Heart to Heart – October 04, 2019 – October 17, 2019


Malapropism on two wheels

(Found this older letter, but worth a re-run)

Dear Hillary,

Its Evil here, not much happening on the motorcycle front, just the occasional sounding the horn and giving the two finger salute. Not sure if Thai Motorists or Motorcyclists understand what it all actually means but it gets rid if my anger. I am up to G in the dictionary Hillary and found the word Generic recently. It fits the Thai motorist and motorcyclist perfectly. Why you ask? Well they cannot turn their heads left or right as you can see when they come out of a side street into a major road. It has to be a generic problem don’t you think Hillary? Also a problem exists with their legs, if the 7/11 is more than twenty meters away the thought of walking, well it would be out of the question. So there we have a problem that the worlds medical profession could look into Hillary and I know you are the lady who would know who to speak too regarding it. Don’t get me wrong Hillary, that book I wrote about my life is thirty per cent of good things that have happened to me in Thailand, all from Thai people. I could not wish to find any better anywhere and that’s for sure. But Foreigners beware when asking directions. I was visiting the big smoke to renew my Australian passport Hilary, on heading from a BTS station to the Consulate I thought I will ask a Thai council worker (road sweeper) to confirm I was going in the right direction. Oh No I was told, well five kilometers later I did arrive at the Australian Consulate, which was in fact about 300 meters from where I spoke with the council worker. Well sorry for the long winded letter Hillary, please keep us all smiling. Time to look for a Halloween outfit, although if you saw me I know what you would say….Bye for now,


Dear Evil,

You remind me of the Irish road sweeper who when asked which was the road to Dublin, said that if he was going to Dublin, he wouldn’t be leaving from there! Now, my little Petal, you will have to be more careful when reading your dictionary. “Generic”? I don’t think so. A couple of lines further down you will see “genetic” which refers to a condition inherited from the elders in the family, passed on through the genes, which is what you meant. Correct? Please note the distinction between genes and jeans. Both can have a part to play in the reproduction cycle, so be careful, especially when giving two finger salutes. I also have it on good authority that Aussies can speak English, but don’t like to! I thought it was only the French.


Place your bets, gentlemen

Dear Hillary,

One of your readers was complaining that every Thai girl was a rip-off. I say do people who squander huge sums at gambling in Las Vegas get angry at the, often female card dealer? These girls are just that, really, really good dealers with free physical therapy thrown in and don’t take near the money.


Dear Don,

Thank you for taking up the cause of the Thai bar girls (they should make you president with what you’ve spent over the years), but you missed the point that he felt all Thai women were rip-offs, and as you know, not all Thai women work in beer bars.


Pla Ra

Dear Hillary,

Do you know that terrible smelling stuff called Pla Ra? My lady brings it back from the Isaan region, and it has a smell like 100 year old sox mixed up with sewage. It is so bad I won’t let her open it in the house. What do they use it for?


Dear James,

You have just discovered one of the delights of the North-East. It certainly isn’t the sweetest smelling stuff in the world, but if you grew up with it, I suppose it smells OK. It is used in cooking, and as a spicy dip. I agree with you – terrible smell, my Petal. Best thing to do is to only allow it in the Thai kitchen at the back of the house. (You do have a Thai kitchen, I hope?) It is a North-East specialty that is not found anywhere else in Thailand. (Or probably in the world!)


In defence of pla ra

Dear Hillary,

I write to soothe the pride of all those Isaan people who’ve read the letter about phra ra, commonly pronounced “palah”. With respect, it is much more than something they eat in Isaan, much, much more. Yes, it’s on the nose (and there are as many different phra ra brews as there are people making it), but as a flavor enhancer it’s great. Whether in any of the thousands of little eateries or a private home, in Isaan you eat the national dish, and that’s som tum, and there’s no such thing as real som tum without phra ra. Those pussies down south who eat pawpaw salad (or tum daeng or tum tua) without it are missing a treat!


Dear Adrian,

You need help, Petal. You need help! If you’re already on treatment, I suggest you double the dose.