Mobi-Babble – 6th April, 2014

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Mobi-Babble

It’s been a busy week, one way or another.

Those of my readers who live in Pattaya and also read Thai Visa will probably know already that I am seriously considering opening a bar. I know… it’s very much a case of poacher turning game-keeper or, as I said on Thai Visa, ‘Preacher turning Sinner’.

Some of my friends have shaken their heads in horror and disbelief at the very idea of a recovering alcoholic opening a bar, in a place which is a notorious financial graveyard for expats who dream of making a fortune in such ventures.

What I can say in response to this is that this isn’t something that I am embarking upon lightly and the idea has been germinating in my mind  for very long time – in fact almost ever since I came up for air after learning that all my savings had gone west in a disastrous Aussie property investment  scan last year.

If I wasn’t scraping around for money and having to ‘duck and dive’ on a daily basis to pay my bills, I would never have considered such a project, but needs must, and after weighing up all the pros and cons, I have decided it is worth a punt.

Once having decided that it is something I might try to do, I have been biding my time, waiting for the right opportunity to become available, and now, after rejecting a number of similar opportunities, I have found the right place which is going for the right price (for F&F and ‘goodwill) and which will come with a clean, new, 3 year lease.

If the gamble comes off, it will provide a regular income for Noo, (who will be the key person in all this), as well as providing regular employment for two of her aunts, so we will keep it all in the family.

The bar location  is less than 5 minutes’ drive, (15 mins walk), from where we live, and I plan to spend much of my afternoons and evenings sitting quietly in the bar and keeping a close eye on things. I will have my laptop with me, so all being well I will be able to continue my various writing and internet activities, as time permits.

Having spent most of my life in the pubs and bars of Thailand and also in numerous countries across the world, I think I really do know what it takes to run a successful bar. It is something I have studied for many years;  the number of bars I have walked out of  because  something annoyed me, or wasn’t to my taste, is endless – but I never thought I would be putting my ideas to the test.

Well, here we are, and the next few months will be interesting and exciting. I certainly don’t expect to get rich from this venture, but if it pays the bills and puts some food on the table then I will be more than satisfied.

I paid what I consider to be a reasonable price for the business, and at worst, I am reasonably confident that I can sell it on for the same amount – if not more. The owner has recently spent quite a bit on tarting up the bar and décor and it is now a very clean, decent looking place with new, well upholstered bar stools and new, high tables.

It is looking better than it ever did in its history and I have known it since it first opened some 10 years ago. It is being sold due to a break-down in the owner’s relationship with her partner, and she has let the place go quite badly – from a business point of view.

It will be my task to build the customer-base back up, under a new name and new management.

To those of you who query my ‘recovering alcoholic’ credentials for running a bar, I can only say that time will tell. If the bar is still open in a year’s time, let’s see if I have succumbed.

I am now well into my fourth year of sobriety, and during this time I have spent countless hours with friends at bars and not once was I tempted to take a drink. I accept it will be a bit different when I have to spend many hours in a bar every day, but I know myself and my will power – which is very strong.

Many years ago I was a four pack plus per day cigarette man, and had been for over 20 years, but I decided to go cold turkey and have not touched a cigarette since. In the early days after I quit I spent hours in pubs and bars with people who were smoking and not once did I give in to the temptation.

As the years passed, the craving completely disappeared and I can now be amongst chain smokers 24/7, and the only affect they will have on me is extreme annoyance due to the ‘2nd hand’ smoke that is going into my lungs.

The reason I never smoked again was simple. I saw what cigarettes had done to my lungs and general health. I would never put my body through that again.

It’s the same with alcohol addiction. It all but killed me, as those who read my blog will know too well. As it is, I am suffering from chronic heart disease, have had open heart surgery, and suffer from insulin dependent diabetes. As you know, I had a terrible scare recently when a doctor misdiagnosed me as suffering from chronic pancreatitis.

It was a lucky escape and one that I shall never forget; and if I ever needed a reason not to drink, then that is it. If I drink again, my life will be over and all that pain and effort will have been for nothing.  I owe it to my old (and new families) to do my best to stay healthy and active for as long as I can.

Well there it is folks – all being well we will be open for business on or around the 1st May and I will keep you posted of ‘pre-opening progress’ including the name I decide to call the bar.

 

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On other matters – my health more or less to continues to stabilise, although for some reason, today I had a bit of a relapse in the diarrhoea dept., but I’m hoping it is a ‘one off’.

My eBay business is now up and running, but remains devoid of customers. I am not particularly surprised at this because (a) I need to find at least 12 customers who will post positive feedbacks, and (b) so far I really don’t have much to sell.

Once I have obtained my ‘feedbacks’, I will then try to track down potential products at their sources around Thailand, so that I can make a reasonable profit on the sales. I have mentioned before, this is a long term project.

My eBook sales have pretty much ground to a halt, so that seems to be heading the way of all the millions of other failed authors out there. Intermittently,  I’m still undergoing the re-working of my short stories, (‘Tales from Thailand’), and when complete, I shall publish them as an eBook on Amazon under a new title.

 

6 thoughts on “Mobi-Babble – 6th April, 2014”

  1. Mobie, to crank sales book wise I’m going to suggest you withdraw all your writing and get a professional editor before putting it out there. I commented months ago that you not only need a critique group of writers but after going through that process, rewrite and get a pro to edit. A professional editor will cost way less than any/another bar in Pattay and is less demanding of you time wise as you babysit the place. I was the one who said always start the the main character in an action scene, no back story. Start with the main character waking up after the car cash. Adding the minor character at the start is purely set up and no one wants to read read set up. Eveyone want to see the opening with the mc in an action scene and how he copes and the immediate results. Back story can drift in later when we know what the mc wants and what’s stopping him from getting it. Read more, top sites like Evil Editor and best selling book in your genre, Then compare. Your writing: look hard at your sentences. Where are the surprises, the quirky use of language, I mean to encourage you but I don;t believe you are there yet. Sales point to that,

    Sorry for your recent loss of a dear four footed friend, glad you health is stabilizing.

    Since you are not getting sales or good reviews time to rethink. It’s all about rewriting then cutting marketing. The bar will use up writing time unless you are extremely disciplined.

    Good luck,

    B

    1. Thank you for your detailed comments which are really much appreciated.

      I am not sure how closely you have been following the evolution of my book, but assume that you are aware that it underwent very substantial re-writing last year after I received some detailed advice from a London literary agent with whom I had a lengthy exchange of correspondence.

      The result of all these changes was that I cut out the separate ‘parts’ of the book and concentrated on Toby’s story, almost from page one and the back-stories of the minor characters were re-written and put deep into the heart of the novel and were much reduced in length. During this process, virtually every sentence of the novel was re-written.

      I accept what you are saying as valid advice (and criticism) but feel very strongly that I have already invested as much of my life as I’m prepared to give to this work, and whatever I do is not going to make that much difference. It is what it is, and without the power of proper, professional promotion to say nothing of a decent agent, I am never going to attract, what is at best, a minority readership.

      It may not mean much in the great scheme of things, but I have received a number of highly complementary reviews by those who have read it, including many who said that they were riveted to the story and couldn’t put it down. Some even had sleepless nights until they finished it. Maybe they were just being kind – who knows? But I have to cling to this and assume that all my years of work were not as complete waste of time.

      I accept that the book would benefit from professional editing, (every time I pick it up I see a typo or a sentence that could do with revision), but very much doubt that paying for an editor would be cheaper than buying a bar – it really didn’t cost that much. Right now, I need something that will provide Noo and me with halfway decent income. This is much more important than wasting yet more months and money on a book.

      Did you ever read my second novel which I published on Amazon? ‘Madju Raj- The Messenger of Death.’ No lengthy back-stories here, and the story cranks along from the first chapter with a series of murders, both in the UK and Thailand . Again, this novel underwent substantial revision at the end of last year, and I have taken it as far as I can.

      Next comes the revision of my collection of short stories and once completed, I will start something completely fresh and new. I have a few ideas.

      When the bar is open, I will have the mornings to write at home, and once things settle down I hope to spend much of the afternoons and evenings writing on a table at the corner of my bar. I won’t be getting drunk, the bar will close most nights before midnight and I will be up at the crack of dawn.

      So its not a choice between a bar and writing – I think I can do both.

      Anyway thanks for your comments and please feel free to comment further.

  2. Good luck on the bar venture, having read your blog before I understand you have had many opinions and advice for the bars you’ve frequented over the years. I hope your observations pay off once manifested at your own establishment. Please post details. Will you have friendly gals there to attract the punters?

  3. Good luck on the new endeavor Mobi, I hope to be a customer one day. Are there suitable hotels nearby? Is the bar in Jomtien ? Fair warning to keep a good eye on Noo if I finally make a pilgrimage I’ve been planning in my head since I started reading your blog. Let me know if you need a evaluators of the guest experience form the new enterprise.

    What I would like is a service picks me op at the airport, brings be to reasonable and comfortable room. The ability to hire a trusted guide to teach the in and outs of the city and all it has to offer and marketed to the first time senior visitor.

    Happy to hear your health is being sorted.

    Rebel

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