It is 11pm and my wife is being picked up by a provincial police officer to go to a local station to sort things out. I am a little concerned because I like to be there whenever officials are involved to make sure I am watching. Tonight it is her show. Here is how it came all about……..
After the raids by the police and the tax people in the past, we have been doing our best to comply with all the laws and make sure that there is nothing we can be caught for. We had the police show up tonight and try to find something wrong with our running of the business. The only thing they were able to find is that the sign for our room prices was on the floor leaning against the wall instead of hung on a nail, and because of it we were written up!! We have a new police friend that is looking out for us and when he heard about it, he contacted the police station to give them trouble. Mai just left on a motorcycle with that same policeman to meet with the city police and
straighten things out. An 11 pm meeting??? I am sure Mai will be buying the drinks….. This is a small thing but I am now very concerned that we have become involved in the protection business. I will have none of it! If I have to walk away from my dream, I will. So far this has been a pleasure looking after a hotel and enjoying nice people. I have been living the dream. I hope to god that my wife has not fallen into the trap and is feeding corruption. She left with a smile on her face, but I was left with a scowl. At this moment I fear more than I ever have since coming to Vietnam. Are we falling into the do a favor, or feed a few bucks world? I sincerely hope not. I told Mai that if this is the case to make very clear to these officers that we are prepared to just walk away and all of the tourist dollars we are bringing into this area will disappear.
I hope the government is monitoring my blogs…… as a matter of fat, I am sure they are!! Take note!! I know you have been trying to clean thing up. I have had your corruption police stay in my hotel, and they are welcome as are any other nice people. But you need to work a lot harder!! It will take you a long time to stamp out all the petty corruption, but it has to be done. How can you ever provide good and honest services to people and more importantly, tourists if every minor civic official is trying to illegally gain some kind of profit! It has to stop. If you want people like us that are trying to promote and help your country by bringing tourists…. The petty problems have to stop. I promise you that I will do my best to comply with the law and attract tourists to a wonderful part of Vietnam that I wish all could see, but in turn I need you to keep all the nit picking little assholes out of my hair. It is now 11:15…
Damn!! I have not been angry in a very long time. I do not like the sensation. For the past couple of months I have been busy will a full hotel, hassle free, and with great guests that I could become friends with. As of last week, we went from 100% booked to only a few rooms as have everyone else. (Except for the 1 hour hotels) I have decided that I will need another motorcycle. During the busy days, both were rented so I was only left my bicycle to go shopping for supplies needed for the hotel. Normally that would be fine, but when a person needs to go longer distances, or pick up supplies…….
Damnit!!! It is 11:30! Ahhhhh, here she is!! I will have a very serious talk with her tomorrow. If I am in any part feeding corruption, it will stop…. For better or worse! I do not want to be part of the exploitation of these or any other people in any way!
It is the next day and everything seems to have come to an end. As I suspected, Mai ended up picking up the tab for the young policemen that raided us and the higher level police man that we have befriended though everything was being smoothed over Vietnam style. ( a few buck here and there) When I discovered this I was even angrier. The total cost for this affair was only 15 USD, but after it was all over, I indeed surmised that I had been the victim of some profiteering. Mai delivered my message that I would shut down and just retire here and let the hotel go back to what it was before we came. The police were dumbfounded and could not believe that we would take this so seriously.
I talked with Mai and through her delivered the message to out police friend and the others that If this ever happens again, we ill definitely close and just enjoy a simple retirement. In turn, we were provided with the phone numbers of the same people who caused us the trouble with the guarantee that such as thing will never happen again, and if any policeman comes to try to shake us down, we only need to call any of the 3 numbers provided and they will make it all go away.
That is all fine and good…. I have developed connections everywhere here and might even now have the same clout as a high ranking CEO or the likes, but I should not have to rely on them just to stop a petty ASSHOLE! Trying to get few bucks out of me.
Ahhhhhh the adventure continues