The mother is the grandmother


Dear Hillary,

Are these bar girls as cash-strapped as they make out? Every one of them says they have no money (and often a broken heart as well), and that is why they want money from the customer, so they can send money to their mother who is looking after her child/children. If this is correct, what a disfunctional (sic) society they come from! Children grow up with a grandmother ‘mother’ and when she is old enough is sent to work in the bars so she can have a child and send money to the new offspring’s ‘grandmother’ who is really the girl’s ‘mother’. This is an old furfy that the parents do not know where the daughter is working in Pattaya and don’t ask questions as long as the money is going upstream. In the good old days a representative from the bars would visit the villages and bring the good looking ones back to the bar with her.


Dear Wilson,

Just stop right there, Petal. You are not an expert in Thai families, and what you call “disfunctional” is spelled dysfunctional. Rule number 1, if you can’t spell it, don’t use it. I am glad to see that you mention the “good old days”, because things are different in the perhaps not-so-good days of right now. I don’t think you will find many talent scouts in the villages, with bars closing everywhere. Thais do value family above all else. You are obviously from a culture that does not value “family” in the same way. Rule number 2, if you don’t understand something do not comment on it as if you are the expert. Remembering the definition of expert – ‘ex’ is something that used to be and ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure.