A woman (Lomhuan last name) living in a forest community in the Isaan region of Thailand sits on her porch, surrounded by photo albums and splayed out photographs. She fondly fingers through an album, occasionally showing her guests pictures of her daughter and granddaughter, both of whom are living in Germany.
She explains that her daughter was working in Thailand when she and a German foreigner became mutually interested in each other. They chatted for several weeks, bridging the communication barrier by speaking some English together; in addition to some outside help- she would call her old teacher to help translate. Through these methods, they made plans for her to follow him to Germany aer he had been back for a few months, but as the departure approached they changed their minds and decided that she would move to Germany right away.
The process of moving to Germany went well, but the Thai government made sure to ask her if she knew what she was doing,-if she knew the German man well, and why she wanted to move. Aer this process was completed, she moved to Germany and married him! While in Germany he paid for her to learn German, and they had one daughter together. The couple ended up divorcing, however, though she remained in Germany. Aer a few years she remarried, to a better man, her mother assured us, who let her send money home, which was appreciated. Her mother smiled while showing us more photos of the family, birthdays, walks in the snow, and school pictures.
She casually mentions that she lived in Germany for a while- 25 years ago she separated from her husband, and aer her daughter was settled in Germany, she lived there for a few years. Her daughter actually put an add in the newspaper to get her mother a date. Three men applied, but her daughter chose the teacher, because she thought he’d be kind. Despite her not knowing German, and him not knowing Thai, they went on a date (conversation included trading words for what it means- her saying it in Thai and him in German) and hit it off well. They dated for many months; However, she began to feel like her children at home were not being properly cared for. She considered going back, and she talked about it with her boyfriend.He wanted to finish working for a few years, before retiring in Thailand with her, but she turned him down. Aer she returned to Thailand alone, her sons set her back up with her ex husband and they got back together.
She now lives as a cassava farmer, and her daughter still sends her money as well. She keeps her photos: photos of her pretty daughter in elegant dresses, working as a nurse for elderly people, her adorable granddaughter, and herself. She lingers on a picture of her daughter laughing with her granddaughter, with snow in their hair.