Welcome To Paradise
We arrived here, in Paradise, on Thursday evening. It was a long and wearying journey that saw me bursting into tears as we boarded the plane in KL and cry for the first part of the flight. When we arrived at the villa in Ubud after a 90minute drive from Denpassar airport we looked at a lovely white Villa thinking it was our home for the week.
It was the staff quarters.
Our new home was to be reached by and outside lift that carried us down into the voluptuous rainforest before depositing us on a quaint pebble path leading to something out of a movie set. No words can do justice to this stunning place.
The villa has 5 permanent staff, all here to look after our family of 8 during our stay. I’ve just returned from the kitchen where I found the night watchman. I didn’t realise the lovely man who made me coffee this morning, when I stumble bleary eyed from my luxury room into the outdoor lounge room by the pool, had been up all night. When I left the kitchen I noticed he wasn’t there anymore; I found him
again waiting just outside our room with a torch to help me navigate the steps back inside.
This afternoon I went for a spa treatment. I chose a place with good reviews on trip advisor more than willing to pay a bit more. Yesterday I saw a spa facility with a 60min massage for 55.000IRD ($5.50) or a package for a out 200,000IRD ($20) Today we paid a little more than that and as we left the lady commented that I’d given her too much. I’d left a $10 tip…what’s the appropriate amount when you’ve just paid $28 for a 4hour pamper?
This morning I bought a pair of sandals for $3. She’d been asking $15 but yesterday I saw the exact same for .90c. I’ll haggle but not over $2. The Architect bought some pants and left me to haggle. The starting price was $13, we bargained for a minute and then she said “you can afford it” and she’s right. I can.
I am so grateful to be here, I honestly can’t imagine a more idyllic setting. But from the comfort of my cool villa, I’m left with the uncomfortable question…What do you do when your paradise is someone else’s poverty?