The word 'bule' for some caucasian people who have been living or are now living in Indonesia is considered derogatory word.
I didn't know the meaning of bule at first, but since ten years ago I've become aware that it means albino, white person. Well, being native doesn't mean someone is expert or have better understanding at her/ his language of course.
As far as I know, most Indonesian people never intend that as derogatory remark.
Some of my siblings and I were lighter than average Indonesian when we were kids, and thanks to Mom, we all have pointed nose - though mine is the less pointed one amongst my siblings. That made village people in our neighborhood called us bule, they thought we had western blood and they said we're good-looking. Now, only my brother retains that look.
One very famous Chinese-Indonesian young actress -Agnes Monica- once on an interview were very proud of her newborn niece or nephew who she said very beautiful and '....just like bule.'
Well, I'm not really going to discuss whether it's a derogatory word or not, I'm writing this because of what Filo -my teacher said.
My friends, Filo and I were waiting for an elevator at one apartment, and there were some expats around, and suddenly Filo -who is also an expat and a caucasian- said '...banyak bule ya di sini' (= there are many bule here). She said that quite loud and there were a Caucasian couple right behind us.
Yes, she's quite fluent in Indonesian and she doesn't like to use English at all, we either have to speak Indonesian or her language.
We of course laughed because it's very funny, considering that she's also entitled that word.
She didn't think that other expats might also speak Indonesian language as fluent as her.
I also remember once my other expat friend was proudly telling me a story how he could manage to get tickets for Jakarta International Film Festival although he and his friend were late because the person in charge there let them in. He told me '.....that's the advantage of being bule.' And this somehow makes me annoyed, what a racist Indonesian!
Maybe it depends on the person whether it's considered bad word or not, just like the word 'black people' maybe?
For sure I think some Indonesian people -native or non-native- don't mind to be referred bule cause for them it means good-looking, again showing how racist are Indonesian people :-P