Tales of a Dutch Barman in Jakarta
By Bartele Santema
bule gila (BU-leh GEE-lah) n Indonesian for “crazy foreigner”
In a secluded corner of a shopping and entertainment complex in Jakarta lies a bar called BuGils. BuGils, a contraction of bule and gila (in addition to being the Indonesian word for ‘naked’), has had the honor of hosting the most colorful collection of locals and foreigners Jakarta has ever seen. The manager of BuGils, Bartele Santema, has spent five years amongst these creatures and with a keen eye and sharp wit observed and documented their curious behavior.
The Colonel who upsets everyone. The Brit who buys used socks. The second-hand newspaper seller who is smelled before he is seen. The cook who moonlights as a mystic. The Dutchman who gets new teeth. All of these – and more – make up this collection of riotously funny stories of life in Jakarta as seen through the eyes of a foreigner.
Bartele Santema, originally from Friesland, has been in Indonesia since 1990 and is currently manager of BuGils, an Amsterdam-style bar he started in 2000. Bart is also the publisher of the popular Expat Newsletter, a bi-weekly email that combines Indonesia-related news and his own skewed opinions on current events. To subscribe, visit www.bartele.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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