Saturday, 24 July 2010
One week to go...
We have just over half the money, but I think we may need a miracle to raise the rest before the 31st July.
The hotel is full...of people who don't appear to want to spend any money. They've paid for their all-inclusive holiday and are very reluctant to put their hands in their pockets for anything else.
It's not just our business that has been affected. I've been over there twice this week, and the local businesses are all suffering. Shops, restaurants and bars are empty. They all have large signs up offering cut price drinks and meals, and all kinds of incentives to attract customers, but it's just not happening.
This is...or should be...the busiest time of the season. It's the time when anyone involved in the tourist industry HAS to earn money to survive through the long winter months. There are going to be a lot of hungry and homeless people towards the end of the year. Thank goodness we have a house to live in. Those people who are renting are going to find it extremely difficult.
Mr Ayak has made a supreme effort to remain on good terms with the General Manager, in the hope that he will accept whatever we can manage to pay on the 31st, and perhaps wait a bit longer for the rest. But there are no guarantees. Even if he does agree...how can we possibly know if business will pick up next month?
The two young men Sinan and Davut were laid off just over a week ago. They were not pulling their weight...they were more interested in pulling girls! They should have been out with the leaflets promoting the business, but each time I arrived I discovered them lurking in corners where they couldn't be seen by Mr A or Mehmet, or chatting to girls.
A new boy, Erhan, started last week and he is very enthusiastic. On his first day he cleaned the hamam from top to bottom, and it was spotless. He doesn't waste time either..he's out and about with leaflets chatting to guests...he's doing his best. A couple of days ago a girl arrived who is the daughter of a friend of Mr A's from Izmir. She does massage, but also offers pedicure, manicure and eyebrow shaping using the cottoning method. It's early days for her, but maybe these additional services will help to bring in more customers.
Mr Ayak is very stressed at the moment. I'm finding it difficult to have a conversation with him about anything. He's at the hamam from dawn till way past midnight, and he's not sleeping.
I'm trying to be optimistic but it's not easy. I think the business may fail....but I'm not giving up hope completely until the end of the week. I don't regret Mr A's attempts at getting this business off the ground. I've worried about it from the outset, because I know how difficult it is to make a success of anything in this country.
But I'm not one for "if onlys"...If you don't try things then you'll never know if they will work. Life's all about taking risks isn't it?