Pattaya retailers, tourists greet coup with fatigue, boredom

Friday, 30 May 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 22 By  Urasin Khantaraphan

Boredom and fatigue - not fear and anxiety - greeted the Thai military’s government coup, with both tourists and business owners saying they wished everyone would just get along.

Struggling to suppress a yawn, Manop Sakhorn, a Jomtien Beach business owner, said business is even slower than a normal low season. The high season ended quickly and the imposition of marital law and then the coup and its curfew will only make things slower, the 54-year-old Samut Prakan native said.

New Zealander Bruce Waller said he has come to Thailand twice a year since 1992, so this is hardly his first coup.  He was one of several tourists interviewed, along with Thai beach vendors, who expressed their hope that the conflict will end soon.New Zealander Bruce Waller said he has come to Thailand twice a year since 1992, so this is hardly his first coup.  He was one of several tourists interviewed, along with Thai beach vendors, who expressed their hope that the conflict will end soon.

New Zealander Bruce Waller, 67, said he has come to Thailand twice a year since 1992, so this is hardly his first coup. A marketing manager for a shopping center back home, Waller said he has little interest in political issues, as long as they don’t affect him personally.

More important to him are the city’s infrastructure issues, such as potholes that make commuting in his wheelchair problematic, he said.

Business owners Ray Diamond and Darrel Bevers said they set up shop here nine years ago after moving from the United Kingdom. They said they think Pattaya is a paradise, but that the political crisis has negatively affected their business and they just want it to stop.

Bevers said business is bad, tourist numbers are falling, the economy is getting worse and, if Thailand doesn’t solve its issues before the opening of the ASEAN Economic Community next year, Pattaya and the country won’t be ready.

Beach chair vendor Niyom Sridaeng agreed with the Britons’ outlook. She said she didn’t want to discuss the political problems, but just said she’s tired of all of it.

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