Sweet life turns to garbage for Pattaya hawker

Uncle Paisan rummages through dirty and stinking garbage bins looking for recyclables to sell.

He used to pedal through town selling sweets. Now he picks up garbage to survive.

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Paisan Prasertpan, 69, didn’t work with tourists before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but the lockdown and the subsequent economic slowdown has hit the Ban Najomtien Community resident hard.

Laden with his pickings for the day Paisan heads home to sort out hiscache.

People have cut back, he said, and that means fewer Thais customers for his snacks and desserts. Revenue fell so much he has switched gears, using his bicycle cart now to collect garbage and sort out recyclables for money.

Paisan said the savaging earns him 3,000-4,000 baht a month. It’s a dirty living, but he said he will keep it up until the economy recovers.

Uncle Paisan risks life and limb as he rides his fully laden bike on Sukhumvit highway.