Heart to Heart: Coach tour to Hell


Coach tour to Hell
Dear Hillary,
I arrived back in Bangkok yesterday after a 6 day break in Vietnam. Sailed through immigration and baggage collect- fantastic. Thought I would see what time the next coach was to Jomtien – 10 minutes, great. Bought ticket got on coach. Another English guy sat by me and we began chatting, Thai guy in front of us stood up and said no talking on bus, we carried on talking, he turned around again and repeated no talking, I used some old English containing the word off. Anyway, the coach departed and we carried on talking like most of the people on the coach. Before the coach had left the airport perimeter the driver pulled over and very aggressively walked down the coach shouting no talking on bus. Was it because of Songkran or has a new law been passed?
Confused expat.

Dear Confused expat,
You’re confused? That makes two of us. If the demand was in English, it was directed at you. If it was in Thai, then it was for everyone else. However, were you speaking very loudly, then the bus driver probably thought you were Chinese or Indian. I think it will remain one of the world’s great mysteries, sorry Petal.

It’s a dog’s life
Dear Hillary,
We have a lot of stray dogs in our soi, and they are getting to be a problem. Never mind soiling everywhere, they are also very aggressive. They haven’t bitten anyone yet to my knowledge, but I am sure it will happen, especially with the next litter to add to the number. There is also the worry about rabies, so much so we can’t take our own dog outside of our garden, so we get dog poo on our lawn as well. If I were to accidentally run over one of these dogs, would I be breaking the law? And would I be liable to pay for vet fees and the like, if I injured one? We have contacted the city administration and they say they will look into it but nothing has happened as far as I know. The dogs are still there. What suggestions do you have for us?

Dear Raymond,
There are 70 million people in Thailand and at three dogs per head, that’s 210 million soi dogs, and you expect one little Hillary can sweep them all up like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Impossible, my Petal. And while your running over a couple of dogs lowers the number to 208,998,000, that’s not doing much for the overall problem, and yes, for many reasons, you would be expected to pay the vet’s consultation fee. The best advice I can give you is to organize the neighbors to get a spaying clinic and slowly you will reduce the numbers. I have been told you can fix male dogs by banging two bricks together. I asked wasn’t it very painful and was told only if you get your thumb caught between the bricks.

How much for a dress shop?
Dear Hillary,
She’s beautiful, has her own little dress shop and wants to move in with me. What can go wrong with this arrangement? It all seems too good to be true. I had known her for two months before we went dating and it just gets better and better, we go for dinner at least three times a week. The shop doesn’t make much profit so I’ve been happy to throw a few thousand baht into the kitty to keep her happy. Now here’s the problem, I am going back to the States next month and she is telling me that she needs a regular amount of money (50K) each month that she can rely on, and then she won’t need to go and work in the bars. I sort of feel I am being pressurized here. Is 50K a reasonable amount? It looks to me like a bit expensive, and we aren’t even living together.

Dear Cliff,
Don’t jump off the cliff when you read my advice. You are being dressed for dinner, just like one of your thanksgiving turkeys. You are being offered nothing for 50K. Have you even seen the shop? Sometimes these “shops” are just a cover-up. Have you stopped to wonder how she can take so much time away from the shop? When she is off gallivanting with you, who looks after the shop? Petal, you are being set up by a scheming woman. My advice? Spend your 50K (per month!) on yourself. Forget about being the Issey Mayake of Pattaya, but be the Usain Bolt instead and hoof it!

Sympathy needed
Dear Hillary,
A couple of weeks ago one of your lost sheep was all of a tizz because all the pot-bellied men were trying to hit on to his Perfect 10 girlfriend. There is an old saying, which goes, “If you love her, let her go. If she comes back nobody wanted her either!” Look at all the anxiety that comes through these pages, and it isn’t necessary. Pebbles on the beach – there’s lots of them.

Dear Garry,
Aren’t you the generous warm hearted one! You don’t seem to understand that some of my readers are no longer youngsters and need sympathy and understanding. You will be old one day too, Petal.