The outpouring of kindness and charity in Pattaya during the coronavirus crisis has amazed both Thais and foreigners alike.
With most of the city out of work due to the business closures enforced to control the spread of Covid-19, generous individuals and charities have begun distributing free meals, household necessities and even cash. Handouts can be found nearly every day somewhere in the city.
Noi Emerson, social welfare chairwoman for the Pattaya Sports Club, said that while a simple meal may not be worth much on its own, it’s one more thing the association can do to help those struggling during the pandemic.
The club is giving away more than 1,000 free meals through Friday.
Motorcycle taxi driver Pha Rabiab said he doesn’t want to have to take handouts, but with little income these days, he has to in order to feed himself and his family. So he drives from handout to handout every day around the city to get food for his children.
What would be best, however, he said, would be for the government to relax the lockdown and let him get back to work.
The long queues of people and many streetside events confused some foreigners in Pattaya. Thomas, a Pattaya expat, said he first thought people were lining up to buy cheap food at street stalls, as many restaurants were closed.
So he got in line himself at Chaimongkol Temple, thinking if so many people were there, the food must be good. He was astounded when he tried to pay and was told the meal was free. He assumed foreigners could not receive handouts.
Thomas said, no, he was told foreigners can get help too, as everyone is affected by Covid-19.