Saturday, January 2, 2010



HAPPE NEW YEAR !! Wishing everyone a very happy 2010 !

Every year, you’ll read of people making new resolutions when they welcome the new year. A beginning of another 365 days to live in (of course, unless it’s a leap year, you have 366 days). It’s also a time to reflect what have you achieved in the previous year. It’s like a personal appraisal if you see it from another perspective.

Personally, I don’t get into making resolutions mainly because I seldom remember what I have resoluted to do every year. This year is the same. However, I do have a new challenge to kick start my year.

I just got a call today from the maid agency – Philimore; that my Cambodian maid will be ready for pick up by tomorrow – Sunday 3rd January. Having a maid at home is a new challenge for me as well as my family. We have decided to get a maid to help out my parents in taking care of Clarisse as well as helping to do some house work. As my parents are moving into late 50 and early 60, having a domestic helper around the house would certainly be a welcome addition to the family. I hope I won’t have much trouble with maid issue as with the stories we hear/read very often maid problems.

As me and my wife have decided to get a Cambodian maid, we know that language will be the biggest barrier to start with. Cambodian maids do not have much schooling. Most of them hardly complete 6 years of primary education due to their country being less developed and years of political turmoil during Pol Pot’s regime. Most of the maid’s parents are either deceased or working as farmers back in Cambodia.

To overcome our language barrier, I have combed through Internet looking for sites giving lessons on Cambodian language but I have not much luck. I have also scouted book stores for Cambodian language book. I have searched MPH 1 Utama & Seremban 2 branches, Borders Berjaya Time Square and Tropicana City Mall branches as well as Popular Book Store at 1 Utama & Seremban 2. Due to Khmer or Cambodian language a less popular language in Asian compared to Thai, Japanese or Vietnamese, I have problem looking for a Cambodian language book. Finally, after about 1 month of visiting various book stores, I finally found a Cambodian-English language book from MPH Mid Valley branch. It’s a pocket size English-Cambodian in the first half of the book and Cambodian-English makes up the balance of the guide book. It cost me RM68 ( approximately USD20.00 ) for a book about 1 inch thick. The book is published by Tuttle Publishing For me, I think this is a good guide book as it starts off with a brief intro on Cambodia and its language before moving into daily used words, arranged in alphabetical order in English. It also has a section on the days of the week and months of the year in Cambodian language. I think this book will be a good start for me to learn some basic Cambodian language to help me communicate with the maid. It will also be a good guide for the maid to learn English. So, for the next few days/week/months, this book will be our daily essential in communication. Hopefully, this will be a smooth start for me for year 2010 and I don’t face much issue with my new maid who will join my family tomorrow. Fingers crossed…

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