Imagine our surprise when we are told our guide is a prince; imagine our surprise when we are told he is the favourite to become king; imagine our surprise when we are left feeling used and cheated. West Timor consists of three Kingdoms within which are three royal families that aim to serve their people. Amanuban is the largest and most prominent of these kingdoms and our guide just so happens to be a son of the king. On day one his guiding skills appeared to be expensive but spectacular. High intelligence and an ability to fluently speak more than 8 different dialects meant that every question we had could be answered and communication between ourselves and the villagers could establish a pleasant flow. It is obvious why this man was chosen to guide Sir Mick Jagger a decade ago.
But on day 2, after Prue got sick and our plans had to change, his ability to use us as a cash cow and waste our time left us feeling devastated. Repetitious requests were made for us to praise him on our website for being the best guide, and in fact the only good guide in West Timor, but through all of this time he forgot something very simple, to listen to his guests and tend to their needs. Our needs were straightforward, we wanted to immediately hit the final destination of the tour and go back to our accommodation. But Mr Pae Nope seemed unable to justify sending us back so early and still making his claim of 120 dollars for that day. In order to make him feel more comfortable he proceeded to waste our time slowly and gradually over several small steps. “We can stop just a moment” had us watching his car have a wash and polish “thank you, now I don’t have to do at home.” Then “you must rest at my place” had us waiting for hours outside his bungalows, all the while the people he is looking after are so uncomfortable.
Too add insult to this injury he then ordered us expensive transport, made us wait for it and left us to pay for it instead of driving us himself.
If only the prince had stopped singing his own praises as a guide and listened to his clients as he does his villagers, then maybe we wouldn’t be feeling so royally screwed over.
Imagine our surprise when we decide it is OK to write a letter of complaint to a future king.