Thursday, September 1, 2016

An expat perspective on life with or without the indispensable domestic helper

It has been an interesting expat experience having the luxury of employing domestic help around the home. Back in the UK this would have been something I would never have considered for a number of reasons, the most obvious one being the financial outlay. But since living on the island, I've come to realize that Sri Lanka has a  long history of domestic work and it is considered the conventional norm, affordable, and pretty much indispensable once you've benefited from such services. Many of my colleagues, peers and friends employ domestic help for a range of household services.

A domestic helper is usually someone who works within the employer's private household performing a range of services for the individual or family from providing care for children and elderly dependents to gardening, housekeeping, including cleaning. cooking, laundry and household maintenance.

Sometimes they are called housekeepers, housemaids, houseboys, caretakers, nannies, cooks, gardeners, night guards and drivers. Many are live-in, while some live outside of the employers home. In countries where domestic help is the conventional norm, the homes (including apartments) have built-in separate quarters for domestic helpers.

Some foreign expats living in Sri Lanka, especially those with families, will employ domestic help. But there are also exceptions to this, particularly if you're on your own or are only here for a short stint. Initially, I didn't employ any domestic help as I was fairly self-sufficient and I didn't have other family members or a sizable home to factor into the equation, so my needs were relatively simple and straightforward. Plus in the first couple of years language would have been a bit of a barrier. Later on, after settling more into the local lifestyle and deciding that Sri Lanka would be a place to call home, I found myself more open to the advantages of employing domestic help...

** Please note, the full blog post has been removed as parts of the blog content will be edited for inclusion in an upcoming publication by the author. More information will be made available on the Adventures in a Tuk-Tuk Blog in due course **


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