Slice Of Life Tuesday -Change Marches On

Change never goes away. It's a constant in our collective lives. It’s fingerprints are everywhere. Sometimes change is subtle and unassuming; sometimes change is dramatic and overwhelming.

A week ago I was in Bali, warm and relaxed, enjoying a few days of Bali beach culture. Today I am back in Melbourne in winter gloom; the wind blowing relentlessly around me as I navigate my way through the working day. Climate change is real! A six hour plane ride makes a world of difference to your comfort levels. Bali fades into the grey gloom of my wintery existence. I’ve changed from beach gear to my heavy winter coat and my favourite winter scarf. Wardrobe change as a survival mechanism.

I saw change occurring on the beach in Bali as well. The tourists are no longer arriving in the profuse numbers they once did. Economic gloom in Europe and America has spread like a dark cloud across the globe and the hawkers who scratch out a meagre living selling their wares and services on the beach strip, are victims of this changed circumstance. The wind of economic change is blowing directly upon them. Change can be indiscriminate.

My Balinese friend, Jack once did a strong trade in henna tattoos on the beach.Now, demand for these temporary body adornments has fallen from favour as legions of younger tourists seek more permanent body markings. They no longer seek out the temporary solution. Change has imposed itself on Jack’s precise art. He is now striving to re-position himself; seeking work as a driver for tourists. Competition for such work is stiff, as demand dwindles in a fragile tourist industry. Change can be difficult.

During my Bali break I watched the young men attempting to sell day old, often recycled newspapers in front of the tourist hotels. They too are being squeezed by the relentless pace of change. There is something pathetic about the sad passing of an era. Dwindling demand makes their efforts all the more desperate. The newsboys of Bali are swimming against the technological tide. A slow death is taking place here. I wonder if they sense it? As the world embraces on-line media, print media increasingly struggles for relevance.  Change can be cruel.

We can delude ourselves and turn away from the prospect of change, but it will be right there when we turn back. It would seem far better to look upon change as an opportunity, rather than an inconvenient truth. Particularly those aspects of change, we can exercise some control upon.  Bring it on I say. I’m ready. I am an experienced changling. Whether we realize it or not- we all are! We just deal with it in different ways.
Legian Beach, Bali, Indonesia


  1. Wow Alan,
    Thanks for detailing things we sometimes fail to realize as we are so far removed from those realities-like the guy no longer selling the temp tattoos...the economic climate has been extremely devastating to the public school systems-all we hear these days is budget cuts, budget cuts, budget cuts! Hopefully things will eventually get better...and you're right, people do deal with change in many ways!

  2. Thank you for a thought provoking post! Change is so inevitable and yet there are times when we all yearn for the good 'ol days.

  3. Sorry to hear of the circumstances of change you noticed in Bali. My family & I have spent many vacations at a certain resort in Mazatlan, Mexico & we won't go back, at least now, because of the violence. I've often wondered how those who make their living on tourism there are doing. Although we in different circumstances are ready to take on change, others are not so able, don't have so many choices. Thanks for the thoughtful words, Alan. Keep warm!

  4. I love the way that you brought the word change up multiple times, each time adding a new dimension to the word. I especially enjoyed the power of your concluding lines as your writing built up over time. I appreciate your positive outlook and the reminder that we can choose to deal with change in different ways.

  5. I think we are also feeling that here, in the US, in the winds of educational reform. Reform? Really? Change is not always for the best for sure,

  6. Change is that singular constant in our lives that is greeted with pleasure or dread. Thanks for taking me to Bali with your words. Were you able to revisit while you wrote them? What a contrast to the Melbourne weather!

  7. "I am an experienced changling." That really captures it.


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