I’ve been to the seaside before occasionally since I left the tropics, but only now making a conscious effort to take notice of the world around me have I realized the stasis and the change in resorts.
The seafront stores still sell ice creams, fish & chips, cold beers, trashy souvenier stores. The ice creams ane the same. A proliferation of soft ice and not a lot of real ice cream. The fish is the same… except that it’s not. Cod is now one of the most expensive fish, where it used to be one of the cheapest. Of course this due to overfishing of the crash of cod stocks, but this is the front face – the only thing that capitalist consumers see of the big picture. Beers are also the same… except they’re not. There are a lot of “local” beers, except that they’re almost all owned by Carlsberg or Heiniken. There are very few real independent microbreweries any more. Trashy souvenier stores still sell crappy plastic toys, cheap rip-offs and film… wait no. No-one has cameras that use film any more. Instead there are recharge cards for prepaid mobile phones. There aren’t even large racks of batteries any more to power all the cameras, flashes and walkmen. Even torches have subtlely changed and now use LEDs, so don’t need 4 D batteries to power them any more.
Little changes, but it does make me wonder what I have still missed. It makes me hunger to be even more aware. Certainly in the last couple of years – probably a couple more than that, I have been going through life without really being aware what is happening – without really living it.