Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The day she left...pfft!

So 3 entries ago I blogged about how relieved I was that Novie had finally arrived. I was nervous having a stranger in my home, hoping and praying she had the heart and patience to assist with my two kiddos. Housework was not the concern. I'd have been grateful if she could use a washing machine and vacumn cleaner without too much assistance. It took a while for her to settle in comfortably with the family but eventually she did and I liked her, I truly did. She was great with Nila and Elil was fond of her. She was strong and helped out with the gardening. She was polite and didn't talk back or show a face (all except once which is forgivable I guess).

All was well until one fine day when my phone bill came in and I did the out of the ordinary; I looked at it. To my horror, the bill came up to 5 times its normal amout and as I looked at the breakdown I was disappointed to find several calls a day throughout the day to one number. A number that was unfamiliar to hubs and myself. Oh Novie Novie, why? I know I must confront her with this but how? Two days later soon after I put the kids down for the night, I go downstairs for a glass of water. I don't have a foot down the step when I hear the phone hang up. My heart is racing and I am so upset. I decide that I will have a chat with her the very next morning. Come morning I write the number down on a piece of paper and show it to her. "Do you know this number?" I say. She immediately admits to making the calls. To her "adik kandung" who works in Perak apparently. Of course I don't believe her. I give her a stern warning and she knows never to make phone calls to whoever behind my back ever again. She knows now that any calls she may want to make to her family whom she 'misses' must go through me. So that settles that or so I thought.

Days later after she had completed her chores she came up to me watching tv and asks me to sms her 'adik kandung'. She gives me 2 numbers, one I have never seen before. Apparently this brother of hers has two lines, ok whatever. "Take perlu sms", I say. I will call him immediately. Of course I want my chance to speak to 'brother' myself. A dude with a thick Indonesian accent picks up. Long story short, none of the information she gives me regarding her 'brother' matches. He has a different name, does not work in a Perak palm oil estate and has never met a Novie in his life! WTF! If there's one thing I truly despise, it's being lied to. It pisses me off to no end. I tell her what I know and wait for her explanation. She has none, no lie readily available in her brain. After several minutes however she manages another bogus story to which I tell her I know is lies. No more I said. No more calls. Period. I ask her if she likes being lied to. She replied no. And I tell her to go back to her room.

It takes me a few days but I manage to calm down. About a month and I forget the ordeal although another bill comes in with the same pattern except the number has changed. Looking at the dates, all the calls were made prior to our little chat so I say nothing of it. Things are back to normal between us or so I think. We celebrate Nila's birthday in April. However, one morning about a week after the party I am woken by a smiling Nila trying to climb on her mummy. I am exhausted from a heavily disrupted night and on mornings like these, I hand Nila over to Novie so I can get some shut eye before beginnning the day. This morning, I call to Novie and no reply. I go downstairs, I call her as I do so. No reply. No Novie. Panic sets in. I rush to check all the doors, everything still secure. I check her room. Gone are her things together with the sports bag she had when she first came. I run upstairs to look for her passport, my heart about to leap out of my chest. Its gone! Just like Novie, gone. I don't know how to feel. I try call hubs who is in Delhi, no answer. I call my mum. I know there's not much she can do being miles away but somehow that is always my first instinct. When in trouble, run to mummy. She calms me down and tells me I should inform my in-laws and also contact the agent who would know what to do. I do this and by late morning have my locks changed and lodged a police report. The agent needs to cancel her work permit with immigration. And that's really all I can do. No replacement maid or refund cozshe passed her 3 month guarantee period (such BS if you ask me considering we just paid close to 9k for her). Only later do I find out that there is an insurance that you can get to protect yourself. Later, too late.

And so that is my story after months of absence. Shes gone. And I am alone with the kids. I am struggling I must admit. I don't have a life. Am I able? I am. I know I can do it. Maidless. But I don't really want to do it. I am grumpy and over-exhausted. I am bitter at times and stressed and frustrated most of the time. I don't like being this way. And so I will update you once we get our next domestic help.


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