Monday, February 25, 2008

That's Third World, man...

Living in a developing country brings some surprises. One of them is these filthy rich people.

No joke, when you go to Kem Chicks, a high end supermarket that sells items for expats in Jakarta (big choices of peanut butter, whole turkeys come Thanksgiving...), you actually have the choice between several types of outfits for your large house staff. Sometimes when you go to the restaurant you can also see rich people's kids in the corner, tended by their nannies while Mum and Dad enjoy care-free time with their friends. Life's sweet. Not always for the nanny.

Jakarta hotel shows kids how to make their own beds

JAKARTA, Feb 24 (Reuters Life!) - In a country where the rich rely heavily on servants to perform the most mundane household chores, being able to make one's own bed is something of a novelty. About 20 small children, Indonesians and Westerners, escorted by their nannies, took part in a training session on Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton in Jakarta, where they were shown how to make a bed properly.

In Indonesia, it is common for wealthy and many middle-class families to employ several servants including housemaids, nannies, drivers, and gardeners. When the servants take their annual holiday after the fasting month, some families complain of being unable to cope without their cleaners and cooks, and move into hotels for the duration.

Several of the children at Sunday's event, who ranged in age from two-and-a-half years to seven years, watched with interest as they were shown how to tuck a sheet under the mattress and fold tidy corners. "It's to show children that making the bed is part of the house chores. And we try to show them from an early age how to do it in the hope that they will do it themselves," said Gloria Vera Kristie, the Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman.

Most of the kids seemed to enjoy the training. Some preferred to just lie down on the bed, while a couple were less enthusiastic. "I don't want it. Murni does it," said one four-year-old, referring to her housecleaner. (Ade Mardiyati)

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