The Ubud Handbook « The Other Side of the Coin
IBU KETUT'S LATE. She's normally at my house by 10 in the morning: I'm the second job of the day. After me, she'll spend another eight hours cooking in the kitchen of a five-star Ubud hotel to support her seven children.
It's a great life if you don't weaken.
She starts sweeping, and I notice she's limping. There's a spreading bruise and an angry graze running past her knee and onto her calf. She wants to carry on cleaning: I sit her down and ask her what happened.
She's shy; I press.
– "I got to the market at about 4am. It was still dark. I'd stopped at the side of the road and I was just about to get off my motorbike when two white girls on a scooter came speeding down the road. They were laughing and the motorcycle was going from left to right. Then they came straight towards me and crashed right into me. I fell off, and my 'bike fell over. It was strange, because there was nobody on the road except for us.
"I was stunned. They got up, picked up their scooter and started to leave.
"I didn't want to stop them. I was already hurt. I didn't want any more problems. But a friend of mine heard the crash and dashed out to stop the girls from leaving. He asked them to pay for the damage to my motorbike. At first, they didn't want to pay. But my friend insisted, and they gave me Rp.200,000 and drove away.
"I went to the bengkel – the motorcycle mechanic – down the road after I finished work and I paid them Rp.550,000 to get my 'bike fixed. Then I went to the puskesmas – the community health centre – and I paid another Rp.150,000 for my leg."
Her 'bike still makes a squeaking sound.
But it's a small price to pay for a good night out.
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