Indonesian women are just like women anywhere else it seems. Cos if you upset ‘em – my wife went all huffy over my plans to put her gold jewelry to a better use (see previous post) – then the options open to you to undo the damage are pretty much as follows:
Take her shopping; or
Take her shopping; or
Take her shopping
So it was off to that Mecca of shopping malls, the huge and wondrous Mall Taman Anggrek, in Slipi, West Jakarta. Besides all the shops and restaurants in there, the mall is also home to Jakarta’s only ice skating rink, and what’s really bizarre is that the people skate around in an incredibly orderly fashion – never bumping into each other or knocking each other over – which is, of course, in complete contrast to the sheer mayhem that you see on the roads here.
Anyway, it’s some massive department store and there are perfume/cosmetic girls everywhere – some better looking than others – and as I step into the store one comes up to me:
Her: Tje Fuk?
Me: Er, don’t you think you being just a little forward?
Her: (blank expression). So she repeats her classic opening line “Tje Fuk?” while, at the same time, shoving a little tub of Day Cream into my mullet (obviously her English isn’t one of her strong points).
Me: Oh… Tje Fuk… But of course…
Now this is one thing where the parallels between Asian women and Western women DO fall down. I mean can you imagine buying a cosmetic product for a Western woman called Tje Fuk? Well, she’d bloody well make sure that you never lived it down and would probably get her own back by buying you a bottle of vodka and filling it up with methylated spirits or something.
So “Tje Fuk” was certainly not gonna be on my shopping list. But luckily for me, just a short distance away, was another sales girl, but this time with an Estee Lauder tag on her shirt. Now that’s much more like it: something I can give the wife without making a complete fool of myself.
So, going back home, I’m feeling much better. Sure it’s annoying not to have a maid at this time of the year but that won’t last long. I just hope the new one is better than the one before – who ain’t coming back cos she’s decided to forsake the ways of servitude for married life (and at the ripe old age of 16 that’s pretty much the same thing for a kampung girl if you ask me, but there you go).
Anyway, the new maid has apparently just arrived and is already making inroads into the backlog of dirty washing. I go to introduce myself. Hello….
Hello. Nama saya Nita.
Bloody hell! Does this place never cease to amaze?!!!