Heart to Heart: I’ll never forget what’s his name!


I’ll never forget what’s his name!
Dear Hillary,
I got shown a letter where a guy had written to one of the local bar girls that he was coming back at Christmas and how he was looking forward to seeing her again. I said to her that he sounded like a nice guy, but she didn’t remember him! “Where he come from?” was the reply. When I said Germany, then she remembered that it was either George or Hans! How can these girls keep living like this? Have they no sense of responsibility?

Dear Amazed,
You should not be amazed, I am amazed that there are still people like you around, who think that there are “rules of association” with girls in bars. Petal, these girls are working there. Their “job” is to look after unattached males in return for financial rewards. Her George or Hans was just another passing face in the crowd, but don’t worry, five minutes after he arrives she will have recognized his wallet and will make his holiday memorable again.

The more you know, the less you will understand
Dear Hillary,
I am sure you’ve heard it all before, but I think I am being ripped off. My girlfriend (Thai) has recently started to ask me for more money than she normally gets for housekeeping and the monthly wage I give her. It was just a few hundred baht here and there to start with, but now she needs thousands at a time. When I ask her why she needs the extra she gets sulky and when I really push her for an answer the best I get is “for family – you farang no understand.” Hillary, is there something here that I should understand, or what? I am getting very tired of the continual cash hand-outs.

Dear ATM Andy,
It sounds like there is lots you don’t understand. “Family” is important to a Thai and is one of the strongest bonds for the individual. Family keeps them together, family gets them over problems of all types, financial and otherwise. It is very similar to the Chinese borrowing system – but there is always pay-back time. Your girlfriend may be returning money borrowed from before – in that time in her life B.A. – before Andy. She may also be helping her brother/mother/father/cousin (delete that which is not applicable) out of a jam. And on the other hand, she may be gambling with it, another very common Thai pastime. You really have to start communicating better with your girlfriend, Petal, if you want to know where the money goes. If she is the money manager for the household, sit down each week and discuss the family budget. If you do this in a non-threatening way, then you will find out where the money goes. If it ends up in sulkiness or accusations, then it is time to review the entire relationship and handle the housekeeping yourself. I also worry about relationships where the “girlfriend/wife” is paid a “wage” each month. For what, Andy? For staying with you, putting up with you, or what. We call that having a “mia chow” (rented wife), and a master and servant relationship will always fail, in my experience. Thai women may look meek and mild, but they’re not. They most certainly are not, and when pushed will bite back. That is something else you have to understand, Andy.

The idiot award for 2018
Dear Hillary,
I’m another of those stupid farangs. There was one girl that I was a regular with in one of the bars in Nana Plaza. I liked her a lot and I thought she liked me too, but I didn’t want her to stay with me. Overnight was fine and I thought we had built up a good relationship. She knew what I wanted, so it went on for a few months. Then about a year ago she asked me for some money as she had some problems with her grandmother, so I gave her 40,000 baht. She promised to repay me within six months. Well it’s now a year and she certainly hasn’t repaid anything, she’s shifted to another bar somewhere and in Bangkok I could spend the next year going from one to another and still not cover them all. I realize that I’ve been stupid, but I just wanted to let everyone else know to not be stupid either. Please do not use my real name, as I am happily married.

Dear Stupid,
I have just called you what you called yourself, so forgive me if it looks insulting. However, you have got yourself into this pickle by being very selfish, Petal. You happily admit “she knew what I wanted”, but you did not find out what she might have wanted, did you? You were happy enough to carry on with a relationship that could have no future, as you are already “happily married”, so what did you expect was going to happen? You wanted casual sex, and you got it. What you did not ascertain was that she wanted money – and she got it! Kiss the 40,000 baht goodbye and be thankful you didn’t have to kiss your marriage goodbye as well.