Friday, January 06, 2012

Alternatives (1)

What are alternatives, if you don't like to run a bar anymore?

Keep in mind, that not everything is possible in Thailand, especially if you happen to be just a farang, i.e. nobody, at least for Thai authorities. You cannot work without work permit, you cannot start any business without licences etc. In fact, you cannot even play flute on street corner in hope to collect some coins.

However, there are lot of alternatives.

Long time ago I noticed a young Thai lady in Bangkok wearing t-shirt with text: "Yes, I can". It seemed to me like an attractive design idea, but I never found that shirt anywhere on market stalls.

What are the main ideas on t-shirts? - To show, who you are, what do you believe, where do you belong etc.

But there is just another section more. The shirt or another piece of clothing can show your attitude. Even more. It can talk besides of you.

For example, the young lady with text, "Yes, I can", get more attention. Furthermore, it makes much easier for her to communicate with other people.

If we think about Pattaya, especially on Walking Street at night, where the sounds are so loud that you cannot even talk with each other normally. Why not to have a t-shirt with a message which can start a conversation effortlessly?

That's the idea.

Let your apparel makes opening for you. Have fun.

Check out my new store.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just another case

It is a beer bar not very far from Walking Street, just a step off Beach Road, together with a couple of bars in a cluster.

I used to stop at this particular bar very many times. Just for a fun and some comversations. I'd like their attitude.

At this time it seems there was a party. You know, colourful balloons, loud music, free food for all customers. I, like everyone else, were cordically invited.

A farang from England was having his last-night-in-Thailand and birthday party with his girlfriend, appearantly from this particular bar.

I had a small talk with mamasan/owner. This Englishman was their regular customer for last two weeks, for all his holiday. Having happy days and nights with the same girl from the same bar.

The mamasan told me that there was seven girls among her bar ladies who get married with farang men last year.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ghost Tower

Where was this photo taken?

This castle is not known even for many long time residents here.

Although it should be one of the most extravaganzas in Pattaya - an entertainment centre, club, discotheque:


But now it's like a Ghost Tower - forgotten, empty and scary.

Located in the corner of South Road and Sukhumvit road. Across the South Road there is Big C supermarket.

Syrrealistic views anyway.

Especially with closer look.

Sic transit gloria mundi, as it said in Latin.

The bottom line: 'running a bar in Pattaya' is not an easy task for anybody.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Appendix: People Watch

In very many times, when I'm working on something intellectual, writing or composing some stories or articles, and if I can not find the right way to continue - I go out, sit somewhere and just looking people going by. And my mind is going clearer, and soon I can realize, can understand, can take right decisions etc.

It's amazing, indeed. Like a fresh air is coming or like a new light or feeling something.

Sometimes I think, it's like a mystery. You are just sitting, watching people - and you really get something. Something valuable. From who? From the people walking by? - Yes it seems so. Like you get some sort of energy from them.

And, don't forget, just a couple of minutes before you were walking by and other people were watching you. And they got something from you, too. Maybe.

Anyway, this phenomena seems to be so valuable, that, for example, the right spots for people watch in Walking Street area ask for beer even more than they do in go-go bars! Amazing. It means, the naked girls are less valuable to watch than just wandering humans on the street, aren't they?

If comparing Bangkok and Pattaya, I prefer the latest any time.

Because in Bangkok you can find maybe ten or so right spots for that kind of entertainment, and only for couple of hours, with limited views and types of mankind.

On the other hand, in Pattaya here is the full opportunity to watch people, if you like, even 24 hours around. All kinds of human existence and behavior, you know what I mean.

Of course, the main area is infamous Walking Street. The both sides of the street, some 800 meters along, are good. And there are lot of people doing the same. And there are some very special spots, too. You can even sit behind the glass, in air conditioned environment, with some very attractive girls, just 50 cm away from the 'event'. See everything. Enjoying. (It's the new establishment opposite of 'Happy Go-go', named "Teazers".)

You can not be bored. But if you are, here in Pattaya you can find more opportunities for your favorite pass time.

Soi Buakhao, for example. A lot of spots. One of my favorites is the 'Whitherspoons', a British pub on the corner of Soi Diana.

Or just go to the 'Big C' area on Second Road. Or find your best in Soi 7/8 area. You can find a lot of other places and spots, indeed.

The bottom line.

I'm living in Pattaya more than five years, and there are two main reasons for that. First of all, it's "sanuk". You know, what it means. It's the same all around Thailand, indeed. But for the second, it's just the opportunities for people watch, uncomparable with any other region or area.

Just the perfect city, just the perfect place, that is Pattaya for me.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Conclusions (2)

It's hard to say, how long would be the life expectancy for an average beer bar in Pattaya under the same management and ownership. Two years? Three years?

But, if we are talking about the newcomers, it's presumably not more than one year, even less. Right now, around my location on Soi Buakhao, I've seen lot of bar owners giving up during the last year. Some of them couldn't run the business even more than 3 months.

The most common mistakes they made include:

1. No attractive ladies or no ladies available at all;

2. Trying to set up or offer something too original, like cocktail lounge, exotic beverages or food etc;

3. Bad location, especially if there were no bars before and/or around;

4. Dreaming too much about regular customers and/or their own friends;

5. Family and/or financial matters.

First of all, this is Pattaya and nobody is coming to sit in your bar for a drink only. If a farang is looking for a beer, he's looking for ladies' company altogether. Of course, not for sex always, but you couldn't underestimate this part of your business.

Secondly, try to set up your bar into the mainstream. Don't make anything too original, especially if you are a newcomer. Yes, if you are living here more than three years, you can try something different, but even in this case, don't go too far from the common.

Location is very important indeed. You have to be very cautious establishing a bar in place where previously was a laundry service and no bars exist around.

Regular customers are like fertilizer for every business. But how and why they are coming? If your bar is outside from the main entertainment area, only the local people are your hope. How many potential customers are living around? And, again, don't dream too much about your friends from your country, especially if you have only a bar and no accommodation to offer.

Last but not least, the family matters. As a rule, you are going to make the bar business together with your Thai wife/girlfriend, aren't you? If there appears the slightest misunderstanding or mistrust between you and your consort, you are lost.

Bottom line: expect no profit for the first year.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Conclusions (1)

First of all: the bar business is not a real business. It's something like a hobby. You can never make money with your bar, although sometimes you can enjoy profit, too. I've seen many bar owners, talking with them, asking details of their businesses, and the conclusion was just the same always.

Besides, how to recognize the owner in particular bar? Just look carefully, and if you can see a farang drinking and sitting in the bar without a bill on front of him, you are right. Another clue: if somebody in the bar seems to be too concerned about everything or if he makes something not usual, e.g. emptying ash trays, switching TV channels etc, it's your turn to ask him: "How is the business?"

In Pattaya there are hundreds of bars for sale always. Some people are trying to start, some are trying to survive, some are looking for quick sale. I think, an average bar business lasts approximately 6 to 12 months. If you can run your bar more than one year, you are happy. One more thing: after the first year the regular customers will coming back again and again.

And after the third year you may give me reply: "The business? Extremely well."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Analysis (2)

Staff matters, as told here before.

Although you are the "owner", you cannot work, because you have no work permit normally. Your wife/girlfriend has to act as "boss" in the bar. But, are you sure she can? Besides, sometimes you want to take a vacancy, travel around the country, see her parents etc. Who takes care when you both are away?

You need an old lady in the bar, called "mama-san". The mama-san should be the key person in the bar, taking care of all the ladies, customers, stock etc. If your lady happens to be not old enough, she cannot act as mama-san.

This was our big mistake: we had no mama-san. My wife was too young for routine work in bar, and all other ladies were very young, too. Nobody had adequate experience and this leads to anarchy. Sometimes the ladies just walked away, to the discotheques or with friends. Sometimes my own wife just made the same. Sometimes I was forced to sit in my bar together with few ladies and with no customers for hours. It's sad to tell now, but the initial mistake was made and there was no chance to improve the situation anymore.

Of course, we tried to hire a mama-san after a month or two after opening, but for this time the set of ladies was established already and a new person was not acceptable for anybody.