Aunt Mary's house has fallen into a state of utter disrepute. It's obvious she can't manage the multi-storey bungalow all by herself, without breaking a nail. She couldn't keep up with the heavy housework that's provided by the bungalow and her three children all at once. Dead plants along the driveway, rotting lillies, mountaining amount of laundry, termite-infested floorboards, unkept backyard and broken household items are just a few noticeable unsightliness. You know, somewhere in my heart, I feel for her.
What can she do? She couldn't possibly hire a maid anymore, considering her history of events with maids. She sent the last one back home to Indonesia because the maid abused her youngest son, Nic and was very lazy in chores, according to Aunt Mary. Before that, her house got broken into because of a another previous maid which allowed the robber into the house and later on, fled away with the robber. That hurt alot. Aunt Mary lost about RM50000 worth of valuables then. Before that also, an illegal Indonesian (Aunt Mary had no idea she was illegal) maid ranaway, stealing Aunt Mary's jewelerris and a few other valuables as well. Luckily, that one got caught by the police. See now why she's not keen on the idea of hiring a new maid?
I think it's just her luck that she always get wound up with lousy maids. Who would've known? It's been months since her last maid left and she's really struggling (miserably) with house chores and sending her children to school and tuition. She complains to mom and poh poh about her worsened skin condition (on the hands) due to the detergent she was using and about disobedient children. Aunt Mary, as I know her, was never a whiner. She was always seen as the strong one (she's the first aunty, thus the name tai yi) among her siblings and is always the one we looked up too. Although she may be a little sarcastic on the borderline, at times, she's still one of the many aunts that I respect.
Also, counting on the number of times her house has been broekn into, I'd say she's rich. And usually, rich people don't complain. She's the sort of person who doesn't bow easily to failure. She's the sort of person who doesn't like the feeling that she's falling backwards among other people like, fashion. I'm not saying that she's boastful but I gotta say that she's a little bit overdosed with pride. She fancies lavishing herself with expensive jewelleries and clothes. So she complaining? It's kind of a rare thing that one gets to see.
Despite all her wickedness, she still remains a family member to us and more often than not, she's the one helping out - offering us a place to stay when we're in KL, taking us around sightseeing, taking us shopping and most of the time getting the bill during meals. She's one generous aunt and I know she loves us. She keeps saying from time to time that she cares for us as much as she cares for her own children. She has even offered a permanent room for Grace, if she ever needs to get back to the comforts of a real home.
Anyway, the worse thing about the house since my last visit was the failing bathrooms. Bathrooms, to me, are essential when one is on a trip! It's the only place for one to unwind in comfort and have a private moment without disturbance. I still remember our visit a few years back, when the house still smelled like fresh paint and everything, to our naked eyes, was glamorous, not to mention, working. Now, with the absence of a maid, every bathroom in the house seemed to have taken its toll and are slowly falling apart. Broken shower heads and dysfuntional toilets and water heaters are one of the worse things in her house.
I just never seemed to be able to get the right temperature when using the water heater in her house. It's rather annoying when I'm in a hurry. If the tap is switched to the red mark, the water pressure is high but the temperature is unbearable. If it's towards the blue mark, the water pressure is so low that it's even close to dripping. Frankly, I never once did get myself really cleaned up during the weekend stay at her house. The shower heads are all broken into pieces, literally. One can easily spot screws and other parts that makes up a shower head all over the bathroom. And most of the soap in her bathrooms (I think she has altogether 7 unmanaged bathrooms in the whole house) are outdated and covered with a thick layer of fungi.
Thank God, I only use the body shampoo (liquid form)!
The condition of her house could probably send a stranger packing his bags, looking for the next cab to go to the nearest Hilton Hotel. However, I had to put up with it and just keep my mouth shut. Mom says its rather rude to complain in someone else's house. Cheerfully, I left the house with paint peeling off the walls and a filthy driveway, without much looking back, as I know the next trip is not far away. I just hope she gets a maid (a good one) and at least contact a termite terminator to do something about her falling floorboards. In short, I just hope she DOES something to that place they call a house! It makes me wonder how my their family pass by each day in a condition like that.
Lesson learnt : I'll always bring my own toiletries the next time I make a trip down to her house.