An asian immigrants guide to surviving Aussie without domestic help

Here’s an Indian (or Asian or Middle Eastern) immigrant’s Guide to living happily in Australia without a cleaner, cook and gardener.

It’s only when you move to a Western or developed country with a high standard of living, you realise not everybody on this planet has easy access to domestic help.

The minimum wage is high so labour is not cheap. Not everyone can afford a nanny, maid, bai or Raju (my cleaner from Dubai, oh I miss him) or Ramu kaka (reference: old Indian movies).

Here is some tips to manage the sudden increase of domestic workload that might have been alien to you before you set foot in Aussie or a Western country like UK, Europe or USA –

First things first, Accept it

After you overcome the initial shocker, you need to accept the new way of life. The sooner you come to terms with a new hands on (and non-lazy) way of living, the better for you.
Note: You’ll see 50 year olds moving bed frames and entire home furniture. Hear of 60 year old partners building an entire home by themselves.

Unsolicited Gyaan (Knowledge): Partners in Aussie are what is couples after dating, but not married. Marriage is not all the rage like back home, of which the entire world now knows thanks to Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking! And weddings are often intimate with super close family and besties. The bride and groom will know everyone attending their wedding. (Not pressurized with bura maan jayenge so you land up inviting 500 people, 450 of which the bride and groom have never met before and will probably see again only in the giant wedding photo-album.)

Reduce your expectations

Used to a nanny or maid doing jhadoo poocha (sweeping and mopping) everyday? You are your bai, your cleaner and your cook; so keep the expectations low for your own sanity.

If you can shell out 30 bucks an hour, you could consider hire a cleaner once a fortnight or week. And it’s quite common here to vacuum just once or twice a week.

Here are some practical tips for efficiency and automation, Aussie style

Cooking

  • No bai is going to come and make you hot fluffy phulkas. You might do good to let go of the need for Chappati’s everyday. You could get a Roti maker, but it ain’t cheap.
  • At least 2-3 times a week, cooky easy. Do a pasta. A sandwich or a salad. Or a stir fry with ready cut veggies from Coles or Aldi. Tip: Use Kitchen King Masala for desi style stir fry- all you need is Oil, Veggies, Salt and Kitchen King Masala.
  • You could try an Aussie Meal Kit a few times a week (veggie options easily available) from-
  • Prep: You could cut onions and tomatoes for a week’s supply. Many bulk cook on weekends and freeze in meal size portions.
  • A Rice Cooker can be handy

Cleaning

I highly recommend a Robotic vacuum. It’s been totally worth the investment for our family.

I have an Eufy 11s, an amazon best seller, who I’ve named Happy Flappy Singh. Oh, the joy my back feels when Happy Flappy saves me vacuuming the daily mess my child makes.

Outdoor Areas

Ah, the Aussie dream of owning a house with a gorgeous backyard. Often translates to weekends spent on repairs, maintenance, cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn and pulling out weeds!

  • A high pressure cleaner is a wonderful device for the outdoors grime and spider webs (yes, you read correctly. Spider webs. even my apartment’s balcony is not spared). Replaces hosing and scrubbing for an easy shiny clean. Bonus: Great for a car wash DIY. A manual outdoor only car wash usually costs about $30.
  • YouTube is your best friend for DIY advice (Especially for such non-handy people like me who didn’t know how to change a light bulb. Imagine my shock when the 50 inch smart tv included only delivery to door and ‘no installation’. We are so so so spoilt in the Middle East and Asia. Luckily, the TV didn’t break.)

Outsourcing

Call out fees for plumbers, technicians, small moves and the like can be very expensive. You could get affordable help at AirTasker.com (this link includes $25 off Airtasker). Do tread with caution, ensuring good reviews and tasker’s insurance cover. I’ve used AirTasker for moving an outdoor table at last minute’s notice – was easy done.

Do you have any tip or device that makes your life easy? Drop a comment to share the joy.


Note to Women: You don’t have to do everything. Life in beautiful Aussie is good but there is a lot you have to do by yourself. Get the men and kids in your life to lend a helping hand. And if they don’t want to lift a finger, you stop lifting everything day in and day out.
Note to Men, married and unmarried: Be a man, do the right thing! Step up. Help roomies, the women in your life and your family. It’s not India, Pakistan, Dubai, Asia or the Middle East where there is domestic help. Share the load, share the love and share the respect.

Indian Relatives’ all time Favourite Questions

Love them or hate them, your overly nosy desi relatives are here to stay! I don’t quite get their fascination with marriages and kids of others – don’t they have anything better to do?

All time favourite questions of Indian relatives once you are marriage-able age:

  • If you are single- When will you get married?
  • When you get married- When will you have children?
  • If you have 1 child- When will you have your second child?

No wonder we have the second largest population in the world!

Slangs of Australia, no “Aussie”. Introducing: Brekkie

Australia has slangs or short forms or abbreviations of everything under the sun! It doesn’t spare anyone from humans to animals to things. Jonathan and John become Jono or Jon, Daniel becomes Dan, Jacob becomes Jay, Brittany becomes Brit, Matthew becomes Matt(my colleague kindly told me my colleague is NOT called Mat, as in floor Mat, its Matt with a double t) and so on. I am not sure if this name butchery is out of affection or for convenience or perhaps just out of habit.

NRIinOz.com is starting a series of posts dedicated to Australia’s obsession with short forms calling it the ‘Aussie slang series.’ Here goes our first one- Brekkie. Not referring to breaking anything, rather it is short for Breakfast.

Babli would also like to share her observations of favourite Aussie breakfasts:

  • Vegemite – How someone can like it is quite beyond my understanding. It’s an acquired taste. For badla, I nominate our beloved Chavanprash! I am sure the reaction of someone eating either Vegemite or Chavanprash for the first time will be quite the same.
  • Banana Bread – Australia loves their banana bread. It is everywhere! Mind you though, it is not bread. It’s a cake in the shape of a bread.
  • Toast -Coming from Dubai, where you get amazing breakfast from cheap and healthy idli and dosa, to fancy high end blueberry pancakes or huge breakfast plates; when you see every other cafe selling ‘toast’ its quite ummm I guess disappointing. But Babli often grabs the sour dough or turkish bread for $3-4 when you can buy a whole loaf for that much. And coffee…how could I forget the coffee culture?

Signing off until the next time we bring you another Aussie slang.

Be Good, Do Good…Happy New Year

Happy New Year from NRIinOz.com. No resolution this year- just some gyaan(i.e. wisdom). Be Good, Do Good.

Will be missing the 2018 Sydney Fireworks and gladly the 1 million people that will come along with it! News pe dekh lenge (Will see it on the news)

You can’t resist the coffee culture in Australia

In my first month in Aussie, ‘I am not a coffee person.’ After 3 months, every morning be like ‘Where is my coffee’

The coffee culture in Australia is so hard to resist. I wasn’t a coffee person before I came to Aussie. I love my chai (still do, but you don’t get karak chai everywhere like Dubai and cutting chai like India). But after a few months in Aussie, every morning I crave for my cuppa with my brekkie. Brekkie, for those who don’t know, is short for breakfast (Aussies love shortering or creating nick names). The cutest coffee is the Piccolo, a baby latte in those tiny cute cups. But my personal favourite is Mocha.

I am NOT FAT

I don’t remember where I heard this as a kid. ‘I am not fat. I am pleasantly plump.’ This pretty much applies to me today after having a child and with the baby belly (atleast it’s not a beer belly;).

How to manage finances in Australia as immigrants?

Australia is an expensive place for Indian, Asian and Middle East immigrants. If you do plan to move here, save! A lot!

New immigrant to Australia from India, Dubai, Asia or Middle East? The standard of living is very high in Australia

Here is a small comparison of expenses in Sydney versus Dubai, where I’ve lived prior:

High cost of living

When I moved here with my husband and toddler in mid April 2018 without jobs, I had to say pass to many little luxuries that I didn’t even have to think twice before swiping my credit card for in Dubai (fyi, I had a direct debit so the credit card was just for the

Continue reading “How to manage finances in Australia as immigrants?”

Why did I leave Dubai?

My hubby and I get asked one question by friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues, at interviews and almost EVERY person who learns we have moved to Australia from Dubai.
Why did you leave Dubai?
Our answer- for permanency and a place our family can stay for life. Nriinoz.com-why-to-leave-dubai Continue reading “Why did I leave Dubai?”

Clothes shopping in India

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When you go clothes shopping in India, no matter how horrible you look, the shop keeper will always say ‘Aap pe bohat acha lag raha hai’ even if you look like a fluorescent watermelon. Always take a friend or relative with you for an honest opinion

Challenge of an Indian, whether you are a teen or a 30 year old

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Babli knows: For non-desi (non Indians), it is normal to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. For Desi(s), it is like having a top- secret undercover operation.

Our very first aunty joke

Sorry Aunty ji, this is the first of the many jokes NRIinOz.com will have with you featured. Love you to the core, but life would be so blah without your antics!

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k What is the one thing Indian aunties cannot live without- GOLD (and the same applies to Bappi Lahri too)

How to make a Hindi Tv Serial / Series

If you or your relatives have watched even 5 episodes of a Hindi tv series, you can see how erratic the story lines are.

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I am sure those who watch Hindi TV series can relate to this.

So here is what Babli from NRIinOz thinks- ANYONE can make a hindi tv series by choosing any of the following in any order and repeat anytime:

-Punar Janam (Re-birth)

-Memory Loss

-Plastic surgery (especially helpful when they want to kick out an actor)

-Marry the lead

-Divorce the lead

-Still love the one you divorced, yet marry someone else, remarry the lead

-The mother in law hates you and makes your life miserable so you divorce the lead again

*Proudly presented to you by NRIinOz.com*

Men have PMS ALL YEAR ROUND

We women get pms only once a month, but Men are so unpredictable, their PMS can strike anytime

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Don’t you think men suffer from PMS all year round? And they say we women are emotional- have they looked at themselves? NriInOz.com