A late night

Eating Lunch

I am continually amazed at the statistics I see when analyzing my blog. I am honored to say that I have daily readers from all over the world. I am now approaching 1000 daily readers, and more than 40,000 occasional readers a month. Thank you to all of you. It is your interest that keeps me blogging. It is interesting though, that there are so few commenters. That is OK. I do really enjoy the comments, but they are not necessary. Until recently, the majority of readers were from Canada, followed by Vietnam, USA, Australia, and others. The demographic has changed. Vietnam has overtaken Canada. The US and Canada and Australia are pretty equal, but my big surprise is Austria. It seems that I have a following there….. Huh! Who would of thought.

Some of you probably are aware that the hotel website is now up and running. It is crude, but a start. I racked my brain around problems for a week trying to figure out web issues. I am happy to say that some of them

A nap after lunch

 have been worked out. Those of you who know me understand that I can do amazing things with computers, but I am a total novice in web design.

I am writing this at 1am. Very late for me nowadays, but it cannot be helped. We finally have many people staying in the hotel….. and… a night clerk that has arranged for his friends to come and party here. I will let the little party slide as it is new year however, he is paid to sleep here and look after guests, not look after friends. The guests that checked in were shocked that there were new owners, and the place was renovated. They wanted to have a room like before where 12 people could share the same room. Sorry!! Our policy has changed. Two people to a room and an additional charge for a third. What I did not take into account is that the room would be booked by three women each having three children. OUCH!! Another learning experience. Things seem quiet now, but they were not earlier.. oops… check that!! Doors are banging and people yelling. It is 1:17. I have just gone upstairs for the third time to ask that two rooms be quiet as there are others in the building. I think it is falling on deaf ears. Vietnamese and Western Hotels are very different and it will be a challenge to set things up so they can co-exist. The second floor is rented to a Vietnamese tour. They seem like very nice people and are having fun. The problem is that I have on the third floor, a westerner who wants to sleep.  The Vietnamese seem to be impervious to noise. They live in it and create a lot of it. It is part of the culture shock we experience when we travel here. To the Vietnamese, we are just as different. They have a hard time

Masks worn by most women

 understanding the need for quiet as they have never experienced it. How does a person balance this in a hotel shared by all? I was given advice by Nicolas my friend who runs the Ha Van Hotel, that I should have posters in all the rooms stating that we will reserve the right to evict noisemakers after 11:00 pm. Hmmmm. I have to do something. I would not be surprised if my western guest checks out tomorrow because of the one night the noisemakers are here.

The friendliness and fun loving Vietnamese can sometimes overwhelm us. We are not used to noise. To all the Vietnamese readers…… Please be patient with us when we get angry or frustrated at all the noise. We come from a quiet place and do not have experience to hear loud things all the time. Sometimes we have trouble to hear and it makes us angry. We are not being impolite, it is just hard for us to understand. It is the same if you come to our home. It is so quiet that you will feel very uncomfortable. I sponsored a sister to visit me in Canada, and she had trouble because of the quiet.

Oh… and what did we do today? Today we lunched with a Vietnamese family that lives close to our house. They have a modest home with a chicken coup in the back. They graciously butchered a chicken for our benefit and lunch was on. It was very good. As is usual in many cases, we dined on the floor as table space was limited.

This morning I woke up to almost mirror calm waters. I have been sleeping in the hotel because of a lack or employees. Thankfully they are all back today and life can get back to normal so to speak.

A tip to the traveler. If I have not said so before, I cannot stress enough the importance of bringing good quality ear plugs with you. There are very few places here where you will find quiet. Millions of motorcycles, all tooting horns, buses and trucks with ear shattering honks that would be illegal in many countries are the most noticeable. That is why is seems they are always yelling back home. They have just become accustomed to talking loudly to be heard.

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

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