Monday, January 18, 2016

Do You Pembantu?

Ok. Before I tell you this little story I have some full disclosure.
As part of our life here in Indonesia we have staff at our house. We have a driver who takes us around where we want to go most of the time, we have a gardener who comes in twice a week to tame our tropical garden and we have a maid who comes in Monday-Friday who cleans our house, does laundry and for the most part cooks our dinners.
Our driver and maid also run errands for us...dry cleaner, grocery shopping etc.
We do this in part because it is part of being an expat and contributing to the economy we live in. We won't always have this at other posts.
We also do it because:
1) I don't want to drive in this city. Ever.
2) Because traffic is so bad here it takes much more time to get what you need when you are doing those errands. Combine this with the fact that you can never find everything you are looking for at one store or even find it at the same store you found it last time and you see the benefits quickly.

I have also heard that many drivers and maids make more than school teachers here. Especially those who work for Americans. So it's probably not too bad a gig.

You should also know that most Americans I know only have one maid and many only have one part time. Most Indonesians I know have at least two maid and a full time gardener. Also if they have kids there is always a nanny sometimes one for each kid!

Now here's the story I heard at lunch this weekend.

A co worker was meeting with a large group of Indonesian professional women. The subject of staff came up. The Indonesians were complaining about managing their staff and the problems they have with them. The also found them completely necessary because how could you work full time and do all the other things that need to be done like cook and clean and take care of the children.
My co worker kept quiet for a moment and then with I can assume was a gleam in her eye said....
"Well in my country.." The Indonesians were of course all amazed at the American's ability to manage work and home all by themselves.

So ladies. Next time you feel overwhelmed. Remember how awesome you are for being able to do it all. And then go have that glass of wine. You can afford one in America.

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