There is so much going on in my life now, I am unsure where to start. I had almost forgotten that I was going to update you on the hotel, so much more has happened. So here is what has been going on around the Hotel… The Vietnamese do not let a person go after a death for a while. There is a set amount of days to mourn and it usually ends after a year. If you ever see a Vietnamese person wearing a black badge on their chest, It means they are mourning the death of a family member. That badge will be worn for 1 year until the body is moved to its final resting place… ( I am going from memory that is sometimes suspect, so If I am not 100% accurate… please forgive me on this sensitive matter) After the year, he body is relocated to its final resting place and life goes back to normal. These rules about death have caused a bit of an inconvenience for us. First there was the long delay to get the mess of the suicide cleaned up due to having to wait for a monk to finish the blessings, and then there was some kind of follow up where a monk made a return visit to do some kind of final blessing. Now what we have to deal with and I am not sure I understand it….. Every night, after we are asleep, there are groups of people who sit in front of the hotel gambling… It is some kind of ritual to the dead I do not understand. In the morning when I wake, there is incense and cigarette butts propped up on sticks everywhere. This is something new to me and I will try to understand it. So now the mess is covered and life should get back to normal…… right???? NO!!
The Vietnamese are a very superstitious people and the users of the hotel next door are turning to us. Not a lot of them…. But some. We are a bit more expensive, but have so many more services than the other. The Vietnamese quite often can’t see this as price is always important to them and will end up arguing with my staff to try to get the price lowered. The spill over in customers is from people looking for a room for an hour or so. Sorry!! We do not do this, however, we have been tricked be some who book for the night and just use the room for a
short time…. That is OK with me. They are the legitimate people who want some fun and have the money to do it… The abusers are always trying to get the cheapest price they can. Sorry…. Go someplace else!! It is precisely their type that jumped a couple of weeks ago. It has become a bit of a problem to stop the 1 hour renters, but I will I guess I can oblige the authentic one hour renters after all. Who knows…. Maybe Mai and I will want a room for an hour one day. Now onto other matters.
As I wrote, my night reception could no longer be with us. I had really high hopes that a young woman that had a very high recommendation from a friend would be added to my team. Alas, it was not to be. I think she would have been a great gal to have, but in the end I hired a young man who has just graduated from tourism university. His English is not very good, but hopefully with the westerners that visit us, he will pick it up fast. I feel a little bit sad though…. I know that the person my friend recommended deserves better than she has. She sounds a lot like Khuyen and her former job in Saigon.. I could have helped….but such is the norm in Vietnam. Family and other influences get involved, and unknowingly took away a great opportunity. Vietnamese truly think very differently than us. Often the family interests will come long before a child’s. Even into their 20’s they can be subject to what other family members want (as is what is happening with our ex night man Lich).
Yesterday was his last day and our ne night man Tin is on the job. Good bye Lich, sorry to see you go.