Caveat Emptor? Bar For Sale...

Two for the price of one yesterday. After the Alain and Jeff debacle, I happened on Dave. Dave had been on several trips to Thailand over the years, and had finally decided to take the plunge. Buy-a-bar syndrome was contracted during the summer of 2008 from young Nok, the early symptoms being multiple rushes of blood to the brain - as well no doubt as to other parts of the body - followed by the rapid onset of insanity.

Dave bought a bar from Nok's auntie. Nok's auntie somehow contrived to get him to agree to buy the business without using lawyers. Buddhist temple-sized warning bells should have sounded straight away, but Nok convinced him that this was the way things are done in Thailand. Dave happily signed on the dotted line for a bar - greatly resembling the one in the photo below - for the nice round figure of £10,000. Not so bad, you reckon? Well bear in mind that he was only buying the business, not the land or the property itself, with a four year lease - and there was a sizeable monthly rental to pay. Not forgetting the sums allegedly payable for 'security assistance' to the forces of law and order.

This is NOT the bar in question - although I'm sure its owner would welcome any offers!

The premises themselves were nicely furnished and fully equipped. Fridges, a brand new recently installed bar, a small kitchen, a good stock inventory. For Dave, a dream come true. Until the big day arrived.

The night before, Nok's auntie - with a little help from friends - paid the bar one last visit. It was stripped of everything; the stock, the bar, the equipment, the tables and chairs, the cookers and fridges... even the photos from the walls. The police were called, but with the Thai equivalent of a Gallic shrug they told Dave that there was nothing they could do. The lease agreement (in Thai) - which supposedly made full mention of the fixtures, fittings and stock - was not worth the paper it was written on. Other than the part confirming his duty to pay the monthly rental, of course.

So opening night consisted of a devastated Dave, with a couple of sympathetic passing farangs curious to find out why the owner was sat on the floor of an empty bar, sharing a bottle of Sang Som Thai rum purchased from the 7-Eleven across the road.

Could it possibly get worse? Oh yes.

Dave bit the bullet and restocked, bought some cheap furniture. Soon-to-be wife Nok found a ladyboy friend who was supposed to be an experienced bar manager, and who would look after the late evening trade. Things were looking up. Well, they were certainly looking up for the ladyboy manager, and for his friends and late passers-by who were invited in to party into the small hours. The manager was pocketing all of the proceeds from the sale of drinks at below cost price. Dave only found out when one customer refused to pay his bill during the daytime, insisting that his bottle of Chang beer should always be charged at the same price, and only last night it had cost him just 30 baht (normally more than twice that).

A quick stock inventory revealed that Dave had lost another small fortune. Kicking the ladyboy manager out gave him no real satisfaction. He'd been had yet again.

Unknown to Dave though, the killer blow was yet to come. He'd received a letter that day. Indecipherable, as his Thai was non-existent, and for some reason, Nok - who had to make a sudden trip away into the jungle somewhere to see her sick mum - was reluctant to explain the contents just before she left. A helpful Thai customer smilingly translated.
"This is to confirm that work on the new condominium building will commence on December 1st 2008. All tenants of properties in the redevelopment area are to vacate their premises by November 30th latest."
Caveat emptor? ...
____________________________________________

To finish on a slightly more cheerful note, this young lady is just a couple of hours old.

Sleepless nights ahead!

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8 comments:

Humpbuckle Hylton said...

Congratulations! Look forward to sleep-deprived-incoherent posts in the next few days/weeks/months...

Hoo Don said...

Congratulations you are now ranked third in your household and if your kitchen has Thai mice, fourth by your solicitor.
Could you contact Dave and tell him my company deals in double glazing and air condition units, the demolition crew might want to use his bar has their canteen.....also got a lovely line in battleship grey "John McCain American President" t shirts.....will do them cheap for him

FrogBlogger said...

Thanks guys - I think. I'm currently overnighting in a Thai maternity hospital on what passes for a sofa, having opted to experience the 'real thing' rather than the farang version of a hospital... worth a blog post in itself...

Hoo Don - Dave is interested and will be sending you a blank cheque in the post...

Thai Girl said...

Congratulations on the new arrival. Now you know where babies come from!

Poor Dave! That's how it goes in the Land of Smiles!

Andrew

NicoleB said...

Uh - does he still get married to Nok???
:)

Nicole
http://nicoleb.org/b2/

FrogBlogger said...

Last I heard he'd set off for the jungle on the Laos border somewhere, to search for his 'wahn jai' (sweetheart)... I'll post the next chapter of the story if he ever returns!

Nicole said...

*slaps forehead & knocks head on table*

:)

Anonymous said...

Hi FrogBlogger,
A quality story indeed and like a sponge dipped in Singha i will soak it all up.Thanks for the thought and judging by the E-Mail time you must be feeding your gorgeous daughter in the early hours.I think i've got the cheaper option of a Bar/Restaurant rather than a Daughter to bring up? Happy Days..