Review: Snowing in Bali

The upcoming third batch of the execution of drug convict has once again triggered controversy. Supported with official data, some have stated that  the death penalty is actually not the answer to Indonesia’s drug problem. Some have even stated that those, who were busted and sentenced to death, are only courier and not big dealers. Most of them are coming from lower middle income family. I asked myself Is that statement correct? The controversy actually raises a lot of questions in my head, such as “What do we really know about drug syndicates in Indonesia? Are those who were arrested  just victims and being trapped? Or, are they professional drug runners? What do we really know about the Brazilian drug runner Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, who has been executed in early 2015? Was he just a courier? What about Mary Jane Veloso? What do we really know about the world illicit in Indonesia?” I have heard some stories but honestly it was still unclear to me. But when I read Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World, much was reveled.

Written by Kathryn Bonella, the author of Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail, Snowing in Bali highlights the drug world in Bali with interesting details. It opens the readers eyes about why people choose to enter the drug world, how the drug syndicate works, who those drug convicts are, how drug syndicates deal with the Indonesian legal system and what drugs can do to people.

One of the characters identified as Rafael, who is described as a former Brazilian cocaine boss in Bali, reveals stories of Peruvian and Brazilian’s drug syndicate in the island of God. The Bali-based Peruvian and Brazilian drug syndicate has been trafficking drugs in Peru, Brazil, the Netherland, Sweden, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia as well as Australia.

Despite the fact Rafael appears as the main character in Snowing  in Bali , it also highlights the story of Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira who was executed  by firing squad in early 2015. Apparently, Marco has been a long time player who started his business in the 90s as a marijuana dealer in Indonesia. He imported top quality marijuana from the Netherland to Indonesia. Among his peers, Marco was known as a Lemon Juice’s King. Interestingly enough, Rafael actually started his career as a freelance marijuana salesman for  Marco.

As a freelance marijuana’s salesman, Rafael generated a huge profit which can pay for his fancy lifestyle in Bali. Knowing how easy it is to make fast cash through drug trafficking, Rafael has turned himself from a salesman to  drug runner and quickly to be one of the biggest cocaine player in Bali. He trafficked cocaine from Peru to Indonesia as well as Australia over the years. He had huge villa, nice cars, fancy motorbike, designer fashion collection and also a hell lot of money.

Surprisingly, many people who want to earn fast cash and enjoy a good life but do not want to do a real job, some would sometimes go to a dealer and request for ‘a job as a drug runner’. Although it is a risky job, many would take it anyway.

An older Brazilian woman, who has been living in Bali for 20 years, sidled up to him at parties hustling for a chance to run. “I need a job. I can do it – nobody is going to stop me because I’m old. Let’s do it.  (p.56)

However, every party must come to end sometimes. Many of Rafael friends, includes his own wife Anna, were arrested by authorities across the globe. Not forget to mention his former ‘boss’ the Brazilian Lemon Juice King Marco who had always been very confident that he would be able to escape from the authorities or even the death. Luckily, unlike Marco and Anna, Rafael managed to escape from the authorities and did not end up in jail. Nevertheless, he still has to face another consequences. His wealth slowly went down to the drain, he could not even pay the basic bill.  Rafael then decided to leave the game.

In the end, after all the glamour, I don’t feel proud. I try to forget this shit. Because I don’t think it is cool. I poison people here with this shit just for money, nothing else. Poison people, fuck families, even make people die from overdose. I like to show off in that time. For what? Now I have different value for life. (p. 387)

Reading the 401 pages of book actually makes me thinking twice whether I have to feel sorry about those drug convicts who are facing death penalty or not. Should I feel sorry for late the Brazilian Marco or Rodrigo Gullarte in the same way I feel sorry for the Philippine drug convict Mary Jane Veloso? The answer is NO.

Marco and Rodrigo are not the same as Mary Jane. Marco is a dealer, Rodrigo is a horse and Mary Jane is a mule. So what is the difference? Well, Marco and Rodrigo were aware with the risk meanwhile Mary Jane could have been trapped by greedy heartless dealer.

Mules are not the kind of people who work for me, people who come to Bali and enjoy life, this is a real horse. But mules are really, really desperate people. Really poor people, don’t speak English and they fall like flies– Andre, drug dealer (p. 166)

Rodrigo Gularte is a 32 years old rich upper middle-class guy from South Brazil. He was the black sheep in a rich family. He’d started sniffing solvents as a teenager and despite his mother trying to set him up in various careers, he chose to traffic drugs (p.286)

Overall, Snowing in Bali is very intriguing. I could not even stop reading the book. At the end, the readers actually can see the red line between many drug cases especially in Indonesia if only  those drug cases have been exposed by the media continuously and properly. Reader don’t have to believe whether it’s objectively written or not but It is worth reading.

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Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail

Bali has been known as a paradise for surfers, beach lovers as well as party animals. Bali’s natural beauty and distinctive culture somehow have been able to attract millions of travelers to visit the Island of God annually for decades. Yet, the Island of God is not free from the dark world including drug cartel. Wide range drugs from  weed, cocaine to heroines with various qualities are available in the island. Anyone who wants it, they can get it as long as they have money for it and know where to get it. However, drug is illegal in Indonesia. Even small quantity of drugs can bring anyone to long jail sentence, heavy fines as well as cost thousands of dollars to get your freedom back. A Nepalese inmate Den was quoted in the Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail saying that “If you want to have a little bit of freedom, you need to pay money, including for beer, movie or even girl (sex worker).” Otherwise, you will end up living miserably in the jail cell.

Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail is written by an Australian journalist, Kathryn Bonella who is also the author of No More Tomorrow Schapelle Corby as a warning for travelers. Any holiday can turn to be a nightmare any moment as soon as they are dealing with drugs in the Island of God. With the main source Ruggiero, a Brazilian inmates who was arrested for possessing 146 g of hashish, 43 g of cocaine and one green ecstasy pill, and few other foreign national inmates, Ms. Bonella is trying to bringing the readers inside the Hotel K. Not a fancy villa with private swimming pool and hot shower but a pig house with filthy bathroom, dried poops and dead rats in the water tank. It is just dilapidated.

Through 301 pages of book, Ms. Bonella describes how complicated dealing with Indonesian justice system is and how corrupt Indonesian justice system is -be in the police station, the court as well as inside the jail- is. Really? Is Indonesian justice system corrupt? Yes and it is not surprising. Previously, one of Indonesian top lawyer Hotman Paris was even quoted by various international media outlets including  New York Times and The Age  saying how unclean Indonesian justice system is.

And yet, life does not get any cheaper as soon as one goes inside the prison, one would need to continue to pay their bill as if they are freeman as there is nothing free inside. Interestingly enough, inmates are not only able to buy mineral water, soap or instant noodle but also  beer, weed, cocaine as well as heroin inside Kerobokan prison. What? You could even purchase drugs inside the prison? Yes. That is indeed interesting.

 “Kerobokan is drug paradise. Drugs all the time. No special time for drug. Drugs twenty-four hours. You smoke cigarette, you smoke shabu. The party was daily. Every single day after lunch we’d sit outside and get pissed, those who want to smoke shabu, smoke shabu; those who want to use smack, use smack. That’s on daily basis. ” Brazilian inmates Ruggiero told Ms. Bonella. (132)

So the question is now being “Does arresting drug dealer/runner actually have a significant deterrent effect to them? Will they ever stop of doing their drug business?” No, it does not seem so.

Arman wishes to become Hotel K’s drug lord. He was selling huge quantity of drugs inside and outside, paying Laskar (Bali) for protection, and prisoners and guards to work as couriers supplying bars and club across Bali. Arman made at least 100 million Rupiah a day, sometimes 300 million Rupiah a day. Many times I saw the guy folding up the whole lot of money. He sold shabu, heroine, ecstasy  ganja, hasish, cocaine.” (196) 

I must say that it is slightly shocking but I believe that public actually has acknowledged it through media reports over the years. Even recently, a drug lord Freddy Budiman, who was sentenced to death in 2013, openly admitted that he is still running his business from the jail cell with the help of prison guards because the China-based  drug syndicate does not have any other ‘distributor’ in Indonesia.

Honestly sometimes I wonder how dangerous drugs are? Hotel K gave me clues and  I found it interesting

“With Laskar and Arman pushing drugs and offering unlimited credits to westerners, many inmates let their drug bills spiral out of control. If they couldn’t pay up when Arman called in the cashed, the consequences were deadly.

Many of the westerners who lost control of their drug bills got cash from their parents or friends to avoid being bashed.

Juri (an Italian inmates) lied in any way necessary to get cash from friends and family for his heroin bills.  (198)

You see? Reading Hotel K makes me understand why President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has declared war on drugs. As a president, he refuses to grant president clemency to drug dealers or runners because the drug dealers and runners cannot just be stopped and they do not want to stop. Other than that, an addict would eventually not just hurt themselves in many ways but also their family.

Interestingly enough, it is not only drug dealers who cannot stop themselves from committing crimes when they are in prison. Other criminal still do including  scammers and thugs.

Benoit was one of three Africans doing time for a fake American dollar scam. All three were now acting in sync in Hotel K to find investors among the wealthy drug bosses. Benoit was working with Afong and the third African named Karim. (178)

I must say that I enjoyed reading Hotel K because it was produced through interviews and document research which means it can be quiet objective. It opened my eyes. It brought my imagination inside Kerobokan Prison. It shows the readers what kind of people end up in the prison and what kind of life inmates have inside the jail. It is scary. It drives you insane and brings depression. It kills your soul. Other than that, even though you can buy your freedom by bribing the guards, it is not a life inside the jail cell. For me, it would be very wise to not ignore the warning while you are visiting Bali, the Island of God, the paradise as your holiday can turn into a nightmare any moment.

Yet, I asked myself “Should I buy Ruggiero’s stories especially Ruggiero told Ms. Bonella  the Balinese hate foreigners, they are so jealous simply because only one Balinese guy snitched on him?” He seems like to generalize things and many of his comments sound to be angry or coming from a talker. Well “Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World” has more stories to tell and makes the readers understand about who Ruggiero is. Juicy and eye-opening!

 

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Indonesia: Death Row and Drug World

Indonesia will soon make another international headline as the Attorney General Office has been preparing the execution of drug convicts after executing 14 drug convicts last year. Despite the fact AGO has not published the names and the dates,  Beritasatu TV has reported the names of nine drug convicts who would be executed within weeks.

As many of you might be aware that under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration, the Indonesia government has declared war on drugs. President Jokowi stated that he refuses to grant any presidential clemency requested by drug convicts. As a result, any drug convicts, who have been sentenced to death by the court, would be executed. The government believe that capital punishment would give a deterrent impact and eventually stop drug trafficking in Indonesia. Nevertheless, this step has triggered controversy both in the national and international level.

Many argue that capital punishment is not the answer to the drug problem in the country and it is considered against human right. The government ignores the noise and carries the punishment anyway. As a sovereign state, Indonesia has its rules and regulations which could be implemented. The only way to stop capital punishment is by urging the government to revoke the capital punishment from the regulation. Yet, as I listened to the national radio program, many people actually also support the government decision to execute the drug convicts to tackle the drug problem because it is worrying.

Interestingly enough, some media reported how inhumane Indonesian government is because the government of Indonesia did not give notification about their execution to the convicts as well as the family. Is it true? I doubt it. Hence, it got me wondering “If some want to defend the drug dealers and trafficker from being executed, what do we really know about those drugs convicts? Should we have sympathy toward them?” I do not know.

So last month, I came across to two books titled “Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail” and “Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World” at a bookstore in Ngurah Rai Airport Bali. I found the title and cover very interesting. I read the blurb. It seems to be juicy, it is about crimes, drugs, sex and politics in Indonesia. I decided to buy two of them.

Yet, I was actually bit sceptical because of this book was part of a trilogy written by Australian author Kathryn Bonella who wrote “No More Tomorrows Schapelle Corby“. You might wonder “And so?

Well, Schapelle Corby was a convicted drug runner, who was found guilty of smuggling 4.2 kg of marijuana into Bali in 2004.  Denpasar District Court sentenced Corby 20 years imprisonment on May 2005. Since then, she has consistently claimed that she was innocent and fought for her release by filing appeals, judicial reviews as well as request for presidential clemency. On March 2010, she filed presidential clemency claiming that she has been suffering from mental illness. She eventually won the presidential pardon under the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on February 2012. She was then released on February 2014 but must remain in Indonesia to July 2017.

The thing is rumour has it that the release of Corby was actually part of government deal whereby the SBY government had struck a deal with the Australian government to extradite an Indonesian fugitive Adrian Kiki Ariawan, a graft convict who fled to Australia in 2003. However, former Vice Minister of Law and Human Rights Denny Indrayana denied that the extradition of Adrian Kiki Ariawan had something to do with the release of Schapelle Corby.

Unfortunately, I have a conspiratorial mind and I was suspicious. I said to myself, perhaps these books are actually forms of pressure to the Indonesian government to release Corby. Is it possible? But who is Corby? How important she is?  Was she a mule or a horse? Was she really a victim? Or did she play a victim? Is it a way for a convict drug dealer to escaping heavy punishment by claiming that they are suffering from mental illness?

And by the way, one of her lawyers was Hotman Paris. How much did she pay him? Is she coming from a filthy rich family? How could she afford him? Where is the money coming from? Or is this book just a form of comprehensive criticism to the Indonesian justice system?

I must say that it is hard to tell. Everyone has their own story. Everyone has their own agenda. We cannot just buy her stories through media, including books. Right?

So I began to read these books to find the answers and the red line. Instead of finding the answers, I actually start to have more questions. Yet, I must say that these books are eye-opening and easy to read for non-English speaker. If you want to know further, you can check my upcoming post on “Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail” and “Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World“‘s review.

Ride the bus

Notes: Women’s Voices

Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott [2015:EO]

Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott [2015:EO]

When I published “Bule Hunter: Money, Sex and Love”  in September 2014, I received a stream of criticism in the net from many people. I would have understood that they criticized my book after they read it but they have not. They criticized it based on some media coverages. Those are including many Indonesian  women, who are in relationship with Western Men and feel offended with my writing as well as other people are who simply narrow minded.

Some of them said that it was just a bunch of gossip, some of them said that it’s not a journalism work because it’s very subjective yadda yadda yadda (Well honey, it’s hard to find an objective journalism work these days. Media is controlled by companies who are linked to govt). Anyway, there were big wave of nasty comments coming toward me. It was terrifying! 

Frankly, I was shocked reading those comments. I refused to read further for few weeks. But I must say that I am grateful because  those haters actually  inspired me  to write my next book.

So when I went to  Times Bookstore in Plaza Singapura, I saw this book and purchased one. I read nearly half of the book within few hours over few glasses of Chardonnay. Since I read the title, I already assumed that it would have similar content to my book Bule Hunter. And YES IT IS!

It talks about Indonesian women, Western men, Indonesian men, western women,money, sex and  relationship. However, it seems nobody attacking the Australian author Malcolm Scott. At least, I didn’t hear about it.

Is it because the author is a man? Is it because the author is a Westerner? Or is it because he choose a soft title instead of Bule Hunter?! Or is it because it’s written in English and doesn’t get a lot of media exposure in Indonesia (if I understand correctly)?

Oh well, we are still living in an era and place where women can hardly say their voices loudly and bluntly! 

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Catatan: Buku atau Internet?

Pepatah mengatakan bahwa buku adalah jendela dunia. Tetapi di jaman modern ini, sebenarnya selain buku, internet juga merupakan jendela dunia. Kita dapat berselancar ke mana pun kita mau tanpa batas. Kita bisa melihat dunia dan mengenyam ilmu hanya dari balik layar komputer selama terhubung dengan koneksi internet.

Saya sendiri berkenalan dengan internet pada tahun 2000. Sejak kenal dengan internet, saya sering menghabiskan waktu berjam-jam untuk mengakses internet, entah untuk berkenalan dengan orang dari berbagai belahan dunia atau membaca berbagai macam artikel. Melalui internet, saya dapat mempelajari kehidupan manusia baik untuk kepentingan pribadi maupun untuk urusan pekerjaan. Saya sangat menyukai internet. Saya gila internet.

Namun sayangnya, informasi di internet terlalu banyak dan berserakan di mana-mana. Tidak terstruktur dan bahkan susah dibuktikan kebenarannya apalagi informasi di internet bisa dipublikasi oleh siapa saja, kapan saja dan di mana saja. Belum lagi informasi-informasi tersebut bisa dihapus oleh siapa saja, kapan saja dan di mana saja. Itulah internet sebagai jendela dunia.

Meskipun gila akan internet, saya ternyata lebih menyukai buku ketimbang internet. Kenapa? Karena setidaknya saya tahu siapa yang menulisnya. Tapi sayang saya agak kurang rajin membaca walaupun saya suka membaca.

Sejak kecil, saya suka membaca tapi saya enggak punya banyak koleksi buku. Saya pun jarang pergi ke perpustakaan di sekolah. Tapi….  saya sering ke “Taman Bacaan Tintin”, sebuah perpustakaan keliling yang menyewakan komik. Paling sering saya menyewa komik serial cantik :-).

Menginjak bangku SMA, saya mulai suka membaca novel apalagi sekolah saya dekat dengan Gramedia. Ketika banyak orang suka membaca tulisan Fira Basuki, saya lebih suka baca nover terjemahan karya  novelis Inggris Barbara Cartland. Barbara Cartland menawarkan cerita cinta dengan setting di kerajaan Inggris. Asyik, seru! Tulisannya membawa imajinasi saya ke dalam cerita tersebut.

Selain Barbara Cartland, saya juga suka tulisan Paulo Coelho. Penulis asal Brazil ini menawarkan berbagai refleksi kehidupan dengan tokoh utama perempuan. Menariknya lagi, Coelho selalu membawa sosok Bunda Maria dalam cerita-cerita spiritualnya.

Jujur saja, saya enggak terlalu banyak membaca tulisan anak bangsa saat itu. Kenapa? Saya enggak tahu mana yang bagus. Saya enggak tahu siapa penulis Indonesia yang bagus.

Suatu hari, saya mulai berkenalan dengan tulisan anak bangsa. London Wild Rose karya Kusuma Andrianto. Dari situ saya baru menyadari bahwa tulisan orang Indonesia enggak kalah hebatnya dengan tulisan orang asing. Saya pun mulai membaca tulisan karya Rendra, Ahmad Tohari, A.A Navis, Ayu Utami dan juga Djenar Maesa Ayu.

Tapi seperti yang sayang bilang tadi, saya kurang rajin membaca. Kadang baca, kadang enggak. Saya lebih banyak mengakses internet daripada baca buku. Nah belum lama ini, saya mulai berkenalan dengan tulisan Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Saya baru berkenalan dengan tulisan Pramoedya Ananta Toer di usia saya yang ke 27. Ke mana saja selama ini? Payah ya?! Biarlah!

Meskipun demikian enggak ada kata terlambat. Saya pun keranjingan mebaca tulisan Pram… Seru! Asyik! Menarik!  Sayangnya buku-buku Pram yang asli susah didapatkan. Kalaupun ada, saya harus mengeluarkan uang yang cukup banyak. Tapi enggak masalah, saya enggak suka membaca buku palsu. Sebagai penulis, saya enggak suka buku saya dipalsukan. He he he.

Bisa dibilang bahwa, tulisan Pram membuat saya mengenal Indonesia lebih baik. Tulisannya dikemas secara apik dan sederhana tapi penuh makna. Apa artinya mengenal dunia luar kalau saya enggak mengenal Indonesia sama sekali?! Ya toh?! Tapi ya tapi…. saya juga harus mengerti apa yang terjadi di luar sana secara seimbang.

Bagi saya buku dan internet adalah sumber informasi yang saling melengkapi. Internet merupakan sumber referensi akan informasi sedangkan buku memberikan penjelasan akan suatu isu secara mendalam. Di jaman modern ini, mau tak mau kita harus menggunakan internet, si jendela dunia, to keep ourself updated. Tapi bukan berarti kita harus melupakan buku sebagai jendela dunia untuk memahami isu secara mendalam. FYI, I don’t like reading ebook : -) 

Kalau belum suka membaca buku, mulailah dari sekarang. Enggak ada kata terlambat.

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Notes: Judge Me

ORG__DSC6299When people judge me as a gold digger, heaux or even slut because I wrote book titled ‘Bule Hunter’ and talked about s.e.x. in some chapter, -which is part of the reality of life but some people are too afraid/ hypocrite to talk about it openly- I actually don’t really care. 

If you wanna say those things about me, it’s fine. Say it. Perhaps I was-am a few of those things, perhaps I have done things in my life that I am not so proud of. I am not a saint. But one thing that we have to understand that the good and the bad always come together as one package. Just saying tho 

Notes: Why Am I Blogging?

e44c7025-693d-4983-8cf2-a6dcbbb37b28Perhaps some of you wonder why I like to share my personal problem in social media, i.e blog. Well, I am the type of person who I always have a reason why I do thing things whether why I shave my hair off, why I go to the gym or even why I blog about my personal life.

So why do I blog about my personal life? Once I read a blog post saying that writing a journal would help our personal growth and development because it would give us an insight into our behaviour and moods. I kind of agree with that statement, especially I have been writing a personal diary since I was a little girl and have been blogging since I was 16. I found that writing a journal would help me to reflect on my life especially everything that I have been going through. On top of that, I also can review the improvement of my writing skill and my vocabulary bank.

But I must say that I am not kind of person who likes to share my problem with my friend.  It is not because I don’t trust them to keep my secret but I tend to not believe or trust their judgement. Not saying that they are wrong, it is just ….. their judgement tends to lead me to further confusion.

And the most annoying part of it is people would start being judgmental and telling you how wrong or even how stupid you are without understanding the circumstance. They would even start telling you that “you should not have done this and that… and bla bla bla

Oh well… I guess it is our problem, we tend to listen to respond than listen to understand why the thing is going wrong with somebody’s else life. Am I right?

And those are the last thing that I want to hear from others especially when I know very well that they are not in my shoes.  Yet, sometimes …. I still have a discussion with my friends also about my problem but not to seek for advice.

So what should I do if I need some advice? As I love reading the book and listening to music, I always would seek some advice from an inspirational book or inspirational songs. It helps me to reflect on my problem. Other than that, they would never judge me but tend to give me a wiser suggestion. That’s the best thing about it! Try it!

So that’s why I rather share my burden by blogging than talking to friends because I want to protect my feeling, to protect my heart and to prevent me from bad influences from others. But as humanely as possible,  I am trying my best to not posting a harmful or sensitive blog anyhow. So bear with me readers….

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy my blog!

 

Exploring the world of ‘bule’ hunters

Bule Hunter: Money, Sex and Love” media coverage by The Jakarta Post, one of the largest English Newspaper in Jakarta. Article written by Novia D. Rulistia is titled “Exploring  the world of ‘bule’  hunters. It’s funny that my job is always to interview source and now I am being interviewed. Yet, I am still a journalist because I love my job. Below is some paragraphs of the article. You can access the rest here.

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After going out with a lot of Western men, she realized that many would appreciate her more if they could talk about many things with her.

“At first, I didn’t feel much appreciated — maybe because as a teenager, I had a lack of confidence and knowledge,” she said. “That’s why I easily ended up relationship with someone and find another one until I eventually realized that I also needed to be knowledgeable to hang out with them.”

She was often judged by the people around her about her relationships with the Westerners. They told her that she went out with them only because they were rich, and bule liked her because she was ugly.

“That annoyed me, because not all relationships between Indonesian girls and bule are like that. There are other things the society should know behind the relationship between Indonesian woman and bule,” Fani said.

She then decided to make a book which was based on her experience and her friends. The book, Bule Hunter: Kisah Wanita Pemburu Bule (Bule Hunter: Stories of Women who Pursue Westerners), aims to get rid of stigma attached to Indonesian women who date bule only for their money.

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About “Bule Hunter: Money, Sex and Love”

I try to explode myth and stereotype about Indonesian women and foreigners (Westerner) as individual as well as in relationship. Male dominated society tells women how to behave in hypocritical way, for example our society judges woman for selling sex.

All we have to do is driving around Jakarta, Bali, Yogya or any big cities and see places where the men, who dominate our society buy sex.

Our society (Indonesian) glorifies foreigner (Westerner) in a hypocritical way, on the other hand, we say foreigners sophisticated , educated and ethical, we usually assume that they are rich as well but the reality is some of them are none of this things.

So in a effort human being and human relationship are, this book is a small snapshot into the life of several Indonesian women unfairly described as bule hunter. 

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Notes: The Magdalene Featured Bule Hunter

Yesterday  a good friend of mine, Mahel told me that the Magdalene finally featured my first baby “Bule Hunter”. The article titled “What ‘Bule Hunters’ Wants’ was written by Sebastian Partogi, a Jakarta based feminist writer.  I felt so thrilled with it. Thank you for featuring my first book…. the Magdalene.

Readers …. Check the article out!

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The Eyes [2014: Yuventius Nicky]

The Eyes [2014: Yuventius Nicky]

Indonesian women who have Western partners or husbands are often met with negative, sometimes harsh judgment from people around them, from gold diggers to exotic-looking harlots.

​When you see an Indonesian woman with brown complexion walking together with a Western man, for example, you might hear responses like, “Why on Earth would a bule want to be with a woman with a tampang babu?”

Bule is an Indonesian slang word for Westerners, while tampang babu means the face of a domestic help.

Irked by such stereotypes, Jakarta-based writer Elisabeth Oktofani decided to write  a book called Bule Hunter: Kisah Wanita Pemburu Bule (Bule Hunter: Tales of Women who Pursue Western Men). Published by Rene Books this year, it is based on her interviews with several women with Western partners to understand their motivation in pursuing the men. Read more here

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