Made Wijaya (neé Michael White) is everyone’s favourite Bali pundit, whose witty column Stranger in Paradise has delighted and confounded generations of Baliphiles. His resumé reads: yachtwreck survivor, tennis coach, pouch poser, garden designer, architect, interior designer, hotelier, carrot-topped-Oscar-Wilde-of-the-tropics, hypocrite auteur mon semblable mon frere. He’s a pen-slinger who’s never at a loss for words, who shoots from the well-padded hip, punches below the belt . . . and apparently can’t keep his sarong below his knees, naughty boy (above right).
This month’s utterly delightful Stranger column (also published in Hello Bali), reveals more than Made’s designer briefs. It exposes publicly what a consummate karma chamelon our Made truly is. In just this one column alone, we see him (left) at a Royal Marsden benefit with Princess Alexandra (mother of James Ogilvy, my St Andrews classmate and founder of the authoritative Luxury Briefing). Here he seems sartorially splendid and scholarly, which is, I must admit, not an affectation, (love the Thomas Pink shirt). Then (centre above), we find him buddy-hugging John Hardy, showing his Australian good on ya mate side. And finally, the worm turns, so to speak, and (right) the boy goes a bit Britney on us, flashing his knickers. I, for one, love it to bits. Made’s always ready to go balls out for Bali.
At least he kept his knickers on, unlike Brit, or else how could he show his face at the Royal Marsden ever again?
Since Made is always stirring up our conscience in Bali to evade what seems to be an imminent over-development disaster, and since I’ve misquoted Baudelaire above, as others often have, it seems apropos at this moment to mention a work by one of my favourite poets, Archibald Macleish, entitled Hypocrite Auteur – mon semblable, mon frere, the first stanza of which, reads:
Our epoch takes a voluptuous satisfaction
In that perspective of the action
Which pictures us inhabiting the end
Of everything with death for only friend.
And which further on contains the much cited line:
A world ends when its metaphor has died.
I think Made must worry about the metaphor at night, as do many of us. Well, read the Macleish poem to the end, then. And someone, please invent a good metaphor. Quick.