Mobi-Babble – 21st September, 2014

Mobi’s Bar For Sale!!!

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Mobi-Babble

As today’s Blog headline states, it was with enormous sorrow that on Friday night, I announced my forthcoming retirement as a bar owner.

This momentous decision followed my visit to see my Bangkok medical specialists earlier in the day, and below is the announcement transcript as it appeared in my ‘Bar Thread’ in the Thai Visa, Expat Forum:

 

Mobi’s – A Most Unexpected Announcement

It is almost 16 years to the day when my Harley Street cardiologist  and Endocrinologist together informed me that me that if I didn’t quit my high pressure job in the City’s ‘Square Mile’  for good then I wouldn’t make old bones.

What then followed was 9 months of phasing out my role as a senior executive of a London based international insurer, following which, in June, 2000 at the young age of 54. I went into – what I thought at the time – would be permanent retirement.

Much has happened since those far off days back in Blighty, and in many ways I have succeeded in cheating the Grim Reaper. I’m still here, despite almost drinking myself to death and all but succumbing to numerous near fatal accidents and a succession of medical emergencies.

Yes, I’m still here to tell the story and as if I hadn’t had enough adventures in my life, at the ripe old age of 68, I foolishly embarked on an ambitious plan to be the most successful, sober bar owner in the annals of Pattaya. (As all of you who read my blog and this thread know so well.)

But once again the medical men have warned me that the gentleman with the black hood and scythe is within smelling distance.

Not – if you want to live’, they told me today.

I know the docs are right – I have seen it coming, as my medical condition has slowly deteriorated over the past 5 months, in fact, ever since Lek and I  opened the charming little  bar on the lake, known by one an’all as Mobi’s.

  • My blood pressure is sky high, despite taking enough pills to fill a pair of maracas.
  • My diabetes is out of control, and my blood sugars are reaching dangerously high levels.
  • It seems that the artificial heart valve I had fitted 2 years ago is playing up as I recently had a scary arrhythmia attack which can be fatal if not properly treated.
  • My enlarged prostate is no longer responding to medication and requires further examination by a urologist, as does my glaucoma by an eye specialist.
  • Last but not least, my severe IBS has flared up again and is causing me constant distress. Once again I am suffering from crippling abdominal pains and chronic diarrhoea – this despite daily meds which are supposed to control the problem.

Today Lek and I arose after less than 2 hours sleep and made the 3 hour journey to Siriraj Hospital on the Thonburi-side of Bangkok, where I saw a number of specialists for a thorough check up. It felt like déjà vu – Harley Street, 1999 all over again.

The three specialists told me in turn, unequivocally, that my days are certainly numbered if I don’t’ revert to my previous, sedate and stress-free existence, and stop trying to be a latter day Mac McDonald. They told me that all the stresses of running a bar almost 24/7 is no job for a person with my myriad medical conditions.

After due deliberation and a long talk with Lek, my wife, I have reluctantly conceded that they are correct.

I must say I feel pretty devastated, as the bar is now breaking even, and last month we even made a few bob.

We have done all the hard graft and there is every prospect of our little business going onwards and upwards as we start to move into the ‘high season’ and many of the local expat residents flock back to their Darkside homes in the sun.

 We have slowly built up a solid core of ‘regulars’ who visit us several times a week and I’m quite sure that our special blend of hospitality; our relaxing, nostalgic music; our charming Nong Khai ladies and our low-priced food will continue to attract ever more people to Mobi’s.

But the learned medical gents have told me that I have to face facts and make a stark choice:

Continue to run Mobi’s and see my medical conditions become ever more critical,

Or

Give up the bar, take it easy and try to get my ravaged body back under some semblance of control.

Last night, I watched a BBC drama which featured the final, tortured months of one of Britain’s greatest ever poets – the incomparable Dylan Thomas.

Dylan was a genius; but he was also a drunk, a womaniser and he suffered from a number of chronic medical conditions. The doctors kept warning him that if he didn’t modify his outrageous behaviour he would surely die.

He ignored their advice and died tragically in the middle of a high -pressure poetry reading tour of New York at the ridiculously young age of 39.

I am no genius, and I thank the Lord only the good and the gifted die young.

I have succeeded in keeping my sinful, decaying carcass alive almost 30 years more than Dylan did, and I have no desire to call it a day any time soon. I reckon there could be another ten years left in this journeyman bag of bones if I do what the doctors tell me.

So my good friends, I never dreamt I would be saying this so soon, but I have very regretfully made the very hard decision to sell up.

If I didn’t, I would probably lose my recently wedded sixth wife, even before I lose my life – and that would never do, would it?

If there is anyone out there who might know of anyone who fancies taking over a successfully branded bar in one of the best locations on the Darkside, then please contact me and we can talk business.

The bar was completely upgraded when I took it over and it comes with a very efficient electronic till system (POS ).

I will be happy to discuss any serious offers …but please… serious enquiries only.

I am not disappearing overnight, and hopefully we can arrange a speedy and orderly handover to  new owners who will not only have a successful bar in their hands but if they so desire, they will also be able to retain many of Mobi’s customer base – and the girls – who have helped to make it so successful.

And finally… .

…to all those who predicted a quick end to my career as a bar owner – yes, you were quite right; but not for the reasons you thought… even so, I doff my cap and accept that you were right and I was wrong….

 

So there it is – the die is cast – and I will now be actively seeking to sell on my investment at the earliest opportunity.

It is ironic that on the very day that I made the announcement, I had one of my best Friday night’s trade for weeks, and yesterday – Saturday – was even better. This is not just idle ‘BS’ to talk up the bar to potential buyers; ask anyone who was there, or look at my sales figures. The bar really is on the up and up, and the period of relative doldrums seems to be at an end.

For some oddball reason,  for the past two nights I have been writing posts on Thai Visa forum ‘live’ from my bar, and here is what I said on Friday night:

 

 “You won’t believe this, but we’re having one of our best nights in weeks, and nobody knows yet that I’m selling up! 

The bar has been heaving all night and they just keep coming… from where I know not…

The truth of the matter is that I know many of them – but they don’t all usually come on the same night – and those that I do know, have brought yet more with them to enjoy the delights of Mobi’s…

and as they leave, they say… “we’ll be back, we love your music, we love your girls” …

…and so on

I’m honestly not kidding, ask anyone who is/was here.

And poor Mobi sits in the corner, doing his ‘mine host’ bit, in between rushing to the loo and doubling over with stomach cramps…

Life aint fair, but there you go…

sh..t happens…literally,”

 

Then last night we had an incredibly profitable night, in spite of the fact that we certainly chased away a number of our regulars, as listening to ear-splitting, out of tune karaoke singers is not for the faint heated.

It was the birthday of one of Mobi’s ladies, and she had requested a karaoke party, the live music to be paid for by one of her customers. It would have been churlish of me to refuse, as I know that not only the lady in question, but all of Mobi’s ladies would have a riotous, drunken evening, and I wasn’t wrong…

Here is what I wrote last night, at around midnight..

 

“Posting live from the bar – again….

I almost went home a couple of hours ago as what with the incredibly loud volume, the out of tune singers and Mobi’s girls screeching their heads off it was almost more than flesh and blood and (Mobi) could stand.

We had a few customers come and go, some stayed and seemed to enjoy it, and some covered the ears, had one drink and left. One of our regulars stuck it out for one drink, but only after stuffing tissues in his ears…

Such is the fate of bars that have a karaoke.

Our favourite singing couple came and entertained us with a selection of farang songs,and also rang the bell!! (which provoked yet more painful screeching )  and as ever a big ‘thank you’ to them. They know to whom I refer…

We can’t really complain, all Mobi’s girls have been having a wild, fun evening, and as I write, yet more farangs are braving the noise and coming to watch and listen to the high jinx, so our coffers should at the very least beak even, and who knows, the night is still young…

It really is a crazy, manic life trying to run a bar in Pattaya, you never really know what might happen from one moment to the next.

There’s a well-oiled Welshman with his family sitting at my table and he keeps talking to me and patting my arm as I’m trying to write this. I haven’t the faintest what he’s talking about as the music is too loud. I just smile and he smiles back, so all is well…I hope…

I think I’m going to miss it… but I doubt my poor body will….

I’ll write some more in my blog tomorrow”

 

The end of this particular story is that when we came to cash up the night’s take at around 1.30 a.m., I was astounded to discover that Saturday had exceeded Friday by a whopping 50 percent ! !

Karaokes do pay, after all…

Heady days indeed, but it won’t have any effect on my decision to sell, as I already knew the bar was well on the road to profitability … but at what cost to myself?

Since I saw my new GI specialist back in early January and he put me on a regime of medication designed to alleviate my stomach problems, I have been feeling in pretty good shape –  until I started the bar in April.

Then slowly but surely, the stomach pains and diarrhoea started to return. At first the symptoms were relatively mild, but as time has gone on, I have started to feel worse and worse. There have been days recently when I have been doubled up in pain and running in and out of the loo all evening. It is no way to spend my twilight years.

On top of this, my bouts of depression have returned, something that I thought I had conquered back in 2011.

So I sort of knew the writing was already on the wall, especially when I realised  my other medical conditions were also deteriorating, so  when I went to see the docs in Bangkok last Friday, their pronouncements came as no real surprise.

But in spite of my urgent need to get out from under, I will not be pushed into a ‘fire sale’, as I have spent a lot of time, energy and money in building up a nice little business, and I will hang on for as long as necessary to get a half way decent price.

I will need it, as I now need to find a new income stream to keep me and my little family going on a long term basis. I had thought that the bar would fit that particular bill but alas, it is not to be.

I will take another look at writing ‘content’ for web sites, magazines etc. there seems to be a market for this kind of work, which I can do at home at my own pace and under the minimum of stress. On the whole it doesn’t seem to pay very well, but it seems I have little choice.

One of my blog readers kindly sent me some useful links on this recently, and if there any more of you who can steer me in the right direction I will be extremely grateful.

I assume that most of you think the quality of my writing is up to par, or you wouldn’t be reading my weekly pronouncements…

I must leave it there for today as I have other work to do – preparing some bar accounts spread sheets that I can present to all the potential new owners, who will soon be knocking my door down in their desperation to take over Mobi’s…..

Below are a few pics of last night’s karaoke ‘rave up’…..

 

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