Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Narrow Mind

I'm wearing flip-flops inside now. Our floor is so dirty that I washed my little bedside rug the other day and it immediately became dirty again from my filthy feet. Why don't I just clean the floor? Well, we actually have a cleaning lady. I never know when she will show up and thus I'm convinced the day I actually mop the floor will be the day she arrives. She does so little as it is, I'd hate to take away the one thing she does do when she deems us worthy of her attention. I really need to check with Sewalanka to see if they pay her by the visit or on a monthly basis, because she hasn't been here in weeks and as much as I like to claim allegiance to the socialist doctrine, I don't believe people should be paid when they don't work. She is a really awful cleaning lady -- Manurie had to show her how to properly mop (and to sweep beforehand!).

[Editor's note: I ended up sweeping and mopping the downstairs. I figure if Aya wants the upstairs mopped she can do it (I only go there to do laundry). If anyone thinks I'm being mean about the cleaning lady I have a nice story for you. When I went to get the mop and bucket to do the floors I found that she left dirty water in the bucket and the mop soaking in it. After what I believe has been three weeks, this water was incredibly putrid (how did we not smell it earlier -- I have to believe it is because our house generally smells this way). Anyway, the new mop is now ruined. Well, that is partly my fault because I broke the handle trying to scrub a particularly gross spot. By the way, the floors have absolutely never looked better. I got stuff up that I assumed were permanent because they have always been there. Maybe I'll suggest Sewalanka pay me to clean the house.]
Aside: At this point I would like to ask the Leo's to stop smirking!

I'm starting to get really irritated by Aya's silent refusal to do anything around the house. I asked her to please get water from the office this week because I worked from home on Friday and thus couldn't. She has been here for three and a half months and has never collected the water for the house (the office provides us with large water cooler jugs of water). So yesterday and today she returned home without water in tow. She said Chamika said the drivers were all gone. If she had asked in the morning like I suggested we'd have water. We will definitely run out before the end of the weekend. Now that I've written it I'm shocked that I've allowed Aya to go this long without collecting the water as she uses so much of it. She was washing her dishes in it, but she assures me she isn't doing that anymore.
[Editor's note: One jug of water was just delivered to the house. I now officially feel bad for complaining.]
Then there are Ruth's sheets. Now, I'm not sure why Ruth stripped her bed and left the sheets in the washer. She did tell me she did this before she left. Please don't ask me why I didn't question this behavior. Maybe she was told her room would be used by someone else this weekend (we are never informed of guests). Anyway, she asked me to tell Manurie and this makes me wonder if Sewalanka told Ruth that Manurie is like the house mom or something. Sewalanka sometimes treats Manurie as such, but has never informed her of this role (I think some staff feel this is the price of staying in what is supposed to be the "foreigner" hostel). I try to help out when possible because Manurie isn't getting paid to do these things (or at least, I don't think she is). Besides, although she still hasn't told Sewalanka, Manurie has pretty much moved out of the house. Aya did laundry this week and rather than washing Ruth's sheets she just left them in a pile on the floor next to the washer. Is it really too much to ask that she actually take a turn. I guess if I don't actually bring these things up with her I can't really complain. I'm so passive.
[Editor's note: I washed Ruth's sheets while I was mopping the floors.]
Last night was Jodi's farewell dinner. We ate at Tao, which is a fancy restaurant in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. The prices were surprisingly reasonable and they have a vegetarian menu! Unfortunately, it seems every time I go out to eat with a large crowd of the Aussies and their friends I end up paying a great deal more than I should because they can't do math. My meal was 390 rupees, and then you can basically figure there is 30% on top of that for tax (10%) and always already included gratuity (20%) which puts my total at around 510 rupees. But I paid 740 rupees. I got off way easy and I absolutely should not complain. Jodi put in an extra 1500 and others put in way more also. I don't understand how this always happens. The bill's total was 20,610. After everyone thought they'd paid (and several had gotten up and started walking away) we only had 16,000. That is a pretty huge difference. This happens everywhere of course, but when it would happen in the U.S. we'd still be sitting at the table and we could remind people of the extra costs they might have forgotten (don't forget tax, didn't you have a beer?, the wine split is 500 each for those that drank). It kind of puts a damper on the evening when this occurs. Actually, I really shouldn't complain because if it wasn't for me (and my lack of boozing) they would have just split the bill equally. I make the math complicated.

That said, Jodi does have lovely friends and I really wish I was more forward to collect cell numbers, etc. because I could totally see hanging out with several of them.

I'll end this rant with the extremely disturbing news that Burt's Bees was purchased by Clorox. What is happening in the world!

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