The girls are smitten by a smooth operator

It's week five of Fionnula and Frankie's Christmas Countdown and the girls find themselves in a golden triangle...


WRITING to you from Chiang Mai. In the past five days, I've developed very strong feelings for Chai, the limousine driver from Frankie's hostel, who actually drives a Hyundai Excel. Oh, he's the most wonderful guy. You should see the way he handles that car in the frenetic Thai traffic. Well, he really does 'excel', pardon the pun.

As you know, last week I was hell-bent on getting back to Australia in time for my date with Jim from the gym, but then Frankie convinced me to do a quick dash up to Chiang Mai with her and Chai in his limo.

It had always been a childhood dream of hers to volunteer at one of the elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai, so who was I to refuse?

Well, we all had the most glorious three days bathing, scrubbing and feeding... looking after the elephants wasn't bad either. Ha ha! And as we drank Singhas into the sultry evenings, Chai would serenade us, not with any instruments, just with his beautiful serenading voice. On one such occasion, a couple of nights ago, it dawned on me - I was falling for Chai.

Talk about the Land of Smiles. Well, you couldn't wipe mine off me. This time it feels very different from my ex Greg (and all the others). It actually feels right.

In fact, last night I felt so happy I decided to follow Lynnie's advice from our second meeting at Cafe Cath-ene and write my ex Greg a goodbye letter. It read:

'Hi Greg, I hope you are going well in Perth. I wanted to let you know that I've moved on and am happy. I bear you no grudge and will post back a couple of your USBs. My lover's name is Chai and he drives a limousine.

Oh PS, I've joined Silhouettes Gym, would you believe?! I know, it's over northside and everything. You couldn't imagine how much I've changed Greg.

I cross the bridge twice a week now to work out at the gym, and the girls from the salon have also cut my hair. They practically pinned me down and did one of those Gwyneth Paltrow Sliding Doors makeovers.

Remember when we watched that and I got mad at you for spilling wine on the couch? I got rid of that couch after you left. I've also replaced those red drapey curtains you hung in the salon.

Remember we worried how they might date quickly? Well they did. Speaking of dating quickly though, you seem happy. I saw a couple of pictures of you and a blonde on Facebook. I'm happy too. Goodbye Greg.'

Gee, I felt better after writing that. Lynnie was right, it's good to get things out of your head. The only thing is that I didn't do what Lynnie suggested, and tear the letter up.

Instead, I posted it to Greg. I thought it best he see how much I've moved on. So, it's onward and upward for me, speaking of which, Frankie and I explained our Christmas Countdown to Chai, and he issued us both our challenges this week, or rather, he whispered them to us. (I am to embrace my inner wild child, and follow him to the full moon beach party on Koh Samui tomorrow night.)


HAVE developed a mega-crush on Chai the limousine/Hyundai Excel driver. Quite a problem as I can tell Fionnula is head over heels for the suave soprano. What a voice. When that man sings apparently even the elephants swoon and sway, so what chance does a woman stand?

None. Look, don't think I've forgotten my mum, Lynnie. I've phoned home and explained that I've been working/volunteering at the elephant sanctuary, and so have essentially been meeting her last challenge for me.

I told her not to fret, that Fionnula and I are fine, and that we'd check in again shortly. She seemed quite resigned to the situation, and even asked me to keep a lookout for trinkets for the Christmas tree.

So, what to do about the tricky Chai triangle? Suddenly, it feels like we're on The Bachelor, both competing for the affections of a Thai demi-god.

It's a very strange predicament for me to be in. Fionnula and I have been friends since Grade 1, and we've certainly had our arguments, but none as potentially divisive as a tiff over our charming luxury car driver.

I sincerely hope this will resolve itself one way or the other by next week, and to be perfectly honest, I'm quietly confident I know who'll be receiving Chai's rose. (He's challenged me to marry him.)

This column is brought to you by the travel experts at Flight Centre. Follow Fionnula to Chiang Mai in Thailand for four nights’ accommodation at the 3.5-star The Imperial Mae Ping Hotel in a superior room from $209pp. Call 133 133 or visit for more details.
This column is brought to you by the travel experts at Flight Centre. Follow Fionnula to Chiang Mai in Thailand for four nights’ accommodation at the 3.5-star The Imperial Mae Ping Hotel in a superior room from $209pp. Call 133 133 or visit for more details.


THESE women are too good to be true. They're both in love with me. The best thing I ever did was buy that mini-mini mp3 player from the night markets.

As if I could ever sing like Phakin Golden from Thailand's Got Talent. But gee, he's doing the trick. These women are buying the lip-synching routine quicker than you can say, smitten elephants, which is the effect Phakin appears to have on all creatures great and small.

I've no doubt Fionnula will follow me to the full moon beach party tomorrow night in Koh Samui, after which I'll elope with Frankie Down Under, and finally be able to drive around in my limousine...on my terms.

Sawasdee Australia!

Anna Daniels
Anna Daniels


NEXT WEEK: Will lovestruck Fionnula and Frankie see through Chai's charms? And guess who unexpectedly turns up on Fionnula's doorstep? Find out next week. And for more humour from Anna Daniels head to


BELOW: Anna Daniels speech to students at a recent awards night


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