Heart to Heart – May 22 – June 4, 2020


Dear Hillary,

Please save me from the choppy swirling seas of desire. Either that or throw me a life jacket so I can enjoy the ride. You see, I think I arrived in Thailand 30 years too early. Sure I like the food, the lovely people and the cute way they slip 10 green chillies into my green papaya salad just for a laugh. But I look around and feel inadequate. Where’s my barely legal wife? Where’s my previous marriage experience? Where are my offshore assets, my pension, my triple bypass? Am I a bit immature for all this?

I must confess… After a couple of badly needed light refreshments, I accidentally found myself a really good girlfriend. She is steadily dissolving every reason I have to do a runner (although I still have a few up my sleeve). I’m not completely afraid of commitment, it could be a wonderful thing. But if I give up on the Dream, how will I ever write the chapter of my life titled “The fork of tragedy comes with a spoon of hope”? I could spend my retirement writing books and lecturing farang newbies on the subtle differences between love and sex.

I can still ditch her, go home, work hard, get a big mortgage, a big car, and a bigger bald spot. And in 30 years time, if all goes well, the Dream will be mine. It will won’t it?


Naive Nick


Dear Nick,

Sorry I have taken so long to answer your “crie de coer” but you are showing too high expectations. The ladder of ascendancy comes with broken rungs. Your concept of lecturing farang newbies on the subtle differences between love and sex is a good one, as there are plenty of role models here. I think you are obviously being one of them. Now, I worry about you giving yourself only a 30 year future stacked on top of the 30 years you have had already, now with a really good girlfriend and experience. Experience is priceless my Petal. You have already experienced “back home” as well as “here and now”. You know which is better, you just need to get better sleep so you can make decisions. Bangkok Hospital Pattaya has a sleep clinic (but you can’t take the girlfriend), perhaps they could help you?

Dear Hillary,

With the coronavirus having stopped the world’s tourism and enjoyment of dirty places like Pattaya, perhaps we can make this city a better place, after the virus. I read that they have removed the cobblestones on Walking Street already, which is a good sign. There were quite a few toads hiding under them I am sure, so that’s no loss. From the point of view of a tourist, I was shocked by what I saw here, going on night and day. I put up with the endless beer bars with young women trying to get people to sit down and drink. I can put up with the fact there are gogo bars with women displaying their bodies as some sort of tourist attraction, but I cannot put up with the way old foreign men walked around with barely teenage Thai girls hanging on to their arm. They all have such smug looks on their faces with a ‘Look at me, aren’t I clever’ expression. Don’t they know, or didn’t anybody tell them that they are just being taken for a ride? They’re not clever. It’s disgusting. Pattaya will be a much better place after corona.

Laura from London

Dear Laura from London,

The entertainment industry is the one that is suffering most from the restrictions brought on by coronavirus. The huge numbers of entertainers have suddenly found themselves totally out of funds. I should also remind you that Walking Street is free and we are talking about the very existence of a large and financially important section of the community. You, no doubt get a weekly wage. The entertainers here do not. You are also being a little harsh on the older male holidaymakers. When you say, “They all have such smug looks on their faces with a ‘Look at me, aren’t I clever’ expression” are you referring to the old foreign men, or the barely teenage girls, Petal? Honestly Laura, this can be applied to both of them. They are smiling because they have found themselves in a situation which is good for them. The young girls have found a ‘sponsor’, whilst the old foreign men have found themselves a gorgeous young thing who will take care of their every need. So just what is so wrong with that, Petal? It is a win-win situation, so no need to be shocked. Can the ‘lad from London’ get a deal like that back home in the UK?