KuwaitOther News

A day in a life of a household cook

By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: Ramadan is a busy month for domestic workers in Kuwait, including housemaids, drivers and cooks. Kuwait Times spoke to Ameck Solangon, a Filipino cook for a Kuwaiti family in Dasman. She knew the entire month of Ramadan will be as busy, so she made sure she got her day off last Friday. “I met some of my Facebook friends whom I got to know through Pinoy Arabia ME, an online radio station,” she said.

Solangon cooks for a family of retired government employees. “My employers are both retired Kuwaiti government workers. The husband was a former police general and his wife was a teacher. They are kind-hearted people and pay our salaries on time,” she said. Solangon joined the household in 2014.

“I was hired directly from the Philippines to be their family cook. When I joined, there were four children in the household. One by one, the children got married and had families of their own. Only the retired couple remain, and once a week their children visit, so now I have a very less work compared to five years back. I now help my colleagues in household chores. I also clean the bathrooms, iron clothes and wash dishes,” Solangon said.

Ramadan, however, is different. “Ramadan is very busy in the kitchen. I also do the shopping most of the time. I know what they like to eat and have a monthly budget. But the budget rises up to fivefold during Ramadan. They also hand out food in charity, so I have to cook extra food,” she said.

Since Solangon sleeps late in Ramadan, she also wakes up late in the morning. “On regular days, I wake up at 7 am. In Ramadan however, I wake up at 9 am or 10 am. But I always make sure all dishes will be ready by 6 pm before iftar,” she said. Her next day off will be on Eid. “A day off is not a problem when it comes to my boss. I just need to ask permission, and they allow me to go out and meet my friends. But the best day for me is Eid Al-Fitr, because it means getting gifts in cash and kind,” she concluded.

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