Updated: May 21, 2020
Hi travel bugs, It is story time, so buckle up, this real-life event is about to blow your mind.
It was 2013, I was working at an Irish pub in Madrid, I remember it was spring but it was still cold outside and I was having a bad day, around that time of my life I was under a lot of stress, also my relationship with my husband (boyfriend at the time) wasn't exactly working for us, as we had been about 7 months apart and it didn't sound like we were going to see each other any time soon.
I would literally come home and cry because being in our apartment was so painful without him, and I was filling like the distance was pulling us apart so I was losing all hope of making it work between us.
I remember the day clearly, something just happened as I was walking home after work, I realized I needed to get out of my house, my job, and possibly Madrid, I needed a fresh start.
Back in 2011 I wanted to travel abroad as an Au-pair for a year, unfortunately because of my immigration status at the time I didn't have the chance to do it, if you are not too familiar with the term, you basically travel to another country to look after kids, the family usually pays for living expenses, sometimes school to learn the language and they give you a weekly payment.
This time around, I had recently been granted dual citizenship and with the Spanish passport, I was able to travel around Europe, in my mind, it all sounded fantastic, so I went home and I created a profile on the au pair site that I used the first time around. I knew one thing for certain, I wanted to be close to a big City or inside the city if possible, I looked into 6 different countries, Netherlands, England, Austria, France, Ireland and Germany. I was leaning mostly towards the Netherlands because I had travelled there so many times I felt Like I knew the country well and I had friends there, I thought, if it goes south I can reach out to them or I wouldn't feel so lonely, as moving to a new country can be so isolating, this was my wisest decision, as I would learn quickly after starting the job.
It took me about a week to find a family that wanted me to come and
was serious enough that they bought me a trip to Amsterdam so That I could come to meet them. before I knew it, I was heading out of Madrid on my day off from work to a Huge Mansion about 30 mins away from Amsterdam, and I spent there about 3 days. The place was massive and so beautiful, I must confess I let myself be dazzled with so much glamour, so much that I didn't read all the signs.
The mom of the kids had a Job that required her to travel sometimes on the weekends, they told me they would need me to work on certain weekends when the mom was gone, but that my days would be given back to me as soon as she would come back home. They also told me that they would pay me an amount that was very low but that they would raise it very soon and that they will put me in school to learn dutch. The dad had his own business so he was home every weekend. It all sounded fair so I didn't hesitate, I felt like the job wasn't too difficult and the location was simply stunning, so I took the job, I wish I could show you pictures of this mansion but that would violate the family's privacy and the last thing I want is to hurt those kids in any way.
I soon realized that certainly, not everything that shines is gold, as when I moved into the home I was treated like a servant. I would wake up, make coffee and bring it to their bed, wake the kids up, dress them and feed them, take them to school, come back and clean the kitchen, and their bedrooms (the parent's bedroom as well) do laundry for everyone at the house also clean the floors in the home, do groceries and cook lunch and dinner. The parents sometimes worked from home, so if they wanted a cup of coffee in the middle of the day or lunch they would call me to do this for them. Finally, I would have to bring the kids back from school and after dinner put them in bed, read them stories etc.
It Was so tough sometimes I worked 11 or 12 hours straight in a day as I would wake up to inmediately start working and my day would end when the kids were in bed, I was so exhausted at the end of the day and I wasn't able to do anything of my own unless I would go out after the kids were in bed.
Needless to say, I never got my raise in salary, and I hated the fact that I never could go for lunch with the other Au-pairs from around me, they all had so much time in their hands but I had to go home to get the duties done. You can Imagine I started dreading having to work there and every time I had a chance, I would scape as I could not stand being there, of course, I made the mistake of staying a couple of weekends, only to realize that as long as I was around them, day off or not, I would still cater to them.
To be fair The mom was most of the time very nice to me, she would buy me stuff and we would talk about life, we even shared silly secrets and she would take me out for a snack or help me with the kids, I felt like it was like a good cop bad cop situation, her husband was rude so often, he could be nice sometimes but his dark humour and bad moods came afloat a lot, which turned out to affect me all the time, as he would treat me so unfairly.
The working situation didn't get any better when while in the kitchen one day, the dad literally slap me in the butt playfully, I was so confused as I never had a boss ever be inappropriate with me, after this and some other events I brought it to his wife's attention, only to find out the darkest of their secrets....
And you will find out about it too on the next week's blog post, stay tuned!!!
Hope you all have a great day, I will see you next week for Au-Pair Hell Part 2.
Happy New Year Darlings!