Many of you may have had a relationship with a bargirl, most of the time with terrible results for your wallet and for your sorry heart. I asked Ross McKay, author of “Jakarta Suckers” to give us a little introduction for everyone interested in the relationships between Expats and Bargirls. The book is available from Morfiny Books, 85000 rupiah, at If you are currently dating a bargirl or if you ever dated one, I strongly recommend it to you. Thibaud, from

Jakarta Suckers, by Ross McKay

Who hasn't been taken in by a bar-girl? Most expats in Jakarta for more than a year will have sampled the delights the Big Durian's nights have to offer. But while we are all bitten by that exotic bug, few too will not have been pained when the sharper specimens of the wildlife put the bite on you!!

It's not just the squeeze for a bit extra on the agreed price, but the endless extortion that occurs when you think you're having a 'relationship' with one of these demimondes.
Sure, this one is 'different,' you tell yourself, then when you've convinced yourself, you tell your mates and watch their faces, either dissimulating to avoid shaming you, or dissolving into laughter, which ultimately has the same effect.

My new book, 'Jakarta Suckers!' may, when you first see the title, suggest interesting oral exercises undertaken during your struggle to communicate across the language barrier.
But it actually refers to the way so many bules are taken for a ride (sorry, double entendre again) by local blossoms. And it cuts both ways, for in their Draculesque need to live off us foreign guys, a lot of these chicks resemble the way vampires suck the life-blood from their victims.

Though it aims to deal with some serious matters, my novel tackles issues in a light-hearted way, a first-person narrative by an expat tasting the 'last of the summer wine' who struggles to rekindle the white-hot ardour of his youth via the services of a seductive but relentlessly deceptive wanita malam.

Barrie and Losari canter through the chapters (and hotel rooms), his Western logic rarely triumphant against the wiles of the wayward woman. But gradually he susses her deceits and eases out of her clutches, 'a sadder but a wiser man.'
Then all at once, her luscious lips part once too often, blabbing about the wrong people in the wrong places and that lands her in a heap of bother. Despite everything, Barrie charges off to the rescue...

I won't reveal the denouement of their adventures, but what readers of this blog may appreciate are the impressionistic data concerning bule-bargirl interaction that I've sprinkled throughout the narrative: not least, I'd add, a few strategies to check-mate your cheating mate.

Armed with a few of these tips,you can start checking as soon as you start thinking she's not all she seems to be; why does she time her temper tantrums for certain days of the can you figure out how many guys she's emailing as you read her sweet-nothings when you're apart.. how to thwart blackmail bids; how can you know when she's answering truthfully (that's an easy one - when you ask her what she wants to drink!). There's many a man I've met who's come a cropper through entanglement with their enticements and I've distilled some of their tales.

Bules, especially 'new kids on the Blok,' deserve some cautionary words, while Old Jakarta Hands will likely nod sagely as they read it. Some of these girls may be honky-tonk angels, but many others are best described in Rudyard Kipling's phrase, 'half-devil and half -child.' Their dulcet giggles mask avid greed and a readiness to exploit green Jakarta Suckers for their every red cent.

And matter how pissed off you get, never forget they emerge from a society that is infinitely harsher than anything that we have ever experienced in our comfortable Western homelands.

Little honest employ to be found, and even less when your folks lacked the hard cash to send you to school. Nor is there much more than a vestigial welfare safety net.
They are making their way through a desperate life as best they can, utilising only what the Good Lord gave them. Happily for us foreign men, the Almighty has seen fit to bless Indonesia's females with a beauty that often surpasses all understanding,

I hope my book facilitates everybody's understanding of both kinds of Jakarta Suckers!

Thanks Ross for the text, and thanks Bart for the pictures! More pics on his professional website:

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1 comment to '' “Jakarta Suckers”: Exploring the relationship between Expats and Bargirls "

  1. I appreciate those last three paragraphs.
    At least we should understand the background. Even then, we can only seem to understand, for we can never fully feel what they experience because we only see them from a distance.

    I have seen and been with them and their families at close range, physically, yet from quite a distance, socially.

    The under-priviliged and oppressed in my Malaysia appear almost as upper-middle class when compared to them.

    Aren't we equally guilty for wanting only to use them to satisfy our lust? Should we not, if we desire to 'love' them, be cautious and not reckless?