Life in Paradise has taken a wrong turn somewhere.
Yesterday afternoon, we were unceremoniously asked to leave our current digs by our landlady Mrs. Putu.
She began the conversation by asking us to pay her some money for the local village as a 'tax' or some such. I reminded her that several weeks ago she had explained to us that she is responsible for paying this unofficial tax for any tenants in her holiday homes.
But worse was to come.
"You are leaving on July 23rd?" she said, phrasing it like a query but also a comment.
The husband looked up from his computer, a worried and confused expression on his face.
"Um, no. We hadn't decided to leave" the husband said.
"Somebody is taking this place on 23rd July" she stated, this time more firmly.
"What?" the husband exclaimed, rising from the table and staring at her in shock.
"That's three weeks away!" he said, motioning for me to come over and get involved.
"But we reserved this place for three months" I tried to reason. "When were you going to tell us?"
"Just a minute" the husband interjected, "Are you saying you want us out of here? You want us to leave?"
Mrs. Putu put her head down briefly then looked up, an unreadable expression on her face.
"Yes. Yes I do."
A most uncomfortable exchange of information followed, wherein the husband and I stared with dismay at our soon to be 'former' landlady, disappointment written all over our faces.
It turns out that Mrs. Putu has apparently been shedding crocodile tears, covertly in her home, over the demise of her precious orchids, her precious flowers which the monsters have supposedly been damaging - unbeknownst to us.
Then she tried to say how she liked our children but...
The husband pointed out that for several weeks now we've been graciously putting up with the huge construction job going on around us, and have been very understanding about the constant stream of workers filing past with cement on their heads - the ongoing circular saws shattering any semblance of peace.
Then I brought up the rats.
That did it. She got tears in her eyes and stormed out, clearly offended, whether true or not, that I had insinuated that her former home was rat-infested.
The husband and I were left starting at each other in shock, distinctly pissed off and not a little hurt. What happened to Mrs. Putu's insistence that we were like 'family' to her, and our belief that we'd made a friend for life? Heck, we'd even paid good money to watch her play Gamalan in her local dance and music troupe a few weeks back - proudly beaming at her onstage and posing for pictures afterwards.
Of course, we're not convinced that it's simply a case of broken orchids...or mischievous monsters.
No, we suspect it's a little more along the lines of now that construction has finished on her new outbuildings, and this place no longer resembles a giant building site, she knows that she can charge a heck of a lot more for our digs and is going to turf us out in the name of the almighty Rupiyah.
And did I mention that it's high season? And everywhere is booked up?
We've been totally Putu'ed.