Another trickle down effect of growing up with American television in the 60’s was that hiring household help was a luxury indulged by the wealthy. But later down the road of adulthood, more and more of my ‘blue-collar‘ co-workers were indeed becoming big fans of this luxury. Eventually biting the bullet and giving it a try, it became apparent that it wasn’t just a luxury but an affordable practicality. and had nothing to do with class system. But after moving to Singapore, that whole premise flew out the window.
Prior to my overseas employment in Singapore, I’d read as many Culture Shock and over-seas-survival books as possible. Probably having been written years prior by bored Embassy wives, some of these books encouraged readers to hire ‘maids’ because it was expected and it helped the community monetarily.
I don’t know if I ever saw ‘maids’ that were actually Singaporeans, but certainly plenty from other Southeast Asia locations. But witnessing a barely-out-of-her-teens girl wash a garage-parked car at 5am as one of her daily chores or the helpers (complete with uniform T-shirts) following their high-heeled employer down a busy street carrying her small boutique purchases? I had to rethink the whole class system thing.
Later when staying in Malaysia, I found fighting the elements vs. clean house ‘battle’ on a daily basis exhausting, yet those images from Singapore were way too fresh in my mind to even consider seeking assistance. But I eventually did hire a stay-at-home-mom neighbor as an excuse to help her earn some extra income. I’m not saying it’s true everywhere, but hiring a neighbor ‘friend’ is not a great idea, especially in the household help arena.
The relationship line from friend to employee is too easily muddled. It also opens the door for their friends to drop by and visit them on ‘the job’. And then the all to often requests to “borrow” this or “can I have” thats?, can be an exhausting exercise in cultural politeness.
Having to basically un-hire my neighbor and finding my daily schedules busier and busier, my house was beginning to look like the home of a wild bachelor. I was in dire need of a professional cleaning service that was to my knowledge, non-existent in Langkawi. So when I first spotted the Kristiani Cleaning Service postings on Facebook my heart soared. At the time of my initial contact I was told that services were only available in Kuah with plans to expand, but it still gave me hope. And indeed good things come to those who wait.
I kept contact with ‘Kristiani’ and watched them produce not only an active Facebook PAGE but also a BLOG and being a big fan of folks with creative initiative, I love promoting enthusiastic self-promoters. I especially like seeing them succeed. Their efforts eventually brought them enough clients outside of Kuah, where they now have a growing number of additional satisfied customers. Which includes of course me!
I can’t speak highly enough of their services and ability to tackle even a house like mine efficiently and in a timely manner. And they’re willing to clean per your particulars, just ask and you’ll receive. I feel very comfortable with these ‘strangers’ in my house, because of their professional demeanor, yet now they’ve become my friends as well. They do have free reign and aren’t shy, so any questions they have are asked…
And Kristiani herself? Well, that’s actually the name of the company. The sole mastermind behind this much-needed Langkawi business is a young mother named Evelyn. With a husband and two under-school-age children, this powerhouse manages to juggle many balls and yet always smiles. That attitude trickles down to the rest of the team and it shows in their excellent services.
Kristiani Cleaners is actually an affordable and practical Langkawi luxury!
**In March 2013, this wonderful cleaning company had to change their name to Abiesha Cleaners, for a few odd reasons.
Same crew and same great people!