Masseuse at Kuta

Wayan Rakel is a masseuse who plies her trade along Kuta Beach. Almost 60 years old and living in Kuta with her husband and five children, she shared her day with The Bali Times

“It’s a big relief that my husband and I were able to support the family.”

I wake up at 3am, and start looking after my family. First I cook for my children. When they have gone to work, I attend to other household matters like washing dishes, cleaning up the house, washing clothes and ironing. I enjoy working in the house because it gives me something to do.

My husband works as a gardener for local people living nearby, and my children work in different places. Two of them work at a villa in Seminyak. Another works at Matahari (department store). One works as an engineer in Kuta, and the other one is a housewife. We’re a close family.

I have so many grandchildren now, about 10, I think. I can’t remember the exact number because there are so many of them.

After I finish household chores, I rest for a while and take a nap. When I wake up I get ready to go to Kuta Beach, where I work as a masseuse.

When it’s raining, I can’t work on the beach because no one will be there. When that happens, I make canang, which are Balinese offerings. Making canang is necessary for all Balinese Hindus. I’m not sure what Hindus do in other countries, but in Bali, making canang is part of our tradition. Women especially are expected to make canang.

When it’s not raining, I go to the beach in the afternoon, usually around 1 or 2pm, to do my work as a masseuse. I walk to the beach because it’s not far from where I live. Sometimes if there’s light rain, I’ll still walk to the beach, if I think it will stop soon.

Typically I work from 3pm to 7pm. Then I walk back home. Walking is healthy and is good for the heart.

Sometimes people don’t need my skills because they’re only at the beach to surf or to walk along the shore.

But I like my job. I’ve been working as a masseuse since I was a young. It’s been about 35 years since I started.

When I was young, I also worked as a garment seller, selling sarongs and various Balinese souvenirs on the beach.

One of my daughters used to help me work on Kuta Beach as a garment seller, too, but now she just works at home and takes care of her house.

It’s a big relief that my husband and I were able to support the family with these jobs, but I’m happy that none of my children do what I do for living now. Even though I like my line of work, it’s much better for them to live different lives.

Still, it’s wonderful to have a life like mine. I like the beach. I see and meet new people, and I can take care of my family by doing so.

I don’t think I will leave my work as a masseuse anytime soon. I don’t want to stay at home and rest, even though some people think I’m too old for this job.

I will keep doing this job until I really am too old for it.

Filed under: One Day

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