Nobody put a gun to her head and ordered her not to eat during the fasting season of Ramadan. It was our son’s nanny’s choice to eat less than nothing after sunset and before sunrise. Maybe she felt compelled to because her religion tells her to. Maybe she believed that her God told her too.
But how is that MY problem?
Abandoning common knowledge of daily dietary needs, she ventured to this so-called spiritual endeavour knowing the risks of getting gastro-intestinal problems that one may get from digesting nothing for a period of time. There is a fridge of uncooked food and a cupboard snacks at home. She could have easily cooked something or taken some snack and ate some to avoid getting into the scenario that her digestive organs digest nothing – and makes her sick. (I know she does treat it as a hotel bar and eat off from my own stash of snacks because my chocolate bars are fewer than they were.) You know, sneak one in. Chug a mug of Milo when the other helper is not looking.
But she chose not to because of religious reasons. Her religious reasons.
This morning she’s wearing this jacket she always wears when she claims to be sick of something and this pained look on her face that could land her a job asking for loose change in the streets of Dago. She didn’t take care of my three-year old son and the other helper had to fill in for her. She excused herself in the afternoon to see some doctor. And now she comes back here today after a trip to some clinic, holding an enveloped note in Bahasa that she should rest for two days along with a bill that she implies I should pay.
How is this MY problem again?
What if I practiced a certain religion, a Filipinized Roman Catholic religion, where I believe that I should flagellate myself and get myself crucified on Good Friday? Should I charge medical bills for these self-inflicted injuries on my employers because I got hurt on a spiritual Jackass-like stunt? I have nothing against puasa. You wanna fast? Go ahead. But if you get gas, hyperacidity, stomachilitis or whatever fasting-related diseases, don’t put in on my account – because I didn’t put a gun on your head. Some guys in a desert hundreds of years ago did.