“Jadi Bule di Negeri Bule” means being a foreigner in the land of foreigners. Indonesians usually call a foreigner who comes to Indonesia as “bule”, it’s a slang word btw. You can read also “Jadi Bule di Negeri Bule Part I” here , Part II here, Part III: Saturday in Oporto here, and Part IV here.
The perks of being a “bule” is being a public attention! Yes it is. A Portuguese friend who had been living for a year in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, as an exchange students told me that Indonesians looked at him whenever he walked and even asked him to take pictures with them. LOL, you were famous, dude! Well yeah, that’s the perks of looking “different” than the locals.
Some people feel offended and think that the locals are racist but I prefer to think the positive way: the locals are curious about me. and I am happy of it. With my 100% Indonesian face and tanned skin plus my colourful scarf, I turn to be an attention-grabbing. Local Portuguese (especially the elders) tend to look at me when I am in Portugal. That’s because there isn’t many Indonesian (with the scarf (hijab) —- and not to mention, my sounds-like-Mariah-Carey loud voice) living in Portugal. Some grandmas I met in public places even hugged and kissed me while saying “muito bonita (very beautiful)”. OOOH GRANDMA THAAANKYOOOU ❤
This scarf I wear takes more attentions during summer. It is super hot in Portugal and people look at me with the expression of “hey-girl-don’t-you-feel-hot?”. Some people asked me directly and I answered, “Don’t worry. I am very used to it. My country is waaaay much hotter than here.” In fact, i will feel uncomfortable if I take my scarf off.
One interesting thing is the paparazzi! Ok, I am exaggerating.
I love joining several events in Portugal whether organized by municipality office or private organizations. I realized that some official photographers intentionally took “candid” picture of me (and my friends) during the event. They stayed 1m nearby me so I usually realized when they were around. Yesterday, I attended this Global Shapers Europe conference meeting and when I was there talking with my friend, a photographer came nearby. After he took a candid picture of us, my friend asked him to properly take another picture of us. LOL.
Another case happened when my friends & I were selling our stuffs at a flea market. A boy took pictures of us with his phone directly in front of us 😮
At first, I felt quite uncomfortable but then as time went by… I didn’t really care :p Who knows that someday in the future I will be on the list of Forbes’ The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Ameen!
Who has similar experiences like this? Enjoying the perks of being a foreigner in another country? Do you enjoy it like I do?