The hotel business poses its challenges. Lack of sleep is one of them. I have a nice new night receptionist but he is still far away from being able to communicate effectively. This is a problem. That means that I have to be available all the time to my English speaking guests. That is important in a country that can be so confusing to the initiate. So how did I cope with this? Simple…. Just be late for everything. It seems that as soon as I dawn my helmet to go to meet someone or go somewhere, that is when I am most needed. No problem though, being needed is something I have not felt for a long time, and it feels good. Today it was all about fixing toilets and air conditioners, saying good bye to some very nice people and saying hello to others. That is enough about the hotel now, so let me tell you about another happy event Mai and I experienced.
About a month ago, I received an email from a person who was following my advice about travel in Vietnam. The email as I recall was a bit odd. It said something about our hotel not being a place they wanted to stay because they wanted more luxury, however, they were curious about us and out of the blue invited us to dinner. Wow!! A strange thing. Perhaps I should not be surprised as I have met a good friend the very same way by him discovering my blog. Anyway, the day arrived and Mai and I met a newlywed couple on their honeymoon. Lin and Paul are a very nice couple and Lin glowed with the radiance of being with child. We sat and dined on prawns, razor clams, squid and fish. A feast!! I felt a bit guilty that they paid the bill, but hopefully I will see them again and return the favor. It was a pleasant evening.
Now enough about the hotel and on to Vietnam. I have a bit of a survey going on right now. I have some customers that are reporting back to me on the truths of other tourist destinations in Vietnam. Some of them have come in and they are not pretty. Others are so not all is gloom and doom. Firstly: the power outages here seem to about to be catastrophic. With power being out every second day, business such as Ice manufacturers and others cannot produce stock as it takes a day to fire up its operations. Many others are affected and the economy must be suffering. It has now been announced that NhaTrang, and probably worse in other smaller cities, will be reduced to one day of power, followed by two days of none. How can a modern economy survive? Many businesses rely on power for day to day operations. Mills cannot cut wood, Food stocks will spoil and rot, Stations cannot pump fuel….. and so many other things. I am afraid that this is a giant step backward for Vietnam. I do not know what is at the bottom of it, but I will tell you what I heard. One story is that the water levels are very low and there is not enough power being generated. That is probably true, but the other is that China for some reason has decided to punish Vietnam in some way. Most of the power is being supplied to Cambodia and Laos. Poor Vietnam is suffering.
I am sorry, I have to stop. We just experienced our first power outage last night causing my system to crash. Again today we suffer without power.
I will add pictures later