Profiles – My Housekeeper

25 Sep

One of the luxuries about living in Shanghai is that having a housekeeper is very affordable.  Even though the RMB is strengthening so it is getting more expensive, I can still have someone come to my house for about $2.50/hour.  I have friends who have full time housekeepers – they come every day and also cook meals, but I’m a pretty low maintenance gal.  My housekeeper only comes twice a week for two hours each time, but she is truly a gem.

My current “Ayi” is not a native Shanghainese, she comes from a small town in Jiangsu province.  Her daughter just started university this year in Nanjing and she is so proud of her daughter’s accomplishments – and she keeps me updated on her progress.  She has been my housekeeper for about a year and a half now and she lives very close by my apartment.  I’m her first customer of the morning – on the way to other clients.  She typically comes around 6:30 in the morning, right about the time I roll out of bed and then cleans for about two hours before heading out.  Typical tasks include dishes, laundry, bathrooms, dusting and ironing.  She also takes my drycleaning on her way to her next job.

As we have gotten to know each other she definitely lets me know her mind.  She comments on everything – whether my windows should be open or shut, what type of laundry detergent I use, if I look tired, that I need to buy garbage bags, that my dry cleaning will come back the next day.  She has a big heart and looks after me – I am lucky to have found her.  Those four hours that she comes clears my weekend which means I have time to exercise, or explore or just be lazy if I’d like.

Any thoughts on housekeepers?

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