Heart to Heart: Shovels out and start digging


Shovels out and start digging
Dear Hillary,
I know you have promoted a couple of books for the newbies to read. I think foreigners should also read “Only 13” to get a clear understanding of what these girls’ mindsets may be. I am not saying there are not great girls out there, but this girl is scary and perhaps western men should be warned.

Dear Peter,
Yes I know the book and I have read it. As you say, she is quite ‘scary’, but what you have to remember is not all Thai girls are like her, with psychotic tendencies. Another book I recommend is Stephen Leather’s Private Dancer where the girl is perfectly sane, but out to get whatever she can. This is shown in the chapters devoted to the girl, and the responses from the man. However, do I get the feeling that you’ve had a bad experience recently? There are many more girls out there and not all of them are gold diggers. Where have you been looking, Petal?

A mail box full of tears
Dear Hillary,
Do you mop up the tears in your letter box every morning? How do you keep up with all the tears that must come through every day? Every week another tale of doom and destruction, another house lost, and pig farms as well I read a couple of months ago. Or are you a victim as well? Clothes cut up? Smart phone didn’t warn you? Or even worse, she took the phone with her?

Dear Jimmy,
Mopping up isn’t the hardest – it’s finding enough tissues to cope with the flow. I already save up all the tissues that come with the reporters’ take aways and mop the mail box with them, but they don’t last long. Now as to your second question, yes I am a victim – I got ripped off at the local fresh market by one stall holder who short changed me, but I didn’t know till I was counting my 25 satangs that evening.

Blushing Bride, only 300,000 cash
Dear Hillary,
I need your advice, and please answer fairly quickly. I have got myself in a situation that I don’t know how to deal with, Thai customs being very different to English ones.

What is the situation here as far as dowries is concerned? I have been living with this girl I met in the local bar for a few weeks and I really like the way she looks after me, puts my socks on, scrub my back and the like. I have been up to her home province to meet her folks, and they seem to be OK sort of people, only they don’t speak any English, and I don’t have much Thai, though I will go and take lessons. Her mother looks after her child from a previous marriage. Her father has a small rice farm and some vegetables.

When we got back to Pattaya, my girl is now saying that her parents liked me and now expect us to get married and we must go back to her village for the ceremony, and that I am expected to pay the dowry for her as well as paying for the monks and the marriage ceremony and party. I asked her how much did they expect and she tells me around 300,000 baht will cover everything. Honestly Hillary, that is a lot of money, being a bit close to 8,000 pounds, and I don’t know that I really want to go through this at that sort of money. I understand this may be the custom out here, but I want your opinion on it. I haven’t got anyone else I can ask to get some sensible advice.

Dear Alby,
Dowries are still expected in some regions of Thailand, but 300,000 baht is a bit steep for a blushing bride you met in a bar, who has been married before and already has one child being looked after by her mother. Are there any others hiding round the corner? Any contract of marriage should not be entered into when there are doubts, and you are certainly showing more than a few doubts (not that I blame you). You do not say how long you have been in Thailand, but I get the feeling you are a newcomer. Another factor is that village “marriages” are not accepted as a lawful marriage even in Thailand. A ‘real’ marriage, which is recognized in both Thai law and the UK, is not the one in the village, but is done at the local amphur office. You asked for my opinion, Petal, and here it is – run! Now! You are being taken for a ride.

Another blushing bride
Dear Hillary,
A couple of weeks ago you had an email from a chap wondering if he was being set up by his Thai GF who had the hand out all the time and who didn’t understand his culture. How dumb is that?

Dear Roland,
I think you are being a little harsh on the chap. He is enjoying himself for the two weeks he is here. Help him keep his wits about him, and enjoy the company.