Som Tam and a bar fine

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Dear Hillary,

Can you tell me just what goes on in a Thai girl’s head? I have had this relationship with one of the girls in the local bar. If she wants a night off, I pay for her bar fine, and she comes home with me. We have a great time and I usually take her for som tam or something that she likes on the way. The other night I felt like seeing her, but when I went to the bar and suggested I pay bar for her she said no. I stayed for a while and then another farang came in and off she went with him all lovey-dovey if you please. Are they all like this? I thought I had a pretty good understanding with the girl, but it must have meant nothing to her.

Confused and Disappointed

Dear Confused and Disappointed,

Let me tell you like it is Petal, and you won’t be confused and disappointed in the future. “This relationship” as you see it, is nothing like the “relationship” as she sees it. You are as free as the proverbial bird, come along, pick up, put down and here’s a bowl of noodles for your trouble. And be thankful. She sees one customer who she can get to buy her out when she’s got no better offers. The other farang was probably offering two bowls of noodles. A much better business deal if everything else is equal. Your girl in the bar is a businesswoman, Mr. Confused and disappointed. That’s where you are going wrong. Your relationship does not “mean nothing to her”. It represents an “off” for the evening and a bowl of som tam and some small change. No more, no less. Stop confusing business with pleasure.