We could well be the only people in Mauritius without a maid.
We did have one, but it didn’t suit me.
She was honest – she never stole anything, which is sometimes a problem here (our friend’s maid stole her knickers – don’t ask me why!), she was a very nice person, and it was great not having to clean the house ourselves.
I liked her, but as with some of the other workers we’ve had, the problems ended up outweighing the benefits.
- Burnt clothes when ironing
- Broke almost an entire set of wine glasses whilst washing up
- Rearranged the ornaments each time she dusted
- Went into great detail about her lack of finances and other woes
- Re-organised ALL the kitchen cupboards one day, because that’s how she would have them were this her house
- Started arriving late and leaving early
- Made me feel guilty for watching the morning news and having a cup of coffee while she cleaned our house
- Made me very ill
OK, the first six we took in our stride (well, I did – Alf sleeps late so he didn’t really have much to do with her, plus she couldn’t speak English), and the fifth was my problem.
After all, the house was always shiny and sparkly and clean.
However – the last one.
If you’re queasy, don’t read any further.
I started getting sick – for months, I had gastro – once so bad, that we had to close our café for a week, and give the maid time-off-with-pay.
We couldn’t work out what was wrong.
And then one morning I walked into the bathroom, and watched in horror as the maid finished wiping the inside of the toilet with a rag, put down the lid, smiled at me, and moved onto cleaning our toothbrush holder with it.
I’d noticed a similar rag before, when she was wiping the balcony railings or the top of the stove, but thought she’d found an endless supply of them in the garage.
I asked her if she brushed her teeth in the toilet bowl.
She looked at me as though I were crazy and said, of course not.
So I asked why she was making us do it.
She looked back at me blankly.
I explained the concept of germs.
I bleached the entire house, including the walls.
We did not part on good terms.
I hear she’s working for a family from France now.
I hope she’s enjoying the time off she gets whenever they’re too sick to get out of bed to let her in.
Anyway, Alf says he wants a new maid to clean up a bit and to iron his shirts.
He’s free to hire one anytime he likes, but he’ll need to interact with her, listen to her, and teach her how to clean properly.
I’m not interested because I’m too busy – I’ve got clothes to burn, glasses to break and kitchen cupboards to re-organise.