Rossi, the managing director of the Travel Easy Asia group has published an
instruction manual called Maid in Thailand. Undoubtedly the stimulus to do
this came from her own experiences as a newbie in Thailand who ended up with
a Burmese maid. As she writes in the foreword, “Sometimes the reality (of
having a maid) is a complete and total melt-down when you can’t make
yourself understood dealing with the simplest of tasks. To top it off, if
you think you are frustrated, just think about how your maid feels!
Miscommunication can leave you both with quite the mess to clean up.”
Perhaps with the AEC (Asean Economic Community) in mind Ms Rossi has made
her book a trilingual one, with the relevant pages in English, Thai and
The book is centered on Bangkok, with references to the Villa Market
advertising boards for example, but there are similar amenities in Chiang
Mai. My own personal experiences with maids were initially disaster areas
until we had one middle-aged lady who was recommended to us by a departing
expat couple. From then on we were lucky; she arranged for her own
replacement, and the replacements did likewise when it was time for them to
move on too.
There are eight chapters dealing with the day to day jobs which it is
expected that maids can do, from washing and ironing, cleaning, do’s and
don’ts, shopping and in the kitchen, and even Time Management, which shows
that Kristen Rossi is indeed a brave woman. I have given up trying to get
Mrs. Reid ready for any function on time, getting a maid on time will be
Showing extreme courage in the face of enemy action, author Rossi even has
the maid involved in getting ready for parties and asking guests, “Are you
finished?” which to me is rather amazing. My maids were all at the level of
The bias in the various chapters is either towards the western woman, or to
the Thai or Burmese maid. This does take a little bit of getting used to,
with the mistress of the house in the first person (in English), and then in
another chapter, the maid takes over the first person role reading either
the Thai translation or the Burmese.
From chapter Nine onwards, the book is a trilingual cookbook. Not being a
cook myself (I have always worked on the principle that if God really wanted
me to cook, he wouldn’t have invented McDonalds), I wonder just how
successful Ms. Rossi has been getting her Burmese maid to prepare the pecan
pear and Roquefort cheese salad, followed by a crust-less salmon vegetable
quiche, with instructions to “lightly oil a griddle or frying pan and ignite
over medium high heat”, for example! However, I did show the relevant
recipes to our Thai maid, who said she was very sure she understood every
one and could cook each item, so success there.
At B. 420 it is not an expensive book, and if you cannot find it locally,
contact email [email protected] who will assist you.