A quick review of our daily bar sales over the past week show that in spite of one bad day (Monday) the overall trend is definitely upwards, and if things continue to improve, then we will soon be going past a break-even point.
The whole idea of Mobi’s bar is to provide a living for us and our family and as we are still only half way through the ‘low season’, I think we can be cautiously optimistic about the bar’s future.
There is no question that this ‘summer’ is one of the worst periods of business in Pattaya for many years – both down in tourist infested Pattaya, and out here by the lake where we are also affected by seasonal comings and goings. (Many permanent and ‘semi-permanent’ residents pay visits back to their European homes at this time of year.
I confess that if I had made a more thorough study of the numbers of bars trying to attract customers on the ‘Darkside’ I might have thought twice about trying to compete in what is already an overcrowded market.
Maybe I would have concluded that the odds against us succeeding were stacked way too high and kept my money in the bank. But as ever, I can’t go back to square one, so we have to press on and see if we can’t succeed against the odds. As of now, I am optimistic that this will be the case.
Amazingly, new bars are still opening, and just outside my gated village, a brand new resort has opened with a fully fledged bar (with girls) situated on the ground floor. So far this bar seems to have succeeded in attracting a number of customers, (judging from the number of vehicles parked outside), especially during their grand opening and then a week later when they threw large ‘free food ‘ party.
Then there is another brand new bar, which has been under construction for months. I’m not sure if it has opened yet, and unlike most of the other Lakeside bars, this establishment is fully closed in and presumably will be air-conditioned.
I am actually quite sceptical as to whether this new bar will ultimately succeed, as it is first and foremost a resort, and they have to decide what kind of resort they want it to be.
I am told that the rooms have been beautifully built and equipped and the owner is clearly trying to attract middle – upmarket customers from Bangkok and further afield who do not wish to stay right in the heart of ‘sin-city’.
This being the case, I would have thought that it is hardly appropriate to run a ‘girlie bar’ on the ground floor.
Even in Pattaya itself, I can’t think of a single hotel that also runs a girlie bar. The hotels provide the accommodation and the bars provide the girls. That is the way it works here….
As for the other new bar – a fully enclosed affair- well from the looks of it, it would seem that the owner plans to have ago-go dancing and quite possibly ‘short time’ rooms.
I wonder if anyone has told the owner that such establishments are prohibited in residential areas such the community around the Lake?
In fact, a few months ago, one of the two local district councils that cover the lake area ordered all the bars in their jurisdiction to the remove the word ‘bar’ from their signs.It so happens that this second new bar is slap bang in the middle of that district.
Maybe the owner is the head of police, or the district mayor…Who knows?
We will have to wait and see.
Incidentally, the above mentioned order instructing bars to remove the word ‘Bar’, resulted in most establishments adding the words ‘Food and Drink’ to their signs. (e.g “Joe’s Bar” became “Joe’s Food & Drink”)
This resulted in the ridiculous situation where punters would see a sign for ‘Food’, walk in, and ask for the menu, only to be told:
“Very sorry… no food, only drink, ….”
As for Mobi’s, well we say nothing about food or drink but do in fact provide both.
So increasing competition notwithstanding, we continue to ‘bat above our average’ when compared to all the ‘dead bars’ around us. Although it is still too early to be sure, I do have a feeling in my gut that we are slowly but surely building up a loyal following of customers – those people who will return to our bar, once or more times per week.
So we will continue to do what we are doing: provide an ever friendly service with plenty of girls who are welcoming but never pushy; play an eclectic mix of music videos that seems to appeal to the majority; provide an increasing range of bar snacks and meals, and have the legendary ‘Mobi’ on hand who, upon request, will regale his guests with tales of the past and his outrageous views on life….
On the political front “The National council For Peace and Order”, (NCPO), is continuing to enjoy widespread support from the public at large and even from many of the activists from all sectors of the political spectrum.
Indeed, it was most gratifying to see a number of well-known ‘Red shirt’ activists declare support for the Junta and its aims.
It was also pleasing to see that the NCPO is not overtly favouring one side. While they are clearly against much of what the Red Shirts have been doing to the country, (under the direction of exiled, ex PM Thaksin), they have also publicly condemned many of the actions carried out by the opposing Democrats.They have even reinstated a police chief who was fired by Abhisit, the previous Democrat party premier.
These people really mean business and they have taken it upon themselves to perform a herculean task.
Their gallant intentions to roll back, endemic corruption in every sector of Thai life, and to stamp out cronyism, nepotism, entrenched vested interests and the powerful criminal gangs is a task worthy of the Lord Buddha himself.
If they are to even half way succeed in the tasks they have set themselves, it will take many years, and I do hope that the people remain patient, and that the NCPO do not bow to pressure and hand the reins back to elected politicians before their tasks are properly done.
But as they have already acknowledged the mistakes made by the previous ‘putsch’ back in 2006 when they made a too rapid return to so-called democracy, I remain optimistic.
The NCPO is currently making inroads on all fronts, which include sorting out the Mafia controlled minibus and motorcycle taxi services;attacking the appalling driving habits of selfish and dangerous drivers; returning public land and beaches to the public and expelling illegal encroachers; thoroughly investigating corrupt government practices such as the infamous rice subsidy scheme which has cost the country billions, and much, much more besides.
Then there is the heady issue of revising the country’s energy policy, which successive governments have been loath to touch for fear of upsetting their voter base. There are currently huge subsidies for certain fuel users, which again is costing the country millions.
Then there is the complete absence of any kind of land or property taxes in the Kingdom? The Democrats wanted to take some action on this but were soon shown the error of their ways by the land owning class which constitutes less than 20% of the population yet owns more than 80 % of the land, yet the poorest 20% of the population owns only 0.25 % of the land.
The NCPO have been making good progress in drafting a new ‘interim’ charter for the country, and before the ink is even dry, the old, corrupt politicians have already been raising their heads above the parapet to shout ‘Unfair’, Shame on you!’ and other epithets of a similar nature.
They don’t seem to like the proposal that there should only be one politician per family, (to stamp out widespread nepotism); or the one limiting politicians to two successive terms; or the one which seeks to ban politicians for life if they are found guilty of corrupt practices or breaking the rules during an election (such as buying votes).
Indeed, just about every proposal in the new election process has given rise to fury by the all the old style politicians as they see their decades-long grip on power being forcibly removed from their dirty, avaricious mits.
And power means money….
The other day, the new deputy Foreign Minister held a meeting with the EU to explain why the military had seized power and what the aims of the NCPO were.
It seems that the EU dignitaries, (including the Brit’s new Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond), now have a much better understanding of what is going on in Thailand and while still not giving them their total support, have at least recognised that much needs to be done before Thailand can return to a proper, lasting democracy.
However, it is a pity that they have urged the junta to return the country to full democracy as soon as possible; for if the NCPO do bow to pressure and try to rush this historic initiative, much of the good they have done will soon be undone.
This blogger sincerely hopes that this time, the clearly well-intentioned junta take as long as is necessary to ensure that Thailand’s new democracy is truly free of corruption and that it becomes one that may last for ever, without the need for further coups.
I also hope that I don’t live to eat my words.
Now a few pics to cheer you all up.
Mobi’s Girls -The ‘Class of 25th July’ (minus 1 washing her knickers)