Jakarta Nightclubs & Discos

Feb 8th, 2007, in Asides, by

Scott Deckman is writing a novel set in Jakarta and wants to know the following:

...Now I was wondering if you could help me out with something pertaining to the novel, this time what was going on in Jakarta nightclubs in the years 1980 and 1991, specifically.

In the novel, a 15-year-old girl meets an Aussie businessman in 1980 and gets pregnant and has a kid. Later, in 1991, she meets an American businessman and the two decide to get married and she and her daughter travel with him the U.S.

Here are the questions quickly:

In Jarkarta in 1980, what types of business would an Aussie be involved in that would take him to Jakarta?

In 1991, what type of business would an American be involved in that would take him to Jakarta?

Do underage girls hang out in the nightclub areas of Jakarta looking to snag an older white guy for a ticket out of Jakarta or for them to be their sugar daddy, so to speak? Like the 15 year old did in 1980? Are they allowed inside the establishment? Is there a drinking age?


35 Comments on “Jakarta Nightclubs & Discos”

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  1. avatar Sri L. says:
    February 9th, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    To Scott Deckman:

    I cannot respond to your question whether underage girls hang out in night clubs to snare a – presumably well-to-do – white guy since I have not lived in Indonesia since the mid-70s. I do remember, though, that visiting a night club was definitely rather daring for a woman unless accompanied by a parent or older relative. My impression is that the girl/young woman would put her good reputation in severe jeopardy if she went all by herself or even with male and female friends her own age.

    Well, furthermore, I am rather saddened by your intention of creating a story of a much younger woman pairing up with an older white man. This seems to feed into an old colonial stereotype of white male benefactor and grateful Indonesian wife/girlfriend.
    It definitely smacks of pre-Independence, pre-World War II, colonial South East Asia.

    I have lived in the United States and Canada since the mid-70s and find that the Indonesian – “white-guy” marriages are between people of roughly the same age. In fact, I know several long-term marriages where the “white-guy” husband is a bit younger than the Indonesian wife. And, it needs to be said, that from my observation, the couple usually comes from similar social status and have at least one university degree. Presumably, they hung around university libraries and graduate schools instead of night clubs or discos. However, a setting of the latter would possibly attract more readers who just want to be titillated.

    I suggest that Scott also looks at romances or couples where the woman is the white partner and the husband the Indonesian one. A famous example is ANN SOETORO,
    Barack Obama’s mother, a practising anthropologist with a Ph.D. who was married to an Indonesian geographer and PERTAMINA employee.

    So far, I have met only one couple here that conforms to that dated stereotype where the white husband is much older than the Indonesian wife. However, the wife was an architect in Jakarta before she married her “white guy” huband.

    So…………………. to Scott Deckman, good luck with writing a gripping, sizzling novel containing white – Indonesian pairings and affairs of the heart, BUT PLEASE DO NOT REINFORCE STEREOTYPES!!!!! The world can really do without stereotypes.

  2. avatar Scott Deckman says:
    February 10th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Hello Sri L. Thanks for all the feedback. I wanted to address a couple points you made. As a novelist, or at least the way the creative process works in me, I don’t necessarily think in overarching political themes, politically correct or otherwise – I’m never politically correct, actually – I look for a story and see what kind of human emotions I can bring about. In short, I try to show life. When writing about the character Deborah, I didn’t plan on her being half-Indonesian, it just struck me and I went with it. In hindsight, knowing just how hard it is to talk to Indonesians, it woulda been much, much simpler to make her Filipino since there are so many of them around in the States, but I stuck with my original vision. You see, I didn’t know much about Indonesia, and this has been a learning process for me, but in much of Southeast Asia – particularly the Philippines, young woman are constantly trying to land a white male to take her away from poverty and to the “good life.” If you can call the West the good life, materially yes, spiritually, spiritually we all suffer from the same malaise as the East – maybe more. Be that as it may, I didn’t know that the tradition in Indonesia was quite a bit different. Believe me, as an artist I am trying to be as true to life as I can be – warts and all, and am in no way trying to put another culture down.

    But I am sure that there are golddiggers and poor women who do want out of poverty in Indonesia, just like in America, Mexico, Panama, Ukraine, China, you name it: it’s called the human condition.

    But the real kicker is there is only about a page or so about Deborah’s mom and how she came into being, and only a little about their hardships once they got here to the States. They were abandoned by the bule in Washington, D.C.; it’s a sympathetic portrayal, believe me. The character Deborah, is crazy but half-brilliant. Sure, she swears in Bahasa/Javan and makes references to her being an “brown girl” or “Asian” from time to time, but she’s a whole nother animal. Deborah is a feminist-spouting, wannabe self-actualized callgirl-shock rock singer looking for her big break in the music biz. She’s the most beguiling character in the book, if not very likable. That’s just who she is, warts and all. As a reader, you definitely wanna see what she’s up to.

    If you’d like, since you were kind enough to write in, I will forward you what I wrote about Deborah and her background. I need all the help I can get. Give me your email address.

    SCOTT

    Sdeckman73@hotmail.com

  3. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    February 10th, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Australian: mining, oil, gas.

    American: oil & gas & shipping.

    American & Australian: support services for both of those, off-shore platforms, drilling, spare parts.

  4. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:
    February 10th, 2008 at 11:45 am

    In the early 1980s, I doubt many young Indonesian girls were interested to snare or date a Bule, much less an older white male. Bules back then were more of a novelty, something to be stared, observed and giggled from a safe distance. I believe there might be odd cases but not common. Indonesia in the 80s was not as modern or as cosmopolitan as neighboring Singapore.

    An example back in the late 70s and early 80s as I could recall; when visiting Jakarta with my siblings, whenever we chanced on Bules in malls or shopping strips, my parent would point us in the direction and whispered to us, “tu na, ambok putih ama anak2nya”, and we would watch them in awe. Bules were not common sight those days and were treated as zoo exhibits.

    ps. just in case you don’t know “tu na, ambok putih ama anak2nya”. In Kali, it means “Look over there, white monkey and their kids”

  5. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    any more comments from Bule?

  6. avatar Janma says:
    February 15th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Yeah,
    you’re parents didn’t teach you manners….!

  7. avatar Oigal says:
    February 15th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    What on earth made you think AAB has parents Janma? Every else he is well aware he is a jewish plant for the case of post birth abortion

  8. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:
    February 16th, 2008 at 7:47 am

    @ Janma

    Anyone know Asian kids are well mannered and well behaved. We respect older people, someone older than us, we call them ‘bro or sis’, much older people are ‘uncle or aunty. We were taught that way.

    You said you are an ‘Aussie’, you should know the most unruly and disrespectful children are Aussie kids. Their parents taught them to call Asians ‘Ching Chong’, ‘Banana boats’ and they pull their eyes to the sides to imitate mata sipit. I have Malaysian Chinese friends who reside in Oz land living in denial, and said they were mocking people with small eyes, and not Chinese! Gee, I should not be speaking for our Chinese brothers as Brown men do not have small eyes.

    Mbak Janma, you said in another post that you mixed with Turkish, Greeks, Italians, etc. These are well behaved kids just like ours. Certainly not the offsprings from the White trash.

    Remember the Australian White policy wasn’t too far back. Should we treat them as equal back in the 70s?

    @ Oigal

    *burp*

  9. avatar Janma says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Aduh AAB!!!!

    I live amongst asian kids…… don’t forget….it’s true there is a stereotype of them being much more polite than western kids… since I’ve had both I can say that in some ways that is true, they won’t stand up for themselves to their parents… .they’ll just sneak out the back door and do it anyway.
    I’ve seen my neighbours kids sit on their arses all day flexing their muscles in the pos kamling….. watching as their parents and grandparents haul bricks and cement to build the new house… one guy had nothing better to do than do push ups on the side of the road every time a girl passed by, but didn’t move a muscle when he saw his old mother with a heavy load of bricks on her bald head… (she’s bald because she pulls her hair out from stress they say…)
    They just watch their grandparents slave away in the ricefields all day while they rev their new motorbikes they demanded from the family, just arriving to pick up grandma at sunset.
    We are buying some land at the moment….. for some reason there is a tradition of kids swiping their inheritence before the parents are even dead…. so the son deals with the selling of the land, takes all the money, opens a warung and then makes his parents pay for a cup of coffee and cigarettes when they come there. That happened with my neighbours on the other side of me too, some japanese rented the land and built a house, the son got all the money and the father borrows money from us for food….. tell me how does that fit into the asian ideal!?
    I have ALOT to say on this subject if you want to know….. my kids are naughty when they are little, it’s true, naughtier than their asian equivalents maybe…. in a different way…. but give me naughty kids any day that grow up to be able to think logically, act independently and aren’t scared of their own shadow!
    The kids who were not anglo saxon that I played with when I was a kid weren’t any better than other white australian kids, they snuck out, drank beer, had sex in abandoned houses… the whole lot….. they just never got caught!
    I never knew any parents who taught their kids to make fun of strangers or foreigners. Unlike in Indonesia, we consider it rude to stare at someone who was different…. “don’t stare, it’s rude!” was the lesson oft repeated….. you hardly even have a word for stare in indonesian! I see parents all the time when I pass, telling their kids to look at me….. it’s SO rude!
    so, no….. I don’t see asian kids as any politer than their western counterparts.

    Laporan Selesai.

  10. avatar Oigal says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 10:44 am

    AAB,

    @ Oigal

    *burp*

    Wow great come back…I am bleeding from you razor wit…Do try and act civilised, we are in mixed company here (in your case, humans and others).

    Meanwhile, try for that obvious stomach disorder, perhaps a drink of coconut water and good lie down will help get rid of the hate and bile..

    have fun

  11. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Janma, Oigal,

    He’s baiting you.

    But Janma, — interesting take. Especially on the treatment of older people. Why do the parents put up with the brattiness ?

  12. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    @ Janma

    Your essay was that Brown kids are lazy, I don’t disagree with you; otherwise an observant English man would not have commented on our work ethics, “1 Chinese equals to 3 Indians and 10 Malays”. We simply love to nongkrong because we are blessed with fertile lands and vast natural resources. I had in previous postings brought this up that we, pribumis, need to be protected from hardworking immigrants Cukongs in our land.

    But my point was that Asian kids, in generally, are well-behaved and respectful. You have not respond to that other than pointing out there are naughty ones. Well Mbak Janma, another Javanese wisdom to put in your pocket,

    “Not all bakso are made round”

    @ Oigal

    The *burp* was from tasteless Swan Lager, not the stale air you expulse out of your ass and mouth after a weekend groging Bir Bintang at an alleyway in Blok M with hookers.

  13. avatar Oigal says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    The *burp* was from tasteless Swan Lager, not the stale air you expulse out of your ass and mouth after a weekend groging Bir Bintang at an alleyway in Blok M with hookers.

    Yawn..Is that best you can do, oh whatever happened to the days of classy insult..such as yourself and the practical joke on mankind..that will teach your forebears to wallow in the shallow end of the gene pool..

    As the teacher said to the lazy student “Do try Harder”

    Assmad..I know..are you sub-contracting trolls now?

  14. avatar Janma says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    No, not all bakso are round….. as not all asian kids are polite, and not all white kids are trash….

    So put that bakso in your soup and eat it!

    Does that mean I took the bait achmad?
    Janma
    *hook in mouth*

  15. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Oigal,

    Apparently.

    Janma,

    Maybe. But if there’s no one to read the internet posting when someone takes a bait and a leaf falls in the forest did it happen ?

    All too much for a simple possum, possum.

  16. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Neither possum nor posse, it is pomme.

  17. avatar Dragonwall says:
    February 19th, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Common guys don’t you know that the clerics are issuing a new visa. This is a visa to no dico and niteclubs. Sorry should be fat was…

    Indonesian Justice department are sh*t good for nothing bunch of idiots who condone such fat was to be set in the firefront of democracy.

    Janma please don’t be mean, be polite and well behave. You don’t know what’s cooking.

  18. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    February 19th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Why do the parents put up with the brattiness ?

    Mula keto, anak mula keto uling nguni, anak mula keto arah-arahe (Indeed, this is how it always has been, this is how it has been ordered from above).
    It’s the culture, Achmad. Always keep smiling, never show discontent and always pretend nothing bad has happened.

  19. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    February 20th, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Achmad Sudarsono said

    Maybe. But if there’s no one to read the internet posting when someone takes a bait and a leaf falls in the forest did it happen ?

    However according to ‘chaos theory’ small events can have big and unpredictable consequences, called the butterfly effect, suggesting that the mere flapping of a butterfly’s wing can change the weather.

  20. avatar rima says:
    March 10th, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Scott,
    I am an Indonesian woman and I might be able to help you with your problem. I lived in Indonesia until 2001 and now I live in Europe. Although I myself married an Indonesian, I have many friends who married outside their race, for financial reasons and/or plain love. I used to hang out in clubs as well and am very familiar with the jakartan/bali clubbing scene. you can contact me if you wish to do so.

  21. avatar Marisa says:
    March 11th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    In Jakarta in 1980, what types of business would an Aussie be involved in that would take him to Jakarta?
    In 1991, what type of business would an American be involved in that would take him to Jakarta?

    I wouldn’t know the exact anwers to these questions, I was a little too young to notice during that period. One thing for sure, it’s the New Order era, a time when foreign corporate establishments spawned in the country. So it could be anything, possibly related to gas and oil, mining, or agriculture, like Achmad said.

    Do underage girls hang out in the nightclub areas of Jakarta looking to snag an older white guy for a ticket out of Jakarta or for them to be their sugar daddy, so to speak? Like the 15 year old did in 1980? Are they allowed inside the establishment? Is there a drinking age?

    Clubs back in the 80ies were a slight bit different from the present era. Clubs and DJs weren’t so organized as how we (or I) see today as a steady and growing subculture, like how UK used to have Joy Division. Back in the 80ies, clubs were all about house kota turungtungtung; Jakarta was all about radio DJs, mullets, Michael Jackson, and Dono Kasino Indro.

    Clubs in the 80ies, if it wasn’t reserved for any underground cult–grind metal or some sort, were basically like pubs. Then again there’s this racial thingie which I’d hate to mention, bigger clubs in the 80ies like Ebony were situated at Ancol area which is always associated with the Indonesian Chinese, rich people closely related with the Cendana clan. Some say, Tommy Soeharto was a regular in those places. Knowing its visitors–and its visitors’ exclusive clienteles, most likely there’ll be preman everywhere.

    Therefore if I see an underage kid goes clubbing today, I could still say that the kid’s in it for the music, the social scene, or mere peer pressure. But yes, rules are rules, most clubs check IDs (although not all and not to everyone), strictly disallowing visitors under the age of 21 as the minimum drinking age. They also have bouncers to take care of further problems.

    But if I see an underage kid goes clubbing in the 80ies, I don’t know, maybe Sarinah or Blok M weren’t hip enough for her? :mrgreen: If she was allowed to enter the club, it’s quite possible because she was “encouraged” to enter the club. If I were you, I wouldn’t be investigating the story on the girl, but on the people who have encouraged her.

    By the way, just a suggestion, please don’t write in a way Moammar Emka writes. Strippers, hookers, sugar daddies, pimps, and all. Can we have something that does not promote bias and focuses more on what is important?
    It’s okay if you can’t though.

    Good luck on the book! :D

  22. avatar WSB says:
    March 12th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    no friction no energy
    no energy no life
    no enemy no friction
    no enemy no life

    I SAY LOVE YOUR ENEMY

  23. avatar naga says:
    March 12th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    The problem is that stereotypes are based on truth and that most Indo girls would give their right arm to marry a bule for that sake of poverty alleviation and status…

    and Jakarta’s bars are flooded with under-age girls, more so in the north, where they cater almost exclusively for the local Chinese market…

  24. avatar Murphy says:
    March 13th, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    The problem is that stereotypes are based on truth and that most Indo girls would give their right arm to marry a bule for that sake of poverty alleviation and status”¦

    If that is your view of Indonesian women, it just reflects the kind social circle you are in and not necessarily “based on truth”.

    The “most Indo girls” that I use to hang around find it challenging to maintain a real relationship with a bule.

    First they must overcome the cultural barrier of introducing to their family somebody with a completely alien look and most likely of different religion.

    Second, the couple must be reasonably good looking to Indonesian standard, (to avoid the ayam-hanging-on-to-her-fat-old-bule stereotype), or dress well (no excessive makeup, animal print tights or low-necklines top, the “ayam” trade mark), or have similar income level. Otherwise you can actually feel the condescending look of the crowd when they are holding hand in the shopping mall.

    And imagine when they finally get married, the question that comes over and over again from their friends is: “is it true that bules have gigantic d*ck?, is it painful?”

    So, no. “most Indo girls” that I know of will not even think of marrying a bule; let alone give their right arm for the chance.

  25. avatar Lairedion says:
    March 13th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    naga seems to be an expert on the Jakarta flesh market…

  26. avatar Oigal says:
    March 13th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    is it true that bules have gigantic d*ck

    yes it is and thanks for asking

  27. avatar Murphy says:
    March 13th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Ah, that explains the lack of blood supply to the brain. Thanks for answering.

  28. avatar Michael says:
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    An example back in the late 70s and early 80s as I could recall; when visiting Jakarta with my siblings, whenever we chanced on Bules in malls or shopping strips, my parent would point us in the direction and whispered to us, “tu na, ambok putih ama anak2nya”, and we would watch them in awe. Bules were not common sight those days and were treated as zoo exhibits.

    @ Aluang Anak Bayang

    Well Aluang Anak Bayang mate if I can call you a ‘mate’ because your just an uninformed fool and your upbringing reflects that from your childhood!!!
    e.g. from your parents…. “tu na, ambok putih ama anak2nya” it means “Look over there, white monkey and their kids”.
    And Indonesian kids are well behaved??? I’ve lived in Jakarta for over 1.5 yrs and I’ve never ever seen such spoiled brats that through tantrums with maids, parents etc and that is anywhere that I’ve looked at them!!! And that is all over Jakarta!!! Spoiled, rude and certainly not well behaved!!!
    From that example your upbringing and let me tell you that I was married to an Indonesian woman for 8yrs and she told me the same that she never ever contemplated and she hated western men or thought that she would ever love or be with a bule man! Well she never ever loved the bules cause she’s now back in Jakarta where she belongs she never ever fitted in our society, but Aluang Anak Bayang may be she was like you because she was very introverted and couldn’t speak her mind once she came to Australia and she always accused everyone and thought that everyone is “Shouting at her”. And I’m sure that her upbringing the culperate to her problems and I’m sure that they are to yours with that sort of basic example that was set by your parents!!!
    Listen here the Australian white policy was just that ‘a policy’ goes back to the early 1900′s and I’m sure that the Indonesian policies are not perfect either and are right down prejudice and have been for decades!!! The Australian people and governments have waisted S_I_T loads of money to help and do the best for our indigenous people but ‘U Can’t Help the Ones That Don’t Want to Help Themselves!!! And that is our indigenous population’s biggest fault and problem…well at least 75% of them any ways!!!
    As far as your Malaysian Chinese friends are concerned well there are always stereotypes and primitive types in any society….look at indonesia a classic example your culture doesn’t like to embrace immigrants!!! What it’s virtually impossible to immigrate to Indonesia, what it takes 10 years or what ever and then when you do you get looked down upon etc etc …so please don’t come with all this rubbish because most western countries welcome Indonesians and give them a much fairer and more equal rights then they would get in Indonesia!!! And that especially applies to the Chinese Indonesians who were persecuted during the late 90′s and were blamed for the Indonesian resection??? WHT??? You have a very short memory my friend and you like to blame everyone except your self!!!

    _________________

    @ Aluang Anak Bayang
    Aluang Anak Bayang I love Indonesia and it’s people and different cultures!!! I think Jakarta is one of the most exciting cities in the world!!! I don’t go to Indonesia for the bar girls or to be an overpowering bule and think that I’m superior to your culture or your people!!! I go there because I REALLY LIKE INDONESIA AND IT’S PEOPLE!!! I respect you and I expect the same from you no matter what you have been brought up with!!! Westerners respect you and there are always stereotypes that don’t!!! But Aluang Anak Bayang religious prejudices always outweigh and brainwash ones thoughts and objectivities!!! And sorry I can’t and don’t want to blame you!!! Because Aluang Anak Bayang that is how you have been brought up to be and that is to think that westerners or non Muslims are indifferent and lower than you!!!

    ________________

    What on earth made you think AAB has parents Janma? Every else he is well aware he is a jewish plant for the case of post birth abortion

    @ Oigal
    Listen here!!! It’s a very easy copout to denigrate the Jews!!! As all Fundamental Islam DOES!!! But the Arabs & Jews loved each other until the Russians communists got there indifferent polices and wanted to plant their armaments and policies and give the Arab countries their support on a ONE condition that they HATE THE JEWS!!! But on the other hand I don’t support the USA for what they did with Israel!!!

    Oh and of course now we come to the blame and the problem! And that is the Palestinian bull sh*t that they blame the Israelis’ for the entire Palestinian problem!!!

    Let me tell you this”¦.The Jews love the Palestinians and the Palestinians love the Jews!!! 85% of Palestinians’ live in harmony and really don’t like to be called Palestinians they like to be called Israelis’!!! You know why because 98% of Palestinians work together with the Jews and are in very great and loving cooperation!!! But the Palestinian mainstream doesn’t love the Palestinian fundamentals that are aggressive and assertive and give the mainstream no other choices!!! Either you Comply or you Die!!!
    And as usual in any society ‘The Minority Rule The Majority’ and what I mean by this that it implies to every culture and society ‘especially in the western world’!!! You know about smoking, you have to be passive to your kids education, the green thing, the education thing, the freedom for information thing etc etc!!!

    And NOW the Palestinians want to be the same, because most Palestinian people are hard working peaceful and want to live in peace and harmony, they don’t want to live in conflict with the Jews as most of them have lived in peace and harmony for decades!!!

  29. avatar Rob says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 4:54 am

    Listen here!!! It’s a very easy copout to denigrate the Jews!!! As all Fundamental Islam DOES!!! But the Arabs & Jews loved each other until the Russians communists got there indifferent polices and wanted to plant their armaments and policies and give the Arab countries their support on a ONE condition that they HATE THE JEWS!!! But on the other hand I don’t support the USA for what they did with Israel!!!

    Wow…I learned something today! This whole Middle East thing is because of the Commies and cold war domination…back to the history books for me!

  30. avatar Rob says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Oops…

    This part that follows is not part of the quote from Michael…pressed the wrong button at the wrong time…the wow part is all mine…

    Apologies…

    Wow”¦I learned something today! This whole Middle East thing is because of the Commies and cold war domination”¦back to the history books for me!

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