Tuesday, March 02, 2010

We have a lodger

The culture here in the UAE is to have maids and drivers etc etc... we have never experienced this before in Australia but here it is the "norm" for people to have live in service staff and the houses are built accordingly.  We have a separate building on the side of the house attached to the garage in which there is a (small) bedroom, (smaller) bathroom and a "space" for cooking and washing dishes.

As for us, we felt a full time maid would be too intrusive... you have this lady in your house, at any time, cooking, cleaning and looking after you but we felt we would not be comfortable with that.  It would be like having a "guest" in the house all the time... you couldnt wander into the kitchen in your underwear, you would feel uneasy about eavesdropping and I would also feel uncomfortable leaving cash and loose change around... your house ceases to be your own.

However, having said all that, we have struck up a good relationship with an Indian man Victor who works at the vet clinic.  He is absolutely fantastic with animals and is training to be a vet himself.  He also lives around the corner from us with the vets (an Austrian couple) and he lives in their maids quarters.

Anyway, the Austrians - for whatever reason - are moving out of their villa and into an apartment block and Victor was looking for a place to stay.  So we have agreed that he can rent our maids quarters out on the proviso that he is able to assist in looking after our dogs and cat in particular when we're away on holidays.

With being so close to Europe and Asia and with the regular trips back to Sydney, our annual costs of boarding the animals in kennels is prohibitive and also we worry about the quality of care.  Our old golden retriever Zoe is also getting a bit too old for kennels as well.

So, this weekend Victor will move in, rent our room and be self contained and not in the house like a maid would be.  We get some rent income and we also have peace of mind with the pets and the freedom to travel when we want to.

Of course, its all a trial and I said that to Victor as well... so if it doesnt work out, then at least we gave it a go :-)

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