Ai Lian was surprised to see me at her door. She did warn me of her friendly dog but I thought, better to face a friendly dog than a biting dog.
As I sat inside her home salon, drink was served by an Indonesian.
"Eh, since when you have a maid?" I asked, knowing she's one fussy, meticulous lady boss who expects perfection.
"No lah. My friend one. Eh, pity my friend. She just got baby. That's why she needs maid look after baby. Now ah, baby she send people house." Ai Lian explained with full excitement.
"Good life you, Ai Lian. She paid so much money for her maid to stay here." I teased her.
"Eh Ummie you come here I show you." I followed her to the kitchen. The maid was eating fried rice.
"Makan bu," I nodded to the maid. Ai Lian shoved me a spoonful of rice. I threw out the mouthful.
"Tapi saya sering makan seperti ini." Yes, I think the maid can eat salt too.
"You ah, high blood I don't know ah..."
"Yes Maam." The maid answered to Ai Lian. Another hen and duck talk in the maid's world.
"My friend still confinement leh. She cry, cry. Everyday cry. I no choice say I want train the maid. Now she half ok lor! But if this maid stay here very long ah, I think I got high blood first."
"Ai Lian, I have trust in you. You can do it. I know this's not the first time you help others with their maid." I've known her house was sometime used as a temporary lodging for maids when their employers are away or in contemplation period.
"Ok thank you, thank you. But you do me one favour this time. Must can ah. You know lah. My Malay neighbour the children every night sit downstairs leh."
"Mother knows about it?" I was curious to know.
"That's why lah. Mother night shift. I don't know father ah. Children small, small 13, 16 got boyfriends. I sayang them but they don't know sayang or not." Her motherly instinct speaks up.
"You talk or somebody talk also can ah. Tell them, night time stay home study also can, watch tv also can. I 'pai sie' lah see what they do downstairs with boyfriends. Wait got baby ah, choy..." Ai Lian did not finish her words.
"Ok I'll see about it."
"Sure ah!!!" She needs surety.
I did not say anything. I wasn't sure of myself. They are Malays but children to the eyes of Chinese neighbour. They are all Singaporeans, afterall.