Friday, September 25, 2009

Household Help

It is a common thing in this culture to have employees who help with daily household chores. Last spring when we stayed in the school guestroom, someone came in daily to sweep, clean the bathroom, and remove the garbage. He also changed the sheets and towels weekly. I washed my personal laundry by hand and hung it out on the balcony and we hired a dhobi (washerman) who came to take our outer clothes for cleaning weekly. This time our place is more remote from campus and not served by the regular school cleaners.

We’ve been supplied everything we need – two sets of sheets and towels, table linens, pots, dishes, fridge, two-burner gas cooktop, etc. But we have had to arrange for our own additional helpers. There is an association called Mussoorie Clean that sends someone around to all the houses daily to pick up garbage. It is taken to a central place, sorted, recycled, burned and disposed of properly (a great improvement over the past, when garbage was dumped anywhere). Our neighbor volunteered to share the ayah Guddi who works for her. She comes in for about 45 minutes to an hour twice a week. She cleans the bathroom, sweeps the floors, mops the kitchen, and does my hand-washing. She is a lovely, pleasant woman and she is happy for the additional (although small) income. Her husband works as a security guard for the school.

More on the dhobi next week.

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