Heart to Heart: Bodyguard wanted


Bodyguard wanted
Dear Hillary,
This is a money problem, but you might not think it important, but I do. I am coming over to Thailand for my holidays, and I don’t have a lot of cash to spend, but how should I bring it over? You can’t get baht over here, travelers checks are a real pain, I don’t want to carry cash and credit cards are too dangerous as I believe there’s lots of scams and I don’t want to lose what little money I’ve got. What is your suggestion?

Dear Mona,
Firstly, there’s no more scams here than in your own country, but you are wise to be careful. I agree that travelers checks are a cumbersome way to carry money around, and they can be stolen and so are not really a safeguard for you. Sure, don’t walk around with wads of cash in your handbag, and putting cash in hotel safes is fine, as long as you are at a top hotel. Little B&B ones are not really secure. The best way is for you to open a debit card account with your bank at home. You only put as much into it as you want to spend on the holiday, so you can’t overspend. Even if the card was somehow copied, the thieves cannot run up a large debt. You withdraw at an ATM and never have to give the card up in a shop, where the numbers can be copied. If this still worries you, then send everything you have to me, and I’ll look after it until you come over. Honest, Petal. I will.

My maid is driving me crazy
Dear Hillary,
I know I am lucky to have a maid, as I could never afford one in Australia. And I know I am joining the band of women who are complaining about their maids. At all the functions I go to, the discussions are all the same, what the maid has done this week! I will admit that I do not speak very much Thai and my maid speaks even less English, but surely if she wants to be a maid for English speaking people, should I not get someone who can communicate? I did not choose the maid as she was supplied by my husband’s company and this is my first experience with domestic staff.

I could go on for hours about the way she refuses to use hot water for the dishes, will wash everything in the same sink, will use the dish cloth to wipe the floor. I am sure you have heard it all before. She also does weird things like leaving clothes out in the lounge room for a day, rather than putting them away. Why? Is this some special Thai ‘sign’ to tell me something? Routine cleaning and dusting seems to be beyond her and I have to tell her to do these simple tasks every time. She also tries to leave before 6 p.m. and always comes in late in the mornings, after 8 a.m. What can I do, Hillary?
At my wits end

Dear At my wits end,
You know the problem, right from the start when you say that you do not speak Thai and your maid does not speak English. No communication! Could your husband get what he wants done if his secretary only speaks Hindi and he speaks Swahili? Speak to your husband, if his company has supplied the poor woman. She probably goes home and talks to her friends, all of whom are complaining about their mistresses. However, how much does your maid get paid, my Petal? If you are only paying a low salary, you cannot expect a household whiz who is also multilingual. If she were that good she would be working as your husband’s secretary, not as your 10 hours a day slave. If it all becomes too much, you can always do the work yourself, as you did back home. Finally, as I have to remind many foreigners, this is Thai-land and the inhabitants speak Thai. How many maids in the English speaking world are multi-lingual?

Old geezers will wait for this one
Dear Hillary,
I have no complaints about my life and lovers in this country. I could never be so lucky where I came from in the UK. These girls over here are just so much fun to be with. I know you’re supposed to pay them if you bring them from the bar, but you don’t have to – well at least I don’t have to, but I’m not one of these old geezers you see round the place. I don’t have to wait to go to heaven because I’m there already.
Satisfied of Salisbury

Dear Satisfied of Salisbury,
I think that should have been Dear Self-Satisfied of Salisbury. You certainly have got tickets on yourself, haven’t you. You think you are just the cat’s whiskers, but you will find out that you are not the cat’s whiskers one day, and you will also find out that your ‘heaven’ can be ‘hell’ on earth! It won’t be today or tomorrow, but one day when you too are an “old geezer”. Just wait and see! If you live long enough.