I'm in trouble, deep trouble.......the last week has been a nightmare. I'm freaking really!!!!
Sometime last week my friend’s maid got caught by the police and they[the police] inturn called M & husband to the police station. There they were given 2 options: pay up the fine or stay in jail till the case is tried. The maid was working illegally for them u see. Dammit 98% of the maids are working illegally here, everybody knows that & are still using their services.
You may proceed directly to the next para but for people who are interested, some gyaan about how the system works here: There are 2 ways to get maids legally working for you in Dubai or shd I say UAE.
One, we sponser one from our home country or any country but it works out very expensive & not only that we are totally responsible for her[if you hear a few horror stories from employers you’ll never feel like sponsoring one ever].
The other way is to recruit one from a cleaning company and they may send any nationality…….again they charge per hour and are quite expensive compared to the 3rd option which is illegal but the most popular option.
Here we put an ad in the newspaper[all this is illegal mind you but around 90% of the population has done this atleast once in their lifetime] stating our requirement & our location and wait for response. Now, there is large number of women who would have come under a maid’s visa after paying a lot of money to their Arab sponsors. Ideally they should be working for them but they have an understanding with the sponsor where they work independently & make more money this way. These maids work as part time or fulltime help for a nominal amount[compared to the other 2 options]; they are happy with his arrangement and we are also happy but the fact remains what we are doing is illegal but we don’t think too much about it until something like this happens.
Coming back to the topic, now M & husband had no choice. They paid up the fine and were allowed to get back home on the same day. My poor friend sounded shell-shocked when she called me to tell the whole story. The fine was bad enough and on top of it all she saw scenes like people being led into different cells handcuffed, how the policemen were doing their duty and making good amount of money legally, how she who had never been to a police station in all her life felt being treated like a criminal.
The only thing which set them apart from the rest was that they had the money[no cheques, only cash] to pay upfront and get out of here without spending too much time in the suffocating environment.
What does all this have to do with me???? Dont ask, just dont ask I might just start crying in self-pity. All this happened on the better-half's birthday. I was actually planning to get a cake & get the kids to decorate the house when M calls me & tells me all this. I was totally shocked to say the least. Yeah well, all of us know that every now and then the police do an over-all cleaning of the society where they round up all the unsuspecting souls standing at the bus-stop, etc. The ones with valid visa's are let off & the rest are carted off to jail. And there they languish till either their sponsor’s pay the fine and bail them out or they are sent back to their own country. But this is the 1st time I hear that even the people who are employing them have to pay fine.....and that too a hefty sum of dhs.51,000[works out to 6 Lakhs+ in Indian Rupees] is not an amount the common man will have lying around in his house or even in his bank account.
And so there I was sitting in shock thinking about how it could happen to anybody when the better-half walks in & He could make out something was amiss & within half an hour got the whole story out of me. And that was it. If I had any inkling I was going to set off a chain of events I wouldn’t have ever told him this. His reasoning, he doesnt have dhs.51,000 to waste on something which could be avoided….the maid had to go, Period. So here I am in front of u, a tired, haggard looking Nancy with wrinkled fingers[all that washing] sitting and typing a post hurriedly before the kids come back from school... oh pleease overlook all the typos.
I'm so desperate really.....and I see no way out. When I picture myself mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, washing utensils, changing bedsheets, taking trash out, doing loads of laundry, ironing, watering the plants + what I was already doing and that is cooking, getting kids to study, taking them down to play, squeezing time to write posts inbetween & looking after the family's needs as a whole, my heart squeezes in terror.
Long ago I made peace with myself when realised I'm not one of those people who can multi-task and finish up with work ahead of time. I'm clean, I'm thorough but I'M SLOW. So slow that even if I’m given me a head start the tortoise will end up winning the race[now u know why my rate of posting is so low].
So I hired a maid and never looked back. When I was working she used to work fultime for me & now since I'm at home she comes in for 2 hours & takes quite a bit of weight off my shoulders. Both she and I were heart-broken….it was a typical parting scene in the end with both of us holding each others hands & reluctantly letting go. As the tip of her fingers left the tip of my fingers I realized how much I loved her & how crushed I was to let her go..……honestly she was worth her weight in gold;-(. Years ago I had written about her here.
And do you know what the funniest bit is …….nobody else, simply NOBODY ELSE sacked their help after hearing M’s story, JUST US. The only satisfaction I derive from the whole fiasco is watching the better-half walking on eggshells around me. And oh yeah he finally got around to taking me to get new furniture for the living room and our bedroom. Buttering me up I know, but I'm not going to let him off the hook in a hurry. And M, I'm not going to forgive you for a looong time.....and I absolutely forbid you to confide in me your problems esp the ones which have the potential to create mayhem in my life. And if anybody of you dares to comment how the better-half is right, u better watch it.
And, and I've got guests[remember holleyland] coming to stay over this weekend.........ohhhhhh somebody wake me up from this nightmare!!!!!!
*Title of the post: roughly translated as 'ooh my rotten luck' in English