Now that Gen San was called the Boom Town, lots of thing were happening in the area especially the Bank Financed Construction of Residential Sub Divisions which were being built all around us! The actual new businesses which were expected to flood in were very slow in coming but were expected at any time! I asked a Bank Manager one day why they were not putting money into New Enterprise Projects but his answer was very strange to me, he told me that by building Residential Accommodation was the best way because once the work force was in place the businesses would follow! I told him that untrained people were not a work force and that his thinking was the wrong way round but he would not believe me at all! His Bank went into liquidation soon afterward!
Anyway, back to Cambridge! As the Boom Town Handle took hold, the business got better and we started to get long term guests especially Americans and other Foreigners who were employed on the different Overseas Aid Projects around the area! As each one or group was booked in we had to do some pretty fast renovations to the rooms because when we opened, we did not have air conditioning because of the previous power shortages so now, having full time power, in record times we fitted each main room with AC!
Ellie was always busy finding and fitting new forms of decoration which she found anywhere and everywhere, even now she is into drift wood furniture etc! It does look good though i must admit just like everything she does! With six residents and lots of meetings and small dinner parties things were getting busy for us but is was fun and even profitable without me behind the bar! Our very first long term guest, I will call him AL because that was his name was a quiet man who liked to drink beer so we usually had a few drinks together after he finished work! One Monday, Al came back before lunch which was very unusual for him but he did not look too good! He asked me how many beers he had drunk the Sunday before! On checking his bill and telling him that he had drunk 62 bottles of San Miguel he replied, that’s good to know, I thought that I was ill!
We were fully booked up on one of many occasions as there was some form of High Level Seminar going on in the city and we had some local big wigs staying with us! One morning as one large senior politician came out of his room and into the lounge for breakfast, still a bit sleepy, as he came to the lounge, one of our monkeys which had escaped from its cage and was causing chaos in and around the place, on seeing this guy, the monkey ran up to him, climbed up and onto his head, made a few rude looking gestures to us then jumped off and ran away until we later captured him! The guest, still being half asleep asked, did that really happen to me or am I still asleep! He laughed when he fully realised that it had really happened and his bodyguards breathed easily once again!
We had quite a few animals in our mini zoo by now as people brought us all kinds of creatures in to look after so we also got many school field trips especially for the kids from the Rug Rat size and upwards which were very enjoyable as many of the kids had never seen their native creatures before and the delight and or fear was something to see! The drawback after these trips was the cleaning up of the car park as each kid and their Nanny would deposit at least 2 pieces of food and drink wrapper onto the ground instead of the garbage bins! Sometime they arrive by the hundred!
We had a lot of seminars, birthday parties and wedding receptions, even weddings as when Ellie puts on a spread she cuts no corners and really goes to town in order to give the best value for money to the customer! The space was a bit confined at times so we built Nipa Huts in the grounds outside the lounge and these took care of the overspill easily! People keep on telling us to build a Convention Center but there are already plenty of them in the city, most of which are rarely used! We had a School Senior Prom at one time and all the young ladies had their gowns on, looked good and were on their best behavior, until the Lechon (Roast Pig) was rolled in! We had decided to use one of our own pigs as we had one which was around 70 kilo’s live weight and after it was cooked, presented and the Father in charge had said the thanksgiving prayer, the girls changed from Dr Jeckle into Mr Hyde mode! As soon as they were invited to eat, they rolled up their sleeves, bounced the Nuns out of the way and attacked the pig! In just 7 minutes there was nothing left on the Banana Leaf Plate Cover except for the oil stain which was the only trace that a roast pig had ever been there! The Nuns and the Father ate Tuna and Chicken!
As time went on, we kept getting not only animals but kids given also! These were babies from unfortunate mothers who could not or did not want to raise them so we took them in too! We had 3 all together, 2 boys and a girl! We had fun at times with them as on several days when we had staff shortages we would have the two babies sleeping on the bar where we could keep an eye on them! Sometime people would ask what the babies were doing their and I would tell the something stupid like , they are the weekly raffle prize, their permanent cages are not ready yet or buy a full case of beer and get one free, some people actually thought that I was serious! In order to look after such children legally, after one seminar in our lounge there was a Chief Magistrate who specialised in such things and she informed us exactly how to do it simply without going through the full Adoption Process which can take years and costs a lot of money! She sent us draft copies of simple documents and we followed what she told us and without too much trouble or expense we soon had official ownership papers for the kids! These papers proved good because in 1993 when I last went to UK, I decided to take the oldest boy with me so they proved their legality as I easily got him a passport, UK Visa and took him with me, he was 10 years old at the time! The Immigration Services at the airport checked the papers, accepted them without comment and away we went! I will pass on details of how to get these papers in a future article!
All was going well at the hotel, I was doing lots of diving, we added more rooms, constructed more Nipa Huts in the garden and Ellie was constantly extending the garden by adding new trees and plants which she got from where ever she could get them! Things were going well but customers kept asking when we would add the Swimming Pool! Now that’s another story!