Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wow, you have two live-in maids!

some of my friends back home think i am living it up here just because i have two live-in maids. Like them, before i came here i thought these maids would be like the ones that worked for Daddy Warbucks or the White House - literate, English-speaking, possessing common sense (like don’t mix whites and colors), and automatically knowing what to do and when to do it.  

i’ve been here 10 months now and gone thru 4 maids and 3 drivers. I can tell you what they are not like.  They are not the sharpest knife in the drawer, they usually have had a lot of tragic crap happen to them in their lifetimes (orphaned or husband walked out on them or parents just didn’t give a sh*t); they may steal anything from personal care products(creams, makeup, hair clips) to milk and sugar.  They may know little English, and less personal hygiene.  These people usually come from such a level of want that we spoiled members of the developed world can only imagine.  

That’s the worst of them that you will find.  Now, let me illustrate the best that you will find.  They will attach themselves to you so that you really feel they are part of your family.  They will call you elder brother or sister and be a more devoted younger sister or brother than maybe even your own.  When your cell phone rings, they will run and get it for you before you miss the call.  They will cry when they hear that your baby is sick with a terrible virus, and spend a sleepless night with you nursing the baby back to health.  They will learn English from you and teach you a little of their own tongue.  They will bring you back special festival food from home, and invite you to their family weddings and christenings.  

Of course, the best are extremely hard to find and keep.  Especially as progress marches double-time thru the subcontinent.  

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