Today was a good day. I think. Or if not perhaps a good day then at least one of note, one where we managed to make baby steps towards achieving something. I think. Or perhaps if not actually achieving something then at least managing to keep my finger plugging the hole in the dam and staving off disaster for at least twenty four more hours.
Here is the main pseudo-achievement/finger plugging milestone of the day. We are open. Despite arriving to no water, no electric, no food, broken fridges, no staff and general monsoon sogginess, we are open for business.
Bad news, the only business we did was locals, all of whose beautiful friendly faces I am delighted to see and welcome as my friends, I hate that the cynic in me means that the joy I have in seeing my friends again is tempered by the awareness that all our money is spent on stock and all the locals are currently drinking that stock, on tab; which means tomorrow we will have even less cash than we do right now, and less stock and no money at all to pay for the beer they are drinking right now, which is on tick from the small shop.
In the morning my worst fears are confirmed as there is absolutely no money in the cash box, so we didn’t even make enough to buy the valve for the water pump today, or even the gasoline to drive to town to buy the valve we don’t have the money for. Which means how long without running water? and begs one of life’s eternal questions: How long can a person wash up in a bucket and pretend to run a bar with no way to clean glasses?
Crab has done a bunk apparently. This is not so unusual, she is known to abscond without warning, usually at critical times for the business. Like last year when our main investor was coming to inspect the black hole into which his money has disappeared.
Oh, and the night we closed for the season, when I was left to cook for a restaurant full of people entirely alone. And not forgetting the night I arrived back from giving birth in the UK, when I got in from three days of traveling and went straight into the kitchen, frying fish with a four week old newborn clutched in my arms.
My mum jokes that they don’t make spatter guards for babies, I think I would find it funnier if my baby wasn’t actually in danger in a Thai kitchen most of the time.
Anyway this time, again critical night – opening for the season, can’t do any Thai food, or about half the menu alone- there is really something up. I know there’s some sort of fight going on with Shrimp, she’s been complaining about her eyes, which is a sure indicator of intention to quit.
Shrimp’s being very cagey about what’s actually going on, and as usual I am getting the inscrutable, and totally useless Thai answer for everything: maybe yes, maybe no. This usually means worst case scenario, but the person is hoping they wont ever have to actually tell you that.
So I’m prepped and ready to lose my best asset the indefatigable Crab. I am sorely tempted to beg, don’t leave me Crab, please. Don’t surrender me to this sinking ship of blocked drains, broken pipes, water shortages, non-flushing toilets, electrifying fridges and baby death traps. Stay, please, only your Massaman curry can save us.
Actually I am glad to report the fridge is no longer a death trap, by some miracle of Thai electrics it has been earthed, and has stopped hurling people across the bar. This welcome respite from death by electrocution is only slightly negated by the fact that it has stopped working completely, and is duly compensated for by the fact that now the toaster oven has started electrocuting people instead. Oh well, you can’t have everything I suppose.