Thumbs Up from the Maitre 'd Padangbai Bali April 2014

Well, as they say, all good things must come to an end. And so it was with our five weeks in Bali. We flew to Sydney in Australia a few days ago then headed to the Blue Mountains where we will be minding a wee doggie and her house for six weeks.

But, this post is really to mark the leaving of Bali, so I have chosen as this week's Pick one of my favourite images from my time there. By the time I made this image I was a very familiar part of life on the street, and pretty much was on at least smiling and greeting terms with all the other people who, like me, spent a lot of their time working on the street.

Like this man, the Maitre 'd of the Kirty Beach Bungalow Restaurant. As the two tourists stopped to look at the menu (it seemed that at meal time it was almost de rigeur to carefully check out all the menus on display at all the restaurants along the sea front before choosing where to dine. Even travellers have their little rituals), I was passing by and thought it made a nice little scene. As I was about to press the shutter, the maitre 'd gave me the thumbs up.

It was both a pose and a wave of recognition to me. A kind of message passed from him to me: "Yes, just another lot of tourists doing the dinner time menu check. Just like they do every day." At least that was my thought, and I reckon it might just have been his as well.

Bali is, like all places, cultures and societies, complex. Most people who visit don't get to see or expereince much of what life is really like there. I certianly didn't. I like to think I am a traveller and not a "tourist". But at the end of the day I, like every other visistor, fly in, spend a little time in a place, then fly out again.

Of course I have made observations, formed ideas and drawn conclusions, some of which can be found in my other blog posts and in the images I made there. But, as I said, this post is really only to mark my leaving of Bali.

I will let this photograph be my thanks and tribute to the people of Bali