Well….. maybe a little update about what has been going on with the hotel. For those of you who are new readers, Mai and I took over a small hotel located on a beach front in NhaTrang. www.thetidehotel.com The transition from a seedy into a nice clean hotel has not been without glitches. As I mentioned in earlier posts, the hotel business here often also acts as a place for people to spend an hour or two. Some just romantic couples, and some are less romantic and more like pro’s or predators. I have been doing my best to strike a good balance, so my guests can have a good sleep without the yelling and noise that comes with the sex trade. Last night one slipped through. At 10:30 I was walking down from the top floor, and passed on the way up, a very sexy lady. OH OH!! This is partly why I have to be here. My staff is still too easily convinced to do things the “Vietnamese way”. I have stressed the point that sleep for our guests is important and that we have a curfew for late night visitors…. We will see if that sticks. Another thing that is slowly boiling in my mind is a simple rule of business that should be a no brainer. Always have enough cash on hand!! It seems like almost every evening, I will have a customer give me some money to settle a tab and I will have no change!! During the day I may have had 100000 dong in small bills, but for some unknown reason, it is nothing to my people to give away all of the change and than not even consider that it has to be replaced. I have spoken to them often about this and stressed the point that is the change was gone, somebody has to take a big bill or two, and go to get change. So far, they cannot seem to grasp this concept….. Definitely something I have to get clear… It is starting to make me angry, and since I have come to Vietnam, angry is a very ugly thing with me.
While we are on the topic, let me tell you about some other things that the Vietnamese cannot understand. Please do not think that I am demeaning them in any way… it is just they think so differently from us. In my area, I am slowly convincing a person that having a cold drink available is a good thing to have in a restaurant. Huh? they think.. Why have cold drinks when you can just add a big chunk of ice to it? Nooooo….. I do not want a watered down beer or Soda….. Just give me a cold drink! Nope, it does not happen, however, as soon as they understand what you want, they will shove your favorite beverage in a bucket of ice. When you order a second, they will serve you a vey cold bottle with very warm contents…. A pet peeve of mine. Another alien concept to me is that anything more than a kilometer of so is too far. Perhaps it is the heat of the day or something, but that is life here…. Sorry I have to cut this post short. We are dealing with yet another power outage, and my generator is running out of gas.