Trouble with the Outlaws

Friday, 28 December 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 52 By  Hillary

Dear Hillary,

I was told many years ago that you shouldn’t let your wife’s family come to stay with you, even just for a few days, as it always ends up for weeks or months.  I thought I was lucky because it never happened to me.  Relatives might stay one or two nights, but that was it.  Recently things have changed a lot now with her brother and her cousin and her mother all staying in the house with us.  They all stay in the one room which I think is a bit unhealthy, and they’ve been here for three months and there’s no sign of them leaving.  They are quiet and do help around the house and garden, but this wasn’t what I really expected.  I asked my wife about it but she just says it’s OK and they’ll be going soon after the brother and cousin have got jobs and mother is just having a holiday.  Well I wish I could have three month holidays.  What’s the next move, Hillary?  Enough’s enough, surely.  I have a close family in the UK, but they wouldn’t come and stay for ever.

Harry the House Husband

Dear Harry the House Husband,

You are now starting to see a little of what Thai society is all about, my Petal.  Family reigns supreme, and it is usual for them all to sleep in the same room.  It’s not unhealthy.  It is Thai.  When you got married, you joined a Thai family, much more than your wife joining your UK family.  After all, you married a Thai lady and chose to live in Thailand.  You would have to expect that Thai culture will be dominant.  You can try voicing your reluctance to have them there, but be prepared for difficulties.  This is your wife’s immediate family.  You can always try to find them jobs - in a far away city.  Lots of luck!

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