Sunday, September 10, 2006

Muchacha Moment #1

First off, thanks to all of you who commented about the sleepover issue, I really appreciated all of your input. We still haven't come to a firm decision on what our family policy is going to be, but when we do, I'll let you know.

And now, onto today's topic.

A major part of ex-pat life is the opportunity to have domestic help. I have had lots of experience over the last five years with the different forms available: live-in, daily, 3X a week. When I moved to Venezuela one of my first impressions of ex-pat women was not a favorable one in regard to maids. I found that at playgroups and social events, they spent a majority of their time talking about the problems they were having with their help at the time. This disgusted me. So much that after a few months of being there, I said, "enough with the maid thing" and I didn't have one for 7 months. But, all the bathrooms and the tile floors get annoying and not having anyone to help with the kids because all of your friends have maids and family is out of the question, we went back to having someone.

And now, I find I talk quite a bit about our maid situation. So, I apologize to you if you think that in writing about this topic I sound like a spoiled brat. I know I am lucky to have someone else to clean the house and help babysit my kids. But, there are some funny stories that go along with having a complete stranger from another culture living in your home. Bloggable stories.

With all that being said, I will embark on a new series called, "Muchcha Moments." A "muchacha" is what Mexicans (and Venezuelans) call their maids. I hate the term and usually when I talk to someone about our maid I will say, "the woman (or girl) who works in our house," because I can't bring myself to say, "muchacha". But, I figure since I didn't come up with the term, and everyone uses it, and "Muchacha Moment" sounds much better than "A Curious Thing the Woman Who Works in My House Did," that it'll be ok.

So for today's Muchacha Moment I will share something that happened this weekend after our maid had left (she has Saturday and Sunday off). We could not for the life of us find Guapo's tennis racket. ANYWHERE. So, I checked out the maid's closet.

No tennis racket, thank goodness we finally found it partially hidden in the boys' closet, but somehow a can of Campbell's Chunky Soup and a can of Spagetios (both rare commodities here in Mexico) got moved from here, the canned food shelf in the pantry:

cans in pantry

To here, her closet (along with a bottle of hot sauce that I don't care about at all):

cans in closet

Just so you know, I told her she is welcome to eat whatever she wants. That goes along with having a live-in, but hoarding the food so no one else gets to it???

I was flabbergasted.


No Cool Story said...

I was talking to my sis a few days ago, while talking about my visit to Veracruz I mentioned the problems my friend was having with her maid and I called her "criada" which she responded "that sounds terrible! just call her "muchacha or something".

Anyways, I can see hoarding the chunky soup, but the Spagetios? There's something weird here, isn't this the one lady who cooks? why would she want to have the Spagetios all to herself? And is she going to eat all that sauce by herself?

Anonymous said...

Esta es muy interesante.
It's one of those things that make you go hmmmm....
And, by the way, "muchacha moment" is very catchy!
(Some semblance of order)

Anonymous said...

I can't get it to post!!
lets try this way...

we are always having a hard time finding stuff, but overall we lucked out with this muchacha. She is way better than the one we had in the other city. Its hard having a stranger in your house doing things differnetly than you would, but I will take that over having to mom an entire house of tile everyday, and I hate cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes by hand. so she stays, plus I get to exercise because she watches the baby for me while the boys are in school. I am so lucky!

amerimeximadre (mayhem in mexico)

txmommy said...

it would be weird to have help, nice I guess, but weird. Not that I wouldn't like to try it however. I guess you just have to get used to having someone in the house with you. Do you sit and chat with her as if a friends was visiting?

Muchacha sounds nice enough, BTW :)

Gabriela said...

NCS: This is the one who cooks. I have no clue what she's going to do with the hot sauce.

txmommy: First, I am so sorry, since I have switched to Beta, I cannot comment on your blog. GRRR.
But, I am reading it! :)

Second, no, I don't sit and chat with her much.

smartmama said...

i totlaly defend the maid thing it turkey it was expected of foreigners as a way of supporting the local economy- i'll have to share some of my fav moments with you-- mine ahd a penchant for hording fudge stripe cookies (a coveted childhood treat)and then there was the time i watched her steal a handful of paper napkins and put them in her bag-- I trailed her- well i i tok them out and put in a note that said "buy your own napkins" (I was filled with 8 year old justice-like she could read the note in english!!)well i was so appalled i told my mom how i righted the wrong- she made me go take the note out and put the napkin in-- so much for my great plan- and nice mom we facilitate stealing!!??