A homeless former Pattaya taxi motorbike driver has turned himself into a street musician, complete with his pet monkey, trying to survive the Covid-19 crisis in Pattaya City.
The Pattaya News visited Mr. Suradet Buajan, 51, who was playing the guitar with a little female monkey on his shoulder in Soi Buakhao, South Pattaya, yesterday evening. (January 22nd, 2021)
He told The Pattaya News, “I used to be a taxi motorbike driver before Covid-19 hit and decimated the tourism industry. I was unable to get regular customers, even Thai, as many Thai people left Pattaya but I had nowhere else to go. Pattaya is my home. More and more people left town and more and more business closed. Most local residents had their own transportation and it was a struggle to make even a hundred baht a day.”
Suradet continued to say that following a lack of customers and Covid-19 related closure measures and restrictions over the past year his motorbike, which he leased, was repossessed causing him to lose his job as a taxi driver.
” After I lost my bike, my life became more difficult as I had no job and no money to pay for my rental room. I tried to work some odd jobs here and there but could not raise enough funds and was evicted a while back. With the recent second round of Covid-19, there are no jobs in Pattaya. I am now living in abandoned buildings around Pattaya. There are many homeless people in Pattaya now and many abandoned buildings and the situation seems to be getting worse.” Suradet said.
“As for my pet monkey, she was given to me by a friend a while back and along with my guitar is all I have left basically. Her name is ‘Maruay’ and she is seven years old. She is faithful to me and keeps me hopeful for the future.’ Even during these difficult times, she has always stuck by my side and I would take care of her before myself.” Suradet continued.
“For now, I use my musical talent to sing songs in the LK Metro, Soi Buakhao, and Tree Town area every night around sunset when it is not too hot. I don’t know many songs and I don’t think I’m the most talented singer but I manage to get by. Although there are not many people around I manage to make enough tips to feed myself and Maruay every day. Life is hard, but I am hopeful that this year will see the Covid-19 problem subside and things improve for myself, Maruay and Pattaya.” Suradet continued.
Suradet said he didn’t want pity or large handouts but appreciated whatever compassion people had and he is available to meet in person nightly around the Treetown area. A video of him performing can be found on our TikTok and Facebook channels.
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