An angry Owee!!… and a few random pics

Egad!! I have been cloned

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

Sweet Sue

 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.

Long Son Pagoda

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.

It is now the next day

 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

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Owee

Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

9 thoughts on “An angry Owee!!… and a few random pics

  1. I feel for you brother but, we both know the drill. When all the westerners finally give up in NT (except for the corporate hotels) Talking about the tourist bars and restaurants…and the locals (who are all smarter than we are) take over that place will become a wasteland of tourism.

    We’re in the process of beginning a little hotel on the beach here however, we’re also prepared to walk if it goes sideways or too much of this starts to happen. One guy that’s backing me knows this. Like you I’m prepared to just keep running our crappy little cafe, sit here and count our money and enjoy life.

    Our backpacker dorm is the ‘test’ vehicle to see how many hands come out…too many…see ya later.

    Hang in there,
    Bob

  2. g,day owee, in country 24/1/12 in NT 30/1/12. god willing. your blogs have been very helpfull and amusing. travelling with aK1W1 on a bucket list and thought we might gain some first hand info from you on the next phase of our travel. if that is ok. A quick y or n reply is fine if your busy. sorry its my bucket list not the bloody kiwi’s
    kind regards moreton

  3. Well done Owee. Corruption is rife throughout most of Asia.
    I am married to an Indonesian and have had Indo police attempt to shake me down on a few occasions.
    I remember once on Christmas Eve about 5 years ago, there were serious threats to bombings of Christian churches in Jakarta, by Muslim extemists. Our hotel was close to a church, and on the way back from a Christmas Eve meal, in a taxi we were pulled over at a police roadblock. I was harrassed by several officer. I was outraged. I mean how many westerners had been ivolved in bombing churches in Indonesia. by the way they patted my wallet each time they “searched” me it was obvious what they were after. I did not relent however, and I got through unscathed. My wife did say she was terrifed for my welfare though, but sometimes you have to make a stand!
    I might add that my wife never paid bribes to police or any other offical, her father would always say that it was unislamic!
    I regret now I am not coming to Nha Trang now on our trip, as I would love to catch up!

  4. Hee Hee…. I guess a poor choice of words,,,, writing on the fly like that…. Power of a CEO?? I think I will take that one back 😉

  5. Take a chill pill Owen….You can’t change the whole system of doing business as it has been done for years, all in one day. Now that they have the message hopfully things will all roll down hill from now on. Maybe they thought they could intimidate the rich foreigner and make a quick buck. You may have to find some Ha Noi connections to help smooth the way.

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