Tag Archives: Bule Hunter

Catatan: Tentang Bekerja

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Perempuan yang Bekerja [2016:EO]

Sebagai orang yang enggak bisa anteng dan meneng, saya enggak bisa hanya duduk di rumah dan do nothing sebagai ibu rumah tangga. Bahkan, saya enggak pernah berminat atau bercita-cita untuk menjadi a fulltime housewife. Rasanya ada sesuatu yang kurang dalam kehidupan saya. Apalagi sebagai wartawan, dulu saya selalu bertemu dengan orang yang berbeda-beda setiap harinya dan mendapatkan ilmu baru dari mereka. Belum lagi pekerjaan saya dalam dua tahun terakhir ini yang benar-benar membuka mata saya sebagai individu dan citizen di sebuah negara. Tetapi tahun ini saya harus mengambil jalan tersebut, menjadi a fulltime housewife.

Kenapa? Well, sebenernya tahun ini saya akan melanjutkan sekolah untuk program Master of Global Affairs selama dua tahun di Munk School, University of Toronto, Canada. Rencananya, sebelum kelas dimulai di bulan September lalu, saya mau mengikuti suami saya ke Dhaka, Bangladesh untuk beberapa bulan. Tetapi saya terpaksa harus menunda program tersebut karena saya hamil dengan due date 10 January 2017.

Enggak dapat dipungkiri bahwa sebenarnya banyak perempuan hamil yang masih dapat meneruskan sekolah atau pekerjaan selama musim dingin di belahan bumi utara sana. Tetapi saya memilih untuk mundur kali ini. Kenapa? Well, pertama sebagai first time mom,  I don’t know what to expect during the pregnancy dan saya akan sendirian karena suaminya bertugas di negara lain; bayi akan lahir di musim dingin dan I hate winter, the temperature is unbearable for me; dan yang terakhir saya khawatir saya enggak akan fokus dengan kuliah saya karena dua hal tersebut. Dengan berbagai pertimbangan tersebut, saya memutuskan untuk mengirimkan deferral request email ke mereka. Thanks God, they approved.

So now, what am I going to do in Bangladesh? A new country which I don’t speak its language and can hardly understand its alphabet. Saya mulai stressed. Ada yang bilang “Ya udah sih, mendingan kamu belajar menerima hal tersebut dan nikmatin aja.” atau ada yang bilang “Kamu sih enak, walaupun jobless setidaknya enggak moneyless.” Well, setiap orang kan berbeda-beda. Saya enggak setuju dengan pendapat tersebut. Kenapa? Karena saya belum memenuhi dua kebutuhan dasar saya sebagai manusia sebagaimana dikemukakan oleh Abraham Maslow, yakni ego/harga diri (esteem) dan aktualisasi diri (self-actualization).

Lagipula, apakah hidup ini hanya melulu tentang uang saja? Uang memang penting apalagi kita enggak akan pernah tahu akan apa yang terjadi suatu hari nanti, tetapi saya menyadari bahwa uang enggak membawa kebahagiaan. I can say this because I have been there. Rocking a lot of the high-end fashion designers stuffs and eating in fancy restaurants/bars, yet I was not happy. It does not mean that I don’t like beautiful things anymore but I value things differently. Dan bisa saya bilang, memang jauh lebih menyenangkan apabila kita membeli sesuatu dengan keringat kita sendiri.

Lagipula, sebagai perempuan Indonesia yang melakukan kawin campur, stigma ‘numpang hidup sama mister‘ akan terus melekat pada mereka kecuali mereka bekerja. Lha wong sudah bekerja keras saja masih dilabeli numpang hidup sama mister kok tapi ya itulah manusia.

Saya jadi ingat kata-kata Bapak saya: rumah tangga itu bagaikan gerobak yang ditarik kerbau di mana gerobak akan bergerak lebih cepat jika ditarik oleh dua ekor kerbau ketimbang satu ekor. Selain itu, ketika salah satu kerbau tersebut sakit atau mati, gerobak masih tetap bisa dijalankan meskipun dengan seekor kerbau saja. Dan saya teringat oleh kata-kata tersebut sampai sekarang.

Jujur saja, sita-cita saya, saya enggak cuma bekerja hanya demi uang tanpa menikmati apa yang saya lakukan. Saya ingin mendapatkan pelajaran dari pekerjaan tersebut juga. Dengan begitu, saya akan terus merasa tertantang untuk terus meningkatkan pekerjaan saya dan pengetahuan saya akan sesuatu. Dan tentu saja dengan harapan enggak mengecewakan perusahaan. Selain itu, saya ingin bisa memberikan manfaat terhadap orang lain. Mungkin saya terlalu optimistis, saya lebih memilih untuk bercita-cita tinggi dan terus belajar untuk menggapainya. There is nothing impossible.

Tetapi kali ini, saya harus mengalah untuk sementara hingga saya melahirkan dan mengisi waktu luang saya dengan membaca buku, mendengarkan kuliah umum dari universitas terkemuka melalui podcast, membuat catatan dari kuliah umum dan buku yang saya baca tersebut, olah raga dan belajar memasak. Dengan demikian, saya terus dapat mengekspresikan diri meskipun secara terbatas. Lha wong Mbah Lindu yang sudah 96 tahun saja masih mengekspresikan dirinya kok, masa saya enggak.

Tentu saja ini adalah sebuah pilihan dan setiap orang memiliki prioritas yang berbeda-beda, ada yang memilih jadi fulltime housewife, ada yang memilih untuk terus bekerja, yang penting selama kita bahagia dengan pilihan tersebut, kenapa tidak? Ya toh?

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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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Notes: Judge Me

When 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 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 

Jakarta 050315

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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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