Image of Kuta beach © Getty Images.
Bali in Indonesia is renowned for its "Kuta cowboys" - local men who "escort" lovelorn female tourists. These tanned, muscular gigolos work the beaches and nightclubs of Bali, doing good business with bule (white chicks, as the Wayans brothers would say) and collecting as much as IDR 2 million ($220) per night, reports the Jakarta Post:
Donny, who spoke to The Jakarta Post on the condition of anonymity, works three or four nights a week and earns enough to live comfortably. He has bought his own motorcycle and his neck sparkles with expensive-looking jewellery, although he still lives with his parents in a village two hours from Denpasar.
Donny divides his time between the Kuta beach-front and the ritzy bars which cater to big-spending tourists. Sometimes women approach him, but he says more often he has to do the asking [...] "It's very quick to tell if they are interested."
Despite the general impression that lonely white women are Kuta cowboys' most loyal johns (janes?), it turns out that Japanese women are the biggest customers for these swaggering, tanned hunks.
The Kuta cowboys' days may be numbered, though... a new crackdown has taken place on the heels of the launch of a new movie about the Kuta cowboy phenomenon. Balinese authorities took the release of Cowboys in Paradise rather personally - they raided the beaches and arrested 28 suspected "beach gigolos", while preparing a case against Cowboys director Amit Virmani for not securing the proper film permits. Virmani is incredulous, as are so many locals who find the Cowboy phenomenon more amusing than frightful.
"One wonders where all the Balinese officials complaining about the movie... have been for the last 30 years," snickers Thomas Hogue in the pages of the Jakarta Globe. "It does not appear that they have been on the island. Maybe they just have not ventured out in a good long while."