Loan Sharks and Lies: Feb. 5th
Mercy, our cook, is still suffering. Two days ago, she was harassed by our maid, and a few of the maid’s friends, who waited for her at the next street corner. The maid’s friends surrounded her, and told her that Mercy’s husband was a drunkard, and that Mercy shouldn’t have a boyfriend, etc.... Apparently there has been a strange man waiting outside our house for Mercy. Lakhshmi’s rumors got onto the coconut telegraph, reached me, and then Sue. Another session with Mercy ensued - Sue informed Mercy that rumors were being spread. Mercy explained that she and her young husband Sampson had gotten behind on their payments and had taken the services of a loan shark. The loan shark wanted to ensure that Mercy was really working at our house. Sue told Mercy that as long as she did a good job inside the house Sue would continue to support her. The next morning Mercy’s husband Sampson stopped by to ensure to "madam" that he and Mercy had "good marital relations, and Mercy would not have a boyfriend". I guess intimating that a wife has a boyfriend is about the worst insult you can give here.


Lakhshmi, the maid, and Mercy were now suitable primed for a major fight. So...Sue had a meeting with Lakhshmi, and Mercy, and informed them both that if the bickering didn’t stop one or both would be fired. Lakhshmi immediately held out her hand and shook Mercy’s hand. We’re not quite sure where all this venom is coming from. One theory, advanced by our Indian friends is that the maid is jealous of Sue’s time with the cook.