So far the maid is quite ok. Hubby says she is rather strong and not careful enough while doing things so he asked me to remind her to be more careful. So far she has lost one of our drawer keys because I think she accidentally swiped it while wiping the bookshelf and it fell behind the built ins so we are unable to retrieve it. Fortunately I was able to find a spare key after 24 hours of searching. hahaha. We quickly had another one made so that we won’t have to call in the locksmith the next time. Lol.

The shower pipe in her toilet also burst recently so we called in the plumber…. but it could happen to anybody. Maybe she was too rough but perhaps the pipe was old and about to burst anyway. So far only minor things like these which we can live with.

When she first came, she was very quiet, spoke softly and often had her head lowered. Nowadays she speaks loudly and laughs heartily but she still has this uncanny way of repeating after everything I say and agreeing with me about everything. She also is often in a “standby” mode. Whenever I appear, she would also appear conveniently ready for orders or she would be somewhere nearby within reach pretending to wash the kitchen towels or her clothes. Or she would be in her room reading one of the books or magazines we bought her. We bought her a Harry Porter story book and when I asked her what the story was about she said she couldn’t remember but it was very good. I wonder if she really read it but she is always sitting with a book or magazine when she is free. 😛 I know that she can read and write because she would write lyrics of songs and teach the kids to sing them.

We have encouraged her to write home and have brought her to the post office to post her letter twice but so far no reply. She is not really that homesick because she came to work to get away from her stepmother and stepsister. So her motivation to work here is a bit different. Some of them come her to support their children etc.

The other day, hubby rewarded my girl for being a good little emcee at her kindy concert so we took the kids to Megakidz to have some fun. Our new “kid” (the maid) had loads of fun too. Haha. It was fun watching her having fun. She laughed with glee like a kid on the air bouncer.

Speaking about laughter, she has uncontrollable laughter sometimes. I used to take her to the kindy to watch the kids practise for the concert and she would laugh so loudly at the little ones because they were so cute. I think this distracted the kids and the teachers a bit. 😛

Once, we went to a property showcase and there was a clown on stilts. She laughed so hard (much harder than my kids) till the tears rolled down from her eyes. Thats no problem at all. However, once, I saw her laughing loudly at a kid who had fallen off a slide in front of a toyshop. The kid’s parents weren’t amused. They kept staring at the maid like they wanted to tear her apart or eat her up, especially the dad! I had to quickly remove the maid from the scene and gently remind her not to laugh the next time. I told her that she had made the kid’s dad mad because she wasn’t even aware of it. 🙂 I guess the kid’s parents were mad because the girl was crying and when she saw the maid laughing at her she cried even harder. Actually the kid had ran up the wrong way of the slides instead of climbing from the stairs and that was why she had fallen making the maid laugh. However, I must say that any protective parent would have been mad because instead of rushing to her aid or ignoring her as most people would have done, the maid laughed causing the girl to become embarassed and cry harder. I must remember to remind her to control her giggles in public next time. I still remember how the man glared at her.

She’s very good in ironing and folding clothes. Thats a plus point for her. I hate ironing. So thats fantastic for me. Hehe.

We have been trying to make jellies, steamed cakes, hoen koay (powder cake) etc. This is to occupy her, get her to do some “fun” stuff (instead of just housework 24/7) as well as get some home made food for the kids to enjoy. However, so far, we haven’t been very successful at our attempts so in the end both of us have to gobble up everything. Haha.

We also do some “gardening”. “Gardening” means watering the plants once a day. Haha. We are trying to plant some vegetables. The vegetables grow so slowly and hubby often jokes with her and asks her when he can get to eat the vegetables.  The maid and I have decided that he can eat them during Chinese New Year. lol.

The other day the kids wanted to buy some seedlings to grow. So far we had only bought ready planted plants and flowers and have never tried growing anything from seeds before so we bought cherry tomato seeds for the boy and daisy flower seedlings for the girl. We planted them into pots on Sunday. It has started to sprout now. Its amazing to watch them sprout and grow. Everyday the maid goes and check those pots of seedlings and our slow growing vegetables so its another “fun” thing for her to do. We’ve only managed to “harvest” some spring onions and ate them once in our soup noodles. 🙂

The other day, I asked her what was her ambition for example what would she like to buy home when she has made some money. She told me that the last time she bought home a torchlight for her dad and her dad loved it. He likes taking it to the “kebun”. That is because she lives in a very rural place with no electricity. Her family are farmers. However, according to her the torchlight was “rosak” almost immediately and could not be used anymore. Two things struck me. 1. The simplicity of her reply and 2. Must remember to get her a torchlight when she goes home.

Her hair is a constant source of conversation with strangers. Many strangers have commented about it to me. “Is it real?” “She looks like a negro.” etc are some. Once a woman couldn’t stop staring at her. She stared at her and looked like she was going to burst out laughing. Then she looked at me. I just looked back at her blankly. Really! Whats so funny about somebody that looks different from us?

Recently when we went to the hair salon, we asked her if she would like to have a haircut too since we noticed that it had grown a bit long. She looked a bit uncomfortable but smiled and said “terserah kepada mister dan ma’am lah”. We told her no, it is not “terserah kepada kita”. It is “terserah kepada kamu” because it is your own hair. We then told her to think about it. Later before leaving for the salon, I asked her again and she said no, she wanted to leave it as it is. Previously she had told me that she had very long hair before this but at the camp they shaved all of them till their hair became very short cropped to make things easier to control or manage.

She is a Christian. So she can handle and eat pork and we don’t have to worry about giving her lighter work during fasting month etc. I think this is much easier for us to handle as we don’t have to worry about needing to be sensitive to her religious needs and culture.

Well, that is all for my records for now. Hopefully, we can continue to have a good working relationship.

It is tough when you have trouble from the start. My sister who had to switch to a new Cambodian maid by absorbing her in (she was temp) because the Indon maid that she applied for had changed her mind about working here at the very last minute is having some “teething problems”.

She cries easily. At the agents, my sister found out that one of the reasons was because she said she did not like to take orders from the kids. One of the kids had asked her to prepare some food for them. So my sister said thats ok, take orders only from me and forget about the kids. So she thought that was settled. Another reason is, she is not happy about the food that they eat. My sister allows her to add some extra zing to her food to something more familiar like what she used to have at home. She adds some peanuts into the vege while cooking. Then she becomes happy again.  

However a few days later my sister couldn’t find her in the morning to help prepare breakfast. She was hiding somewhere in the garden crying. My sister took her to the agent again to try to find out whats wrong since she can’t speak English. When she arrived at the agent she saw another Cambodian maid and was smiling again after that.

The agent said she must be homesick, so they asked her for her parents phone number to call back. However the maid had left it in her original employer’s home and they can’t get it back now because that employer no longer wants to have anything to do with the maid or the agent anymore. The maid had only worked there for 1-2 weeks. I wonder what she did to cause such unhappinness.

My sister treats her well but she is still complaining and rather emotional. Everyone advises my sister not to keep her because of her emotional state. However, if she didn’t she would lose a lot of money. Sigh. Tough isn’t it?

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