Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don't read this if you are sick of expats complaining of maids

Felicia is leaving. I knew this would come but I thought we had until December when she said her mother wanted her home for at least a month and then maybe for the full year. But today - after reviewing her contract with the agency - she said she will be leaving November 5. I still haven't gotten a straight answer on why or where she's going and I wonder if it's because she doesn't really know. She's always been moody, that's for sure, but what's family if not moody. I suppose I am most upset because this insults my liberal expatty ways of thinking we treated her pretty well "for a servant". But if I take out my emotion--as I am sure she too must be doing--a job is a job and perhaps there are more glorious ones that burning eggplant on the stove for our weekly bharta or cleaning my kid's bum or washing my underwear (in machine, not by hand). We pay her more than most local Indians pay their maids, and also give her lots of offs. But we pay less than the expat set, partly because she doesn't speak English nor know the beauty of our Amrikan khanna like hamburgers and pasta. Felicia being a part of the now Old India, indirect communication reigns, so this decision to leave early could really be an emergency at home she is afraid to tell us about, a desire to go see if she can make more money elsewhere or maybe work less for a family that doesn't have any kids or as many guests as we do, or maybe she is in love with someone and I have been underestimating her. Maybe maybe maybe. I, of course, am giving her a dose of Indian right back and sulking and generally not speaking to her. Real mature, I know. Tomorrow I guess I will have to try to talk to her again. We stay in touch with our old nannies from the US but somehow I think it might be different here, which is the saddest part of all. I wonder if I will have these questions always.

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