Wednesday 28 September 2016

What is it like to work in paradise?

We get asked this all the time. Guests come to Cuca on their honeymoon, celebrating their friend’s wedding or for their annual holidays and they look at us without even trying to hide their envy. Or we are leaving a hotel somewhere in Europe and during checkout the concierge asks “Where is home for you?” and our answer leaves him day dreaming.

Believe me or not, to live in Bali is a little bit of torture: we get the feeling every day that we are the only ones working on the entire island. Imagine your everyday life being the only one who has to work while everyone else is off...

Guests come in a great mood, drink cocktail after cocktail, tell you about the amazing massage they just had, are in no hurry for anything… It is only natural that they believe this is a paradise! And it is in many ways. It is true that the beaches are stunning, every single sunset is breathtaking, the weather is always warm and the people never run out of the most beautiful smiles ever seen.

But… this is a tropical island where by nature and tradition, you are not supposed to be in a hurry. This island is not compatible with deadlines and punctuality. “Tomorrow” means merely “not today”, if it is raining you may not get that delivery of tomatoes and a full moon takes priority over anything pending. Kevin and I spend our long days running and looking for immediate solutions to the non-stop crisis that arise while the rest of the island looks in awe (and actually in pity) at us, not understanding why we have chosen to be stressed in paradise.

And they are right! It seems somehow contra natura to go against the magical flow of the island and we must admit that we struggle between the temptation to succumb to Bali’s natural rhythm and our commitment to deliver a top quality experience to our guests because, although most of you are on holidays, you still expect us to deliver that truly great meal you came for.

Others working in Bali for longer than us do it much better as this island eventually teaches you, no matter how stubborn you are, to slow down, smile more and believe in the natural course of things. Live like there is no tomorrow and work like there will always be.