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.
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.