Monday, August 5, 2013

Munich Part 2: Rumors

Note:  I wrote a middle part between the first post and this one that isn't quite as tantalizing.  Let me know if there is any interest in reading it and I'll put it up.

Well, by this time, I wasn't too happy with this Munich family.  The kids didn't listen to or respect me, the mother didn't help and often made me feel lazy despite working more than I was legally contracted to, and the father was literally not present most of the time.  I hated it there.  This wasn't normal homesickness, I wasn't pining to be back with my parents (sorry mom and dad!), or to be with my boyfriend.  I simply did not want to be in a place where I was treated like a maid when I was supposed to be a part of the family.  I held my head up, however, and wouldn't let it get to me.  I kept telling myself, "Only x more weeks. You can do this."

Then I started to hear some strange things about the family and their relationship with their children and previous Au Pairs...

First, I had a good au pair friend who took care of two boys of her own, six and eight, just like mine.  The eldest were best friends and had gone to a birthday party together before I had gotten to Germany.  My friend's eyes got wide when I told her who I was working for, and she very gently and diplomatically told me, "Ah.  I've noticed he's very bossy with the other children."  I laughed and affirmed it to be true, he took after his mother.

Second, I heard that another one of my good Spanish au pair friends' mother wouldn't talk to the mother of my household (S).  I knew they were both from Spain, and since it's nice to hang out with other ex-pats, I suggest to my Spanish friend that we get them together.  Strangely, I was met with "Don't mention my name...don't mention my host mother's name to S..."  I thought that was really weird, but didn't press it.

Later, I heard what happened.  I was told by one of my friends that the aforementioned eight year old I cared for had bullied our Spanish friend's ward so badly that he had to change schools.  This was scary stuff.  I had seen this young boy fighting with his siblings and hurting them, but I merely separated them and tried to keep him under control.  This kid had problems.  Evidently it couldn't have been solved civilly either- the mothers were feuding as well.  This caused some alarm, but I kept repeating my mantra.  I could do this.

In an unrelated story, I met a very nice girl on the tram late one Saturday night before I left.  She turned out to be the 18 year old neighbor of the family I was working for.  Our interaction went something like this:
"What family are you working for? I might know them!"
"The x family, do you know them?"
"Oh..." (long pause) "Yeah I know them, I live right next door!  I knew their last au pair, but I don't know if I'm supposed to tell you what happened to her."
(of course I had to know what happened to her!)"You have to tell me!"
"Well, one night we came home and she was crying in the driveway.  She was from Poland and they had thrown her out of the house.  I don't know why they did it, but she said they were so mean to her and not giving her enough to eat."

At this point, I was shocked, but she didn't know anything more to tell me.  I could only wait and try to figure things out myself, but I learned without a doubt what must have happened in the next few days, and why I had to leave when I did, with the police on my side.

Read Part 3 here

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