Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum

It seems like the malls here get a little more Christmas-crazy every year. Some of them have pretty inspired interpretations of holiday traditions, such as this "pirate Christmas" display.

Pirates with Christmas-wreath hats? Yeah, we've got that.

Treasure chests overflowing with ornaments? Stuffed Christmas parrots? Why not!

You can even get your whole family's picture taken with Santa -- though not on his lap, luckily for Santa.

Plus there's a tower of "gifts" stretching all the way to the top of the second floor, lest anyone forget the True Meaning of Christmas.

The pirate display also gave me an excellent opportunity to take sneaky photos of the pembantus, or nannies. It's very common to bring your pembantu to the mall; the more expensive the mall, the more pembantus. They're easy to spot: they're the ones in a white or pastel uniform, pushing a stroller while carrying someone else's baby and 37 bags of someone else's shopping.

Pembantus are often country girls who move to Jakarta in search of opportunity. They usually live with the family and work long hours for less than $100 a month. I'm sure most of them get treated okay. But it's poignant to see them rushing around wiping kids' noses or feeding them spoonfuls of rice from a plastic container - in some cases spoon-feeding ten-year-olds - while the moms study Prada window displays or drink Starbucks coffee with the other mall ladies.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sure do miss you two. Merry Christmas! Love, Ruth/Mum xxoo

Anonymous said...

Sure do miss you two. Merry Christmas! Love, Ruth/Mum xxoo

kopisusu2 said...

We miss you too! Looking forward to your visit. And thanks so much for the gifts, it was so thoughtful and kind of you guys to send them!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

hera said...

Remind me not to be those ladies if ever I have kid :D

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