Tales of the Waria

Orang Bule

Twice now I’ve hired someone in Indonesia and had them show up with a friend in tow. “Two for the price of one,” I call it. When I was asking Dimas my assistant if this was normal for Indonesia he responded, “Maybe it’s because they’re nervous you’re a bule (foreigner).” He went on to explain that it was rare for people in Makassar to ever work with a foreigner and that the day before he started working for me, he had been quite distraught. Unfortunately, all those nerves have since disappeared. He now calls me “boss” mockingly and feels free to tease me to no end. What I wouldn’t do to have my bule mystique back…

Dimas is a fascinating study in globalization. His favorite band is Blink 182 and he is completely obsessed with Macbeth shoes, a line apparently created by Tom Delonge of Blink 182. And I mean obsessed. He’s part of an online Indonesian Macbeth fan club and talks incessantly about these shoes. Recently I handed Dimas a camera to take production stills and this is what I got in return:

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