Will be missing Skytop

Last night Wan told me the bad news. Everything was going well until then. My girlfriend, Duean was with me and both Ross and Ludwig had joined me. Ross is my number one sidekick when I hit the go go bars and Ludwig is the German artist whose pictures adorn “Welcome to the Fun House”. Skytop is where I stayed 11 months while waiting for my condo to be finished. And Wan is Peter’s widow. Peter had been my number one friend in Pattaya until he died a year ago last February and he had asked me to look out after Wan after making me his executor. So here we were at a party when Wan gave me the bad news. Meanwhile the Skytop video on Youtube has been getting nearly 4000 views a day. It’s already had over 235,000 and at this rate it would have one million and a half viewers before a year has passed.

But the greed around here is unbelievable. Greg just had to move his restaurant, Greg’s Kitchen because his landlord has been going sky high on the rent. And now next door to Skytop a clinic has just opened its doors. Before that it had been some kind of cosmetics business which didn’t do squat and before that it had been Skytop. Now Skytop’s in the old tourist police head quarters which had been right next door to the old Skytop, but what happened is the person Peter had rented Skytop from didn’t own the business after all. He was just a crooked Thai living in Bangkok who had only a lease himself. So when it came time for Peter to renew his Skytop lease, the man he thought was the owner, avoided all discussion of renewal and after a couple of months Peter realized he had been screwed, Meanwhile the real owner told Peter he had had a sweet deal for him. But the owner upped the rent significantly. So Peter leased the tourist police headquarters when the tourist police moved out to Buddha Hill. He gutted the interior and put in eight rooms thus transforming the place into a guest house similar to the old Skytop.

Then there was the bar complex next door to Skytop. Several Germans renovated it significantly but these Germans weren’t serious and the bar complex went under. It held on piecemeal but the Germans were gone. Then a new building was constructed on one end right next to the old Skytop which became a massage place. It didn’t do well either so now the owners are having the entire area demolished and God knows what they are building there next.

As far as Wan…it’s the same old story. These Thai landlords get a good tenant who pays on time and then they screw him to the wall by escalating the rent to a level the tenant cannot afford. So the tenant either goes out of business or like Greg, goes elsewhere to set up his business. The building now becomes vacant, oftentimes for a year which means the greedy owner now gets no rent whatsoever. From what I’ve seen most of these Thai landlords are greedy selfish bastards who have never heard of the concept that a tenant who makes money is a happy tenant whose rent can be counted on for years.

So Wan can’t make any money from Skytop with the rent the landlord will expect her to pay. So she will simply close the business and go back to her village and build a home. And that will be that. And so the endless cycle will repeat itself. Some new business will appear and it will last a year, perhaps two and then it will fail. So there will be new one, then still another, as one hapless business owner after another fails to make enough to cover the rent and his other expenses. Greed is pervasive here. Meanwhile from what I’ve seen these same greedy landowners don’t have the common sense of a rabbit that’s about to get run over by a car.

Leave a Reply