Tonight the husband and I joined a dozen or so friends for dinner at a local Thai restaurant. This in itself was not newsworthy but the fact that we were sans kiddies was.
For you see lately, it has become virtually impossible to secure the services of a babysitter amongst the local Indian women here in Goa. Our friends seem to have no problem, and other parents round here are often seen enjoying child free dinners on the beach without their offspring in attendance...which leads me to believe that there is something fishy going on.
Having suffered a string of unsuccessful babysitting requests, for somewhat flimsy reasons like, "Your house too far away" (we live across the road from the beach), or "No like the dogs" (our landlady has a few pets who occasionally bark at strangers but the husband always offers to go and pick the ladies up so....), it is clear we are 'undesirables'...but why??
What makes this rejection so hard to bear (aside from having such a detrimental impact on our post 8pm social life) is that we are offering good money - I mean REALLY GOOD money, especially by Indian standards - for a job which involves virtually nothing more than sitting down and watching the monsters watch a string of movies on their dvd player.
It's the social equivalent of offering your average Primark shopper a one hour no holds barred shopping spree at Marc Jacobs and being told, "No thanks, I'm not really into his look this season." Seriously. It's confounding!
Try as I might I can only come up with a few reasons why this may be:
1. Our house is haunted or considered bad luck in some Hindu spiritualist manner, depositing a horrific curse on any locals who step inside...
2. The 'universe' is trying to tell the husband and I that our time would be better spent doing Suduko or practicing yogic postures at home, rather than sipping yet more Kingfishers on the beach.
3. Something is 'wrong' with our family, of which we are utterly and completely unaware (making the option of starving, or continuing to live in a tiny straw shack preferable to bringing home an excellent salary for doing sweet bugger all.)
I so want to believe it's not the latter reason, but then I recall the 'little problem' we had last year in London concerning our utter inability to keep the same cleaner for any decent amount of time. Fine, the ones who got pregnant maybe had a legitimate cause, but the others who made up lamer than lame reasons to ditch us suddenly, inexplicably, and without reasonable cause ("I must pick up brother from airport" etc.) maybe cottoned on to something that these local babysitting women have.
Then again, tonight over dinner a friend mentioned that her babysitter had told her that Dumpie sometimes pinches her. However tonight, returning a good hour later than promised (umm...maybe this bears considering?) we found Eggs and Dumpie quietly cuddled up in bed watching "101 Dalmations" looking as cute - and innocent - as can be.
Any/all in possession of a reasonable (or unreasonable) hypothesis/explanation, please send your answer on the back of a postcard to:
Little pink concrete house