“So what do you do?”
I was sitting propped up against an innumerable amount of cushions covered in cream cotton fabric. They were arranged in a bohemian-elegant way around the sides and back of a day bed, which was itself placed under a wooden roof over a terra cotta tiled terrace, outside a colonial black and white villa in Singapore.
“Oh, this and that. I do yoga, and I’m a member of a reading circle” came the answer.
First, I did not quite understand, but then the truth slowly dawned on me. How embarrassing! For me but, I was convinced, also for my hostess! Already in awe of her poise and obvious ease in any situation, I now felt utterly embarrassed for having forced her to admit, in front of everyone, that she did not work.
And not only was it embarrassing, it was inconceivable!
At that moment, a slight and very quiet woman of about thirty appeared, bringing out a beautiful silver tray, set with various snacks and drinks. I was ready to put out my hand to introduce myself. Then, not seeing any signs of my hostess making any introductions, I slowly came to a second insight. Apparently the slight woman was someone with a very discreet role, and definitely not someone you introduced while having drinks in your house together with friends. It was an employee! Or a maid, or a housekeeper, or a house gnome, depending on how one would be inclined to call a person who works in someone else’s house doing cooking and cleaning, and occasionally waiting on her (it is usually a her) employers.
This added to my feeling of being slightly… out of tune.
Twelve years later, I don’t do yoga, but I do pilates. I’m not part of a book circle, but I play the piano and have just started a blog. I hope I will be good at it. Who knows, maybe it will speak to people and I’ll actually get followers… Imagine what an accomplishment in a world with an overcrowded blogoshpere!
I also live in a big villa. Not in Singapore but in Morocco. I don’t have an outdoor day bed, yet, but I have a helper, and a gardener, and a guy who comes in twice a week to clean the pool. I am an expat wife, and I do not work (horror of horrors)! The worst thing is, I pretty much enjoy it, and life seems pretty bright.
It is supposed to last for a year. I am on a leave of absence from my job in France with a big French corporation. So I have a year to write about things I find interesting, and that I want to share. That is, if anyone reads me.