Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Maid room or dog's kennel?Published Date: March 16, 2008 By Badrya Darwish http://www.kuwaitti mes.net/read_ news.php? newsid=NjUwOTI1O TcyI went office and apartment hunting this past week and I went all over in most of the good areas like Bneid Al-Gar, Jabriya, Salmiya, Sharq, etc. The real estate agent took me to many buildings. Most had mixed floors, including commercial and residential spaces. To my surprise, people have managed to convince the government that floors can be licensed for commercial businesses up to the sixth floor and from there on it's only residential.I'm puzzled, what's the difference between the fifth and tenth floors? Why can one floor be commercial and one must be residential? The best part, of course, is that the offices on the commercial floors are twice the price of the same sized space on a residential floor. Never mind that. I accept it and can't do anything about it.But while being shown all the flats, the haris took me around saying, "This is bedroom one, this is bedroom two, this is the lounge, etc." Then on the side of the flat, or even maybe on the outside of the flat, there is a one-metre-by- another-metre room with a small toilet adjacent. I asked, "What is this?", and the haris answered: "This is the maid's room." And I said, surprised, "Are you sure it's not the dog's room?The poor haris just looked at me and smiled. Definitely he's afraid to say his mind but I could read his thoughts. I tried to figure out how this tiny space could be a maid's room. Let's assume we'd buy her the smallest bed, known as a single. It won't fit in this room, I bet you. Maybe widthwise, but definitely not lengthwise. So forget the bed. She cannot have a bed. The only thing that will fit there is a baby cot. Is the maid going to be the size of a baby? Isn't that ridiculous!Do you think these landlords, if they extend that poor maid's room by one more metre, will suffer losses? Will their financial situation go into the red? Will they go bankrupt? Or the building will have one less apartment? No, I don't think so. It's only greed and disregard for humanity. This maid, whoever she or he is, serves us all day long. Even in the best-treated houses, she will work for at least 10 hours. She will do our laundry, iron, wash the car, bake, cook, clean our dirt, scrub our toilets, clean the surrounding of the house, etc.Maybe we'll be kind to tell her thank you or please sometimes. Or maybe 50 percent of the time she'll be screamed or yelled at or criticized for the work that she's done. I'm not discussing this. That needs chapters and chapters. But for God's sake give her a bed to sleep on that fits her where she doesn't have to roll up herself like a baby in his mother's tummy in that luxurious bedroom.If the landlord is greedy and ruthless...what about the municipality? What about the architect who planned the building? They have no conscience too? Wake up guys. One day you will end up in a hole smaller than that maid's room.

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