Bugils Jakarta (I can never know the right spell. Is it Bugil’s or Bugils? BuGils or BuGil’s?) will hold their very last party in December 13th. We have heard the rumour about Bugils closing down forever, but this time it is for real. It should be official, because the bar throws the countdown parties, starts from Monday, December 8th, and ends on Saturday, December 13th.
It’s a goodbye, big goodbye to its loyal customers who have survived together with the legendary bar during raids, floods, ghosts, deaths, smelly socks, drunken customers, crazy barmaids, and God knows what else. A friend told me that she is planning to fly to Jakarta to attend the party. Another will fly from Hong Kong. I am sure the original shareholders, who are as mysterious as the myth of a beer glass put every night to feed the ghost, will turn up too. I am sure Bart will try to push the sale of ‘Barack Bites’ stroopwafels, the same stroopwafels which have been around for at least a couple of years before reemerging with a new name. The book, Bule Gila: Tales of A Dutch Barman, certainly will be there too. I don’t know if the second book will ever come out, since Bart has been busy with his new celebrity status, being interviewed by CNN and such, and embracing the holy mission of conquer the world with his Aaltje Bakery’s stroopwafel.
Every year, every body tries to beat the record of staying, standing, and surviving at the party. I heard the record is from two PM until five AM, 15 hours, held by none other than Lens, the man behind Eastern Promise‘s phenomenal success. That’s a lot of beer. Every year, and just for once a year and only in that particular party, the bar will suddenly be flooded by young, gorgeous, broke, tan, fit blokes, outnumbering sleazy, aging, pot-belly men. They look too young to drink (but who cares and is there such rule in Indonesia?), perhaps make a detour from their international schools, and definitely come for free beer. It is refreshing. Every year, everybody suddenly becomes friends with real friends, ex-friends, enemies, frenemies, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-fiances, ex-wives, ex-husbands, their new partners, their ex-partners; basically the entire romance history suddenly will flash before your very eyes and there’s nothing you can do except to nod and smile, keep a poker face and jot down a mental note that A is now seeing B, C just broke up with D, E is pregnant by F, and G is gay.
I wish I could be there to say goodbye to the bar personally. The last time I attended the party was in 2007 and as far as I remember, and judging from the immortalised moment on the right, it was a blast.
But I know Bugil’s Jakarta would not be easily defeated. So wait for another year or two, and Bugil’s Jakarta part two, will re-emerge somewhere. Just like Bart’s stroopwafel!