Once I got my taxi voucher I was passed around to about 4 drivers, none of them wanting to make the 1 hour 15 minute trip to Ubud. Just as I was thinking I was off to a really bad start and would never make it to my hotel they found a kid who lived near Ubud anyway and agreed to drop me off on his way home. I was nervous about accepting a ride in some kids personal vehicle, but at this point I didn't think I had much of a choice. My driver, Ketut (one of many Ketuts I would meet while in Bali), was actually very friendly and sweet. He loved romantic songs and began serenading me...adding my name to every song that came on his preset 'best love songs Of the 90's' playlist. He was such a trip. When we rolled up to the hotel everything was dark and he asked me to stay in the car until he made sure everything was okay. Very chivalrous :)
There was in fact someone waiting for me, so I said farewell to Ketut and was ushered into a little doorway leading into a true Balinese family compound, which had been converted to a bed & breakfast of sorts. Instead of heading to reception to check in I was directed straight into my room by Ketut #2. It was about 9:30PM at this point and he said I could check in the following morning. I was pretty shocked by the size of the suite he led me into. First a common room with 2 twin beds and a couch, then a huge bathroom that I'm pretty sure had been a kitchen at one time, then upstairs to the master bedroom, again very spacious. The bed had one of those towel swans in the center with flower petals strewn around. I asked him if this was the right room because I'm only one person, but he assured me it was. Note, I was only paying $13/night. The light in my room didn't turn on so in a flash Ketut was off to get a new light bulb.
Once alone I could reflect on the fact that I was now in Bali, in an amazing villa, and dammit, life could not be better. I drifted off to sleep in the comfy bed and proved myself wrong when I woke up the following morning to a stunning view of rice fields and the sun streaming in through my giant bay window.
Despite the constant crowing of every rooster in Ubud and it being 5:30AM I couldn't help thinking, seriously, life is good!