Heart to Heart: Oh my goodness me!


Oh my goodness me!
Dear Hillary,
Can you recommend any Indian food places in Pattaya? We do not mean the commercial pizza companies, but real Indian food. We read you each week on the web and will be coming for a vacation this fall and we are all Indian addicts. Where do you recommend?

Dear Alice (in Wonderland?),
I am delighted that you are coming over to Pattaya for your holidays, and, yes, I adore Indian food too, especially when taken with French Champagne. The Indians really haven’t got a handle on champagne, do they Petal, but they do have a good handle on some other aspects of life, like selling suits! Miss Terry Diner (you can get her on the Pattaya Mail’s web site too), has given Ali Baba high recommendation. Try it and if you find any others let me know and I’ll join you (with the proviso of copious amounts of bubbly).

Come inside Madame
Dear Hillary,
I have noticed that every time you walk near an up-market restaurant some young person tries to drag you inside. Surely this cannot be good for business as I find it turns me off the place, rather than make me want to eat there. Why do they do this, as surely they would be better off serving at the tables inside the restaurant? Can you tell me why?
Toothsome Terri

Dear Toothsome Terri,
These young people are called “Greeters” in the trade, and their job is just as you said: to entice people inside. Just take it all in your stride Terri and go and eat at the places you want to go to. Check Miss Terry Diner’s Dining Out column each week for different places to go.

You buy me house?
Dear Hillary,
My Thai girlfriend and I want to buy some land upcountry where she comes from near Nong Khai. The price seems reasonable and in a few years I would be happy to retire in that place. The other day she went up country and rang me to say that we could buy some land OK, but it would take two months for the deeds to be transferred into my company’s name. If she were to buy it in her name then the deeds could be transferred in two days. This doesn’t seem right to me, Hillary. Do you think I am being taken for a ride here?

Dear James,
First off, James my Petal, is to decide whether it is “my Thai girlfriend and I” who want this land, or is it your Thai girlfriend? I must say I do not know too many farangs who have successfully retired to Nakhon Nowhere, approximately 20 kilometers this side of the Laos border. Since you want the title deeds in your company name, I take it that you want to retain control over it. Buying it in someone else’s name does not fit in with that does it? Go and talk to a lawyer.

Tent City
Dear Hillary,
I think my wife was born in a tent because she never shuts doors behind her. When we lived in America this was not really a problem, but here in Thailand it is, because we have to run the air conditioners very high to keep the house cool. I have tried to tell her that the air conditioner has to work overtime when she leaves the doors open and that means more electricity is used, so our power bills are so high, but it doesn’t seem to have got through. I cannot spend my life closing doors behind her. What should I do?

Dear Door Closing Des,
Some people do get their knickers right properly knotted, don’t they, Petal. Instead of wasting all that time and effort and worry and emotion and excess money on the electric bill there was one easy answer. Buy some automatic door closers, then she can swish in and out all day and the doors will close behind her. Now wasn’t that easy? Sometimes I worry about you people with the tunnel vision, or perhaps it is the glasses you wear.

A gift horse in the teeth
Dear Hillary,
I spend three months every year here in Pattaya. My young Thai girlfriend and I were getting along so well I decided I would help her out and buy a condominium for her, where she could stay for the rest of the year so that she did not have to live in rented accommodation any more, where I had been staying with her. When I told her I would do this and get the condo she began to ask for money for telephone calls I had made, electricity I had used and even demanded a sum for excess water I might have used in my showers. This to me seemed to show a very grasping nature so I cancelled the purchase and said goodbye. Do you think I was correct, or was I too hasty?

Dear Fergus,
You were not too hasty, my Petal, you were too slow. Gift horse and teeth springs to mind. Now if the condo’s a luxury one on the beach, I will happily look after it for you for the nine months, but please leave enough French champagne in the fridge to last.