Sunday, April 22, 2007


Getting a trained foreign domestic help through an agency is costly. Some people opt for individual agent's service, and usually end up with untrained helpers. Training them in their daily tasks can be quite an effort. One of the main problems is communication, I think. I don't intend to make fun of anyone, but these are real incidents experienced by people I know :-)

Case 1 - Tuan balik dari kedai, hands Bibik some shopping bags :-
"Bibik, simpan semua barang ni di tempatnya ya"
"Baik Tuan"
Later, Tuan takes out a torchlight, intending to replace its weak batteries.
"Bibik, ambilkan bateri!"
"*blur* Bateri tu apa Tuan?"
"Itu, yang bulat panjang-panjang, tersusun dalam plastik"
"Oh ya, ada, sebentar ya"
In a while, Bibik hands to Tuan a cold package.
"Ini baterinya Tuan"
It's a packet of chicken frankfurters.... hehehe

Case 2 - pagi :-
"Bibik, rendam kain ni dalam mesin"
"Baik Puan"
Bibik loads the dirty laundry into the washing machine.
Petang, Puan balik dari kedai :-
"Bibik, rendam ayam ni dalam besen"
"Baik Puan"
Bibik completes the task. Much later :-
"Bibik, mana ayamnya?"
"Itu Puan, udah direndam"
"AstaghafiruLlah.... besen la, bukan mesin!"

Case 3 - Puan boils some water on the gas stove. Puan goes to the livingroom.
Later, from the livingroom :-
"Bibik, kalau air sudah mendidih, matikan apinya ya?"
"Baik Puan"
A little later, from the livingroom, Puan can smell gas from the stove. Puan goes to the kitchen, yep, the smell is very strong. The knob on the stove still indicated 'on', but the fire is out.
"Bibik, macamana kamu matikan api ni?"
"Saya hembus kuat-kuat Puan"

Tulah Tuan/Puan, cakap mesti terang hehehe. Tak boleh expect depa boleh faham terus apa yang kita cakap. Mungkin depa susah nak faham dialek kita. Ataupun our lifestyle is so much different from theirs, that they cannot imagine how else to complete the task. Be nice, and be very, very patient :-)

Hef e nais wiken efribodi!


Fauziah Ismail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Jie
My divorcee housemate used to have a Indonesian maid with him when his mother was still alive.
The advantage of having a foreign maid, he said, was that his daughter acquired a new language.
"Mila told me one morning, 'Ayah, lihat, Mila pakai celana'," he said.
"I didn't understand her until she showed me her pants. Celana is seluar," he added.
Mila acquired a new language called Bahasa Indonesia.

4/22/2007 3:36 PM

lilyliverbird said...

hi, do you want my new url? email me lah :)

Jie said...

Hi Fauziah,

Yes, language can be a 2-way learning thing. The other day we went to PD and my mom's helper went into the water with us, but soon got out. She said "puan, celana saya mundur..." Apparently she was wearing a loose-fitting pants, and it was beginning to slip off :-)

Jie said...

Hi Lily,

I'm proud to say that I broke ur clues in just a few minutes, which is no mean feat for a non-footie fan. But I guess reading ur blog all this time drummed the cute girl's name into my brain hehehe and I beat that susan whatever hacker to your blog too! :-)

Dade Ghost said...

Jie, funny la kan about these maids. I wish I can have one.... then can laugh at those funny incidents....

Diyanazman said...

hahaha!!this is so funny! :)


hahaha..jin suker jin suker ini kisah..Bibiiikkkkk angkat kain kat jemuran lah..bukan angkat kain awak..hahah..

Adiejin Returnsss !!!

JoKontan said...

Ibu Jie

Battereii itu Batu yaaa.

Wortel (Warrrr, terl) itu lobak yaa.

Ront-sen itu Xray
Ahhsay tuu Aircond
Jahir = Halia
Rok Sepan = Skirt
Terasi = Belacan
Peterrrpan = Peterpan

Banyak lagii..

Jie said...

Hi DG,

It's a learning process :-) Helper my mom ni muda & suka belajar, so if she makes mistakes kelakar, we explain it back to her and we laugh over it together :-)

Minggu lepas habis semua beg plastik dalam fridge tu dia conteng ngan marker pen, dalam tiga bahasa lagi tu... 'coz she wants to learn english as well.

"Ini jamur - cendawan - masroom" Alahai spelling kantoi, 'mushroom' la dek oi... hehehe :-)

Jie said...

Kisah benar hehehe...

Welkam bek bro, wa sudah visit lu punya blog yang sekian lama under construction tu, lambat benor siap, cam projek JayKayArr... hahaha :-)

Jie said...


Wah... respek la u punya vocab hehehe bagus tu. Kalau banyak tukar-tukar maid, boleh belajar different dialects plak kan, bahasa jawa, jambi, minang, madura isk... :-)