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A Year to Forget
This has been a tough year. Almost devoid of orders as we recover, all too slowly, from our false entry into the CCTV market, we have found it very difficult, after two year's absence, to get back into our traditional markets. Without the help of friends we would be selling our bodies in Patpong by now. Ploy and I started getting tetchy at each other and our belief in what we were doing started to falter.
But, then, after what seemed like a three month prick tease, a China company agreed to our terms. Already distributing our goods in China, they want to set up a joint partnership company in Shanghai - at their expense - to exclusively sell our products. And they have put their money where their mouth is by giving us an advance. All of our money problems just disappeared overnight and 2016 suddenly looks very different.
While we were intensely studying our navels over the last month, wondering what evil we had perpetrated to deserve this (and we thought of quite a few contenders) we did decide, should we ever receive any income, that we should relocate the company. I enjoy watching programs such as QI, Mock the Week and 8 out of 10 Cats on YouTube, and always Thailand is referenced negatively; usually the tired old ladyboy, red light area stuff. But then this government are doing their very best to reinforce that image. There is no doubt that the country produces a certain reaction in people, not helped by newspaper and even the BBC News reporting. I have a friend currently ill in hospital here and to read some comments from UK based friends of his, you would think the doctors here had bones through their noses. You can't change such mass media conditioning. Living here, I don't care a jot, but we are now sure it is damaging the image of our company and is the reason, what we thought were near certain orders, suddenly dissipated into thin air. But where to relocate too? Obviously to begin with, it is better to be where our customers are, and that has always been mostly the US and second, Europe. But any country brings issues with visas these days and after a brief flirtation with the US, which is very business friendly, we plumped for the UK for which I have no visa issues of course.
But what of Ploy? Well, she will stay in Thailand, and Thailand will still be my home. But the company will move to hopefully exploit a new market. To Perth, Scotland. So on the 20th January I will leave for Scotland, my first trip to the UK for years. We have already registered the company, but I have new customers to visit, bank accounts to set up and lots of other administrative duties resulting from my long absence. And while I am doing this our new partnership company will be selling all throughout Asia. Hopefully. As I will have to support them initially it will mean 2016 is the year of travel, but then the products are there already, we just need orders for them.
So all of a sudden, within the space of two weeks, 2015 has produced a firework ending, and although we are yet to see real results from all of this, we have real reason to be optimistic for 2016.
With the business hopefully taken care of, everything else falls into place. After a hiatus I start my Thai lessons again in January; book 3, George and the Armadillo, is well over half-way: we have our house, our car, our lovely dogs and we are smiling again. Ploy's business (selling garden ornaments) goes from strength to strength, and that will keep her out of mischief while I am 38,000 feet up in the air.
So Happy New Year to my reader, and if anyone tells you that money can't make you happy, punch them in the face.
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