Monday, February 21, 2011

A potential reason, or cause of, dating frustration in Jakarta

I have resisted, and had to work hard to do so, writing much about dating, personally or generally, in Indonesia.  I think, after finding this article, I can no longer keep silent.
Please read this article from Java Javakini paper.  It is available in paper and e-copies.  I have added a link here:

If you read this article and find that it is all logical and you will put them into use starting tomorrow, then stop reading now.  I have given you useful information and you can be on your way.

If you read that article and found yourself shaking your head, giggling or muttering "HUH?"  or "What the heck?", please read on.

Let me start with a quick explanation of my situation here.  I have many friends who are covered under the same umbrella.  Unfortunately, I have realized, only after moving here, that Asian men aren't my cup of tea.  I know ladies from many a Western land that have Indonesian or Asian boyfriends and are content.  I find that on many levels, I am not drawn to them.  Physical attraction to Asian men is rare for me, and even when it does occur I find we lack a common language.  Difficulties in communicating, differences in religion, upbringing and expectations provide more enough hurdles and I'm tired and skeptical before I've even started the race.  That leaves Western men.  Here's my break down.  Of the relatively few "white" guys who make it to Jakarta:
40% come with a wife/girlfriend/family as they were moved here by their company or
of the remaining 60%:
85% are into Asian women for a whole host of reasons that could be it's own blog entry.
5% are gay and 
10% are into Western women.
So if we use a sample of 1000 men, that's 400 are spoken for, 510 are not interested in me, 20 are headed to Thailand and 40 are into "my kind". That makes for slim pickins. Plus you have to weed out the jerks, liars, assholes and losers. When you get to the few that might be remaining, they have their pick of the litter, as there seem to be more bule (foreign) women that want bule guys than vice versa.

That being said, my girlfriends and I spend a inordinate amount (compared to what or who I do not know) of time talking about and looking for men.  I stumbled upon the above article this week, otherwise it would have provided for hilarious reading while sharing a drink with my girls on Valentine's Day.

Whether its PC or not, I believe much of my ridicule of this article stems from the fact that, based on the names, it was written by two Indonesians.  If you don't live here, you won't get why that's important but nonetheless my issues with this article are as follows: 
#1 - Make sure you smell good - this really deserves to be first?
#2 - Go on an alternative date -  Taman mini is about the only alternative date available.  It's an "amusement park" and I use that term loosely, that showcases all the parts of Indonesia on one grounds.  I'd love to go bowling (the alley in Senayan closed recently), play mini golf or twelve other things I could do in other places.  Give me more than two suggestions and I might make it work.
#4 - Stay in Shape -Basic enough that it doesn't really need a mention
#5 - wear shag shoes (for women) - why is this only for women?  And while not obligatory, 99% of Jakarta does anyway.
courtesy of  Do they count as shag?
#7 - Master the Kama Sutra - Is this really something one should attempt alone?
#8 - stock blue pills - Unless my date is 50 - 60+ (which he shouldn't be), hopefully this wouldn't be necessary and if it is, it's that a red flag?
#9 - go on a weekend away - this would work if you are in a relationship, not looking for one.
#10 - Learn from romantic films - THIS IS THE ONE I TAKE MOST ISSUE WITH!!!  No one, anywhere, ever, should watch a rom-com and "learn" something from it.  What is there to take away from Casablanca? Boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy regains girl, and loses her again? Or Love Actually which tracks about six different relationships with all kinds of issues.  Life does not end happily ever after or wrap up in 90 minutes.
courtesy of
#11 - get the latest gadgets - If someone hits on you because of the phone you have, it's probably not going to be a meaningful relationship.
#13 - learn a foreign language -  In a country where almost everyone speaks at least two if not three or more languages, I think this was more a reason to use "cunning linguist" in the article.
#14 - Pimp your ride - see #11
courtesy of
#19 - Moustache Poeticque - This is misspelled as there shouldn't be a c in Poetique. There is no explanation and since the google lead me to photos like this one. I am still confused.
courtesy of
#20 - Get Drunk - because this always improves your judgment and appeal. Notice it doesn't say "have a drink or two" but get DRUNK!
courtesy of  SOOOO SEXYYYY!
 The next 3 aren't so much an issue as the order they are in that cracks me up:
#21 - Crash a high society gathering (WWJD?) then #22 - Go to Church (ahh, that's WWJD) and #23 Try speed dating.   These are all on the heels of #20 above (me shaking my head in disbelief).
#28 - Get a new job - Looking for love is a great reason to leave the stability of employment for the unknown.
#31 - Be an instant celebrity - If deciding to be one were all that was necessary, wouldn't we all be famous and getting laid?
#34 - Join a dating site - I have done this before, with moderate success.  I find it pointless here as all the men are white and all the women are Asian and they are all looking for the other and not me (white female). There are some Indonesian men looking for white women, but again - not what I'm looking for.

#35 - Collect great pickup lines - This may often work but what gets me is the example they give :Do you like pizza?" immediately after saying the pickup lines should be witty and subtle.  HAHA, doesn't get wittier than that!
#36 - Don't give mixed signals and #37 - Move on - are much easier said than done.
#39 - Avoid Malls - I rant on a regular basis that all there is to do in this bloody city is go to the mall, or go eat and drink.  If not the malls, then where?
courtesy of

#42 - Be a poet - The rest of the rationale is where I get lost. Its odd and ridiculous.
#44 - Be generous - Because people will only date you if you give them things and you should only date someone if they do.
#46 - Learn how to juggle - after the rest of this list I thought they meant literally.  No, instead you need to learn to have many lovers and consider polygamy.
#47 - Get inked  - The dumbest reason ever to get a tat.
courtesy of  DOUBLE SUPER SEXY!
#49 - Nick someone else's lover - I can't wait until Karma comes back around.  If you are considering this, go back to #22.
And lastly #50 - Read this list.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry as this may be more indicative of the dating scene here than I want.


  1. That article had me cracking up pretty good..... probably the worst serious advice ever typed :P

  2. Oh man, that article brought a nice smile to my face. Way too funny!
    I like how it tells you to get drunk, master the Kama Sutra, and all that, but also to go to church.
    Scott had the same opinion you had on the "learn from romantic movies" fact. Casablanca? Really???


  3. Hilarious.

    I was fortunate enough to find a gorgeous man in Asia... multiple in fact. They were not Asian, nor white men with yellow fever.... but black african footballers. Not all happy times but a couple were keepers.

    My only advice would be to keep your mind open. :)

  4. Mind is open, and I've started noticing more good looking Asian guys lately (maybe I've been here and single too long), but there are so many other elements that just being hot isn't enough.
    On that note, I've happily chatted away with some South Americans recently. It's not that I refuse to even consider an Asian but that I don't find myself drawn to them. Footballers though . . . lol