Phim & Peter (Bangkok)
Mario is seven months old. The little boy crawls around, exploring his world at home in Bangkok. He will grow up bilingual: Phim, his mother, speaks to him in Thai and Peter, his father, speaks German.
It’s Phim’s second marriage. The first broke down because her husband didn’t take as much care of her as she needed. When a friend told her that German men make better husbands in this respect, Phim decided to learn German. She began to take classes at the Goethe-Institut in Bangkok four years ago. She was highly motivated, not least because she liked her teacher so much. He gave the students German names to use in class. For Phim, he chose the name “Melanie” – the name of his ex-girlfriend – prompting speculation among her classmates about what this might mean. Phim was encouraged by this twist of fate and made her personal interest in her teacher increasingly clear. When the course ended, they went on their first date. Two years later, Peter became her husband.
Phim has found the husband she was looking for. Peter looks after her and her family: in keeping with Thai tradition, he has “married” them as well. At home, the couple speak Thai to each other at the moment because Peter wants to improve his knowledge of the language. Phim’s German has suffered as a result. But this is about to change: she wants to take a refresher course. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law are encouraging her.
The couple want Mario to go to school in Germany: Phim thinks Germany has a better education system than Thailand. They’re planning to move to Germany – and have another baby. Perhaps one day, their second child will crawl around and explore the world in the family’s new home in Hamburg.