I slept in a utility room in the hotel as seems to be normal for me now, and woke up early as usual. Outside I could still see the butterfly hatch happening, but to a lesser degree than yesterday. Still a pretty sight. The day was spent on getting tasks done that I was unable to do over the last week or so. The day started with Mai and I meeting with a friend (Ken) and the manager of a hotel (Mr. Tan) in the tourist area. We had a buffet breakfast and for the first time ever in Vietnam, I had a couple of sausages the same as we would get back home. What a surprise!! Sausage over here usually means wieners…… nothing more. I should have asked Mr. Tan what he called them, because I know if I ask for sausage in the future, I will get a fried wiener.
My buddy Ken checked out of his hotel and was going to stay in our house…. When….. he saw the ocean view from our balcony rooms and immediately decided to stay in the hotel instead of the house. His friend also seemed thrilled with the view. I am happy to see this as it is encouraging to me that
people will want to stay, and that in turn is also a testament to the efforts I have put in to this project. Anyways….. about the day…..
There was a little confusion today as the ocean view room that Ken wanted was not empty… What?? Check out time is 11:00. Still trapped in the old ways, my staff thought it was OK for the people to check out at 4 pm instead of 11 am. This rule is not fluid. I need time to have the room cleaned, and I want to know what is available and what is not! At least I had very little in the way of arguments when I charged them for the extra day for the late checkout. They seemed to understand that the late check out made it difficult to book the room, and also, the room was so inexpensive, they had no complaints. It is funny watching the Vietnamese studying the bill. They are suspicious of everything. They question, and examine closely. After heated questions and answers, they laugh and pay. I am pretty sure that they are trying to get some kind of discount or deal, but I have put my foot down and have laid out the rules. Things are falling slowly into place.
So…. On with the day.
We got Ken checked in and after doing the chores I needed to attend to, It happened that Jack, Ken, Brad, and I were all in the lobby at the same time. Small world. Jack and Ken live only miles apart in Washington. On a whim, we decided that we would purchase some of the giant shrimp that are sold by the local fisher folk on the street and have a feast. It cost 500,000 or 25.00 for 2kg of giant shrimp. Not the big prawns that you see in the supermarkets at home, but shrimp the size of lobsters. What a great way to host our guests. Good food, a lot of laughs. This is something a person cannot get in the tourist areas. Even the day before, Jack went for a swim but did not make it. There were a group of men sitting on a mat partying on the sidewalk across the street from me. Jack made it as far as the mat before he was engaged in a roaring round of cheers Vietnamese style. I went over to make sure
everything was Ok, and was also soon involved in the noon time party. I spoke my bad Vietnamese with them and they were thrilled. Sadly, I had work to do and meandered back to the lobby. Again I ramble on…. I have discovered that one of my guests also has a blog running. You can view it at http://www.cometosea.us/ I have not read any of it yet, so I cannot vouch for it’s content, however, he seems like a good fellow, and probably has writing skills much better than my own.
I have just realized that with all this blogging, I have made many references to “my wife”. Mai (“my wife”) is amazing creature and it would take many pages to describe her…….. so maybe I should. Hmmmmmm Should I get a little personal?? Her story is a good one. Sad and happy, full of tragedy and hope. My parents have asked me to write on this topic. Tomorrow I will ask
Mai if it is OK to tell some of her stories………..Stay tuned