Reader Submission (Opinion):
For those of us that are actually here in Pattaya, life has returned to what a few people out there consider to be the “new normal”. Though personally, I feel that anyone who uses that term should be hit in the mouth.
Bars have re-opened for the most part (with exceptions to those that are still waiting it out). Bars aren’t exactly doing terrible at the moment it seems. Though many have turned to practically giving away beer to get folks in the door, they are open and operational and the girls are back with smiles on their faces.
Walking Street doesn’t seem to be any less busy than it was right before the pandemic if I’m being honest. Let’s face it, if you were doing poorly before the pandemic hit, your problems weren’t pandemic problems, though I’m sure it was a problem for some of you.
Pattaya was already in a state of semi-decline right before the pandemic. Throw in the fact that they had to cancel Songkran and it was already a terrible start to the new year for Thailand and Pattaya. If you are one of the ones that are actually going out and enjoying life instead of being stuck in the room worried about what may or may not get you, firstly, pat yourselves on the back. Secondly great job showing support to your favorite clubs, beer bars, not-really-beer-bars, gogo bars, karaokes, oh, you get the point.
Just a week ago you could drive around and find lines that stretched for kilometres of hungry Thais waiting for a free meal (Bless the people who were doing the donating and preparing!). Today, those lines of hungry have been reduced significantly. Much like we did during the pandemic to help, it will also be partially our responsibility to kick-start the economy.
Before anyone goes whining about funds, let’s be honest with one another. Many of us have been sitting there in the room for 3 months while everything was closed and we have been stockpiling our pensions just waiting for everything to spring back to life and the regulations to be lifted.
No matter how much help some businesses get, unfortunately not all will make it through this. We will see those that never open their doors again, others have already announced that they will be closing for good. We lost some. Nobody but the owners know whether that loss was TRULY caused by the pandemic or if it was poor management and business decisions that were the final nail in the coffin for others.
So long as we stay on our current path of no incidents, we should keep seeing more and more businesses take the chance of opening up. I do not envy the businesses in Pattaya at the moment and will continue doing my best to support them with my patronage. It is really a craps shoot to re-open and have all the overhead costs of staff and insurance and the host of other bills that start adding up when there are no tourists.
All of that being said, things could still be a lot worse. I am a glass half-full kind of guy and I wish all nothing but the best. I will see you out there on the grind, you just won’t know it’s me. If you are back on vampire hours, stay there! It seems the worst is over and all you have to do is look at Club Flexx, Duck, 808, Ibar, Pinup or any of the other places that were popular prior to the virus to see it.
When the tourists do come back, at least they will come back to much cleaner beaches and a much more welcoming community that they had before. Tragedies make me appreciate the little things, you know, like waking up each day and food. I can guarantee businesses are appreciating their customers now, even if they aren’t showing it.