Friday, November 28, 2008

Anyone else who has an ayi who's collecting wine corks?

I normally get along well with our ayi, so what happened last Wednesday comes as a bit of a shock to me.

We'd left our heart-shaped wine stopper on the table, and don't ask me why, but for some reason she must have thought she cork was garbage that has been stuck to a wooden heart-shaped piece... because this is what she left us with:

(She must have used some serious powers to remove that cork. Leaves me kind of heartbroken -both for her and for our precious wine stopper)

The question she left us with....: WHY?
As usual, I have my own theories:

1. She collects wine corks.
2. She hates wine corks (as a result of seeing too many of them since she is mainly cleaning expat's flats) and at the sight of one she wants to throw it away.
3. She is still upset about me yelling out cleaning orders to her 2 weeks ago.

Lesson learned: avoid cork wine stoppers in China. Or, hide them from you ayi.

Since we are on the ayi subject... the other wknd I had dinner with a big group of Scandos in Shanghai, and I was kind of surprised to hear that their ayis are making more than my young Chinese friends working for state-owned companies.... At least considering how much those people are paying their ayis: some paid 4000/month for full-time, live-in-ayi (who has not rent and no food costs. This must be the ideal ayi deal!), some pay 1000kuai/month for an ayi that comes and cleans their flat 3 times a week (for 3-4 hours at time). As the conversation went on I started to feel like a really cheap bastard and sank down in my chair, desperately hoping that no one would ask me how much we pay our ayi.... seeing that we only pay her 400 kuai/month and she comes 3 times/week a la 2hours/time.

Then, I spoke to my Taiwanese friend who has an Ayi 5days/week for 2 hours/day. She cleans, shops and makes him food for 250 kuai/month..

....and then I felt a tiny weeny bit better.


Anonymous said...

i think she thought the wooden heart-shaped piece is the wine opener and the stoper is the used cork you just forgot to throw away..

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise you could get cork wine stoppers because I thought cork would degrade after multiple uses unlike plastic or rubber. But if it makes you feel better I pay 450 rmb for 3 days a week, 3-4 hours each time and Shanghai is more expensive than SZ.

Just like anything, there are always people who are going to pay more for less. I pay 6500 rmb for my apartment and a friend is paying 18,500 rmb.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I used to pay my ayi 50rmb each time, and she used to come every second week, and clean for like 5-6 hours.

When I moved I found out that I should actually be able to clean myself, because I really should be able to care of myself and clean up my own shit. It is not as clean as it would be with an ayi, but it feels 10x better when it is actually clean.

Anonymous said...

6500 rmb sounds real good for an apartment, while I pay 1200 usd for a small apartment in the small town of ann arbor in the US.......

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't feel bad...that just means your not stupid enough to overpay in my opinion!

Anonymous said...

My Ayi (more landlord than maid in my situation) doesn't have an interest in corks, but after my roommate went back to America our Ayi asked if she could have a pair of heels that had been left behind. She also found a pink bottle and asked me if it was for skin or for hair and when I told her it was for hair she asked if she could have that too. I let her take both and hopefully she remembers that when it comes time for getting my deposit back!

Annukka said...

She probably thought that you might like that heart-shaped wooden piece better like that - Useless I know, but you never know, you might find something else for it, e.g. some useless decoration on a table! :D