Ed’s note: Hillary has been feeling a bit flush this week, no doubt from the holiday cheer, so we’ve reached back into our wayback machine and pulled up an oldie but goodie for you to enjoy.
This is a money problem, but you might not think it important, but I do. I am coming over to Thailand for my holidays, and I don’t have a lot of cash to spend, but how should I bring it over? You can’t get baht over here, travelers checks are a real pain, I don’t want to carry cash and credit cards are too dangerous as I believe there’s lots of scams and I don’t want to lose what little money I’ve got. What is your suggestion?
You are wise to be careful. I agree that travelers checks are a cumbersome way to carry money around, and they can be stolen and so are not really a safeguard for you. Sure, don’t walk around with wads of cash in your handbag, and putting cash in hotel safe is fine, as long as you are at a top hotel. Little three star ones are not really secure. The best way is for you to open a debit card account with your bank at home. You only put as much into it as you want to spend on the holiday, so you can’t overspend. You withdraw at an ATM and never have to give the card up in a shop, where the numbers can be copied. If this still worries you, then send everything you have to me, and I’ll look after it until you come over. Honest, Petal. I will.
GF addicted to sales
This is a serious question. Why are all Thai women addicted to sales? My Thai GF cannot walk past a shop which has a “sale” sign without going in and if it has a two for one deal she’s sold, even though we don’t need it or already have one (from the last sale). I have spoken to mates and they all say the same, so is it something that’s taught in Thai schools or what? Or is it the bowerbird complex that women have in general and Thai women have it in big degrees?
No, Petal, the addiction to sales is not taught in schools because it is already in the genetic make-up of all Thai women, so it is more like an inbuilt bowerbird complex as you say. All it needs to trigger the response is the smell of farang money. Like Pavlov’s dogs that would run when a bell was rung, Thai women run to the shops when shown a full wallet. The two for one deal shows just how she is being frugal and looking after your interests and money (so there is still some left for tomorrow’s sales). You should be thankful. By the way, get her to let me know when the next sale is on.
Logic in buying her a house?
I come over to Thailand at least three times a year for one month at a time and I have now got a steady girlfriend for the last two times. She waits for me and goes up to the village in between times and comes down to meet me at the airport. She is now asking me to buy a house which she says would be for us both when I come over, rather than getting hotel rooms each time. I can sort of see the logic in this, but it looks expensive to me. I’m told that I cannot own the house either, which seems pretty silly, but if that’s the rules, that’s the rules. Have you any experience in these things, Hillary? I don’t want to lose this girlfriend, but my friends all tell me that this is a dangerous situation. Just how dangerous, and in what way?
That’s a good Scottish name, so I can see why you want to keep a tight rein on the expenses. The person you should be referring this question to is a real estate agent, and there are some honest ones in town. It is correct that you cannot own land in your own name as a foreigner, but there are many ways around this issue. However, you can own a condominium (flat) in your own name, and since you are only going to be here three months a year, that would seem the better option to me in many ways. Be real, Jock ma wee Scottish petal, you hardly know this gurrl at all, so it is far too early to be talking about buying hoosses. Would you do this after two months with a bonnie Scottish lassie? Slow down. Enjoy her company when you are here, but keep your sporran tightly locked!