My blogging is not only about tourism, but also day to day life in Vietnam. I have mentioned in past writing how Vietnam and Nha Trang in particular has been changing and so it is time that I keep up with the times. The Riptide Homestay was completed less than 2 years ago and we have been enjoying serving customers from all over however, now the Riptide Homestay is renovating. Visitors (my customer base) have slowed to a trickle, some of them even avoiding Nha Trang due to comments on the internet. (sad for them as this is still the best place in VN I think) Most visitors here at the moment are with large tour companies that have contracts with hotels. I have decided to adapt and am making the Riptide homestay even more specialized. Instead of having 11 rooms for daily rental, we are creating comfortable apartments for both short and long
stay. This should appeal both to expats who wish to live away from the tourist area, and visitors that want luxury in real Vietnam. Anyway……. I am droning on. This is a day to day account of the business of hiring contractors in Vietnam. Mr Minh was referred to me by a family member. My niece and nephew moved out and it was time to fix all the construction mistakes from 2 years ago. Some of you might remember the ranting and raving I did with that experience. I had to lower all light switched and receptacles, hammer out the floor and totally rebuild the bathroom, and re plumb the entire room. Minh amazed me by doing it correct all in one day. The following is what transpired on day 1 and 2. Day1&2…. I showed Mr. Minh what I
wanted done. Fist was to turn an interior staircase from the living room on the ground floor into an exterior staircase with an outside entrance. Secondly, on the second floor I needed one wall built with an entrance door, one wall destroyed and another wall built turning that room turned into a bathroom for one suite, and a kitchen for the other. On the third floor, I simply need plumbing into an empty room and a kitchen area with counters built. He understood the job understanding my wild gesticulating and noise mimicking. He went home to work it all out and I went for a weekend getaway with my friends at V’Explore Travel. It all started with a bit of a lack of communication as usual. Trying to get people to answer simple yes or no and other basic questions can be so difficult here. I asked, “Approximately what would the job I want cost and when could you start?” After what seemed like hours I got the answer of about 50 million for
the job (2500 us) and he would be back next day….. OK!! Party on! Mr. Minh arrived with 4 others and out came the hammers. The morning saw the exterior wall broken open and the stairs leading into the living room cut away. Rather than just destroying the old steps, they were carefully chiseled off and set aside.
At the same time a frame was built out of metal that will be the frame for the new wall. What I found interesting was that they recycled everything we needed. The rebar from the stairs was used to make a new door frame that they simply manufactured by cement in my garage. Pieces of left over metal from the house construction were used in the new frame. It seems the only garbage
so far is broken bricks. Cool….. They saved me material costs. As is typical in Vietnam, there was no work between 11:30 and 1:30 and throughout the day we provided them with snacks, and iced tea. Today went smoothly…….. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.