19 Feb

Business at the Beach

Bali Blog February 18th
Karma Khandara view
When inquired as to whether or not I’d like to partake in a business meeting with Karma Kandara – a 5 star holiday resort – at their equally starred beach resort, I somehow managed to process and transform the immediate answer: “I would willingly take relationship advice from Chris Brown and do naked cartwheels through an intersection, in order to join that meeting!” into an “Alright.”

With the Blue Season Bali Business Bus undergoing minor repairs at the time, we found ourselves splitting a taxi with two dive interns who coincidentally were heading to Nusa Dua as well. Little did we know that the captain of this vessel on which we had just boarded was either a) attempting mid-day celestial navigation or b) an avid user of Apple Maps. What was supposed to be a 1 hour trip turned into a 2½ hour Paris Dakar Rally, in which the taxi driver insistently stopped the car every 200 meters to inquire a local laundress/builder/stray dog for directions instead of utilizing the GPS I’d provided on my phone. In a culture where people are more prone to giving you wrong directions (which is considered a gesture of courtesy) before claiming ignorance of your whereabouts, I’d deem this approach somewhat unproductive. My best bet would be there’s a conspiracy going on between the taxi company and the local inhabitants of Nusa Dua, who presumably gets a small cut of the taxi money for sending the taxi around for hours on end.
Having finally arrived at Karma Kandara and announced our arrival, we were escorted to a tram which would take us on a 85 meter descent onto the private beach. While I would argue that the tram could’ve used a 60 mph setting, I’m sure the elderly Russian couple, clinging their osteoporosis diseased hands apprehensively to the railing, would disagree. As we entered the Nammos Beach Club, all negative vibes from the taxi trip were like swept under a rug of obligingness, luxury and welcome shots. In one corner a Ministry of Sound DJ was casually doing his thing for the roughly 20 people currently hanging around. In the other corner: an open hut overlooking the beach, in which our meeting took place. Two well-dressed Karma Kandara concierges introduced themselves to us and initiated the meeting.

I initially sat quietly like a fly on the wall, vigilant and awaiting my moment to put 1½ years theory into practice and say something astute, clever and marketing related. A moment presented itself after about 15 minutes when a paraglider landed on the beach. However, what followed was neither astute, clever nor marketing related as I tactfully exclaimed: “That would be James Bond in time for his 2 pm Vodka Martini.” The next 43 milliseconds went by sluggishly and I was afraid I’d ruined the formal setting by blurting out something that can hardly be described as the pinnacle of my academic career. Luckily my sentiment was well-received. That or they were simply being polite and were producing a very convincing hysterical laughter out of sheer pity. I’d settle for either.

When the meeting was adjourned we indulged ourselves in a vegetarian pizza – we weren’t in the mood for the 200$ seafood platter – and after I’d done a quick stroll on the beach (as I believed this justified helping myself to another welcome shot), we had the resort arrange for a taxi home. The resort staff must have heard our moaning about the previous taxi driver, because they made sure this one was angry, incomprehensible and clearly in a rush to reach free flow hour at the Arak bar. We made it home in 50 minutes.

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