My First Indonesian White Party

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I can’t stop raving about how wonderful the people of Bali are. They are so kind, so friendly, and genuinely interested to learn about you!  At times, I literally sit back and marvel at how amazing they are.

Before arriving in Bali, I contacted a few local organizations looking for complimentary activities in exchange for publicity on this site.  When one of my contacts, Theresia, asked  if I wanted to grab lunch with her, I readily agreed.

I arrived at lunch ready to talk shop — SEO, social media, pageviews, subscribers, the future of travel blogging and its impact on the industry.  Then I realized that business lunches in Bali are nothing like business lunches in America — in Bali, it’s all about enjoying each other’s company!

Theresia and I talked about everything under the sun and quickly found out we had a lot in common. We loved to go dancing.  We listened to a lot of R&B.  Our favorite party song?  “Blame It” by Jamie Foxx.  And we were crazy about British boys.

Then Theresia told me that she was going to an industry party that night, and she had an extra invitation. Would I like to go with her?

Of course I would!

Then she dropped the bomb:

This was a white party.

My only knowledge of white parties comes from Diddy and his epic Hamptons bashes, where girls were kicked out for not having solid white shoes or handbags.  Not ivory, not cream, but WHITE.

As a backpacker, I had packed no white clothing whatsoever. I know myself, and I know any white clothing would be dirty within days.

But if nothing else, Bali is a good place to buy cheap, wear-a-few-times-and-it’s-done dresses.  I found a cute strapless white dress at a shop in Legian.

(A lesson for you, ladies — ALWAYS pack the right undergarments.  Ideally, you should always pack a seamless nude convertible bra and at least one pair of seamless nude underwear, just in case you end up wearing white!  If not, you’ll be weighing the benefits of really obvious underwear versus NO underwear. Trust me.)

Primped and ready, I arrived by ojek (motorbike) at Ocean’s 27 in Kuta, one of the more upscale, trendy clubs in town.

Oh, yes.  It was fancy.

The white party was a marketing event for travel and tourism professionals in Bali. The last thing I expected was to be eating passed apps and schmoozing with future work contacts, but there I was!

Right away, Theresia introduced me to her friends, who come from all over Indonesia.  And just like all Indonesians, they were warm, friendly, funny and so welcoming!

Right away, I was one of them.

I often like looking back and thinking about how my past self would view my current life. It always makes me smile.

Growing up, I was always the shortest person in my class.  (Seriously.  In every class picture from kindergarten to fifth grade, I’m sitting in the front right corner — the short person’s seat!)  When I was six, this bothered me greatly — I would cry and wish I were tall.

Well, six-year-old Katelyn, take a look at this photo:

I was in flip-flops, they were in heels, and at 5’4″, I was still taller than the rest of them!

See, six-year-old Katelyn?  It gets better.

The party rolled on — dancers performed, prizes were given out, many glasses of red wine were consumed (at a WHITE party!  I was so afraid for people’s clothing!).

So when it began to die down, the girls and I headed for the clubs of Kuta.

Kuta may be vile, but it’s not just a place for foreigners — locals go there to party, too.  (I later find out that until the Bali bombings in 2002, Indonesians often weren’t allowed in clubs — but they now believe that creating Western-only areas made them bigger targets for terrorism.)

As I’ve said before on this site, always be open to friendship. You never know where it might lead you!  You could make a lifelong friend — or have a night out like never before!

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16 thoughts on “My First Indonesian White Party”

  1. I’m always blown away by how huge I sometimes feel next to people smaller than me. I’m 5’6, aprox 130lbs, size 6-8? So I’m average in height and size, but even next to so many of my girlfriends I am a giant by comparison. A girlfriend of mine, her hands weird me out because they are so small they are like a childs.With the prospect of lots of future travel for me, I guess I should get used to feeling BIG…

  2. Wow, great post 🙂
    All of those photos are amazing too. The club does look really fancy, chairs in water.. haha
    And it looks like the white party wasn’t so strict, as most of the girls have different colored clothing.
    Looks like you had a fun time! Also, I was always the tallest person in my class, and wished I was the shortest!! haha 😀

  3. Wow! What a great experience that must have been! It’s lovely to meet and make friends with other women around the world–shows how much we all have in common despite cultural “differences.” My dad’s wife is from Java but lives on Bali and has been working in the travel/hotel industry for years. She has often mentioned the young women who work in the industry who have moved there from the other islands. I know she often goes to Kuta for events like this one (maybe you two even met each other! Ha!). As you said, we often think of only foreign tourists going to Kuta, but Indonesians go there to party, too.

  4. “I often like looking back and thinking about how my past self would view my current life. It always makes me smile.”

    I do this all the time. Sometimes I’ll go through an entire day imagining how the me from 10 years ago would view the day. It’s a fantastic exercise in self-reflection and personal growth.

  5. Thanks for the nice article darling. we were enjoying a lot to spend time with you.
    unfortunately you couldn’t join us to the beach in the next day. i want to show you nicer beaches around Bali. i wish you could have more time, i would love to show you around with my girl friends too. there are still many places you haven’t see and visit!
    Kuta is da center of back packer tourist, somehow it could be fun too for some people,depend on where they come from and what they like; Seminyak is upper class places also Nusa Dua,Jimbaran are more quite than Kuta; Denpasar is capital city of Bali, the most population is Indonesian. West Bali and North of Bali (such as Ubud, Amed, Lovina, Singaraja, Bedugul, Gianyar, etc) are really Bali.
    you can feel and see the difference depend on where you go. not yet if you go to Java, many places are totally different compare to Bali who never meet westerners! you will not only feel taller, even feel like Hollywood actress coz many people would like to pose and make some pictures with you just across down the street! lol 😉
    and you need to visit another island of Indonesia such as Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Irian Jaya. ( ups, i haven’t been there!).
    i think you need to come back and spare more time to shake Bali again! ;D might next time we will have party with traditional Indonesian dresses! 😉 and no need high heels!

  6. That sounds like so much fun. Experiencing different culture is amazing! Good tip on bringing the right bra and underwear-you never know just where you’ll end up

  7. I have been wanting to go to Diddy’s white party but I guess they will never invite me. But if you don’t have on white dont bother showing up. The white party sounds like fun too bad you were thinking about handling business…lol

  8. When the song “Blame It” first came out was when I was traveling through South East Asia and it had not yet hit that part of the world… I played in on my ipod for some of the Europeans I met and they thought it was a parody, like “I’m On A Boat.” I died trying to tell them people danced very seriously to that song!

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