Tic…Tic…Tic… I sometimes wonder what path we will travel next. It was originally our 7 year plan to run a small hotel in an area that offered an alternative to the very touristy areas that most travelers go. Tic…Tic…Tic… After two and a half years of struggle converting a run down “boom boom” house to one of the more popular hotels in Nha Trang, Mai and I are coming to the ends of our endurance. Tic.. Tic.. Tc..
Our efforts have made this hotel popular and we have been honored by now countless people who have discovered us and chosen us as their preferred accommodation in Nha Trang. We have gone through a growing experience making new friends, learning more than we could have imagined about business, travel, and life inVietnam. Tic…Tic…Tic… The running of the hotel has led my path in different direction and I would not be a Highland Cruiser or a travel advisor otherwise. There is also the pleasure of seeing the ocean and sunny skies out my front door every time I wake. Tic..Tic..Tic.. We are happy to be the employer of people and pay a decent wage to help people out. But perhaps most of all….. We have attracted many foreigners into this “nicer area” (my opinion) of Nha Trang and the local economy has
benefited from it greatly. Perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on gifts, tailoring, food, and other services in the area. Tic..Tic..Tic.. There is also the personal gratification that we were able to do exactly what everybody we talked to said was impossible. Expats and other foreign business owners could not understand the desire for a visitor to be away from the Disneyland like tourist areas and experience “realVietnam”. Boy were they wrong! During months where many hotels remain empty, we still have room lights glowing at night. It does not even matter that profits if any are not large. The satisfaction of our creations success is enough. Tic..Tic..Tic..
There is an alley behind us with signs posted no selling on the streets, however, people will try to make a living any way they can. (I cannot blame them) Every night at 9 pm a small street bar open up in the alley. The drunken patrons would yell and urinate against the back of my building causing customer
complaints. In the very early morning, a small mobile coffee shop opens and the clack of breaking ice and the yelling nature of people with no common sense sometimes causes customer complaints. We have been fighting with these people for years and usually win having them move behind other hotels than ours, but they slowly drift back. The police are reluctant to do anything because like me, they understand that they are only trying to make money to survive. Well!! so are we!! Tic… Tic… Tic.. While I was guiding a motorcycle tour in the Highlands last week, we were raided yet again by the police (we thought we were protected but this is yet a new gang of bothersome pests) that found
nothing wrong with our operation until it was discovered that our landlord neglected to fill out a certain form when we leased the building 3 years ago. After much arguing and bitterness, we are stuck yet again with paying a non deserved fine. Tic..Tic..Tic.. You would think that with the hard push towards increased tourism, the local authorities might ease up a bit on places that attract foreigners to their area…. But no… They are stuck in a backwards thinking world and can never see beyond the moment and what consequences there might be. Mai and I have not had a day together in
a year. One of us must always be present in the hotel and with me conducting tours that leave Mai with the hotel. Even though we love our staff and family that surround us, we cannot leave them to run things for more than a few hours. Tic..Tic..Tic.. The building is in constant need of maintenance and finding even one person that can do a quality job sometimes seems impossible. The landlord in what seems typical Vietnamese style has ignored or broken every lease agreement we had. Tic..Tic..Tic..
There is a count down clock and it is ticking. We are tired and have had enough. Mai and
I have plans and our retirement will evolve. The highland tours are successful and Mai has some plans of her own to keep busy. I think the trick is to become totally self sufficient with our future endeavors. Having to rely or be beholding to others invites only grief and weariness. Sadly, it will be a shame to see our hard work and our creations fade away, especially now that it turns a profit…. I guess it does not matter in the end how muchVietnambenefits places such as ours that draws in a lot of tourist money. They really do not care Tic…. Tic…. Tic…………………….