Pattaya Beach may be open, but if no one goes, who’s going to buy Amnuay Butsopha’s grilled squid?
That’s the question the 60-year-old street vendor and other hawkers were asking following Pattaya’s business shutdown and the border lockdown imposed on Chonburi to control the spread of Covid-19.
Only a scattered few people were out Jan. 7, so few that more than a few beach umbrella dealers decided not to open. But those who did open couldn’t serve alcohol.
Amnuay came to Pattaya from Surin 14 years ago and used to make a tidy living, as much as 1,000-baht a day, selling grilled squid after beaches reopened following last year’s shutdown.
Now, however, even domestic tourists can’t come to Pattaya and his income has tumbled to as little as 100 baht a day.
Amnuay pledged he will keep fighting, but he wants the government to make it easy for independent merchants not on social security to receive state compensation.