Heart to Heart: Thai boyfriends


Thai boyfriends
Dear Hillary,
I have been told by someone who has been here a long time that all the girls from the bars have Thai boyfriends who live off their earnings. Why would this be? The girls make plenty of money from the foreigners, so why would they support a Thai boyfriend, when they can keep it all themselves. I told him that it doesn’t sound right to me, these girls aren’t that silly, surely.

Dear Wondering,
Wonder no more, my Petal. The ladies of the night generally do have a Thai boyfriend and there are plenty of good reasons for this. The liaisons with foreigners only last as long as the foreigners’ holidays, generally a couple of weeks. Foreigners speak a foreign language, so it is not all that easy for them to communicate. Girls working in the industry don’t have language qualifications from a university, do they? So, with a Thai boyfriend they get a companion who talks their language, and is there 12 months a year, not here today and gone tomorrow. He also works as pimp and protector. The girls are not silly, they live off their wits and take the best options available to them. Yes, they have Thai boyfriends. Your friend was right.

“Family” allowances
Dear Hillary,
What is the score over here? I have been with my Thai GF for around three months, but now she is asking for regular money “to send to Mama.” Now I happen to know that her mother has a good job, so why am I expected to just send her 20,000 baht every month? I sort of get the feeling that I am being played for a sucker here. I already give the GF 20,000 baht every month, so how come it suddenly doubles? Surely if she wants to send her mother money, she should do it with her money, not mine. I’ve asked a couple of the guys at work and they say it’s pretty common, and it is up to me to decide if the girl is worth it. Can you put me (and the guys) straight?

Dear Jerome,
You have a saying in English that goes “fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” and I think you’ve been doing some rushing, without doing the homework first, my Petal. Is the girl’s mother caring for children? Most probably her daughter’s children, your Thai GF? How did you come up with a figure of 20,000 baht a month for the girl? Did she ask for it? Does she work, and if she doesn’t, why not? Jerome, you have known this girl for a whole three months and here you are flashing the cash as if this is a long established, sound relationship, with shared responsibility as far as finances is concerned. And what is this “worth it” nonsense? We’re not talking about a car here. We’re talking about human relationships. Get out of there Jerome, before you make more silly mistakes. You are not ready for a steady relationship. Stick with one night stands.

Last Will and Testament
Dear Hillary,
I am now 66 years old and I get a pension from the UK, not that it’s worth much these days. The problem is I have been told that my Thai children cannot inherit my estate when I die. Their mother and I have been together for ten years, and these are my children, sorry ‘our’ children, but we have never been married as I have a wife and grown up children back in the old country. What is the situation as regards my Thai children? With what my friends are telling me, I am worried that in the event of my dying the children (8, 6 and 4) will be left with nothing. I don’t have much, but the UK family is all grown up and can take care of themselves. Have you any guidance, Hillary? There must have been others in this situation.
Planning Ahead

Dear Planning Ahead,
Congratulations on being one of the few foreigners to think ahead and not pretend to themselves that they are invincible. So don’t cash in the chips at this stage. There are a few things you have to do before you shuffle off. First, have you made a will in Thailand? If you have not, then your family in the UK could have certain rights to your estate, which could out-rank your Thai children’s rights. There’s nothing like a funeral to get family members scratching each other’s eyes out! Especially from one side of the globe to another. The important factor to protect your Thai children is to see an accredited lawyer who will register your will in English and in Thai. If you really are that close to shuffling off then do it today! For that matter, do it today anyway – you might get run over by a bus. Your embassy can advise you too. I congratulate you on protecting the welfare and future of your new family. There are some insurance plans you can take out as well, as long as you are reasonably fit. Talk to your embassy as well, as they can advise on what happens with your pension.