We did it. After incredible amounts of red tape, 26 documents and a whole lot of patience, Khwantippa and I were married on July 15th. As the ultimate Siam In-between column, let me tell you her and our story. An illustration of how radically different backgrounds can still imply a happy ending, and how stereotypes don’t apply.
Picture by Morty Photography
Khwantippa was born in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima, the gate to the North-Eastern province of Isan. Her father, a famous Muay Thai fighter, passed away at a young age. The family survived because of the hard labor by her mother, leaving the two children being raised by aunts and uncles in their early years. Khwantippa partially grew up in a rural community near Pak Chong. In spite of initial mediocre results at school, her intelligence was identified and developed by one of her teachers.
Eventually Khwantippa and her sister, Supatida, moved back to the family’s hometown of Rangka Yai, a suburb of Phimai, home of the famous Phimai Festival. Living there, Khwantippa discovered her passion for traditional Thai dance. Since age 6, she has been developing her craft and related skills. She has the costumes, does the make-up and teaches the dance routines.
Excellent results at school got her access to Maha Sarakham University where she studied English and obtained her degree. Passing government selections with flying colors, she was appointed as government official and English teacher.
In 2012, fate brought me to Phimai to visit the historical park, traveling from Chiang Mai to Bangkok by bus. While staying at the Phimai Inn, the only hotel I could find online, I met Khwantippa. There was a spark, a click. We kept in touch after that first encounter and have talked virtually every day since.
Every holiday I traveled back to see her and we fell in love. In 2015 we got engaged in the very hotel we initially met. Chommy, a nickname that only I can call her by, has been to Belgium several times and my family and friends adore her. Every year I spend about 3 to 4 months, working from and living in her hometown. Her relatives and friends welcome me as part of the family.
My choice for Khwantippa is out of love. Nothing else. Don’t ask me my opinion about Asian partners, nor Western women. Don’t expect general statements about Thai culture. All I know is that I love Chommy.