Sunday, March 19, 2006


Well, that was interesting, my last post “Culture of Contempt” which was basically to direct attention to the "Culture of Littering" seemed to morph into a scary movie version of them “them vs. us”.

I am never real happy with a “them vs. us” argument as I am never sure what team I am supposed to be on. Take EXPAT for example are all BULE (white skin) Expats? Is there a time limit? Length of residence? Family Roots? What about the children of mixed race?

Moving on, you can have Philipino or Japanese Expats but they cannot be “BULE” (or maybe nominated BULE like asian whites in apathied South Africa)? A citizen of East Timor working in Indonesia, are they EXPATs or cousins returning to the old country?

Chinese are Expats except when they are born here, then they are accepted as part of the fabric of the country? Does one have to be Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu to be part of the team? Or is it Javanese, Balinese, Sudanese perhaps Papuan? Maybe there is secret points system that I am not aware of. Maybe a second generation, mixed blood, Papuan Christian is entilted to so many opinion points as opposed to???.

Maybe I should I stick to just being a “BULE” , sort of “off white” so should pass there but does that mean I have to:

a. Drink to excess (what if I don’t , can that be overlooked?)
b. Chase underage women (what about the major enthic group that frequents areas like Batam, does this mean they get “BULE” points?)
c. Over Earn (If I don’t do I lose points?)

Maybe I don’t do any of those things does that make me a good Bule or bad Bule (or maybe there is no such thing …)

If I am Javanese and move to Bali/Papua for a job, am I a variation of EXPAT? my culture, customs are as different in that area as any “BULE”. I am obviously there to earn more money than I can at home which is a prime driver for any number of Bule.

Ok that’s it, just a little rant for a Sunday. In reality, I believe that Indonesia’s greatest strength is her diversity. People who try and dictate what makes an particular social or enthic group here are doomed to failure and frustration. Be it Javanese, Sudanese, Chinese, Bule, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Expat, Tourist, all go into the pot and in some way make Indonesian what she is. You can boil the pot all you want but she will still continue to confound, confuse, amaze and tempt you.

P.S. I still don’t know what team I am on…I kinda like it like that.


Anonymous said...

i'm back. why is the boiling pot a "she"? you are going to get into trouble again!!
I warned you about comparing (and defining) but you continue - at your risk mate.

Is bule a rascist term? try that one. Is wog in oz a rascist term?

no need to answer this stuff - unless you know the answers of course. And in that case you should publish and make money from it.
so long.

oigal said...


You really need to give yourself a name. "She" is actually refering to the country, generally accepted I would think (Thats the way I think of her anyway). If you are looking for PC, then this is the wrong place.

Bule, like wog is only racist in context, actually doesn't worry me being called that nor was that
what the post was about. Its about which box do I (and others) fit in and how hard if not impossible to pigeon hole people.

Comparing..where did I do that? and if I did whose problem mine or others?

As for warnings..bit like wet signs really

treespotter said...

*LOL* good point. I don't think bule is racist tho it clearly points to color (the words bule refer to 'albino'). but i get what you mean, it'll always be like that, the feeling of being an alien in a strange land. it's part them and part us.

to fuss about semantics will be a waste of time. cant resists stereotypes either.

we just do.

what trigger this post anyway?

PS: I am all against censorship in any form. Absolute. i'll take on this next time.

oigal said...

Lots of things trigger the post. Not to be taken too seriously tho (you know lazy sundays)but I guess the main trigger was the inference by some people re: my "littering" post and others was somehow unfair and I should not make comments on Indonesia because I am Bule, Expat, etc etc.

Mind you, in some cases there may be a point..a weak one but a point. But with pollution and'n give me a break!

As for Bule...No problems for me, I have been called lots worse. Hey I have even watched "Bule Gila masuk Kampung" on tv.

In fact, Spotter you are a classic case, to prove my point. What pigeon hole do we put you???

bule said...

"bule" maybe racist term, but there's more positive than negative. we get more respect even if we go out dirty and under-dressed. we automatically get more money even if we go nasty and shout at little people. so cheer up and be glad! :)

oigal said...


I am not depressed, nor was it supposed to be a complaint about the "Bule" just more about the different people, races, religions, groups etc etc that make up Indonesia and how its is impossible to put any one group into a box. There is no such thing as a typical Indonesian, Bule or anything else and this is what makes it fun.

Sorry it if came across as depressed not meant that way

treespotter said...

okay... hold on... i'm not sure if i read you correctly, you think i'm being racist/xenophobes against bule?

that's lotsa bollocks, sorry to say. i know i don't have to present a defense, but trust me, you can't be further away from the truth as those familiar with my flesh meat version can testify to.

my recent comments taken out of context might've been misleading, but that's only because i'm assuming many expats (or anyone in foreign land)are educated individuals with open mind to see the culture they're venturing into. This is a generous assumption, of course.

it's only more disappointing to see that the very group that holds so many potentials sometimes participate all too willingly in the very things they fussed about. It's sad, it's pathetic and it's plain stupid at times.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'classic case' but i'm more into rabbit hole, if you get my drift...

oigal said...


ABSOLUTELY NOT, what I was trying to say..

In fact it was supposed to be a compliment. You don't fit into any box from reading your posts. Sometimes they are manic, sometimes funny, lots times weird, sometimes informative and sometimes frustrating..and its not possible to put you into any particular box..I could not call you a typical anything...(and thats a good thing)

If it reads any other way (I didn;t think it could).. you have my sincere apology 100%

Even when I disagree with you, your points have a logic.

cheers..still friends?? grin

treespotter said...

we gotta stop this apologizing thing. too cheesy. :D

a lot more fun when we just flame each other and catch trolls together and stuff...:D

rabbit hole... rabbit hole...

oigal said...


Trust me I am going to flame you..grin.

I waited weeks for your much heralded 2nd porn bill post and we got the "Morans" posts. Frankly I expected more.. but what can I expect I suppose you are in

Still I will arc up another anti porn bill post soon and see if I can't get you "marah"