The Crazy Bule

Suka Suka Suka, Do you have Facebook?

I met an Indonesian blogger and journalist, Mr. Ali Syarief. He suggested I write a blog post on Facebook and “Like” and said he would post it on his blog to help promote my story and get me more likes. I said I’d write up 500 words so here it is:

I am a travel writer for Trip Atlas. Recently the editor of this travel hub that gets over a million hits a day sent out an email to all contributors announcing a competition.  I rose to the occasion and wrote a travel feature on sky diving in Perth.

Over the weeks I had asked people on the street to click the Facebook ‘Like’ button on my story. Most of the people I asked were fellow travellers who were staying at the same back packers.

I had booked a ticket to Bali. I arrived on the 20th of October. My like count was around 230 but fell far short of the 500  I needed to actually win an Ipad 2. The leader was a female writer from Canada who wrote a story on dog sledding.
It seemed she had the backing of the whole Canadian Tourism Industry while I was doing it alone. To get my like counts, I had physically ask people to log into their Facebook on my computer and click the like button on my story which was then posted onto their wall. It has worked so far.

While in Bali last week, I managed to get another 200 likes, which really put me close to the lead. But Sarah Sekula’s ‘likes’ were still way ahead of me.

I really don’t need an Ipad 2. I have met wonderful Indonesians while asking them to click like. I was hanging outside a Circle K on the beach; place only locals went to. I would go around from table to table and begin with: “Excuse me, can you please help the crazy bule?” As I found, Indonesians are always helpful and found this bule to be a bit bold and funny. Every ‘suka” I got, I would ask their names and we’d have a nice little chat. .  Most time they’d put a Bintang in front of me. One night some local Balinese came up to me with a bottle of Tequila. A few ‘likes’ and shots later, I was almost under the table. But that didn’t stop me asking fresh Indonesian customers who stopped off at Circle K for one last drink. One Indonesian man was so impressed with me; he had his wife take a picture of me with him, saying, “He’s the sky diver!”

Another night I as offered arak. The next day I had a horrible hangover so decided to get a flight to Jakarta. At this point, I had 400 likes, and need another 100 to win an Ipad. I knew if I went to the capital city I would get a few more likes. And only yesterday, while spending my Sunday in Old Jakarta, I met Ali at the Bavaria. The first thing I asked him was if he had Facebook, then I went through the ritual of getting my ‘suka’. I was surprised to find that he was a journalist himself, and our friendship began from there. So if you are bored and need to spice up your life, just ask a stranger on the street, “Do you have Facebook?” It works all the time!

Tiramakasi Indonesia and a big thanks to Ali for hosting this piece.I currently have 558 like and would like more!

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