Cowboys in Paradise is a recent documentary film about life of balinese beach boys directed by Amit Virmani, an Indian growing up in India, Indonesia, and Hong Kong and currently living in Singapore. This film is quite controversial in Indonesia, as the Indonesian government was enraged, and started raiding the famous Kuta Beach and arrested 24 guys suspected as gigolos.
Bali's governor said," This is devastating. We will do something to ensure that Bali's image as a spiritual island remains unaffected." The Balinese said," IF there were gigolos in Bali, those are definitely not the locals."
The local government is even planning to sue the film director.. If I'm not mistaken, under pretense of not obtaining a license prior to the film shooting in Bali.
As the Germans would say,"Die spinnen, die Indonesier." or "They're nuts, the Indonesians."
Hey, I have the right to say this since I'm one of them :D
All these curious news brought me back to a nice sunny afternoon with a friendly guy in Bali.
Bali, Tanjung Benoa. September 2008
Wi's sitting on the beach, waiting for her parasailing's turn, chit-chatting in Indonesian (her native tongue) with a Balinese middle-aged guy (her parasailing tutor). Then she saw three beach boys sitting not so far away from her. She said to her chat companion:
W: "Wow, they have great bodies and dark skin!"
Mr. Tutor: "Yep, and they're very popular among the japanese and western women."
W: "Huh? What do you mean?"
Mr. Tutor: "They're some sort of gigolos, buy them nice things, dinner, and they'll accompany you for the night or the rest of your vacation here in Bali. Some women even fall in love with them and take them home to Japan or Europe. I was one of them back then when I was young. I had a japanese 'girlfriend', and she took me home with her. I lived in Japan for about three years, until I missed my homeland and decided to pack up and head back home, where the sun always shines and the beaches are so inviting."
Wi: "Seriously? So they'll approach women on the beach and offer them their 'service'?
Mr. Tutor: "Nope, they don't need to. They just have to sit there, and the women will come to them. Personally, I prefer the japanese women to the westerners. They're far more generous with their money. Hahaha. Just watch, here come a group of japanese girls."
A group of japanese girls were coming to do some parasailing, and Wi just couldn't believe her eyes... They actually did approach those beach boys. She and mr. Tutor giggled together.
Hm, isn't life beautiful? How you could just sit with a stranger and start having tete a tete which leads to a horizon broadening or sometimes even enlightenment? I really think, those people we met along the way are the best teachers, no matter who they are or what they do.
And now in front of the computer, I smile ironically.. What's the big deal about all these 'cowboys/beach boys/gigolos' things? I honestly think it's just some natural economic law (a bit twisted, I admit). "Where there's demand, there's supply."
P.S : As I watched this trailer, I felt a pang of homesickness.. Just realized how I missed my homeland. And the music in the video (played on the traditional balinese gamelan) is just HEAVENLY!!