Wednesday, March 02, 2005

News update on Australia and The Cafe

Update on major happenings in our lives:

1. Moving to Australia

MH has decided (together with me) to accept the offer at Sydney. This does not 100% confirm that we are going yet because he still needs to go through an internal interview etc. The exact date is not confirmed yet. One person told MH that they need this position filled in 2-3 months time. But another person MH spoke to said that it could extend up to end of the year. So hopefully, perhaps we will actually need to go through a major rush after all.

Our partner, Mabel is quite ok with the situation. She says she was prepared for it and knew it would happen sooner or later anyway because we told her about our PR. Our other partner is not so happy… maybe he didn’t truly realise the implications until now (although we did make it known to both of them about our Australian PR)

But the conclusion is that both MH and I still want to carry on this business and we are prepared to work it out with our partners so that one feels shortchanged that we seem to be “running away” from responsibility of the business while we are fulfilling our PR in Australia.

2. Café opening

We opened our café for business last Sunday (27th Feb)… it was rather premature but necessary. What happened is that we planned all along to have everything up by 25th Feb… including hosting a private event on Sunday afternoon on the 27th. But (surprise, surprise) there were delays in our renovation by our contractor and some minor petty issues from slow gov’t officers in issuing us a certain permit. Mabel actually blasted a gov’t officer demanding proper service… we’ve done our part in submitting all the docs and ensuring our compliance, so they should have no reason to delay.

Well, we already promised the organizer of the event (a local board gaming club) that the place would be ready by the 27th but now this situation came up. They were still keen to have it at our café, so we suggested that we serve them freeflow of soft drinks only and they were willing to accept it (we have not received the permit to serve food although our kitchen and equipment is all ready and we already hired a chef).

So the whole of my Sat on the 26th was spent cleaning up the entire café and setting up the furniture and equipment together with the partners. Then on Sun the 27th we opened the doors of our café to outsiders for the first time (but only to a select group). It was tiring but satisfying to labor for something that truly belongs to you. Although I feel exhausted and could hardly open my eyes this morning… I don’t regret getting into this. Our customers were very nice and understanding of our situation and were very excited to be the first group to sit at this exciting new café that will be opening soon.

Anyway, all is going well this week and we should open our doors to the public this Friday (4th Mar) at 5.00pm. We’ve been given a ‘B’ rating for our café by the National Environmental Agency (which is not too bad) and we’ll be serving food, drinks and games to our customers. Our official opening ceremony will be held a few weeks later.

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