I confess that as I sit and write this on Saturday afternoon at 3.15 pm. I am feeling totally shattered.
We had a very late evening last night at the bar, and while we didn’t quite manage to draw the big crowd I was hoping for, it was still a successful evening and those who did come had a really enjoyable time.
I know and understand why many people stayed away.
In Pattaya, whenever bars put on a karaoke evening, you can guarantee that the music is staged more for the Thai working girls than for its farang customers. The karaoke is run by Thais and their usual M.O. is to start off with a few slow western songs and then slowly build up the tempo as the customers arrive and start to order drinks.
So far so good.
But after an hour or so, once most of the girls have had a few drinks inside them, the music switches to Thai, the volume is cranked up to unbelievable levels and the girls all start to sing and dance to the crazy ‘Mor Lam’ Thai country music.
Now there is nothing wrong with a 10-15 minute segment of catchy Thai country music, and in fact I quite enjoy it, but that is very rarely what happens.
Once the ‘Mor Lam’ starts, it rarely stops for hours, in fact not until the gilrls are totally exhausted from dancing and singing.
Then we might have a blissful return to a few quieter western songs, but a s soon as the girls have caught their breath, we are off again in a wild screeching and dancing match with ever louder Thai music.
For those who enjoy such an evening, then it is all well and fine, but for most – who came expecting a typical western-type karaoke, where all the western song ‘standards’ are the order of the day – then it is not an evening they wish to suffer too many times.
Hence the low-ish turn out to Mobi’s karaoke, even though I had tried to publicise the fact that ours would be different; that there would be no Thai music and that customers would not be in danger of burst eardrums from the volume of music.
Maybe if the word gets around, we will have a better turn out next time – if there is a next time….
So we did not have the huge crowd in that I had dared to hope for, (our rented tables and chairs were well and truly surplus to requirements), but as if to balance the low turnout, we had one of our best afternoons and early evenings since we opened, and the customers kept coming.
I have just written in my Thai Vis expat forum that maybe some of the anti-karaoke brigade felt guilty and popped in early to help us out with a few drinks as they did not want to suffer the pains of a typical Thai karaoke night…
In spite of the small-ish crowd, the night went on and on, and once we had finally said goodnight the very last customers, we ‘cashed up’ for the night and discovered a 3,000 Baht (about 100 dollars) shortfall in our cash till.
As I have written before, we have a fully computerised till and every night we check our cash against the computer listed sales and although we sometimes have minor discrepancies, until last night the worst discrepancies were around 10 dollars, and even then it was usually ‘over’ rather than under. Most of the time, the cash agrees to the penny.
So what f.. had happened.?
We spent the next hour poring through all the bills and receipts and checking everything ‘manually’ – independent of the computer, but could not find any explanation on where the missing 100 bucks had gone.
Noo and her aunt are the only ones who have access to the till and nobody else can open it – unless…. They leave the till unattended and do not log off, in which case anyone can walk in and press the ‘total button’ and the till will open.
Guess what? They never log off….
So after exploring all possibilities, the only conclusion I could draw is that someone had sneaked in and removed the money. Noo thought this was most unlikely, and I had to agree with her – it would have been too risky…there’s always too many people around and Noo and her aunt never go far away in case a customer orders a drink or pays his bill.
The only other possibility was that Noo had mixed up the ‘bar cash’ that she keeps in a wallet, with the cash in the till. She admitted this might have happened and the only way to check this was to take the opening’ bar cash’ (till and in wallet) at the start of the month and then add the 15 days sales, deduct the 15 days ‘pay outs’ and see if the resultant sum equalled the current cash in the till and wallet.
It did… more or less…
So we finally crashed into bed at as near to 5 a.m. as makes no difference.
I woke at noon and rushed back down to the bar to re-write all our white board and blackboard signs – removing, ‘Tonight Karaoke’ etc, and inserting, ‘This Weekend, EPL football’ etc inserting full details and times of the games being shown.
So I feel really shattered….
I’ll wrap this up now as I need to get 40 winks before returning to the fray and see how many people our EPL football opening night brings in. I’m praying that the ever darkening clouds do not presage a violent thunderstorm which will crash our satellite reception, just before the big game…
The thunder is rolling and our dogs are cowering…
Read about last Saturday, 9th, (‘Is there a God out there?’) in my ‘Tales from a Barfly’.
I will report back on the current weekend’s activities in next week’s blog.