, and very friendly with some Thai guy. I send her money so she didn’t have to go back to the bar, and she tells me she isn’t, but if that is correct, where is the money going. I send her 50K each month, and she never tells me where the money goes to. I need to find out before I send any more money.
Yes there are private investigators you can hire to keep a lookout on the lady, but is this necessary? You obviously do not trust her. Will you just be throwing good money after bad? I think you have to look at your relationship a bit more, Petal. Expecting 100 percent loyalty from a bar lady, is probably expecting a bit much. If you want to support this girl, you should also have arranged to get her some training for a real job, so she has something to do and not just go back to the bar to gossip with friends. Even 50K a month does not stop her getting lonely. I think you have to evaluate your relationship.
I enjoy your bits each week and the advice is right on. Somebody said you should get a raise from your editor and I reckon so too. You are doing a public service so you should get the top dollar. All the ones in the US like Oprah get big money, so should you. Keep up the good work. And what about a book? It would have to be a best seller.
Aren’t you just the nicest man! Comparing poor little Hillary with the mighty Oprah! However there are some differences between us, you know. She’s in America, for one! You worry me though, when you say you “enjoy my bits” each week. What “bits” are we talking about here? Some of my bits are never discussed here in the column. This is a family newspaper Hughie. As far as a raise is concerned, I’ll show your letter to the editor, but he’ll just laugh and say I made it up. Hmm, perhaps a book is the answer. I’ll look into that, thanks Petal.
If one was to ask the question; ‘Are all women the same, will my wife rip me off when our relationship ends?’ Ask Greg Norman ($103m), Paul McCartney ($48.7m), Prince Charles ($45.2m), etc. etc. That covers 99 percent. I can only say thank god for the 1 percent and hope that your correspondents have found, or do find, a lady from amongst that small group. Bless you Hillary for trying to protect the uninitiated or naïve from the rapacious amongst the gentler sex. Do please qualify the advice though by saying, that a Thai Bar Girl is really no different from many other ladies, bar girls or not.
David, Western Australia
Dear David from Western Australia,
Oh dearie, dearie me, my Petal. I detect just a touch of bitterness here. Are you still hurting? However, divorce payments are really a vexed question. It can be said that the man earned the money, so why give some of it away? It can also be said that the woman did not get the opportunity to make the money, so deserves some of it. I have to side with the ladies, sorry David.
Do you think the Pattaya woman have got good enuff English to be able to be a good wife for a Brittish penshoner (sic). I want to come over at Chrissmas (sic) and get reddy (sic) for to live there in 2014. I just want a nice quite (sic) woman. Your (sic) the best one I think to talk to. Is this OK?
You are such a lovely chap, I am going to do my best to help you, my Petal, even though you got my name wrong. If you want to find a nice lady in Pattaya to look after you and talk to you in English, you will first off have to learn English yourself. As well as your spelling, you have to learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”, and the plural of “woman” is “women”, and I think you meant “quiet” and not “quite”. After that, then think about coming to live here, but before you book that one-way ticket, go and take a few Thai language lessons. The women here are Thai and speak Thai. They will have a working knowledge of English, but that is all, but if what you need is “Hello sexy man” and “Sit down please” and “One moah?” then come over now. And bring a lot of money, there’s a good chap. I’ll help you look for your bilingual angel (that means she can speak two languages, Petal).
This is it. I am getting very close to popping the question, but where should I go to do it? A fancy restaurant is the usual place I suppose, but I don’t want her to think that after she says “yes” her life will be one long round of fancy restaurants. The budget doesn’t go that far. On the beach, with sand between the toes and a tropical sunset? That might do. What do you think Hillary?
I don’t think the beach is such a good option, Petal. Interruptions every two minutes from battered prawn sellers, ice cream offerings and a windmill on a stick will certainly dampen the romance. Give me a fancy restaurant every day (one that sells French champagne), and I think you should just take her there, saying that you have some special news to tell her, so you are taking her to a special place. She will know that it must really be important for you to unlock your money belt! All the best, but if she says “no” I’ll pop over and help you with the champers.
I wanted a hair cut so I went to my usual barbers the other day, to find it was closed. This was something new to me, so I drove around to see the next one, and it was closed as well. Asking around with my friends, I was told that all barbers close on Wensdays (sic) and it was a Wensday (sic) that I was looking at. Can you tell me why they all want to shut on that day. I had to spend the rest of the afternoon in the pub instead. Is it a goverment (sic) rule or what? Just sign me Hairy Harry.
Dear Hairy Harry,
Aren’t you lucky, it was just the Bar-ber that was closed, and not the Bar-beer! Your friends were correct, the barbers close on Wednesday (write out the correct spelling 100 times, Petal). It is not a government (write this one out 100 times as well) rule, but comes from the fact that we consider it to be bad luck to cut your hair on a Wednesday, so the clever barbers may as well close, rather than spread the bad luck. It is something like the old religious edict of “no meat on Fridays” overseas, which gave the butchers a holiday as well.
Some of your sorry letter writers seem to think all women are the same. All women are not the same. Thai women are not the same as western ones and bar girls are a different species altogether. They should stop feeling sorry for themselves and get out and enjoy the company of the ladies in the bars. That’s what they’re there for. You don’t have to buy the library when you want to read a book.
Gerry from Down-Under
Dear Gerry from Down-Under,
Despite the 50 percent divorce rate in many countries, including Australia, all women are very obviously not the same. I’m not like that for one. I agree that if you want a ‘good time’, the good time girls are there to give it to you. The problems always arise when the smitten male forgets that a good time girl is just that - a good time girl. A girl for the good times in life, not a girl who is good for life times. It should also be understood that a beer bar is not an outside office for an accredited match-making and marriage agency. I have said in this column many times that you don’t go into a hardware shop if you are looking for a piece of cheese.