The 40 years old Alex from Denmark is living on the beach of Pattaya, along with many other expats who somehow ended up being homeless, the Bangkok Post reports.
Alex is 40 years old and from Denmark. He lives on the streets of Pattaya, and he feels lucky whenever he does not have to sleep at the beach, because his friends give him money to rent a small room for the night.
Whether his name really is Alex or not, ScandAsia can not tell, but the story of the Danish guy who is living his life in the streets of Pattaya is told in the Bangkok Post’s Spectrum section on August 25.
Alex shares destiny with several other Westerners who somehow ended up being homeless. Each of them they have their individual story, but in the big picture it is too often the same story told over and over again.
The Westerners come to Thailand with great jobs and money in their pockets. But then they fall in love with a bargirl who ends up stealing their money or cheating them in another way, with the result that they are left far from their home countries and families without money and possessions. In addition to that many of the men have or develop alcohol problems. Some 40 percent also suffer from some form of mental illness, estimates Natee Saravari who is the secretary-general of The Issarachon Foundation, a charity which helps homeless people in Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Phuket province.
He estimates that around 200 Westerners are living on the streets in Thailand and a quarter of that share in Pattaya.
The Tourist Police in Pattaya confirms that the homeless and “out of control” foreigners also called farang bah are a real problem because it damages Thailand’s tourist image.
“Most cases we can’t really do anything about because they haven’t broken any law,” The head of the Tourist Police in Pattaya Pol Lt Col Aroon Promphan said in the article.
Alex’ story is no exception. Before he ended where he is today, he worked in Bangkok at a language institution and software company. But after his Thai girlfriend stole his personal possessions and company property, he lost his job. Later he went to Pattaya with his friend, who after a while went back home. Alex also decided to do that and his mother sent him money for the air fare.
“At that time, I did not realize that I had to pay a high fine for overstaying. I did not have enough money. I came back to Pattaya,” he told Bangkok Post.
Every day he is living in fear of getting caught by the police and detained for years because he is not able to pay the overstay fine of 500 baht per day. Now he is just waiting to receive enough money from back home to pay the overstay fine so he can leave the country.
Without the option to return to their home countries the farang bah can very well end up as a victim for a crime, Lt Col Aroon said. And that will affect the image of Thailand, because it might get future tourists to look at Thailand as a dangerous place to go, he added.
Alex’ daily routines are marked by the fact that he is homeless. Every morning he meets another homeless guy, the African-American Sylvester, and together they move to shopping malls where they have the chance to use the toilets because their hygiene standard is high enough to not getting recognized as homeless men.
Read the full article by following this link.