How to Get a Bule Man

Apr 14th, 2008, in Society, by

A new book giving advice to Indonesian women on how to find an expat man, How to Catch Mr Bule.

Published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama and written by one Erlinawati How to Catch Mr Bule provides tips and advice for Indonesian women on how to snare a foreign man for romance and likely marriage, and how to manage the relationship.

How to Catch Mr Bule.

The book discusses important questions such as:

  • Are foreign men more caring and loving than Indonesian men?
  • Is it true foreign men know best how to keep a woman happy?
  • Or are bules just looking for a bit of fun, or as blogger Indcoup once put it in the four “F”‘s – “find, feel, f…, forget”?
  • Do foreign men like Asian women because they think of them as demure, while western women are too forthright and independent?
  • What special problems face local women dating a foreign man?

The weird habits of bule men are pointed out as a warning to Indonesian women, such as

  • they like dogs
  • they sleep with the lights off
  • they like to cook for themselves

These small matters could later blow up into big problems and ruin the relationship, it is said. However the main advice seems to be to avoid stereotypes and keep your eyes open.

Available at the bargain price of 25,000 rupiah.

410 Comments on “How to Get a Bule Man”

  1. Andrew says:

    The weird habits of bule men are pointed out as a warning to Indonesian women, such as

    they like dogs
    they sleep without the lights on
    they like to cook for themselves

    I wonder who’s weird, the bules or Erlinawati.

    Who is she anyway?

  2. Bas says:

    I’ll buy it. Thanks for the info about this precious book….

  3. Lairedion says:

    they sleep without the lights on

    Nature covers half the Earth in dark and our biological clock says it’s time to sleep but Indo chicks find it weird bules switch the lights off. 😕

  4. Pena Budaya says:

    they like dogs

    This is already a stereotype. I am Indonesian and love dogs (not only liking), meanwhile majority of my European friends don’t fancy dogs.

    I wonder if a book that based on stereotyping and generalisation will help Indonesians in their romantic relationship with “bules”. This book makes a bule/foreigner sounds like having no personalities at all.

  5. nadia febina says:

    Hi Patung..
    Do bules like it at all to be called a bule.. think it is rude. Isn’t life too short to be put in boxes? I wonder if this book sells..

  6. timdog says:

    Ok, the fundamental issue is this – who is this Erlinawati? What are her qualifications to write this book? Does she have a whole harem of bules she has collected over the years? Does she practice her skills of a weekend on Blok M?

    And more seriously – marginally more seriously – if she really does have a bule partner/husband, how the f$%£ does this book make him feel about their relationship?

    Whoa, I’ve got an idea, perhaps she is Mr bule in disguise! That would certainly give her qualifications to write this book… wait a minute! Could Erlinawati actually be our own dear Ross in drag? Could this be his latest tome????

    Erlinawati’s hot tip #43 – When in bed with Mr Bule, if you really want to turn him on then you should discuss the threat of the Reds that may be hiding under aforementioned bed…

  7. David says:

    Hi Nadia, there was a long discussion on that on the Jalan Jaksa thread, personally it doesn’t bother me.

    On the book, I tried getting it last night, they’d sold out….

  8. Mach Jabber says:

    Be waiting for the “How to catch Ms. Bule” version.

  9. Rob says:

    or the bule version of “How to catch Ms. Indonesia”…afterall Indonesia is a big city and Jakarta is a big country!

  10. Rob says:


    The fact that the book is sold out is a post in itself! How many were printed? Where did you try and buy it? Who is buying it? All questions worthy of answers! I am going to check out a few Gramedia’s (I was thinking of the big Gramedia on Salemba Raya) today and will let people know via here and my blog how I go!


    Maybe Erlinawati’s life history is printed on the sleeve? I will let ya know if I get a copy! Maybe her bule partner feels good about the book because he can sit at home or somewhere else relaxing while the royalties roll in! A bit of stereotype reversal from what generally gets trotted out about some poor Indonesian women attaching herself to Mr. Bule for financial reasons…Maybe Mr. Bule has attached himself to an Indonesian women for financial security reasons in this case…

    Then again the “facts” in this case may be a whole lot less fun than mine and other commentators vivid imaginations 😀

  11. Murphy says:

    Actually, I can’t see how you can write book about relationship without heavy doses of generalisations.

    I mean the most popular book about relationship was not called “Some Men are From Mars and Some Women are from Venus and Of Course There are Women Who Come from Mars and Vice Versa”

  12. Achmad Sudarsono says:


    Where do you get this stuff ?? Congratulations —


  13. Janma says:

    he can sit at home or somewhere else relaxing while the royalties roll in!

    I wonder how much they make per copy? at 25 thou, it can’t be much!

    Janma’s Catch A Bule Song

    One Two Three Four Five
    Find em in a dirty dive
    Six Seven Eight Nine Ten
    If your smart, put em back again.

  14. Janma says:

    Plus, I’d like to point out that on the little flower petal graphic on the cover of the book…. there is a BLACK man! So, it seems that no matter what the indo chocky girls say it seems bule doesn’t really mean ‘white skin’ it actually means, “person from a developed country (negara maju) , probably with more money than us.”

    *who suddenly realizes why that word bugged her so much!*

  15. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Bu Janma Yth,

    You’re looking stunning and stylish in the new pic – as expected. : P

    Putting a black man on the back might have been a marketing faux pas given the racism towards our dark-skinned friends. (IIIIhhh ! Orang Hitam — takut !!). Try asking around in Bali

    Royalties are usually 12-15 % of the book. Recent just-in-time publishing technology’s brought down the cost of publishing, allowing, unfortunately, the likes of Ross to peddle their literary wares.

  16. Farah says:

    I’m not even finish with my reading “Why Man Married Bitches” yet.. along with the other book “Why man never listen and woman can’t read maps”
    So much guidance for girls to be happy (you have to had a man to be happy, yeah right *rolling my eyes*).
    And this time how to get Mr Bule.. (??) i mean.. bule or no bule, they are MAN ! and i think all you had to do is use the same approach, okay.. might improvise a bit.. but still.. they are MAN. Whats the difference tho…(the result ? yeah sure!)

    This book sold ?? hmmm…. hehehe…. guess everybody want short cut to have children to be sinetron player…

  17. Rob says:

    Managed to grab a copy from Gramedia in Bekasi…there were two tall piles of them…

    Erlinawati is married to the journalist Duncan Graham and they are currently living in New Zealand…

    To answer Timdog’s question about how he feels about this…well apparently he helped write it!

  18. Lairedion says:

    Erlinawati is married to the journalist Duncan Graham and they are currently living in New Zealand”¦

    Does bule here refer to a man from the English speaking world (US, UK, Ireland, Canada, SA, Oz, NZ)?

  19. timdog says:

    Rob –

    Erlinawati is married to the journalist Duncan Graham

    Well how about that! I’d always respected Duncan Graham as an (almost) serious journalist, and definitely a good profile writer…
    Now I know that he was either “caught” by Mbak Erlinawati with her wicked bule-snaring techniques – or that he was involved – as the principle party perhaps? – in this cynical exercise I’m afraid my respect has diminished a little…

  20. kangbayu says:

    Afaik, the royalty for writers in Indonesia is about 10% (some are even less), this is the case, especially with big publishers such as Gramedia. On rare case the writer could get up to 15% royalty, i.e. if you’re considered really famous, like Pramudya Ananta Toer.

  21. David says:

    Yeah found it in Trimedia, doesn’t look like it’s flying off the shelves – I’ve actually been in Erlinawati’s house in Surabaya, although didn’t meet her just saw Duncan. She’s from Manado if I’m not wrong.

  22. Lairedion says:

    Manado? Mmmm, happen to know her last name? Perhaps she’s a distant relative of mine.

  23. M. Nur says:

    I have a lot of bule friends and most of them like to hang out in bars, so lady go there…

  24. Farah says:

    I have a lot of bule friends and most of them like to hang out in bars, so lady go there”¦

    hehehe.. and you will find drunk bule.. don’t know the difference between florr and ceilings… nice advice.. hehehe

    Lots other decent places than bar….

  25. ANNIKA says:

    I’ve a big secret to get a good Indonesian woman.

  26. Tony says:

    A better book would be how to catch Ms. Indonesian Beauty. After having the pleasure of dating many Indonesian beauties–some poor, some rich and some like me–neither rich or poor–I can say that this would be a better book to write. Women have never had a hard time finding a man–it is men who have a hard time finding a woman–universal.

    Even though I am half Asian–I grew up in the west and have to say that the western men I know like Asian women because of their natural beauty–it is very mysterious and sexy. BUT, when you really get to know the Asian woman–she is very much like the western woman–in my opinion. No different–all women like nice things: food, house, temperament, life, etc.

    Remember brothers, all women, and I mean all women, all over the world consider themselves sisters so we should learn to tread very carefully with women from any part of the world. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”–words to live by.

  27. ANNIKA says:

    For both side man and woman “watch your step, no hurry”

  28. Rob says:

    I have now read the book and jotted down some thoughts and observations at/in my own little part of cyber space…

  29. Farah says:

    If there’s a book that Indonesian woman should have is a book that tells about what would it be to marry an expat. What will going to be happened, whats their future is mostly about.
    How to meet Mr Bule is only like stepping into the start line on a marathon race and you can’t see the finish line or where the track goes, what obstacles or what good scenery lies beyond those start lines.
    What woman should know, what will they face to had relationship with expat. What is it like to raise “half breed” (please don’t get offended) children, the fact that if they stay in Indonesia thety should go to EXPENSIVE international schools, what is their choice of places to live, the cons living in husband country or whats the cons of living in separated country with husband.
    The cultures difference, living without no “pembantu” and simply all alone in other country with all different language or cultures.. start right when you open your eyes in the morning and when goes to sleep. And about what will happened if they face the divorce.
    I would want to see that kind of book.. it will be better if the writers are Indonesian woman, not only one, but several, that share their experiences.
    Not all about the fun, but also about the cons. of living with expat husband (expat means they not indonesian in general). The reall story. Cause we know.. there’s happy relationship, but also there’s relationship that full of tears.

    That would help lots of woman in Indonesia to have some point of view. Anybody interested to start ???

  30. Rob says:


    You use half-breed and then say please don’t be offeneded…Half-breed is an offensive term as it implies only one of your parents is pure bred. It is a term that distinguishes on race (any race) like quadroon, octoroon, quintroon…

    Perhaps half-blood would be offensive too! What would be wrong with bi-racial?

    Just because Cher sings a song entitled half-breed still does not make the term any less offensive…

    But I am a half-breed because my mother married a Welshman and diluted what would have otherwise been pure convict blood!

    By the way who says that half-breed kids have to go to expensive International Schools?

    The book that started this thread relies on the author’s conversations with other Indonesian women and her own personal experiences…

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