Heart to Heart – March 20 – April 2, 2020


Hello Hillary,

As usual you always seem to give good advice to some of our friends who have fallen by the wayside, and they look to you to be their saviour, recently it is George’s turn to give you his problem concerning his up and coming marriage, your reply is, as usual, excellent and to the point, but after having the same problem in the past, I think I may be able to offer some further advice to this forsaken gentleman, if I may be so bold, George, as Hillary has explained to you, a village marriage is not legal, it is, very simply, a trap to relieve you of your cash, forget about dowries for a start, what are you buying?, a cow, or a buffalo, when I was told that a dowry is traditional in Thailand, I said no chance, forget it, I was married to a Thai girl a couple of years ago, I never went to the village, I went to Bangkok and was married legally, I had a good party in Pattaya with all my friends and the full cost to me for everything was, 30,000 baht, after knowing this girl for only one year George, my advice to you is to run while you still have some money in your bank account, it seems to me that this girl will leave you with nothing, although you are not the first and you will certainly not be the last, LEAVE TOWN GEORGE.

Experienced Pensioner

Dear Experienced Pensioner,

Wow! What a sentence! 245 words without a full stop – you leave me breathless! However, thank you for backing up my advice to George, I also felt he was being led up the matrimonial path by the proverbial carrot. “Experience” is always the best teacher (and you sound as if you have several buckets of it).

Dear Hillary,

Hello again, been reading you since I can’t remember. Whether I was here in Pattaya or in the U.S. All day with the rain I contemplated this writing. In the past you have published two of my writings. In my 30 yrs of coming to Thailand, and always Pattaya where I have had the most contact, the advice you offer, most of it I had to learn the hard way, because it was before the time of Pattaya Mail. Of course the farangs that write you are seeking your advice. While you are most knowledgeable, it’s one-sided. It’s always from the Thai female psyche. Sometimes I feel these farang need a slap in the back of head from one who has been there, one of their own. While you always offer a gentle solution to their problems, I feel some just have a hard heads. I know it’s immaterial whether or not they take the advice you offer, it’s up to them. But when it comes to the particularly stupid, I’d like to be of assistance if there is some way I could be of aid in these hard core cases please contact me.

I’m still new at this being retired, and have yet to find a way to occupy my time, sure that will change in the future. Because from what I read in your column it’s always the newbie or nearly newbies who get themselves in emotional / financial trouble. Us old timers are pretty well set, if we don’t know by now there is no helping us, nor are we seeking help. But not to invade on your turf – if I could be of any assistance please contact me.

Take Care,

Les (and Lawan)

Dear Les (and Lawan),

Aren’t you the kindest chap, with an offer of being Hillary’s little helper. It is nice to know there are settled “old timers” as you called yourself, ready, willing and able to step in at a moment’s notice. However, Petal, I think the readers out there are looking for the Thai female psyche, as they don’t understand what their long term partner of two days is thinking. I would also be somewhat embarrassed if you went out on some sort of vigilante exercise, slapping my correspondents around the head as you suggested. I don’t think the editor would like that.

Then there is another problem, and it’s not your salary as Hillary’s assistant, because there isn’t any, it’s where are we going to put you? The editorial desk is not very large, and just fits into my attic with me. If I have a good meal at lunchtime, I can’t get in until after three in the afternoon! In the days when we used to get real paper letters I had to open the envelopes outside as there wasn’t enough room to swing the proverbial cat. Not that I have anything against cats, you must know.

Unfortunately, I can see so many problems, apart from the fact that Lawan might get jealous of your snuggling up to me on one of these rainy afternoons. So many problems and so few ways around it all. I think it is best if we just leave things as they are, but if I find someone needing a bit of head-slapping, I’ll call you.