Heart to Heart: Rellies from Hell

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2002

Rellies from Hell
Dear Hillary,
Like many British expat pensioners I am living off the small pension I get from the old country. This is enough for me and my lady as we don’t have expensive tastes and eat at the local markets and such, and it has been good for the last year. But now her two grownup kids have come to stay with us from their village. It was going to be for a week, and then it was two and then it was a month. It’s been three months now and they just sit around and drink Thai whisky, don’t work and live off me. At first I didn’t mind, but it’s costing me more than my pension and I don’t like dipping into the bank account that’s supposed to be for emergencies. I feel I have to do something. She tells me it is the Thai way. You know these things, what should I do?
Ernie



Dear Ernie,
You certainly have to do something my Petal – you have to show them the door! And ask them to close it on the way out! You are just being used. Forget all this nonsense about Thai ways and the family, the way the system works is that as soon as they are old enough the kids support the old folks, not the other way round. Put your foot down and tell them they either have to contribute and keep you in Thai whisky, or return to their village.


Unchained melody
Dear Hillary,
When you read my letter (email) please don’t just discount it as being another of “those” letters from bilked foreigners, but please read it through as this one is genuine. Despite not wishing to have anything to do with women from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ (my idea of a joke), six months ago I found that I was getting very fond of a young lady who worked in a bar here. I come over three times a year for a week and in between times we began to keep in touch via email, and I thought I was beginning to understand something about the Thai culture. It got that she would wait for me at the airport and see me off afterwards, and in all ways looked after me very nicely (and not like the women back in the US). Never once did she ask me for money, and I began to think that all those letters I read before in your column showed just what mugs they really were. This time it was different. I had found a gem. Last time I came over I had given her a gold chain but this time she wasn’t wearing it, so I asked why and she told me she had to pawn it to help pay the mortgage for her father’s land. Then she said she didn’t have a job anymore and couldn’t go back to the bar she worked in before because it was closed and even if she could, she would lose face because she didn’t have the chain. She asked me to buy her another one. I blew my top, I’m afraid and I know it’s a no-no in Thailand and walked out leaving her in tears. Now I don’t know if I’ve done the right thing. I am really feeling bad about all this. What do you think, Hillary?
Wilbur



Dear Wilbur,
Dear me! Why can’t I meet people like you? You have been here for a grand total of two weeks and you start throwing gold chains about like you are fishing for tuna – except you are the fish on the end of the chain, coming in hook, line and sinker! Let me assure you that you have done the right thing – there’s a lot of land out there, and it’s all under finance! Every last rai of it. Don’t finance any of it yourself.




How to make millions overnight
Dear Hillary,
Right now I just made $25 million, and all it will cost me is a fax. Three separate emails in one day from people all over the world who have ‘over-invoiced’ accounts and have the surplus ready to be disbursed, or have been left money after their father was unfortunately murdered, or finally they were given money to use for a secret arms shipment and they ran off with the cash. Grand total today of $92 million and they will give me 25%. The senders of the good news were an accountant, a senior minister and an African princess. Hillary, do people actually fall for this? Surely if enough people bring this to everybody’s attention we can stop the nonsense? Or do you believe these emails too?
Multi-millionaire



Dear Multi-millionaire,
The emails are real, it’s just the subject matter that is phony, Petal. Unfortunately there are still people who get suckered in by the thought of all that lovely money. It’s a very basic human emotion called Greed, my Petal. The more zeros you put after the number, the greater the greed and the bigger the sucker. Hillary doesn’t know what to do about the unwanted emails, my in-box is stuffed with unforgettable offers, millions of dollars and do I want to see women doing contortionist activities with free access for three days? Like you, I have managed to miss all these wonderful opportunities.