Can I have a 5,000 baht advance?

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Dear Hillary,

Last week I met a service lady in a restaurant/bar and we just clicked. The place was well above the average beer bar sort of place. I bought her a drink and she sat with me for a while, but then said she had to go back to serving at the tables. I said I would be back the next week, as I was going to do a visa run, and she was very happy that I would be coming back to see her. I know you tell all us expats to stay away from the bar ladies, and find a “good” Thai woman, but this is different (I think). When I walked in the week later, she remembered my name and sat with me again but said she wouldn’t be there after the weekend as she was going to have to work somewhere in Bangkok because she wasn’t making enough money down here in Pattaya. The salary she was getting down here was not much, even with tips, so I asked what she would get in Bangkok and it was only 5,000 baht more than she is getting here. I said I could give her 5,000 if she stayed here, so she said she would. I wasn’t sure if I was being a mug or not, but before the end of the month came, she asked me if she could get her 5,000 in advance, as she wanted to send some money to her mother, which I believe is the usual with Thai families. I did give it to her, but two weeks later she was asking for the next one in advance too. What do you think, Hillary? Am I being ripped off, but I hope I am not as I really like this lady.

Gerry

 

Dear Gerry,

Did she tell you about the two children that are being looked after by her mother? And the Thai husband who has run away without giving her anything? Or did she use the sick buffalo and brother with a broken leg from the motorcycle accident? My Petal, you are definitely being ripped off by a smart Thai lady, who knows how to manipulate newbies such as you. Sure, she will be delightful company and will soon have you wrapped around her little finger (if she hasn’t done that already), while you make frequent trips to the nearest ATM (and she will be able to tell you where it is). Forget your 5,000 baht and call it a fee towards your education. And forget her, quickly! And never go to that place again.