Rochana was working as a hotel manager in her home town of Rojet in north-east Thailand when she met Egon during one of his frequent vacations in the area. It wasn’t quite love at first sight – it was a year before the couple went out on their first date. That was three years ago. The 32-year-old mother of two and the 55-year-old German are now engaged and conducting a long-distance relationship. The age gap doesn’t matter, says Rochana: her new partner is kind and warm-hearted and takes good care of her.
It was Egon who was keen for Rochana to come to live with him in Germany. He’s on his own with his parents and needs a wife to help him look after his sick father, Rochana explains. But the couple would like to come and live in Thailand in a few years’ time. That’s why Rochana’s two daughters, aged 9 and 6, will stay in Thailand with their father. Rochana doesn’t want to uproot the children for such a relatively short time. “They are happy with their father and their grandparents,” she says.
Rochana gave up her job in the hotel in order to attend the German course and rented a small apartment in Bangkok so that she could concentrate all her efforts on learning. Her fiancé supported her financially. As well as the regular classes, she attended extra courses, to be certain of passing the exam at the first attempt. And she managed it. The great success of the language course, says Rochana, is that she now understands most of what her partner says in his mother tongue. But she hasn’t quite got to grips with Germany yet – the weather, the food ... it takes some getting used to. But who knows: perhaps Rochana will come to love Germany just as she’s come to love Egon – not quite at first sight?