The road to the resort is long and twisting, going from asphalt to gravel to dirt and back. Our path takes us through the slums, and I peer outside at the blackness.
“Why is everything so broken?” I ask.
“They are poor. The tsunami was happened quite recently.” my mother replies.
I look back outside, wondering why there aren’t any main roads to the resort, and why we had to rumble through the pitted roads of this small village.
And why they all stared.
The villagers stood at the sides of the street and looked at us expressionlessly as we drove through in the tour bus, their eyes shining in the dark of the night. I look away, unnerved, and lean back to stare at the plush seat in front of me for the remainder of the ride.
We arrive at our resort in total darkness, shuffling our way to the correct suite by the light of windows.
“Do you hear the sea?” my mother asks, “It’s so quiet, but so loud.”
“I hear it,” I reply, “I wonder how far it is.”
In the morning I walk outside and realise we are right by the ocean. It is much nearer than I thought it was. It’s an endless plane of azure mirrors, with the early sunlight refracting off every edge and wave. The sounds of the ocean were near now, beckoning and beautiful. The morning light splashes summer magic on everything it touches, making the beach glint and glitter. Back home it would be winter, but here, it is tropical paradise.
I am overwhelmed by the things I want to do. It’s the picture perfect paradise that a photo can never seem to capture. It’s the samba music floating through the air, chasing out the gloom from last night. It’s the omnipresent warmth that seeps into my skin, coaxing the tension out my body.
It’s the bubble of tropical utopia. In the middle of the slums of the city, we live in luxury. Away from the blank stares of the unfortunate citizens, we bathe in paradise.