The night was still young. Although my sis, my brother-in-law and I were not about to party all night long till the morning light, we were not ready to sleep like a baby at 8 pm either. After all, night life in Bali is something everyone should experience, at least once.
The intensity of crowds at night in Ubud is much less than that in Legian, including the main street of Monkey Forest. Ubud is more famous for art galleries, artsy stores, yoga centers, and the Monkey Forest itself, than pubs and discotheques. As these places are closed at night, the whole street looks partially dark.
Nonetheless, no worries. Walk further, passing all the (closed) stores, and the more vivid part of the street appears, thanks to the lighting from hotels, hostels, restaurants, pubs and mini markets, including Pondok Pundi Village Inn where we stayed.
Within 5 minutes walking distance from the inn, we finally found a very cozy place and not too crowded to hang out: Pringga’s Grill Ubud.
The open air space, homey feeling and traditional atmosphere, enhanced by barong statues, engravings and Balinese gamelan music background, managed to drag us to sit on one of their big sofas to get lazy and have some booze despite the emphasis of “grill” in the name of this cafe restaurant.
My brother in-law ordered a glass of cocktail for himself (I forget what he had), while my sis and I got a grenadine-based cocktail for sharing. My sis is not a huge fan of cocktails, after all, but wanted to have some zips of sweetness.
At a glance, I noticed something pretty behind Pringga’s Grill, especially the building is adjacent with Wibawa Spa and Fibra Inn Bungalow, a Balinese Garden Hotel. While waiting for the drinks, I took a self-walking tour to the hotel and spa area.
Balinese traditional house is clearly the main inspiration of the property, something that I found beautiful and serene. The use of secluded building to separate one room to another is one of the signature styles of Balinese houses because of the application of Hindu dharma principle, where objects must be properly located, aligned with the universe to create harmony.
Probably, it is formerly a family residence transformed into a business area. I noticed several additional rooms in modern architecture. Besides, I believe that Pringga’s Grill was built later to cater the needs of guests and maximize the potential to earn more.
Anyways, this was a great place to kill the time before my drink arrived.
Returning to our seat 15 minutes later, the cocktails had not arrived yet. I was expecting they would be on the table by the time I got back.
I looked at our surroundings. It wasn’t a very busy day. The occupation of seats were less than half of the room. If our orders were grilled food, I could understand that it may take longer. But for heaven’s sake, ours were just 2 glasses of cocktails!
We all agreed that something was not right and called the staff to remind that our orders were still pending after a while. She nodded and walked to the bar area.
Another 10 minutes went by. My sister noticed that those who were served first were foreigners, that happened to have Caucasian look. The only local guests in the room was my sister and I. My brother-in-law is not even an Indonesian, but a Chinese-Fijian nationality. However, as he joined us, he looked just like any Chinese-Indonesian people.
I felt the same. I observed approximately 4 small groups of (Caucasian-look) guests arriving later than us and they all got their drinks first.
We could have scolded the staffs or left our spot without their knowledge. But we came to this place to relax, not to argue and lecture them about service excellence. We called the staff once again, asking for our drinks.
They finally arrived, nearly 40 minutes the orders were made. Great. First come, last served!
There was no problem about the taste of the cocktails. The grenadine cocktail was a bit too sweet, but it was still okay and enjoyable.
Well, I believe that the real issue behind the terribly slow service was not about operational mismanagement. Blame it on inverted racism attitude or valuing other races more than your own (www.urbandictionary.com).
Unfortunately, there are some Indonesian people who still consider that foreigners (Caucasian-look people so-called bule, to be exact) have higher social status than locals (Indonesians). Literally means “pale”, bule, is an Indonesian slang for fair-skinned people.
Since the bules tend to spend more freely when they come to Indonesia, they look rich. So, these inverted racists have a stereotype that “all” bules are rich. And spendy.
I mean no offense about this. But in fact, not all bules are rich for real in their hometown, although some of them are. They generally become rich by conversion rate. Say, they can get more stuffs in Indonesia for $50 (about Rp. 400.000) than in their own country. So, they take a chance to be splendor travellers while visiting cheaper countries (by currency), which is something normal to do.
On the other hand, not all locals are poor. And not all of then are rich either. These inverted racists, who undoubtedly are narrow-minded, are not able or refuse to see this.
No one should judge the book by its cover. All guests deserve an equally good service regardless social status, outlook, skin colour, religion etc. As you have heard before: customers are kings. Customers are the real boss of your business.
First come, first served!
I actually don’t care what the staffs thought about us, but service discrimination is totally unacceptable. I
was am totally pissed off about it until now. And there’s no way I will return to that place again, ever!
Nonetheless, deep inside my heart, I feel sorry for them. They don’t only look down their own people, but also themselves. It gradually crushes their self-esteem and that’s pathetic.
It’s been 2 years and I hope that this inverted racism is no longer part of the company culture. Especially a new chapter of life has begun, marked by the arrival of year 2017.
I wish you all brighter days this year. Happy new year 2017!