A New Years Tale… and a few pics

At the moment it is New Years Eve. Only fifteen minutes until the fireworks start. I am sure it will be spectacular. The fireworks will be launched from the center of the beach over the ocean. I only hope that I will be able to see them from here. I am right on the beach, but there is a small bend that might impede the view. I would love to walk the short distance over to get a good view but I am forced to deal with a reality that exists here. I have mentioned before that the whole country shuts down at New Year. I should have suspected that it would affect me in some way, but live and learn. I am now short staffed…… no let me re-phrase that….. I have no staff!! They have all gone home for the holiday. Mai and I are now sleeping here to keep the place open. Believe me when I say that this will never happen again. I am learning, slowly. Soooo…. Let me tell you about a big mistake I made.

Being newly engaged in the hotel business, I was asked by a family in Saigon if they could rent my entire building for one of the days during the New Year. Happy with the prospect of having a full house, I agreed as long as a deposit was sent. They did send the deposit and everything was cool……. Until…. A person came to us and wanted to book the hotel for two days prior and one week after including the date I was full…. Sorry I tell them. They can have every night except Feb 17. Not good enough and they move on looking for another hotel. This has happened many times now and I could have been at maximum capacity for two weeks, but because I am full for one night….. none of them have stayed. Damn!!!!! Live and learn. I have no doubt that I will have a lot of customers in the days to come, but I am hoping that as the first hotel here offering full services with booze and other things, that I can profit a bit on the extras. My prices are low, but of course the more people consuming… the more profit. I do not care if I make any money for me, but I would be happy if the employees working for me got a bit of a bonus. It is a bit of a dilemma still. I am now sitting on the sidewalk in front of my place watching many younger people leaving the hotel next door. It is New Year, and many are consummating their love on an hourly basis, not the working gals. They are making some money, and alas, I could be too. For now, I will continue to stick to my guns ant try to be an overnight hotel. One problem I am avoiding by not going hourly, is a situation that happened nest door. A woman showed up with a large knife angry as hell that the spouse was cheating and was there to kill somebody.

It is amazing how quickly the human body adapts. A person looks at the weather reports from around the world and think “glad I’m not there” or other things of a similar nature. I was once the same. Well… let me tell you something about that. Firstly….. depending on the elevation, the heat of the day can be quite different than what you feel at home. There is also humidity and air flow factors that are involved. I have found that a persons body quickly adjusts to the local climate and things that some extreme are no longer so. For example: I have my bedroom climate controlled. In Canada, I have the temperature set at 23 c for my comfort. Many people have it set below. Here in NhaTrang I have the temperature set at 27 c. Very comfortable. On occasion I need a sheet or blanket, even at that temperature. Humidity is also a bit of a misunderstanding here. If a person looks at the humidity levels, you may think that it will be a muggy day, but it is not so. Ocean breezes and a sky full of sunshine changes things quickly. I have only been here a few months but I can tell you that regular days of +30 and ocean humidity is pleasant. You will adapt, and quickly. I think going home will be a very cold even for me… even in June. It is starting to get hard to imagine what anything below 24 is like.

It has been pointed out to me that I have been doing too much drinking and partying since I have been here. Perhaps they are right. It is New Year and the party is on, however, there seems to always be some reason that I have to join someone for a drink, or I am a host entertaining. I did spend the last couple of days dry, but it is New Year… and tonight not so. I promise to those concerned that I will dry up in the nest few days….. and get back to my fitness mode.

This is cool!!!! I have written tomorrow’s blog tonight. Maybe I get the day off?….. We will see…. It is New Years eve, the city is rocking, And I have had one too many.

An odd afterthought: I am sitting here at almost 1:00 am and people are headed home from the fireworks display. A large number of them are carrying a long length of sugar cane, untrimmed, just cut from the ground. A question that needs an answer.

It is morning and I have the answer Taking home something sweet is good luck.

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Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

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