Thursday, 10 June 2010

"Too Much of A Good Thing?"

Eggie is in heaven. Kedat the Pembantu (nanny) we hired this week makes homemade lemon pancakes on request.

The husband is also in heaven because Kedat likes to fill spare moments by painstakingly (and pointlessly if you ask me) folding all of our clothes razor sharply in the wardrobe.

And she doesn't nag whilst doing it.

As for me, the jury is still out. I can't decide whether hiring a nanny and a separate cleaner for a space consisting of two bedrooms, and an open-plan kitchen, is inspired or downright ridiculous.

The husband and I literally sit here at the big wooden table during the day, plugged into our laptops, whilst two Balinese women tiptoe about washing dishes, clearing up messes, rustling up dinner, dusting, mopping, supervising the monsters...

So now we don't have to even lift a finger most of the time (dishes? what dishes?) or deal with our laundry (Wayan scooters off with our dirty laundry twice a week and returns with a cellophaned packet of clean replacement clothes) or deal with the screaming matches between Dumpie and the little girl who lives next door.

In exchange for an 'easier life' we hand over a wad of Rupiah every week and let someone else deal with the domestic drudgery which used to be cause for near-constant bickering.

"Can you PLEASE rinse out the porridge pot right after you've finished making it? It turns into cement and then I can't scrub it off"

"Don't you think there are more important things to be getting on with? Why do you always issue instructions?"

"Because I'm standing here trying to scrub off YOUR porridge and I'm hot and tired and it won't come off!"

"Then just LEAVE it for me and I'll do it later"

"But if i LEAVE it for you to do then the ants will get into it - it's disgusting!"

"I don't care. I'll clean it when I want to clean it"

"But I DO care."

"Then YOU clean it"


So you see, technically, having domestic help here in Bali should spell out the end of 90% of our bickering.

That's the plan anyway.

But the reality is that having our solitude disrupted by two additional people within the confines of our rather 'cozy' abode, makes for acute self-consciousness and leaves us nostalgically pining for our former we can get back to bickering about porridge pots.

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