For students at Payap University, the old photocopy shop couple are well known. Every day they rock up on a black vintage Vespa, both kitted out in matching cowboy-style outfits; double denim one day, leather chaps the next. Chumpol ‘Uan’ Promchitmart, 62, and Saisunee ‘Tuk’ Khampunya, 56, have, for the last 30 years, been working at the university in their little shop. Some would say they are a match made in heaven, others would say the Wild West.
Citylife popped down to the copyshop to see how they were doing and get a scoop into the story behind these two copyshop cowboys.
It was 5pm and raining, but both Uan and Tuk sat outside their shop, having a chat with a few friends before heading back home for the evening. The couple had met in Chiang Mai just after Uan returned home after 17 years working in the USA. Then a jeans and clothing merchant, Uan began importing all of his favourite western styles eastward.
Both dressed in Levis, Uan and Tuk met at The Blue Pub, an old rock bar with a cowboy theme, naturally. Tuk used to go with her sister and soon the couple started flirting. Sharing common interests they soon hit it off. 30 years later they are still together, unmarried but very much together. “We don’t see the point in marriage,” they told Citylife. “We are happy together as we are, we don’t want to bother our families with a wedding — love is about two people not a ceremony.”
Uan is a Levis collector now and still deals in denim and other American products in his spare time. Each day they dress up in the same classic blue jeans and matching shirts, sometimes even rocking double denim, big belt buckles and bolo ties. Tuk often picks out the outfits and irons them in the morning, so she gets the pick of what matching outfit they will wear that day. It may have started as something fun between the two of them, but now it is what they are famous for around campus.
At home they are just as cute. Despite their ‘cowboy’ looks and vintage styles, they are still as mushy as a newlywed couple. I love you is said each day without fail, and Tuk loves taking care of her man by loading his toothbrush with toothpaste each and every morning. “It’s the little things that keep us close,” they told us.
“Of course we argue and don’t see eye to eye sometimes,” Uan said. “It’s totally normal, but we always make up quickly. Our secret is to trust each other and have space from one another when we can.”
“We aren’t jealous or suspicious, we just trust each other,” said Tuk. “All you need is a little respect and it’s perfect.”
Thank you Art in Paradise for kindly giving us the location for this shoot.