“It’s boring to be bored!” How Pattaya expats are responding

Boredom is one of the obvious consequences of the pandemic.

The resumption of non-alcohol, in-dining in Pattaya restaurants has been greeted with relief, but the problem of boredom remains. In a recent survey conducted by Pattaya Mail, two-thirds of farang respondents said that the semi-lockdown in the city had tempted them into undesirable activity – especially at night. A random sample of 60 foreigners, who were asked if they often felt bored, was conducted on Jomtien Beach Road and nearby streets between May 14 and 16.

The negative or rule-breaking activity was mostly excessive alcohol use at home, marijuana smoking, online porn and unhealthy snacking. John H said, “I know the advice is to find a new hobby, but the temptation is to snatch a third beer, open another bag of crisps and binge-watch either Netflix or a porn site.” He added that he really needed a complete detox but just couldn’t be bothered.

It’s against the law to gather in groups or consume alcohol in public.

Other respondents said the worst time was at night when loneliness really set in as the bars remain closed. “Jomtien beach areas are not frequently patrolled in the evening, so you can easily chat to people and even get away with a closet beer in the less well-lit parts,” said one. “It’s a constant battle finding something to do.” He added that mask wearing steamed up his glasses but the darkness meant that rule was more difficult to enforce.

One British woman claimed that this lockdown was worse for her than the more comprehensive one last April. “Zoom was a novelty in those days, but it’s boring now,” she said. “The problem too is that Facebook is like opening the fridge door. When you are bored, you keep on opening it.” Her husband, another retiree, said they intended to take a long drive into the countryside, but the car needed a lot of repairs.

One third of the sample disagreed with all the negativity. Several said their life had not really been affected as some of the golf clubs were still open and the closure of restaurants had been less than a month. “It’s important to stop doomscrolling on the internet or looking for new information over and over again,” said Francis K. “There’s a ton of fake news and conspiracy theories out there, but all they do is to increase your depression. He added that, if he felt down, he took a shower while singing loudly or played virtual chess with the next door neighbor who wasn’t keen on the singing idea.

Other responder suggestions for ending boredom included doing household repairs, getting a dog, cooking something new and using the internet constructively. Examples there included learning some Thai, playing online sports, hunting monsters and even setting up a home studio to make your own album. As Jean-Paul Sartre almost said, “Don’t ever tempt boredom, it’s the leprosy of the soul.”