At 9:30p.m last night, I sent this SMS -
"Asslmkum. Ini Ibu Shana. Mau bertanya samada Dar sudah selamat sampai ke rumah? Pesawatnya tiba di Yogyakarta pukul 8:30 pagi tadi. Terima kasih"
2 minutes after that, came the reply -
"Wlaikmsalam. Alhamdulillah. Sudah selamat sampai. Maaf baru bagi kabar"
And I sent a reply -
"Syukur alhamdulillah. Sampaikan salam kepada keluarga di kampung. Hilman minta beritau Dar dia baru beli 2 ekor anak kura-kura!"
Those SMSs were sent to Bibik Dar's husband.
YES - Dar has gone back home for a 2-month break. And I really hope she IS coming back to Malaysia and work with us again. We've heard of stories of maids who were supposed to come back after their holidays who never came back, and this was after their majikan had paid for all the charges/fees for permit renewal and all.
So, to play safe, when she asked us to transfer all her gaji home 2 weeks ago, we told her that we would keep the amount already spent for her permit renewal, and she could send it home AFTER she comes back in January nanti. And she was okay with that.
So, we take that to mean that she IS coming back.
But, at the same time, we're not keeping our hopes too high because the cash my MIL and my Mom gave her, and all the stuff we bought for her and her daughters to bring home with her could easily be about the same amount we're keeping, if not more. So, she MIGHT feel that she could just forego her gaji that we're still keeping.
When I asked Ayah if he thought Dar was coming back or not, he said "50-50", especially when we checked her room, and saw that she had brought ALL her things with her, save for the clothes she wore the night before and the towel she used yesterday morning.
But, for now we want to bersangka baik... and insya Allah she will come back especially when we have promised her a significant increase in her pay for the next two years.
She told me that she would come back once the work to repair her house (especially the roof) is done, and that should only take about a month. And even though she is supposed to go home for 2 months, she said she would come back by Mid-January. I can only make do'a that she will come back, no matter when exactly, insya Allah.
And YES, we've bought two terrapins last night, and the kids (or rather the girls) have decided to name them Jasper and Seth. Apparently they're a couple of characters from the "Twilight" saga (?!). My 14-year old Hanna seems to think that "Seth" is such a sexy name (??!!). That worries me - giving a sexy name to a terrapin?! Hehehe... And she also said that when she gets married and have kids nanti, all her sons will have "Seth" as their first names. Hmmmmm...Sexy names for her sons...and it started with naming her terrapin "Seth", too?! Aiyoooo, Hanna...
So, the terrapins are additions to our existing pets. We already have a couple of Syrian hamsters at home - Benji and Button, and I just hope the kids will be responsible pet-owners and take really good care of them. Dar had been the one who cleaned their cage, bathed them and changed their water and food all this while, and for the next couple of months, the kids will have to be responsible for them. At least the pets will keep them occupied over the school holiday, I hope.
(A good sign this morning when Hilman woke up, and the first thing he asked me was, "Mommy, when do I feed the terrapins, Mommy?" :))
I made sure that they sit and see and help Dar to clean the hamsters' cage on Saturday night so that they know how to do it and not expect ME to clean it for them every time. I have so many other things to do without adding "cleaning hamsters' cage" to my already long list of things to do over the next couple of months.
And, oh ya - I've already cooked 6 chicken/beef/fish dishes yesterday and have frozen them in small containers for convenience. So now we have frozen Assam Pedas Tenggiri, Lemak Chili Padi Tenggiri, Daging Kicap, Daging Masak Merah, Sweet and Sour Chicken and Ayam Masak Lemak Putih in our freezer. Not forgetting the big pot of Sup Tulang/Daging Qorban on the stove :) If we were to eat at home on alternate days, those should last us for about 2 weeks, insya Allah. I only need to teach Hanna how to cook the rice now. (Yup! She never masak nasi before this - all throughout her 14-years of life...)
As for the laundry, I've made enquiries at the nearest Laundrette, and nampak gayanya I'll be a regular there. They charge 2kg per kilo, and for ironing, it's RM1.20 per piece. I would probably wash and dry everything at home, and just send the necessary clothes for ironing. But, then again - what with it raining everyday, I would probably dump everything there every 2-3 days or so and let them take care of everything. I've also bought a small pail and detergent for each kid to put in their bathrooms for them to wash whatever necessary themselves.
Hanna is now in-charge of sweeping the floor every day so that it'll be easier for me to do the mopping later on. We're so used to Dar mopping the house every day, and we have to make sure that we stick to that. Failing which, maybe we would just do it every other day (or maybe once in 3 days...or once a week ke...? See la how it goes :))
Dar had also blended all the onions, garlic, ginger, dried chillies and had put them in their usual containers in the fridge, just in case I need to use them. That should last me for about a week, that is - IF I were to cook everyday, but, I'm not, am I?;)) Anyway, IF I run out of them, I need not worry as Pasar Taman Tun has this gerai which provides all things under the sun blended. They also have pre-mix pastes for rendang, asam pedas, Nyonya/Kapitan curry, and the lot. I loike :) I've also bought some Maggi pre-mix paste last week. Just in case. Anyway, Pizza Hut, Dominoes and McDonalds are just a phonecall away, kan? :)
Anyway, it's Day 2 without Dar, and so far, so good. The kids helped me clear the kitchen and wash the dishes last night (but this morning I had to re-wash a few of them!) Hopefully they'll get better in time, insya Allah.
All we need now is luck. Loads and loads of luck.