A school for newbies


Dear Hillary,

I took a friend over to Thailand on a bit of a working holiday over Xmas. Well, I was working and he was playing but he enjoyed himself very much. That was so much that he came back again on his own for the New Year, and used me as the excuse, which I wasn’t happy about. He told me he took up with the same girl from the bar we used to drink at, and she seems a nice enough sort of girl, but the problem is the chap is already married to a really nice woman in the UK. They’ve been married for about 15 years, she’s stuck to him through all the bad times and now things are looking better and they have three kids and a nice home, and now he tells me he wants to give it all away and move to Thailand to be with his “girl friend”. How do I get some sense into him? He’s going to lose everything he’s ever worked for all his life, if his wife doesn’t kill him first.


Dear Neil,

It’s a common problem, my Petal. Read the letter before yours. The English lads come over here for a holiday and everything seems to be free and easy. (Well not quite ‘free’, but very reasonable.) The holiday ‘romance’ is so much fun, the Thai girls are so easy to get along with, no wonder they think that this is so much better than at home with the married relationship going a bit stale and the kids being demanding. What they conveniently forget is that the free and easy bar girls are just doing their job, making tourists believe in fantasies. And it is just that – a fantasy. If it wasn’t a fantasy, why does Hillary get so many ‘broken heart’ letters every week? How do you get some sense into him? It’s difficult, Neil, it really is. Getting someone off Thai bar girls is harder than getting a confirmed 20 year smoker off the ciggies. There are plenty of books for them to study, such as Stephen Leather’s Private Dancer, or even this weekly column, but will they believe it? That’s the problem. They all think “their” girl is different, and some of them are – some have blonde hair! But beneath it all, they are working in the bar to make money. Bigger money than they could make at the Tesco check-out. It’s a financial relationship, not a ‘love’ or even a fun relationship, as your friend will eventually find out. Show him this letter, Petal, you sound like a nice caring guy.