Michael Jackson's Job Is Up for Grabs
Category: Newspaper / Magazine Columns
The low slow season is now reaching epic scale with business for the most part going from the raging river of a few years ago to a small trickle. After chatting to property developers and hotel executives, it is clear there are only limited prospects for recovery this year, and most are looking to next year before they can see any improvement. Those people who are running businesses or have been asked to take unpaid leave should look at productive ways to fill in the free time generated by the current 'endless summer'.
Hot on the heels of the materialism and rampant consumerism of the boom years, many people are now looking inward for some spiritual renewal or cosmic directive. Mediation retreats are becoming increasingly popular with one well known center in Surat Thani offering 10 day courses where clients sleep on mat's, survive on a subsistence food intake and are forbidden to talk to each other. Their days are filled with introspection and meditation, although one well known Phuket restaurateur said he had a real fear of being alone with his own thoughts.
Adventure sports are also popular, with rock climbing in Railay Beach in Krabi, kite boarding lessons in Nai Yang, and surfing the pick of the crop.Yoga, hot or otherwise, continues to grow in popularity along with pilates, personal training and or some regimented training for the Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
Detox, be it in Phuket, Koh Samui or up in Chiang Mai, continues to grow, and one clever participant actually used the meditation retreat as a cure-all by losing weight and achieving self realization, all in just over a week.
We have not yet had rehab hit the shores of Paradise, but looking at the current state of affairs, this is one business model which might grow from the fallout from business failure. Some unique opportunities on a larger scale are also emerging as a result of the continued globalization of nations.
With Elvis long gone, and Michael Jackson now recently departed, the much-vaunted title King of Pop is up for grabs. Honduras is currently looking for a new head of state and, while Thaksin might be in the running, the field remains open.
The world is an oyster of choice and now, more than ever before, is a great opportunity to take an extended holiday, taking advantage of the cheap airfare and hotels on offer. Now is also a great time to go exploring, although make sure you leave a trail of bread crumbs so you can find your way back again. Many people in the US and Europe are struggling financially and they are opting for a 'staycation' at home where they can hone up on the fine art of barbecuing, teach the dog some stupid pet tricks or indulge in some wine appreciation.
An immigration official in Hong Kong, upon spotting my American passport, accused me and my fellow countrymen of trashing the world's economy. I am now working on immigration applications to become a Canadian, although so far, they have rejected all my pleas. I hear Thaksin is now in Fiji and is considering relocating there, so I'll have to look at that as another option, although I am told more people die each year from falling coconuts in the pacific islands than die from shark attacks worldwide.
But this is a year for living dangerously, and I've already turned my desktop calendar to 2010 in a spate of ill placed optimism. I think a coconut just fell off the tree outside my office.