All That Is Modern Isn’t bad
Recent events have shown me that keeping things the way they were, isn’t always to be applauded.
On one assignment I had a chance to visit a hotel in Kuta this week that hasn’t been hit by the development virus and has remained true to its roots.
It wasn’t so long ago that Kuta was inhabited by many of these hotels, where a dark carved wooden ornament and a large space was what constituted a lobby. Staff who answered all your questions by committee, after much to-ing and fro-ing about the correct answer, and a few shaky sun lounges by the toilet-tiled pool were the order of the day. We came, we laughed, we sat in them, we didn’t know any better.
Bali has now been almost completely converted to a new Miami-Vice meets the Orient revitalization amidst much moaning and whining and reminiscing about the good old days. This was a bit of an eye-opener for me as one of the most vocal moaners of all.
I was reminded of the times when the only milk you could find was UHT or powdered, coffee was a murky brew and we all dined out on jaffles and banana pancakes that had a strange sweet taste provided by the spread of choice in those days, Blue Band margarine.
There is much of those old days to be applauded, we didn’t have the huge amounts of garbage we have now, traffic jams were dealt with by people picking up the offending vehicle and physically moving it out of the way, the beaches were strewn with people with g-strings and Balinese covered head to toe, life was simpler.
But, I am reminded that it’s not always better.
So sure, we can look back with nostalgia and fondness, the good old days we can say, but I am damned used to my café latte these days, I love having a choice of beverages, and when I visit the W, I see more than purple lounges that aren’t very Bali Hai, I see professional staff who hurry (something we never used to see) and know the answers to your questions.
I like sitting on a lounge without getting devoured by rattan bugs, I enjoy lying on a massage bed that isn’t stiff with other people’s sweat and how would I live without Wi-Fi. In the old days I never even had a phone and neither did anyone else.
How did we do it? We were younger then, more innocent and we came to escape the trappings of the modern world. Seems they have caught up with us and even the traditionalists have to admit, it isn’t all bad.