Oct 3rd, 2006, in Society, 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. Fred Floggle says:

    I take it Jakatass is an English teacher without a degree. I would have thought it was obvious why it is advantageous to hold a degree in English literature if you wish to teach the language. English is a communication medium, both at written and conversational levels. It would be beneficial if the teacher had some basic understanding of the construction of the language before he or she tried teaching it to others.

    Take a look a Concerned Teachers opening sentence:

    Call bule whatever you want because your donation to a better society is not clearly evident as of yet.

    Do you seriously think that is a well constructed sentence? He is charging people for his experience with the language”¦..

  2. Tammy Ho says:

    That both can speak English?


  3. Silent Shadow says:

    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.

    Well it’s obvious what kind of person you are. You must have a pretty sad life if you only judge a person’s worth according to the quality of car they drive and how big their house is. To some people, material possessions are not the be all and end all. Some people see success as being able to do what they enjoy. For instance seeing a bit of the world, broadening their horizons, having a job that they can derive meaning and satisfaction from, freedom to move around and the peace of mind that comes from not having to worry about who’s going to steal your fortune or which person will beat you to the managing directors job. Many ex-pats come here to get away from the materialistic rat-race back home and couldn’t give two figs about what other people do or do not possess. My goals are not the latest new car model or the acquisition of a big house but deeper and more important things like job satisfaction , freedom, peace of mind, and the chance to discover and experience this big old world. Life can be liberating, adventurous and exciting if you can only free yourself from the chains of materialistic desire. Enjoy people for who they are and what they contribute to the world.

  4. Fred Floggle says:


    You see to be consistently missing my point. I object to these English teachers because they trade on the reputation of the better bules, and thereby devalue the standing of everyone. When the scumbag get the job because of my reputation as an honest bule and then wrecks it I become justifiably annoyed.

    For the record I had the following conversation today with a 28yo local girl (names changed to protect identities):

    Her: in fact i totally agree to ‘Fred’ comment
    Her:: that what really has happened in here
    Me:: ya?
    Her:: my friend was so upset when she knew that half of native speaker for any English course are backpackers with no formal education for being a teacher
    Her:: ya..only couple weeks of training
    Her:: can u imagine how the quality of the student would b
    Me:: EXACTLY
    Me:: its not fair
    Me:: Indonesians pay good money that they cannot afford, to learn English.
    Me:: They should be taught by good teachers
    Me:: not backpackers
    Her:: yes…
    Her:: YES
    Her:: lucky those backpackers
    Me:: ya
    Her:: stupid us…Indonesian..who really proud with westerners
    Me:: EXACTLY

    Pretty well sums it up!

  5. Janma says:

    For the record I had the following conversation today with a 28yo local girl (names changed to protect identities):

    Quite ingenious of you to change the name to ‘Her’, and just interested to know, how much do they pay to be taught english by these backpackers?

  6. Jakartass says:

    I take it Jakartass is an English teacher without a degree.
    Wrong, FF, as you are in most of what you say. Actually, my degree is in Education, so, yes, I am a qualified teacher ~ and one of the few outside the international schools.
    But that’s irrelevant, as is the fact that I am a published author.

    I would have thought it was obvious why it is advantageous to hold a degree in English literature if you wish to teach the language. English is a communication medium, both at written and conversational levels.
    So, if you can read, you can communicate? It ain’t necessarily so.

    But what is the value of literature?

    Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.
    David Lodge, The British Museum is Falling Down
    Sounds like the Jalan Jaksa, backpacking English teacher type that FF doesn’t like.

    The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.
    Elizabeth Drew (American Writer, b.1935)
    Are you living, FF?

    It seems to most of us that you are merely observing, much like this:
    Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.
    Zora Neale Hurston

    Yoy say that it would be beneficial if the teacher had some basic understanding of the construction of the language before he or she tried teaching it to others.
    It would be more beneficial if the teacher had some understanding of the culture s/he finds him/herself in before trying to teach others.

    Spectacles have a function, and they function only when you put them on, to look through them at the world. It is the same with language. That is to say, one shouldn’t waste one’s life in spectacle-cleaning or talking about language, or in trying to get a clear view of our language, or of ‘our conceptual scheme’. The fundamental thing about human languages is that they can and should be used to describe something; and this something is, somehow, the world.
    Karl Popper

    One of the joys of literature is, of course, that it enables you to find others to express your opinions for you. Vicarious teaching, as it were. So I’m going to indulge myself with a final quote from Elizabeth Drew which seems to encapsulate FF’s diatribes: Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.

  7. taxpayer says:


    You the man!! Might as well stay close to the laptop. I blogged your comments to all 10 major ESL teachers websites. Along with your IP address. Welcome to the world you never understood in the first place. English teachers are good people. Sorry you have such an issue with us. But……hey……you can answer to all the teachers who have something to say to ya’.

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

  8. taxpayer says:

    PS: Someone taught you how to write and read. Was an English teacher I bet.

  9. Tuan says:

    “Sterotypes exist because they are true”- Bill Maher

    “Ah back to the topic of bule dating (or should we say, have sex with) local girl. Seriously, what is the problem with that? If money is involved, so what? Everybody does that, not only interracial couples. Both parties are mature enough to know the consequence.”

    This may sound controversial but I don’t think most Indonesians have ethics as we know here in the West. Granted they have “traditional values” the ones where the woman is obeys the husband and all that. But you never see people snorting coke at a Stadium in the US. NO WAY. I remember an Indonesian friend telling me that the advantage of living in America is that you can see a clear difference between right and wrong. Here in the US exchanging money for sex is considered wrong but people do it and the general public sees at as wrong. In Indonesia, I believe there is ambiguity and hedonism because of lack of moral values, maybe due poverty and corruption (though it is not an excuse).

    I also think that work ethic is somewhat lacking in Indonesia based on my interaction with several Indonesian students with the exception of a few. The laid-back style and “take my time” view is not going to help the Indonesians. As someone noted this is a feature that attracts some to that country. America is noted for being the hardest working country in the world because we average the most hours per week than any other country. If you can’t take the heat, leave the kitchen as we say. And if it is true that less qualified individuals are getting hired by Indonesians, then it is going to be very difficult for that country to compete globally.

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslim

  10. Tuan says:

    Just like so many Indo fake their documents to work illegally in the US or Australia or Malaysia, and tarnish the reputation of the rest of the Indo community there.


    My father comes from a hard working family that stressed education and hard work. He was the first to go to college in the UK to study engineering in 70s and later score a job as an engineer for major company there and then to Canada with another engineering firm and then with another in the USA (one of the evil oil companies in the world) where they sponsored him to be a US citizen. His career involved working on major oil and natural gas projects in the Middle East which he spearheaded. He would later sponsor other members of my family to immigrate here, legally i might add. Even though my parents never taught me any thing related to Indonesia except Islam because where you were born and raised is where you belong, they always stressed hard work and persistence to get the best in life. So no, there are some of us that are a product of hard working individuals.

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslim

  11. Tammy Ho says:

    Good to know. You’re the good example of Indonesian people living abroad. But I’ve lived for a few years in Sydney and I saw so many Indonesian (and other nationalities, to be fair), tried to stay in the country by faking their documents. Another friend went to LA with documents stating that she’s a part of religious mission but managed to stay there illegally for a year, working as a waitress. I’m also living in the UK now, legally, of course.

    Regarding ethics, what can I say. I mentioned hypocrisy, giving example about bapak-bapak going to karaoke bar and being served while singing. Our country is so hypocrite we couldn’t have legal gambling here but just walk to any dark area in Kota and it’s easy to find gambling and prostitution everywhere. And Fred Floggle apparently is familiar with Stadium and knows that there are people snorting coke there.

    I think our culture of saving face plays here. It’s hard to protect some people’s raging hormone but there are ways to protect their reputations. I’ve sat with the Indonesia CEO of biggest telco company in the world, and he told stories about in order to get his millions dollars proposal approved, he has to serve the decision makers, and he practically had to run to the karaoke bar, picked the girls, talked with the pimp (mami), made sure the room is clean and ready, paid the bill, and waited until everybody’s done and he would leave the last after making sure that there’s no evidence left.

  12. Tuan says:

    Thanks but due to my lack of connection to the country other than friends I meet in college and Islam. I probably feel more American than Indonesian.

    But to be honest, its not only Indonesians who are faking document while they make up a VERY VERY small percentage of the Asian community in America, but others like from China and South Asia who make up the majority of the Asian community.

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslim

  13. Anita McKay says:

    Probably then you wouldn’t probably know that STADIUM that Fred Floggle was talking about is a club, located in Kota, allegedly owned by so called Indonesian Chinese mafia, allegedly open for 24 hours and everything is happening there with cheap price. My friend told me it’s a huge place (4 stories? somebody corrects me if I’m wrong) and there are rooms behind curtains for quick fix, if you know what I mean. So no, noone snorting coke in the middle of football stadium like you might have thought. Not that I know of, though 🙂

    Read your comment in my blog, thanks. Very wise, as usual.

  14. Tuan says:


    I can tell you for SURE that places like that will not see the day of light in America if they are known to have a lot of vices. A lot of the Asian massage parlours that offer “incentives” do not last more than a month cause the police are on to them.

    ~Tuan – Indonesian-American Muslim

  15. Fred Floggle says:


    Yes I was taught English. My English Teachers were all degree educated schoolteachers. They didn’t have a four week course under their belt to rip off victims.

    As for blogging my comments, I have little to fear. Most are too busy humping local girls (learning the culture) to bother commenting. Tell me Teacher, do you have, or have you ever had sex with a local? Or do you think that would be taking advantage of a situation?


    I once met a girl who wrote for Mills and Boon. She was published author as well. I wasn’t impressed with her either.

    I also know someone with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Is that what you have?

    David Lodge studied at University College London, obtaining a BA in 1955 and an MA in 1959. He now holds a PhD. He didn’t do a four week ESOL course and then start teaching. He may well satirise academia, but he learned his craft via it.

    You may well say I am wrong, and you post some interesting links, but you prove nothing. To simply jump up and down in the school playground and shout “Fred is wrong” proves one tenth of nothing.

    Let me reiterate my comments, in case you fail to understand:

    1. why are most “unofficial expats” living in Jakarta? Firstly because they are just about unemployable in the west. You CANNOT get a decent job in the West with a four week course and no other qualifications or experience. However you can do a 4 week ESOL and claim to be a teacher in Asia. QED.

    2. Secondly, why are they there? Well they constantly bitch to anyone they talk to about how poorly paid they are (even the ones I meet in Tokyo, where they actually get a good salary). So it isn’t the money. And they bitch about living conditions, doing the visa run, police shakedowns etc. So it isn’t that. What they invariably have in common is a relationship, or relationships, with local girls (or boys). I will try to find some links and some evidence, however as I demonstrated earlier the head of an advocacy group says (teaching English) “is a very traditional pedophile strategy”. I didn’t say that. She did. And I didn’t force a number of English teachers to have sex with underage children either.

  16. Fred Floggle says:

    I hasten to add that i do not think or claim that ALL English teachers are peodophiles.

    What I do claim is that the vast majority of them are doing to job to access easy sex with the quality of girl they would not have back home.

    The following reading might prove interesting:


    FEBRUARY 6 2006
    Bangkok student tells sex-maniac English teachers to go home


    I must confess that I feel more and more out of touch with the teaching industry in Thailand every day and so it is somewhat difficult to answer this question. Let me say this – and forgive me for being arrogant, but hey, I mean it. If I was a parent sending little Lek or Daeng to language school, I would demand a lot more from the average English teacher than I see them delivering. Sure, there are a lot of good teachers here, but there are a lot of slackers too. The problem is that many of the Thais in the industry are not sophisticated enough to be able to discern just who is a good teacher and who is not and thus you end up with some hopeless teachers working at decent institutes, earning good money while you’re just as likely to find good teachers barely scraping by each month at less prestigious schools. I hate to say it, but this can be easily explained in Thai: “Khon Thai doo farang mai awk” which basically means that the average Thai doesn’t know what to make of us (and in fact, the opposite is true too, IMO).


    As far as people who are in Thailand for the sex, it is true that there are a few people here for that, though in all fairness to a lot of these people, they may have come here for that, or they may have failed into that trap when here. Few people remain interested in the commercial sex industry for a long time as it really does get very boring.
    However, if you are extremely sensitive to the idea that a number of your male colleagues may be indulging with women of the night, then you might have to find a way to deal with it. Some language schools have been known to have their staff meetings located close to major bar areas so that afterwards everyone could go and party hard.

  17. Fred Floggle says:

    and a little closer to home:


    ‘Nice girls don’t go to Jalan Jaksa’
    Source: JP/1 December 1995 by Maria Louise Tickle
    JAKARTA (JP): Nice girls don’t go to Jalan Jaksa, I am told. Foreigners do. By the busload. What better place to get an idea of the sex practices of foreigners in Jakarta than the Jaksa International, a bar which my friend has dubbed “the ashtray”.

    On Jaksa you see it every night. Indonesian girls in see- through tops who look like nine o’clock is past their bedtime, attached to open-faced foreign guys in back-to-front baseball caps who still look like they can’t believe their luck. Jaksa is heaven for the hormonally-driven.

    On Jaksa you hear it, every night. The tales of Australian men who call in sick to their language school employers only for it to be later revealed they spent the day in bed with three local girls. Stories abound of local girls who were virgins before they hooked up with a foreigner and who think the relationship will end in marriage, only to be bitterly disappointed. Then there are those men who think their woman of the night wants them for their good looks and charm, only to be faced with a request to cover a very expensive taxi ride the morning after.

    When it comes down to it, the message for foreigners dabbling in the joys of the night in Jakarta is quite simple.

    “You’re crazy if you have unprotected sex,” Mackay said.

    In a bar on a side-street off Jalan Jaksa a 29-year-old English teacher agreed, but said many foreigners were flying close to the sun when it comes to safe sex. Having lived in a brothel/hostel for six months, he would know.

    Foreign men are afforded almost movie-star status in Jakarta, he said. “One Saturday afternoon I had four girls ring and ask me out,” he said, more incredulous than boasting.

    “Indonesian girls are very forward, he said. “When you’re a bule (foreigner) you get a lot of attention from girls and it’s very flattering. A lot of the interest is financial but some of them find Westerners physically attractive and others like the idea of a Western boyfriend.”

    and there you have it, straight from the Jakarta Post (albeit 12 years ago). english teachers, local girls….

    any comment teachers…..

  18. taxpayer says:

    I, for one have lived in Indonesia for over 2 years and now Jakarta for 5 months. I have never been to Blok M or Jalan Jaksa. They would be considered “Tidak Rapi” or sleazy. In the 6 years I have been in Asia I have never been to those kinds of places, never paid for a girl and have always chosen to socialize at the more higher cost joints. Of course, my schedule makes it difficult to go out more so….

    As for sex…..it would seem to be a personal issue and my concern here is grouping all foreigners into a sleazy basket and insinuating that the majority of ESL teachers are not qualified to do their jobs and are “sex criminals”, losers and low-lifes.

    If it makes you happy though, I have a son and I am single here in Indo. So yes I have had girlfriends and, of course I have had sex. But, I tend to stay with women in my age group who also hold professional jobs. I had and have no problem with women in my country or any other. My ex-wife happens to be from Lombok but the thing is I met her in my country, not here.

    I did not earn my qualifications on-line nor did I earn them in 4 weeks. I earned mine over 3 years and 78 credits in all matters of phonics and linguistics can hardly can be attained on-line or in 4 weeks. All the teachers I work with hold CELTA and BA’s in English. As a Director, I only hired qualified teachers with BA’s in English and TESOL/CELTA/DELTA qualifications. I am also a teacher for teachers so I guess all those training workshops, teacher assessments and weekly teacher meetings are worth something.

    Certain chains of ESL schools hire unqualified teachers because they are white and cheaper to pay. It’s unfortunate and I am totally against it. But…….many of the best teachers I know today were completely unqualified before and now are extremely well founded in ESL methodology and techniques as well as in-class practicum. Experience and desire are worth more than a piece of paper any day of the week. Some of the worst teachers I have seen had Masters and PHD’s and were too “sombong”, arrogant, to be good teachers. Their total self-worth was in a piece of paper and they were completely unable to be level with their students.

    It’s all tit-for-tat, apples and oranges. A man’s character and moral fiber is a much better indicator of future excellence than a diploma or degree ever will be. And as you have already clearly stated, it’s SOOO easy to get fake this and fake that, so why bother going through the red tape of verifying every qualification anyway. They are probably fake ya?

    I respect any person who can stand in front of a group of people and try to lead them in the right direction. Teachers who manipulate their students’ weaknesses for their own personal gain are not worthy of the title teacher. Pedophiles, and morally depleted people hide themselves in every industry and are of every race, color, religion, creed and nationality. I hardly think that you get all panicky and antsy every time a crime happens in any other industry. Why are you so particularly concerned with Bule in Indonesia and English teachers?

  19. Tuan says:


    I have to admit.. that article is really sad and almost degrading towards the local folks. What’s even laughable that there are individuals that think “well its there life, they can do what they can do and its between them.” But unfortunately for every action there is a reaction, and seedy things like that just makes the whole country look bad, despite whatever liberal, carefree attitude you may have. It ok to live for the moment but you have to think about the big picture.

    Amongst the Asian American community there is a metaphoric “totem pole” or ladder of ranking different Asian groups. Obviously the Chinese and the South Asians are on the top because of their international successes both aborad and here in the US, not to mention they are very classy, proud bunch. At the bottom definitely the Thai and I’ve heard some Thais say they are ashamed of being Thai because of the reputation it has with sex tourism. Some Indonesian students I interact with lie about their nationality and claim to be Malaysian. I AM NOT KIDDING. But chances are this is just an isolated case but the fact there some Thais who are ashamed of being Thai may result in some inferiority complex amongst the Indonesians if they have a similar reputation.

    Indonesians, y’all need to get your act together or get used to identifying yourself as Malaysian or Filipino, Arab, White, Black, whatever..lol 🙂 (sarcasm off)

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslim

  20. Parvita says:

    Tuan, just adding up your comment.

    Interesting to know Indonesians there are saying they are Malaysians. Maybe because of the terrorism that happened here (and maybe they don’t know one of the big scum and planner of the terrorism is from Malaysia?),

    Several headhunters that I know who provide manpower in the oil industries would rather have Indonesians than Malaysians. I asked them why, they just simply said that Indonesians has been proven to work better than Malaysians since the early years. I tend to agree. Lots of work are done by Indonesians in Malaysian companies. The Malaysians need to be mentored big time.

    In the oil industries, there are lots of Indonesian expats living around Southeast Asia because of their quality. Not only in SEA, but also in Africa. That’s why there are void of manpower in the technical side here (G&G, engineers related to the oil industry, with 10 years experience). Good to know Indonesians have good reputation in this field. So tell your Indonesian friends, no need to lie about their nationality.

    After all, Malaysian…phuh-leeessseeee…(nationalism hat on)…MALAYSIA???

  21. Fred Floggle says:

    Perhaps I am being unfair on you Concerned Teacher, however you must understand and accept that your very much in the minority. Most “English teachers” working in Asia either have the four week basic ESOL certificate, a forged copy of it, or nothing at all.

    The reason that they can get such a job is because of the colour of their skin.

    The colour of the skin is important because bules have (had) a reputation for being educated. That reputation was forged by colonial masters, and by educated businessmen traveling in Asia. It was a hard won reputation.

    I neither like the fact that a reputation I helped build, and a reputation I am judged upon, is sullied by a group of backpackers who want to shag as many Asian girls as they can.

    Backpacking and cheap travel have done this. Thirty years ago these imbeciles would be factory workers, masturbating over Parade in the back bedroom of their parents house. Now they are English teachers.

  22. dee says:

    Unfortunately the generalization on something has affected other groups (minor groups).
    Take the comments as critics that could help us to improve ourself, if what have been written here not related to ourself see that as the fact…yes, that the fact that has happened in reality…
    FF might stand as a profesional with perfectionist character who wants everything in order-people should get something based on how big his/her effort to get it. 50% effort would be equal to 50% of result.
    Teacher might stand as a profesional who has suffered from common image of their general group, he does things based on his skill, and he try to speak out on behalf of his ‘honest’ group.
    Some others might stand as people who just see that as ‘that’s life, why bother?’ (1st group because they do not want to interfere others’ life so others would do the same as well on their life, 2nd group do not want to interfere because they have no ability and capacity to do that-they still see ‘bule’ or we call as ‘wong londo’ superior to their ownself, and would be advantageous to have link to this ‘wong londo’)
    The question, where are people who stand for the group who would really do something to make it good? (Good image for ‘bule’ or ‘wong londo’ and also for local people itself)

  23. Jakartass says:

    At last FF says something I can agree with.

    The reason that they (English teachers) can get such a job is because of the colour of their skin …. (which) is important because bules have (had) a reputation for being educated. That reputation was forged by colonial masters, and by educated businessmen traveling in Asia. It was a hard won reputation.

    But why blame the teachers, not all of whom come here “to shag as many Asian girls as they can“. Some I have come across want to evangelise; in other words they have come with patronising colonial attitudes and are, I would suggest, worse than sex tourists and have no desire to fit in with local social mores.

    I occasionally wish that I were a much younger blond female because I could then command my own fees if I were a teacher in a language school.

    With all this debate, if that’s what this is, about mixed race relationships between young travellers learning to make their way in the world and lasses trying to earn a crust, there seems to be a distinct lack of awareness about how market forces are creating a ‘casual’ workforce worldwide, or about how the private sector here, which is interested in making profits from schools, now determines curriculums and school resources.

    Nor is there awareness of how those sectors which predominantly employ caucasians as English teachers are quickly being taken over by franchises, several of which are foreign-owned (esp. Singaporean) and which have recently lost several cases in the Industrial Relations Court for their abysmal non-compliance with statutory employment law.

    I really don’t see how a few reprobates throughout Asia can make you so splenetic, FF. I can only presume that you too wish you were a much younger blond female.

  24. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Well Said, Jakartass,

    Here’s another thing. “Bule” expats are, what, 80,000 tops in Indonesia all up, including Bali ? That’s about .003 percent of the population if my ballpark guesttimate is even close.

    Meanwhile, Indonesia and the world have bigger problems, Fred Floggle. You’ve spilled alot of pixels on something which is just not much of a deal at all. In fact, it’s bloody unimportant.

    Granted, some of the “Bules” (a word which means albino cow, I think), are important and powerful, like ambassadors, CEOs, funds managers etc. But they should be discussed as such and not by their skin colour.

    So go ahead, pick on English teachers if you want.

    What this conversation does show is 1. The bitterness of one woman after sour romance (Parvita), and workplace jealousy (they get paid more than me), and 2. One Bule’s (that’s you Fred), delusions about his importance in the world.

    As Jakartass pointed out – there’s a global market for casual labour.

  25. Fred Floggle says:

    Who says I’m not a young blonde female. Ahh the power of the internet. I call myself Fred and everyone thinks I’m a man. Fred might stand for Fredetta”¦.

    But you hit a nail on the head with the comment about a “casual worldwide workforce”, because it was going to be my next point.

    How many Indonesian guys can get a work permit in the USA, UK or Australia with a four week qualification?????

    Imagine the furor if New York, London and Sydney bars were full of Indonesian backpackers, teaching Bahasa Indonesia on some shonky bit of paper, and shagging all the local girls.

    The West has incredibly strict regulations on getting work permits. To have this unilateral situation where semi literate backpackers can turn up and work is simply an unacceptable post colonial arrogance.



    Achmed you are a fool. Sorry mate, no other way to say it.

    Indonesia is a foreign sovereign state. It is predominantly Muslim, with a rapidly growing radicalised Islamism minority.

    You are right when you say “Meanwhile, Indonesia and the world have bigger problems”. One of those problems is how Western civilization is viewed and portrayed in Muslim nations. The problem is bought on by how the Indonesians see Westerners, and if they see backpacker English teachers shagging the local underage girls (as I have frequently done) then they will judge ALL Westerners by this standard.

    We ALL need to work towards keeping good relations with Indonesia. Cut price English teachers pissed in Stadium with an under age girl isn’t such a smart idea.

    Jakartass talks of cultural sensitivities. Indonesia is a nation where sex out of marriage is illegal. Concerned Teacher is breaking the laws of a country where he is but a guest.

    The trouble is long after these pseudo sex tourists have gone back to the unemployment lines of the West I will be trying to do business in Indonesia. I have every right to be pissed off. They don’t make my job better or safer.

  26. taxpayer says:

    Actually, it’s not against the law in Indonesia to have sex outside of marriage. Soeharto is not president anymore. Laws were rewritten back in 2004 so please don’t attach any crimes of passion to me. Jakarta, specifically, is governed by a Governor and there are MANY unmarried couple living together in Jakarta.

    Perhaps we should round them all up and throw ’em in the brig?

    It is somewhat amusing that in a country with Corruption problems, fighting in Aceh over control of the Ganga and god knows whatever other ILLEGAL and morally corrupt activities are occuring, one has to focus all their attention on who is having sex with who.

    Seems a bit menial and trivial.

    If it wasn’t for the orgasm, sex would be the most violent thing two people can do with each other. Hmmm…..that must be breaking some law here too!

    Things that make you go HMMMMM………?

  27. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Fred Floggle,

    Ok. Let’s look at this. Do you speak Indonesian ? Let’s assume you do.

    Try entering “bule” or “orang barat” or “orang asing” into the search engine of Kompas, Metro TV, Media Indonesia, Detik, or any of the regional networks or newspapers.

    What did you find ? Not much. A few immigration issues here and there, perhaps a mention of tax.

    This issue about Westerners shagging Indonesian women is only in your mind, (or “mind”). Bules just aren’t a big deal here. The West is, but the white folk in Indonesia are here for a variety of reasons, and have a range of different behaviours.

    I’ve tried time and time again to whip up anti-Bule sentiment on this blog for example, and guess what ? People just started ignoring it.

    The bottom line is: get over yourself, sunshine. You might think Indonesians spend a lot of time thinking about “bules” (ugh!), but they don’t: they think about the real problems of life; birth, death, marriage, and how to sustain the bits in between, work.

    The whole line about a radicalised and rapidly growing Islamic minority just reflects a narrow Western prism. The most credible Islamist radicals – the PKS have really been a shower in a raincoat. I think their real heir is Hizbut Tahrir – they’re the ones to watch.

    But the real focus of the radical Islamists is not the Westerners — it’s the moderate Muslims.

    Bottom line: get out of Jalan Jaksa and into the real world.

  28. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    P.S. — methinks, when you talk about “your job not being any easier,” and “having to do business here,” and perception of Bules, something’s up. Perhaps what you’re really pissed off with is how the Indonesians around you perceive you and you want to blame it on a few hapless stragglers teaching English and partying at Stadium, my friend.

  29. Rambutan says:

    Fred, your pretentiousness is sickening. You consider yourself to be part of the “good and honest bules” blaming other Westerners for tarnishing the image of the good expats. Can’t help but laugh… I don’t know what you do for a living and what makes you a good bule. But I cannot help but wonder if the bigotry you show in your comments would actually help to improve the image of Westerners in Indonesia.

  30. Fred Floggle says:

    Remember what I said:

    These expats would be unemployable in the West.

    They have a four week certificate, a forged certificate, or no certificate at all. They don’t need any other qualifications. They can get work in Indonesia or Thailand.


    Christ sake guys accept it – or prove me wrong. Don’t sit spouting rubbish over the keyboard.

    Answer this with YES or NO. Can you get a job in the West with 4 weeks training?

    Achmad – if you have such a poor opinion of your own country it is your problem. It is your sisters (and brothers) these guys are there for.

    Rambutan – show me where I was bigoted. Do you understand the meaning of the word? (there isn’t a direct translation in Bahasa Indonesia – best I can say is keras kepala) Just because I say something you don’t like doesn’t mean the comment was bigoted.

    My guess is both of you, despite the local names, are bules. Probably English teachers. (Parvita on her blog referred to Achmad as “white man in disguise”. )

    Anyway, I’m off to do a two day St Johns Ambulance Medics course, after which I will set myself up as Heart Surgeon in downtown Jakarta.


    Funny how a couple of locals use words and expressions like:

    something’s up
    hapless stragglers
    pretentiousness is sickening
    Can’t help but laugh

    I smell affronted English teachers. Must be hitting at the truth”¦..

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