Matchmaking

We’re beginning to notice signs that summer is coming- not in any discernible change in the weather, obviously – but by more subtle seasonal cues. The classifieds pages on Facebook are full of departing expats selling their IKEA bookcases, potted plants, and British Club memberships. Airfares are creeping up (though we wonder if that’s true for United? We’re guessing not. Really, WTF United?).  And finally, it seems every expat you talk to is either looking for a helper, or looking for a new home for her current helper. But as one expat recently figured out, matchmaking for helpers can be harder than it looks.  So we say, leave it to the pros. If you don’t have a weird little office in Far East Plaza, you’re not qualified. 

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2 thoughts on “Matchmaking

  1. I don’t really understand Singapore. Why do you all need domestic staff? I’m not being rude or anything at all, is life just somehow harder there or do you just get used to having help? It all seems very odd from the outside.

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    1. Fair enough- we get how weird it seems. First, most of us don’t “need” domestic help, any more than we “need” a glass of wine at the end of the day. (Of course there are families with two working parents who travel, or families who are caring for elderly parents (an expected part of life in many Asian countries), who do actually need the help, but most of us don’t.) So why do we have helpers? First- it is incredibly inexpensive (by western standards) to hire live-in help. It’s less expensive, in fact, than hiring a twice-a-month cleaning lady and a babysitter for a night a week. Also, many would argue that basic home-maintenance is much more time consuming in Singapore than it was in our home countries. Grocery shopping takes several shops several times a week, laundry means hang drying and ironing everything, and fighting off mold and monkeys can be exhausting. Also, the vast majority of expats here have at least one spouse who is out of town the vast majority of the time, which is not the norm in many of our home countries, so our helpers are, in some cases, our co-parents for part of every week.
      So yes, it’s harder than at home. Still, do we “need” domestic help, no, probably not.

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