When Nui met Frederik she followed him to Denmark and started studying. Now, ten years after, they are married and have a daughter – and have just moved back to Bangkok.
By Rikke Bjerge Johansen
When Sukontha Undjai Jørgensen, or just Nui, was 18 years old she met the Danish guy Frederik, who was working for Jysk Rejsebureau in Bangkok. It was in 1999 and the couple fell in love. So when Frederik had to move back to Denmark one and a half year later, Nui decided to change her life and move with him.
“I was studying here in Bangkok and decided to move back to Denmark with Frederik. I wanted to be with him and I had always wanted to study abroad,” she says.
In December 2000 they moved to Denmark and in the beginning they stayed with Frederik’s parents in a little town outside Odense to save up enough money to get their own place.
“Denmark was as I imagined. Cold and dark. But I was prepared for new happenings in my life, so it didn’t bother me. And the food was great,” she says.
While she was waiting for her study permit she went to language school to learn Danish and also got jobs as a cleaning lady and a newspaper delivery that didn’t require Danish language skills.
“I liked the fact that no one in Denmark looked down on me because I had that kind of jobs. Here in Thailand it’s different and a more hierarchy system,” she explains.
Quickly, she learned Danish and started studying multimedia design at theOdense Teknikum (Faculty of Engineering). The couple got their own place and Nui really enjoyed her new Danish life.
“I made a lot of friends. Odense is really nice and I loved biking around and walking with my dog in the parks,” she says.
She also liked the Danish education system which was totally different to the Thai way.
“The two cultures are so different. In Denmark you learn how to think for yourself, you have to find solutions to problems and be very independent. You have to show that you are motivated and have to interact in classes. In Thailand you have to pay respect to others above you, to your boss, teacher and you have to be very polite. Sometimes it prevents you from showing your competences, emotions and knowledge and you can not approach your ideas without being asked. Not that I say Thai culture it’s bad, just different. For instance it is good in a way to pay respect to the elderly,” Nui says.
In 2001 Nui and Frederik got married, later they bought a big house in Odense, got two dogs, cars, a speedboat and a daughter, Alissa, who is now one and a half year old. They had a great life. However, they decided to move back to Bangkok in March this year, when Frederik got a job offer as a financial advisor. Nui was studying media science at Odense University but went on leave and only has to go back for her final exam.
“We had a perfect life in Denmark but it was a bit predictable. We wanted to try to live in the big city again where there is so much going on. Then we can always move back to Denmark,” she says.
Right now she is busy putting the finishing touches to five studio condominiums that she and Frederik own in Pattaya to rent out. She hopes to get a job within the real estate business – or start developing websites for customers.
“I have a lot of ideas and can’t wait to get a lot of experience also,” she says eagerly.