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October 2015

Those of us who have lived in Bali a long long time are often asked about the changes we have seen. While they have been many they happen as time passes and we often do not always notice them until much later.

Many years ago my friend Janet decided to start a Writer’s Festival in Ubud. It was partly a means to get people to come back to Bali after the bomb of 2002 which badly affected tourism arrivals.

The Festival took root and grew by itself under the guidance of it’s Captain Janet. Today it is one of the best known and attended festivals of its kind in this part of the world.

It always surprises me that this festival is attended by people from all over the world who have come to Bali for this event only. They are attracted by the participants, the speakers, the people and the setting. They are full time participants and might not do anything which a tourist would do. They are here for the festival and it is the business of their visit.

For those of us with white skin who live here it is interesting to see these crowds of visitors moving quietly between the various venues and taking in the offerings. They are delighted. Always as you peruse your programme for the next day you find there are inevitably some sessions which you have marked with an asterisk which clash with others which are similarly marked. You have to make choices. You cannot do it all. It is too large. It is too good. 

Outside the daily sessions there are many other activities like book reading, films, performances, plays, poetry readings and fun fun things which happen with or without organization. The nights are full, the days are full, the minds are full and the stomach doesn’t do all that badly either. There is a totality in the Festival which means that if you never saw anything of Bali you would have still had a great time.

A camaraderie occurs around the eating table or amongst the waiting crowd as people compare sessions and talk about the ideas which have been discussed. There is never a moment to be idle. Mind food is plentiful 

There is still time for you to get your ticket for the four day festival which is available online at  We would love to see you there.  

Thank you Janet.

Douglas Myers
October 2015


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