Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Mouse To Return?

I missed an important call today.

I was working in one of the Bangkok hospitals, and I had my ringer down to silent mode. When we had finished and I was outside again, I went to return an SMS and that's when I saw the red sign on top line of the Samsung.

I checked the number and realised that it was from the Philippines. I only know one person there, apart from our dealers and this wasn't them. It had to be The Mouse, and it wasn't even my birthday!

Who is The Mouse? you ask. Long-term dedicated readers of this blog in its prior incarnations will know to whom I am referring. The Mouse: the tiny, silent one. My super domestic helper from when I was slaving for the Dutch in Hong Kong way back when, round 2000-2003. Then, after all sorts of bureaucratic crapola, she came for a few months to work for me in Singapore. Unfortunately for all of us, there was a tragic situation which drew her back to the Philippines to look after her daughter. With some money I gave her, she set up a small business (a rice stand) and was doing OK leasing it out. But she lives in a tiny village way up north and no doubt she is not getting as rich as she'd like to on her meagre income up there.

Also, I guess her daughter, Mousette (there's a photo of her somewhere in the archives, but I can't locate the post) then 7, has grown up enough now to be able to look after herself with the help of Grandad. Yep, the Mousette must be 12 now. Maybe now she is in a larger town to attend secondary school. The 4 hour daily trek to and from her old school might be a thing of the past. I hope it is - what a drag! I will ask the Mouse when I speak to her next time.

So, well, yes I did speak to her today, eventually. The phone rang again before I had a chance to return her call. Her voice was such a welcome sound and it brought back all sorts of memories; of her coming up behind me, mouse quiet, with a cup of coffee and some cookies and nearly giving me heart-attack; of her making enough lasagna to feed an army; of the day she came up and just stood beside me crying, of seeing her off on the KL bus, her face at the window as sad as anything you could imagine. Her English is excellent, her accent soft and pleasant (unlike her screech-prone sister-in-law), she is smart as a tack, has a degree in electrical engineering(!) and prefers Saul Bellow to Martin Amis. She can cook like a chef, clean like it was her own stuff, pack my bags AND iron my underpants. What more could a single man want?

She told me that she wants to start working again, maybe early next year. She asked if I would be prepared to take her back. Well, duh! And when I say working, hers would be the easiest domestic helper job in Singapore! I am only there about 40% of the time, even less so far this year. However, for me the reassurance of having someone COMPLETELY trustworthy there makes me worry a lot less about people coming and stealing my, err, books... And my new guitar. It is also fantastic to have someone always(ish) in the house to receive the tradies and registered mail, et such.

Good news for the reestablishment of some sanity and stability at E@L GHQ!


The archived posts on The Mouse and related topics I could find:

The Mouse tries to kill me! (Down the bottom, as it were, of the post)


Setting up insurance etc...

The Mouse Arrives!

Bad news

The day before she leaves.

How I felt when she left

Dinner and Mouse - mainly the relevant discussion is with Skippy-san in the comments.

Update 6 weeks after she left

Problems with Doris - the Repo-Mouse

Doris II - Danger Mouse!

Still missing The Mouse


There may be more, but it is tough to search if the key word is not in the blog title, and I didn't use tags in those days. I still don't, really. Criminal.


Current part-time maid, Super-Joyce was another great find, bright and chirpy, honest, all the right things, but she can't cook for me obviously, unless I ask specially, and then it has to be a Tuesday or Friday.

The Mouse will be full-time. I hope...



dibabear said...

That does sound like good news. I hope it works out and you get some domestic stability/supervision/whatever into the GHQ.

expat@large said...

Dib: Supervision, haha, indeed required! Last time, Mouse got me down 10kgs by force-feeding me light meals and checking on my gym progress!

Lost in Melbourne said...

Well Phil all I can say is that I hope that your current maid does not read this blog. What a sad way to get her marching orders...

Secondly if the mouse is so good I need to rent Izzy's old room and get a job in Singapore.

expat@large said...

Scott: yeah gotta break it to Super-Joyce easy. I don't think it will too big a deal as she was asking recently if she could down to 1 day a week to work for someone else! I said no at the time, but I might have to rethink that, make it look like quitting was her idea after all!!

The Mouse will prolly go back into her aka "Izzy's" old room.

savannah said...

but when will you be home, sugar? ;~) xooxxo

dibabear said...

She wants her boss to live a good long time. It ensures job security. (And though that sounded snarky it really isn't. She seems like the caring type so I'm sure she does want you to live a good long time.)

I could use a live-in. Problem is I'd end up doing interviews in Angeles or Pataya and I'm not sure domestic skills would be high on the list of mandatory skills. None of that would sit well with the asawa either since I mostly work from home and she's the one who travels. :-)

Unknown said...

How do I make reservations for spring rolls?
Are they better than those in Bali?

expat@large said...

DB: she is an absolute saint. I've NEVER met anyone as nice.

Bludge: good point. Those spring rolls in Ubud were absolute superb. I've NEVER eaten spring rolls as nice.

Well, hopefully sometime in the new year...

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