Eyes on the road, Rhonda!

There is an ad screening on South Australian TV that shows a woman (Rhonda is her name) in Bali (or similar) who has saved money on her car insurance, and can therefore afford a holiday. She lies on a beach, drinking cocktails served to her by the delightful Ketut, who tells her she is “hot like the sunshine” and “eyes on the road, Rhonda…!”

There are a number of South Aussies on the cruise (myself included) who have taken to calling our cabin stewards Ketut (my steward is actually called Ivan, and he’s from Indonesia) because of the ad. It is a term of endearment, not disrespect.

It’s all “my Ketut this” and “my Ketut that”. Anyone listening to the conversation would think we were nuts. But we are connected by the fact that we share a similar understanding. And we all admire our Ketuts, who are always pleasant and helpful and who work long hours, for around $50 per month.

Many of us have experienced a “moral dilemma” about the rate of pay for our Ketuts. It seems like slave labour. Apparently, though, the room service charge of $11 per day per person supplements the base rate.

Somehow, though, this still doesn’t make it seem quite right.

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