As things wind down, more and more people have taken to asking me if I have any “regrets”—which I think is a mistranslation for an experience I never got to have while in Indonesia. It’s hard to think of anything (though I’m sure there are plenty), but while having this conversation with my friend, Bu Holif, I casually mentioned that I never got the opportunity to dress up in traditional clothing. Of course, Bu Holif took it upon herself to change that.
This is how I ended up in a beautiful Balinese house—just a short bike ride away from my own—belonging to a talented stylist/decorator/event planner and Bu Holif’s friend, Mas Ridho. After a lovely time of food and conversation, just taking in the view (which really did make it seem like I had been magically transported to Bali) and watching a young couple from Solo take their wedding photos in the property, it was my turn to play dress up.
Mas Ridho took over with his casual and energetic way, analyzing my hair, skin and build and deciding that Balinese clothing would be best. Then he got down to work.
The point of all this was to take one photo in the traditional outfit as a cute little keepsake from Indonesia, but instead, I got a photo shoot and a whole afternoon of playing the part of Balinese lady with Mas Ridho, Bu Holif and Mbak Nina. Normally, I would NEVER do this. I like taking pictures, not being in them; but, what else could I do? The house was the perfect backdrop and from all the weddings and events he sets up, Mas Ridho had every prop imaginable to make my part believable. Once I got past the silliness—and my own shyness—I let Mas Ridho direct me and here are a few of the results.
The photos are great, but the memory of this afternoon with this pair will stay with me for a long time. Playing dress up is so fun! They are already trying to get me to do it again with Javanese clothing, so…stayed tuned.
And one final image of all of the makeup I removed later that evening.
Note to all people looking for stylists/event planners in Bondowoso, Mas Ridho is the BEST in the area, but incredibly busy. Still, he’s HIGHLY recommended. And note to all people (especially current and future PCVs) with skin problems in Indonesia – as I had when I first got here- try Ovale Anti-Acne, which you can buy in almost any Indomaret. It literally saves your skin.