A scrawny guy, megawatt smile on his sun bronzed face, waved his skinny tattooed arms over-enthusiastically as we approached the beach cafe. Ushering us to our seats, armed with menus, he asked the usual, “Where you from?”
His eyes lit up and sparkled with a glow that I couldn’t quite comprehend.
“Oh! Singapore. I have a friend in Singapore,” he exclaimed which still failed to explain that peculiar twinkle in his eyes.
Laurencia asked for the bathroom and upon her departure, the scrawny guy sat down beside me and looked at me with those eyes. “Is he your brother?”
An odd question. “No, we are friends.” I answered, regarding him warily. I thought the flirts only existed in lovely Kuta. My reponse seemed to have stoked the strange flames in his eyes. In a manner which felt like an oft-performed script, he launched into his pitch.
“I work here. I earn little money.”
“Singapore is very good. But I have no money to go there.”
“Maybe you can bring me there, buy me tickets to go there visit you.”
“I can make you happy happy. We do anything you want. If you happy, I happy.”
That was when it hit me.
On Balangan Beach, Bali, in a cafe overlooking the massive waves constantly crashing into the shores, I listened to the first sugar baby sales pitch of my life. I cannot have asked for a more dramatic, a more perfect backdrop to be pimped to.