Published: January 4th 2009December 27th 2008
The world's a stage
"Then the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school."
(As You Like It, Act 2, scene 7, Shakespeare).
It was 8.20 am. Music by Philip Glass was being played very loudly through speakers attached to a laptop computer. I was sat in just my boxer shorts in the front room of my new house in Cirebon, working on my lesson plans for school.
I was disturbed by the sound of loud noises from outside. I turned down the music, wondering if the neighbours were objecting to my taste in music. Then I twitched back the net curtains and looked out of my front window. Standing outside my house was a little woman who was shaking the locked gate.
So, I walked to my bedroom and got dressed. When I finally emerged from the house, the woman at the gate was holding up a piece of paper which had the words, “I work here”, written on it.
I smiled, unlocked the gate and let her in the house. I found some dirty laundry which I handed to her. She walked out to the back yard and proceeded to hand wash my clothes.
I've inherited a maid with the house. I don't speak Bahasa Indonesian, she doesn't speak English.
as an English teacher in the city of Cirebon in Indonesia. The contract ends in November of 2009. The Lonely Planet guidebook says of Cirebon that it is
well off the tourist trail, on the sun burnt north coast.
Translation: it's hot! Although it is now the coldest time of year because it's the wet season. Cirebon is a small city but was once the centre of an Islamic kingdom.
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