I’d only been here a few weeks (it was six years ago) and I asked my friend Cary and his wife if they knew of someone looking for a job.
I was was called round to their house to meet Manjula. She seemed quiet, even timid and perhaps she was a little worried about meeting me and the prospect of working for a foreigner. She’d brought a friend with her who seemed to know her stuff. After the simplest of introductions. (We didn’t speak each other’s language.) We went round to my house.
I was looking for a maid. Yes a maid. My two sons (who were in their twenties and back in the UK) were not impressed. “You’re seriously going to have a servant!”
we’re a very liberal, left wing family so even the idea of having a cleaner back in England was a bit of a stretch. A maid? Quite another matter. I explained as best I could, that it’s different here. It’s about giving employment and I’d be a good employer. They weren’t convinced.
I just wanted someone for a couple of hours a day. To do some cleaning, clothes washing and cooking.
so we arrived at my home.
They ladies were not impressed. The place was sparsely furnished, not unlike a trad Indian home. So that’s not a problem. But horror upon horrors. There was little equipment in the kitchen and THERE WAS NO ELECTRIC GRINDER. I had just this……
I promised to get an electric one!
By the next day it was bought and installed in the kitchen. Kudos and Brownie points or what?
Hang on a minute! What have I done? I’ve set the pattern
so, on reflection, it was pretty easy to employ a maid (it’s maybe not so easy now) BUT how do I get her to understand what I want her to do?