There now follows a transcript of an interview with Professor Andrew Hicks, author of the best selling novel, “Thai Girl”, hosted by the feminist chat show hostess, Mylene Déranger, which was broadcast by the Bangkok based radio station, AsiaView, on 1 April 2006.
Mylene: Andrew Hicks, there are those who say that the many liaisons between foreign men and much younger Thai women here are just based on sex. What would you say to that allegation?
Andrew: Well, yes, Mylene, maybe you’re right.
Mylene: But aren’t you ashamed to admit it?
Andrew: Not a bit. If you’ve got it flaunt it, as they say.
Mylene: And what exactly do you mean by that?
Andrew: No, the problem’s this. You see, Thai women think Thai men are philanderers. And, compared to us, they’re rather small where it matters… know what I mean? And we’ve got these wonderful white skins and long noses, so yes, maybe that’s why they go wild about us.
Mylene: No, no! I mean it’s you men who go crazy about them. (Pause.) No, Andrew… I mean… do you like Thai women?
Andrew: Oh yes, I do. Thai men too… I really like the Thai people.
Mylene: No! I mean, do you find them attractive?
Andrew: Oh yes, certainly… almost as attractive as western women.
Mylene: You mean less attractive?
Andrew: Look Mylene, physical attraction isn’t important… it’s what the person’s really like… their kharma. But since you ask, I actually prefer blondes, statuesque women with substantial assets. But there you go… can’t win’em all!
Mylene: But isn’t it your assets the women here are after?
Andrew: I think I’ve told you that already.
Mylene: No, I mean they’re just after your money, aren’t they.
Andrew: Thai women want my money? How outrageous, Mylene! Absolutely not... they’re in it for the romance. We’re more romantic than Thai men, you see. See’em swooning over an old farang, and then you’d know sighs really matter.
Mylene: Size matters?
Andrew: No, Mylene, sighs matter. You feminists!
Mylene: Well, thanks for that, Professor! Maybe we’d better get back to the book. (Pause.) Now “Thai Girl”’s been described in the glossy monthly, ‘Farang Untamed Travel’ as being one of the biggest selling English language novels ever published in Thailand… and I’m told you’re hoping to be nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Is this true?
Andrew: Yes, it’s true.
Mylene: But is this a realistic hope?
Andrew: You have to have faith, Mylene… sheer merit will be recognised.
Mylene: Yes, but…
Andrew: Of course my Nobel claim isn’t just based on “Thai Girl”. There’s also my “Nigerian Law of Hire Purchase”, published by the Ahmadu Bello University Press some years ago. You must have read it.
Mylene: If I have, it’s slipped my mind. (Pause.) So Andrew, what are you writing at the moment?
Andrew: I’m writing a personal memoir about living in Isaan.
Mylene: So where are you writing it?
Andrew: In Isaan.
Mylene: And what’s it about?
Andrew: It’s about my experiences writing a personal memoir while living in Isaan.
Mylene: So how’s it going, this new book?
Andrew: Well, at the moment I feel I’m going round in circles a bit. But then that’s very Buddhist, isn’t it.
Mylene: Is it?
Andrew: And it’s all about living there with my Cat.
Mylene: Your what? (Pause.) Well anyway, Andrew, I must now finish by saying… thank you for coming on AsiaView.
Andrew: I’m sure it’s been a pleasure, Mylene.