The day started a bit strange. The air conditioner which I installed in the bedroom quit around 6:30 am. I thought nothing of it because I have it programmed to auto shut down. I did my coffee shop thing and went for a bowl of Pho, came home and jumped in the shower. Brrrrrrrr…. The on demand water heater was not working… Alas.. the power was out for the whole neighborhood. I threw my trusty net book into my bag and headed out for my café to do my internet work for the day. I ordered my coffee fired up the puter, and Egad!! No internet. Power was off here too. I downed my drink and headed off to the tourist area thinking I would have more luck there…. Nothing! I was starting to have flashbacks of what it was like to stay with my loving sister with her dial up. I ended up finding a small pocket in the commercial part of the city that had power. I was able to do a rush job of yesterday’s blog. I was also able to talk with some friends. One of them wanted an update on my retirement plans here. I have been thinking about it. My personal friends and co-workers, know my intentions, however, there are many more people following this blog than I had expected that have no idea. After some consideration, I have decided to share a before and after picture of what is going on.
The final events of the day were both tragic and hilarious….A fellow in rush hour traffic sideswiped another as I was watching. His bike collapsed and he slid for 10 meters or so under his bike face down. When he got up I could see clearly that his cheekbone was crushed. He righted his bike and drove back in the direction he had come, bike wobbling from the damage.
My wife freaked out again,,, The lizard had moved into our clothing. This time, I was able to catch it. I carried it by it’s tail and gave the camera to my wife to take a picture of the great white trapper. Everything was ok until I decided to ham it up and pretend to eat it by holding it over my mouth. Well damn!!! I forgot about lizards being able to lose it’s tail, and this one decided it was time. I have a squirming part of tail in one hand and a lizard scrambling to escape on my face!! I got a hold of it again and it lost the remainder of it’s tail. Now I have 2 squirming tails in my hand and no lizard. I did end up chasing the poor tailless lizard outside, tossed the tails over the fence, and strutted back into the house the conquering hero.
Now the plan..:
I arranged for a leave of absence from work to pursue the legalities of living and retiring here. We have made an agreement with a person to lease and operate a small 11 room hotel. (The green one behind the palm trees in the home page photo) We stayed there a number of years ago and even though it was a simple basic place, we were excited at the prospect at having a fun retirement project. Being hotel owners was a cool thought. The building owner is a wonderful woman and a life long friend of my wife’s, so, a lot of our deals are verbal. So far so good. The owner of the building has a dream of the hotel being more than it is now, and hopes we can make that happen, perhaps she hopes we will purchase it from her and she can retire wealthy……..we will see…. We arrived in NhaTrang and went to the hotel with some basic expectations in mind. What we found was unexpected…. But this is Vietnam… The past: We met in the lobby of the hotel. There are motorcycles parked in the lobby that had caused rub marks all along the walls. There are oil stains on the tile floor where cars have been allowed to park inside the same lobby. The front desk has a broken sign, and the cash drawer/safe had been pried open. The sofa is almost not fit to sit on. I am not discouraged yet. I knew there would be a lot of work to be done to turn it into a hotel acceptable to western standards. I marvel at how lazy the cleaning personnel are there. Everything is filthy. I wonder to myself how it can be in business. We entered the kitchen and were disgusted at the state of things. Cockroaches, rotting cupboards, a decrepit bathroom… not a pretty site. I was getting pretty depressed about the whole thing. The low point came when I was sitting in the lobby using the internet. A customer came down to settle his bill. My Vietnamese is not good but I understood enough of what transpired. He was arguing about how much time he spent in the room, and the receptionist was telling him that he had to pay for even part of the hour to the next hour….. WHAT???? I watched the next few people to leave, and by damn…. This is a short term hotel. A short term hotel in Vietnam is a place where people can take their lovers for an intimate time. It is not always a bad thing. Think of it. Everybody here lives with all of their family members. If a young couple want to consummate their love, there is no where to do it. Short term hotels are the answer for them….. Unfortunately for me, the short time business in my place were not these types. I have a hooker HOTEL!!! I now want to back out of this arrangement and get the hell away from any doings with this place…. Even if I lose the 2 grand.
I am at the limit of the amount of words I want in a page so stay tuned…….. To be continued…