Empty Establishments

The bars in my neck of the woods (Soi 4 and Soi 7) are officially back in business. However, with the country still closed due to virus concerns, there are no thirsty tourists around, just the occasional decrepit retiree wanting a couple beers and maybe a few games of pool. Not someone the cash-starved freelancers, most of whom have pawned all their valuables over the past three months, have much use for.

As for the bar employees, in many places they are not yet getting paid, having to instead rely on meager tips from the rare customer. I guess this is better than sitting at home with no money at all coming in, but only barely. One of my barmaid friends hardly comes to work at all, choosing to spend her time looking for a better situation. So far she has not had any luck.

The afternoons are the worst here. I took an extended stroll a few days ago down both of the Sois and saw only a handful of foreigners. At my beloved Beer Garden (which has managed to re-open without my help), I was the only Westerner for most of the two hours I was there. This did make me the center of attention for a half dozen ladies β€” definitely a buyers market β€” but I only chatted with a couple friends and then went home. It was all a little sad, and this was one of the better locales; other places I passed by were the bar equivalent of ghost towns.

Looks like it’s going to be a lonely next few months.


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