Like all expats in China we now have an Ayi (technically a maid, an Ayi is more than that, loosely translating to “auntie”). She kinda came with the apartment. She was the AYI for the last tenant and expressed a desire to stay on for us, so we hired her: three days a week, three hours a day to sweep, mop, dust wash and iron. I feel lazy and decadent, but hey, I wouldn’t be an expat if I didn’t have an Ayi and it helps the employment rate in China.
Today was her first day and luckily my Mandarin tutor was here for my lesson. The Ayi doesn’t speak any English and the extent of my Chinese is to count and say the time. When I asked if the Ayi knew how to run the dishwasher–all controls are in Chinese and the button combination I pushed resulted in some flashing lights and lots of beeping, but no washing– a lengthy and animated exchange between my tutor, Fiona, and our Ayi, Pink, concluded with Pink adamantly stated that she’d wash the dishes without a machine, thank you very much!
When we got to the laundry room, Pink told Fiona that I’d need to buy a laundry rack for drying our clothes on the balcony. When I pointed out that we had a clothes dryer another animated conversation ensued the gist of which was that Pink doesn’t trust the machine, she trusts the sun.
Ayi 2, Thom and Technology, 0.