Desperate Housemaids

Bakso– a traditional Indonesian soup made with beef meatballs, noodles, and vegetables.

And according to my maid, the stuff is worth its weight in gold.

The school I work for provides all their teachers with maids. It took me awhile to get accustomed to this luxury, and it has left me a little spoiled. I honestly think by the time I move back I will have forgotten how to wash a dish and do my laundry. On the other hand, these maids have a subculture of their own, not to mention an unbelievable network system. Somehow, they know everything as soon as it happens-which bule (Indonesian word for a white foreigner) teachers are dating, what Indonesians the bule teachers are screwing, etc. Gossiping is one of their major hobbies-well….one of them. The other one is screwing men for money-or in my maid’s case, for a bowl of bakso. You have to pity the woman a bit-she obviously doesn’t know how much she is worth. I mean, she is not bad looking, and I think she could at least get 3 bowls if she tried hard enough.

Last week, my maid became engaged. And befittingly enough, she is marrying the local bakso vendor who walks up and down our street with his Kaki Lima ,named so because the cart he pushes around has 3 legs, and he himself has 2 legs-so five legs in total ( Lima means 5 in Indonesian). I guess they established quite the rapport throughout the years after all the bowls of bakso she has bought.

So in this Indonesian fairy tale, the maid eliminated the middle man, and will now have a never-ending supply of bakso. I think she might just feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now. Her impending marriage, however, has not managed to get in the way of her extracurricular activities; she is still soliciting herself. This past weekend, a teacher from an English school in Solo visited Surabaya, and I let him crash on my couch. Shortly after he arrived, I went next door to say hello to my neighbors, only to return 20 minutes later to find him and the maid in the process of a happy ending.

Damn-I guess that woman just can’t get enough bakso.

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