Oct 3rd, 2006, in IM Posts, by

On the "quality", or possible lack thereof, of expatriates in Indonesia.

Visitor Parvita, on the dating Indonesian girls article, makes these, somewhat stinging, remarks about expatriates in Indonesia.

I've gone out both with Indonesian and expat men (western and eastern) and my lesson to learn is: expats are just for fun and not to be taken seriously.

Most of them that comes over here, especially the westerners, are those who cannot "compete" in their country. And when they come over here, they make better living because our country pays expats waaaaaay better than nationals. Then they became like kings, thinking that they are superiors, and some girls fall for them. For instance, would you think a very successful and smart lawyer, or businessmen in England would move to a country like Indonesia? And the houses they live in in Kemang, when they go back to their countries, say, Italy, they will just live in a one bedroom apartment (or a studio) with no driver and a really small car, commuting to the city? The place I live and the car I drive currently is much much better than what they have.

I deal with lots of western expats, some of them are my friends. They told me that when they are here, they are handsome. In their countries, they are invisible. There you go, a confession from an Australian.

Some expats are even so obnoxious, having to live in the states for long, I know they are the loser kind but when they are here, they are surrounded by women and think that they are God's gift to women.

When a smart, rich, independent Indonesian women dates an expat here, that expat must be a really damn good one! [bold added]

Certainly some home truths there, but the "Most of them..." part may not stand up to analysis.

520 Comments on “Expats”

  1. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:


    I recommend to all Muslim man: you can have the best of both worlds. Wife #1: total pembantu & pembokat look. Wife # 2: half-way. Wife # 3: classic Melayu. Wife # 4: Indonona. Sometimes it can be hard to maintain the Indonona because they are a bit shallow & materialistic. But friend, even the taxi driver can have more than 1 wife. Better to keep them separate because they argue.

    Advantage of the pembantu type is you can throw them into a gubuk (hut) in the backyard with an old nokia with maybe Rp.200,000 credit and same for spending and they are happy. Indonona is more expensive, but for classic Melayu if you get the Muslim one (from Riau for example), she will have to do what you say. Don’t get the Aceh woman; she is cerewet and to be ‘anus’ (honest), kind of scary and galak. Don’t, whatever you do, go for a Batak. They eat dog.

    Oke Friend ?

  2. avatar Olip Bastupa says:

    Hi Oigal,

    When I mentioned about porn movies, I didnt mean that I watch them every day, not even once a month. Anyway, enjoying porn movies has nothing got to do with respect to the opp sex, even having sex with hooker (in my opinion) can not be catagoirzed as a disrespect to the women, If a man watch porn movies and by doing so he hurts a woman (wife, gf) feeling, that is disrespect! Cheating (having sex with hooker) without his wife of gf know about it, that’s disrespect!
    What Clinton did to Monica, that’s disrespect! Capiche?

    My point is clear, when bules maried an exotic girl (read: pembatu looks) it simply means that this bule is an inferrior type (compare to other bules).
    It’s about physcology of men, when a man feel inferior, he wont find a partner who are more inferior than him self, that’s suicidal πŸ™‚ In other word, we call it EGO.

    By nature physic always come first than followed by heart, that’s why we know a song called ‘dari mata turun ke hati’ not the opposite.

    Again, no offence to all women who has a pembatu face, as Ihaknt said they didnt have an opportunity to chose how they look when they were born, I agree with that, but that’s not my point, I just wanted to draw a line between a smart bules and a low IQ bules.

  3. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Olip, again, ati ati kualat. How do you know that these bules are of those with low IQ? Have you actually spoken to them and done a thesis based on that? And how many of these bules have you spoken to? Many that I know are actually quite high up in their companies, managing several people, and for the wives, they are decent women. If you are a narcicist, then it’s your right to be. But you cant judge that people have low IQ just because they date ugly women/men. What’s ugly to you maynot be ugly to others. Others probably think that you are of a low IQ cos your partner is ugly, but you dont think he/she is (I dont know what you are). Some people are able to see beyond the phisycal appearance, hence many couples still stay together, even after their partners are badly disfigured. They dont forget underneath the skin the partners are the people they love. You? I doubt you can.

  4. avatar Olip Bastupa says:


    For some extend…i agree with you, for bules who has maried with those women purely by heart… that’s an exception…for all bules in Phuket or Bali who dates women just for sex…YES !!! They are a f@*^%ing looooseeer !!! πŸ™‚ Idiot, zero IQ, you name it.

    Beauty is a must, those women with ugly faces…in fact they are not realy ugly, it simply because their evolution is still progressing…

    Kualat is word for kids… Karma is word for mature adult, since Karma I did not do or think anything wrong…that’s ok.

  5. avatar Dimp says:

    for all bules in Phuket or Bali who dates women just for sex”Β¦YES !!! They are a f@*^%ing looooseeer !!!

    Why quoting only bule? At least they are honest about it, they only date these women for sex, and the women are only after their money. There are more Indonesians who date other Indonesians for reasons other than love.

  6. avatar Ihaknt says:

    “Mature adult” funny that coming from you.

  7. avatar Aditya says:

    This is great – missed all of this wallowing in self-pity . Fred – what gives dear boy? your Indonesian has become truly terrible:-

    “Tidak, aku tidak bisa bicara bahasa indonesia. kenyataannya aku tidak bisa baca tulis.
    Koran cuma buang buang duit saja.

    Aku punya beberapa teman dari indonesia. Cewek cewek itu ngasih aku sex secara gratis. Aku tidak bisa bayar untuk itu

    Aku cuma bule yang tidak penting. Kalo kamu gimana?

    Kamu mau bilang kalo orang yang ngajar bahasa inggris di indonesia itu pelayan, PSK, penggali, ato pembersih toilet?”

    “buang buang duit” – what on earth is that?

    Who did you get to translate that for you? The whole thing is truly clumsy though better than the “satu bir dingin” set – or those who punctuate posts with the odd “GOBLOK” .

    What I don’t understand is though – if you are Fred who the hell is my husband? I know for a fact that he is the original Fred Floggle of doofermoulder and floggle-toggle fame, I have watched him post on many occasions and whilst a few don’t agree with his liberal views, it has to be said, for the mostpart, he is correct.

    Your views interest me though, particularly those on half baked teachers and other dead loss bules.

    Now Achmad – no pribumi that’s for sure – a “pribule” possibly (test you javanese out boys and girls) , and the rest of the clue is in your name surely? Now, you wanted respect , let me oblige -Aslinipun kangmas piyambakipun saking pundi? no internet allowed, or for that matter asking the audience? all your own work.

    I must say all this is very interesting – I’m not sure what Fred will say when he gets in.

  8. avatar Olip Bastupa says:


    Come on… you are better than that… πŸ™‚ Are you lost of words… ?? And nothing is wrong to be funny. In fact, being funny is good.. Dont you think God is funny? He created ‘pembantu looks’ women and then he created a white guys with thick pocket and make him fall in ‘love’ to those poor girls…so funnyy…. πŸ™‚


    I am not targeting bules, not at all.. in fact I am not targeting any one, I just share my view since I saw so many bules in Phuket dating local girls.

    Do you realy think they are honest? Are you sure? I dont think so, I believe they are lack of confident, that’s why they only ‘chose’ pembatu looks as their mistress, who they think will be easy to manipulate.

  9. avatar Janma says:

    I honestly don’t think those bules even know what ‘pembantu’ looks are. They don’t know enough about the people and the culture to be able to distinguish between a pembantu and a mall crawler.

  10. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Im not lost for words. Women are incapable of that. Just didnt want to waste time on a person like you.

  11. avatar Oigal says:

    in fact they are not realy ugly, it simply because their evolution is still progressing”Β¦

    That about as ugly a statement that is possible..no point in further responses

  12. avatar Parvita says:

    Don’t, whatever you do, go for a Batak. They eat dog.

    You have to be man enough to handle a Batak woman, for sure. πŸ˜€

    Im not lost for words. Women are incapable of that. Just didnt want to waste time on a person like you.

    I so love this woman.

  13. avatar Dimp says:

    Do you realy think they are honest? Are you sure? I dont think so, I believe they are lack of confident, that’s why they only ‘chose’ pembatu looks as their mistress, who they think will be easy to manipulate.

    Lack of confidence? I don’t think so, and they choose Indonesian women because they are ‘exotic’ in their eyes. Please don’t insult Indonesian women, you have no right to judge these women on their looks.

  14. avatar Fred Floggle says:

    I divorced you months ago after you had that thing with the Swed……..

    Im single and gay….

  15. avatar Aditya says:

    Sorry buddy – only one Fred Floggle and it ain’t you.

  16. avatar Tammy Ho says:

    It’s really shallow to judge people by their physical appearance. I’m sensing this moaning about Caucasian prefers ‘pembantu look girls’ actually a scream about their loss of battle to grab Caucasian guys at the first place. And these girls secretly wish they look ‘pembantu’ enough to be able to date Caucasian guys. As we always say, ‘sirik tanda tak mampu….’

  17. avatar Anita McKay says:


    Define ‘pembantu look’ and ‘pembantu’ stereotypes you’ve been talking about. My parents had a pembantu from Bali who looked like Paramitha Rusady. My grandmother’s pembantu got married to the local council officer and now she’s known as ‘ibu lurah’. One of my parents’ pembantu just opened her second factory outlets from the savings she’s made for years, she probably has more money than me now. One of my friend’s pembantu actually hooked up with my friend’s bule friend when he visited from the Netherlands, now they’re happily married.

  18. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Aditya Yth,

    Kulo saking Jowo. Dalem kulo wanten neng Probolinggo.

    Why are you think I am bule ?

  19. avatar Aditya says:

    “why are you think I am bule”


    Aku isih nggak ngandel. Pati ener.

  20. avatar Wilson says:

    There’s so much stereotyping here; it’s unbelievable.

    Your views interest me though, particularly those on half baked teachers and other dead loss bules.

    Aditya; not all expat teachers are “half baked”Β¦dead loss bules”. There are many expat teachers, who are professional and experienced. Why do foreign teachers get such a bad rap in Indonesia? Please look beyond the language school/ Jalan Jaksa stereotype of the low class expat.

    Indonesians often ask why bules like pembantu type girls; well I guess those are the types that they meet in the bars or who are bold enough to approach them directly and the bules don’t know that they are pembantu types; and probably don’t care. So what?

  21. avatar Aditya says:

    Trouble is Wilson, the die is already cast and the jelly set. Foreign teachers get such a bad rap in Indo because as a rule they are in accordance with expectations.

    As for “pembantu types” – I too would like a definition of what one is . I think there are many Indo-Chinese girls who are very jealous of some of the “pembantu types” – they realise that as soon as these girls have the possibility to travel outside of Indo and make up on lost education that when they come back it is the girls with the daddy bought degree in something useless that will end up cleaning the floors for the pembantu’s.

  22. avatar jons_intown says:


    I though good fair and balanced comments from all.
    An expat, actually, is a person who chooses to work outside of his own country for a better life and often better pay. what’s wrong with that? Of course as a normal healthy human being – nothing.
    Nothing is free in Indonesia. That person is usually paying tax to your government and helping your economy further by hopefully spending part of that ‘generous’ salary in the country and good luck to the local maid or driver who might be employed as well by that person.
    So what is my point?
    The point I’m trying to make is that sometimes foreign expertise is necessary when it is very much a cultural thing that is so important to any successful international company
    However, if there was such a thing as a local person with both 100% written and spoken perfect English with the same ethics, education, qualifications expectations and work experience as their foreign counterpart , than of course the same job should go to the local person who would of course not expect bribes and forget too all thoughts of nepotism and religious barriers.

  23. avatar Sa says:

    1st, ‘Indonesian girls are looking for money’

    Not only Indonesian girl, most of the girls in the whole part of the world! Didn’t you notice that even 80% of american women merely married their husband just for their money? And even so, what is wrong with that? Agree on Josh opinion on the first page. It happens since ages ago, men manipulate women, and women manipulate men. That is how the world goes. When you don’t want to be manipulated by girls, then be smart. These kind of girls are everywhere, they are just human, they want to survive. Nothing is wrong with that, as nothing is wrong with men whose manipulate these girls just for sex. When you don’t like that, then be smart and just avoid that. Bitter as it is, that is just the way the world goes. It happens EVERYWHERE.

    So what I disagree from that sentence is, when you place the word ‘Indonesian girls’ in front of the rest of the words, it resulted in a judgment, which is only then implied to ‘indonesian’. I believe is not completely fair when you place your judgmental opinion on the website, which I observed, quite have a lot of reader from those foreigners that are going to be future expats in Indonesia. It seems in the end more like an attempt in building of public opinion into something which truth content is minimum.

    And why should expats be the one who have to be cautious with this issue anyways? In my opinion, they are the one with the power, they are the one with more money, more brains (well some), and sometimes with better physical appearance, and a working contract of, what? 2 years? 5 years? well something like that, depends on the situation of course. SO what to lose? If they are smart enough, then they just would not be trapped into the web provided by these gold-digger, isn’t it? This is just stupid, to think that it is the expats that have to be warned about instead of the naive-foolish Indonesian girls with sinetron-dream. When obviously it should be the other way around.

    SO yea, Patung, I really disagreed on the post. It is useless and humiliating for Indonesian. Enough already that we are get judged for something that we are not. Try to see it in a bigger picture the next time.

    2nd, to Parvita,

    Well I am not completely agreed that the expats live in Indonesia are the trash in their own countries. You are too generalizing things. It depends on the scale of the jobs that they are going to handle in Indonesia, isn’t it? Well of course they would not send those people who have work experience of more than 20 years to work in Indonesia, just to get a deal of a field in Indonesia, when the 5 years one can already competent enough to do so. The best? What are definition of best? Do Indonesian also always send the best outside? Hmm.. let’s see, I believe nowadays, they already send those with experiences only 2 years to go abroad and working outside. I guess it is all depending on the people. How the competition they are going to face. It is not a matter of they are foreigners- they thought they are better -they only send s**te. Or Indonesian only going to send the best. I think every company would only deliver the best where-ever. But this best would always depending on situation and conditions.

    The expats feel like the gift from the God. Well then, whose fault is that? If the local people don’t treat them as kings, they would not feel as gift from the above as well now, wouldn’t they? And whose faults that we treat them as kings? I’d say globalization. Our world has been built by dream of money. They thought money could buy everything, and everything is money. So who can blame those naive girls on having this kind of dream? They want this celebrity kind of life, dressing up in scarf and turtle neck in 30-35 deg celcius of Jakarta, so is it also a mistake if they also want these kind of face they saw on mtv? Laugh as you wish, but this is just the exact same fenomena you will find in Kansas, Ohio, even California. From the States even to the UK, it’s the same disease all over the world!

    And good for you that you can ride a better car and live in a better house than those expats.

    3rd to all,

    Like, really?? How come we see this in the very small picture? This is not a matter of being Indonesian or bules or whatever. If Indonesian called bules can already be a close step to racisms, then what are you all doing here? The human are dynamics things, you can not really grouped them in a certain jars, and just labeled them?? You can not really say moslem=terorists, Indonesian girls=gold digger, bules=lazy bastard, etc, etc. No, that is not the equations. Human are dynamics, true there are some certain attitude they keep from the culture, but they are also evolving, adjusting to a certain behavior just in order to survive.

    Labeling people and even relate them to their race is racisms.

  24. avatar wildangel says:

    I have been follow this topic so far. and i just want to say that:
    No one is more real than anyone else. No one is more true than anyone else and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be someone or wanting something and bla bla bla…
    Anyone who has nothing better to do than to concentrate on what, in their head, makes others somehow “less” deserving to live however they wish to, are in serious need of a life. We have more than enough judgmental attitudes already condemning what it is that we do from main stream society. Mostly, this stance of cutting someone else down is only done by the insecure who need something to cling to so they may convince themselves they are somehow “better” than someone else.

    Hidup Indonesian, Hidup Bule, Hidup Pembantu.. Hidup semuanya..

  25. avatar Dragonwall says:

    I missed one part. Freddy I thought relationship is the American evergreen heritage of not wanting to be tied to a marriage (because of carrying cost I suppose) whereas the Indonesians were never into the relationship culture.

    As for the half bred American Indonesian I think if the American running mate Obama had offended you, then you should have directed that to him and not his mother whether she is blue or green. Calling yourself American! You are only passing by.

  26. avatar Mindi says:

    Parvita has many valid points – this is true! And I would like to add a bit of perspective.

    I speak from experience 6 years of Bule Blame. I agree that there are men out there who will look after a woman no matter what nationality they are. Gold diggers are a reality where ever you go and is not subject to poverty or colour – but greed and a lack of undersanding as to the true values in life.

    And the men who are “lacking” be it looks or confidence or living under the false impression that it takes a poor, disadvantaged and as implied “uneducated” woman to fall for them – well no doubt they would have found one anywhere and not just in Indonesia.

    Reputation, unfortunately spreads faster than fire and Asia has that reputation – perhaps Parvita is just sick of Bule men assuming because she is a young Indonesian woman – she’s game, desperate and looking for a “White” Knight in shining armour.

    The real issue in Indonesia is that there are woman out there that have been brought up to believe that if your goal is to improve your situation – then do it no matter what the cost. In my case the cost was my husband and daddy – in return she got the house, the car, the servants, the travelling, the man – but the reputation follows her still. Even if some day she does manage to get him to marry her – she will still have the reputation as will he. You know the stereo type – older white guy – younger Asain chick on arm.

    I was pregnant when the 3rd Indo Secretary decided to try her luck. The difference here was her confidence and determination – no mater what. I was ill for a good few month with baby 2 on the way. We waited too – 5 years before number one was born – and she remembers the Indo lady well as she would run past her to give daddy hugs at the office.

    Needless to say – my then husband chose to believe her stories of poverty, chasity and wanting to better herself. So he tried to help – first with English lessons, then he bought her books to read, but she changed the game when she asked him to spend a lunch or two working on the English – go to an English movie together, etc. She surrounded him with her giggling friends, big smile, long black hair and you know the drill.

    When it came time to have baby 2 – I left to go home for two months. He by then was sucked in to the life and game (took just three more weeks) and before I knew it – she stayed in my house. My staff – two young woman were amazed! They too had learnt English (with me), writing, reading, cooking and more – over our time together we became more like my sisters and to this day we are still in contact. My one nanny became a teacher assistant at an International school. I’m so proud of her and the woman she has become. The other is working still for Expats – but taking her Beauty course at the same time.

    My ex – he’s still moving around Asia, still popping over to Indo and still involved with her (4 years on). Although, I’m not supposed to know this! As for me, I eventually left Indonesia – but started my own business and am to this day working with Indonesia in my home country.

    So who do you blame? The woman or the man? Or me? In some of the responses I’ve read to similar experiences they blame me for not keeping him happy in bed…. but how do you know that he wasn’t? Many blame him for wanting a young, exotic woman over me. But then I’m young, I used to be a model ….

    The irony people is this – he lost his kids, waisted 6 years of his life with me and SHE lost her reputation and since all the money, cars, household items and more were all mine – I had the better job, better lifestyle, the brains….. So what did she gain…. He no longer lives there – but when he pops over he sees her. So the relationship benefit is on his side for sure.

    I decided to share my story so that a little perspective can be shed for those thinking of dating across the Bule divide….. there is always so much more than meets the eye (on both sides)!

    I’m not bitter – or mad – or resentful. I have my girls, a new very amazing man who is the best DAD with time to offer them and gives them more than ever expected, we have our businesses, travel, a beautiful home and more importantly – love and respect.

  27. avatar safitri says:

    wow… parvita, i do agree with you… many bule that i know, they don’t do well in their job but get biggerrrrrrrr salary that indo pro…, and all get married with “kampung girls”. So, please don’t get mad with the bule or blame to other persons, lets do something to change the system. we’re WNI, we have right to change everything in our country. no use if we talk only no action. wanna change the system ??? this the right time to make a move!!!! email me : safitrian@gmail.com



  28. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    @ safitri

    I am with you.

  29. avatar Safitri says:

    Here I just want to share my experience. Please… guys….I’m working and hang out mostly with the expats (smart expats and dumpy expats). Believe me… they already know between “kampung girls” and “quality girls” so don’t be naif.
    The most important thing here is how we can “PULL THE PLAK”. No one can change that system except US (Indonesian young generation) lets “the smart bule” stay and kick “the dumpy bule” off.
    So… come on stop argue DO SOMETHING!!! Don’t let our future to be take offer by “dumpy bule”. How come “the dumpy bule” get the biggerrrrrrrr money than indo pro in our own country ????
    Thanks ALUANG ANAK BAYANG for being with me…. please give me email so we can make another contact.
    Any one else ?


  30. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:


    Thanks for sharing. But I really think you need to study Pancasila. Then you will know the Truth.

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