The Day She Sold Her Son For A Million

It was a bad marriage from the beginning so when hubby offered to buy their son she sold him and sent the million to Surin. Her family needed it. Things were obviously still tense between them because Pim turned up at our condo with all her gold and we housed that for her. But such is fortune that within days she had met her new hubby. Her former hailed from Germany, her new from Denmark. He was a piece of all right, a computer whizz-kid, forty-four, never placed the ring on the fourth of the left. They hit it off right away, and hey presto tied the strings in Surin at the village home while his uncle photographed everyone and everything, the hens included. The buffalo jerked at his tether and got photographed, too.


Isaan buffalo getting itself photographed (not quite a selfie).

Imagine my surprise, then, when at our next meeting Pim’s new husband, Jimper, started weeping on my shoulder, crying, “She’s sold him! She’s sold him! She’s sold Parvin.” I’m all for men’s liberation and the strong expression of emotion but even I got tired after ten wet minutes and began uncharitably to blame Jimper’s outburst on the five large bottles of chang beer he had put back in under an hour. He continued weeping so to console I said, “What’s the problem? You make your own family.” He cried harder. “You know how to do it. One evening when Pim’s in the mood, you dilly-dally in the old matrimonial, heave the good legs apart, apply the tool, pressure, and hey presto you’ve possibly already got your compensation and can concentrate on your very own little Parvin.”


NOT responsible for Jimper’s weeping!

He sobbed more, then stared at me, making me feel uncomfortable. I’m a hard man and I wanted to get down to brass tacks. I wanted to tell it to him straight – that babies are mere tubes, that you press food in one end, it comes out the other, but the process leads to growth, and ultimately to great writers like me. This is by far and away an unoriginal theory but I endorse it to the hilt. It was elaborated by a guy who won the Stand Short Story Competition in the 1990’s, who was a fellow lector with me at the University of Rome, and who had just had a baby to boot (so knew what he was talking about).

Ah, Roma, Roma, bella Roma! Do not “let Rome in Tiber melt!” because I passed many happy years at your university, “La Sapienza”, doing nothing and getting educated myself. One of the greatest profs put up a notice : “Books are to be studied, not just read.” Words of wisdom, indeed. But I digress, and must return to babies, tubes, food, excreta, growth, and ultimately Jimper.

If you recall I left him wet and weary, staring at me but liberated in a pool of manly tears, under the impression that when he got the Danish flag flying he could impregnate his wife’s budsome womb with little Jimpers. That was my message. DIY with Pim.

The years passed and nothing happened. Yes, the couple saw Parvin twice a year but his father wanted none of the extended Surin family, none of the Isaan, none of Jimper playing the doting sub-dad. It just wasn’t going to happen, and he’d paid a million baht for the right not to let it.



To date, Pim and Jimper lead a childless life in Copenhagen. Jimper’s tragedy’s a small one, his tears dry, his story told.

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