When I sit an work in my office during the day, I notice all the maids cleaning the windows and window sills and patios of the apartment building across the way. As it’s a daily thing, I see the wiping of window sills, and balcony banisters, and every other nook and cranny. A little army of maids making sure everything is spotless. Some maids are in their street clothing, other maids are in maid outfits, and they all come in a little line up every am through the “maid entrances” of buildings.
I read a blog months ago (and I don’t remember where) about how there is dog poop on the sidewalks here and they just don’t get why no one will pick it up. It is true, there is dog poop all over the place, and we wipe down our stroller wheels with Clorox wipes when we get home to get the nasty off. We also don’t wear our shoes in the house – EVER. This is theory according to me, but I think most people know that the apartment building’s maid will be scrubbing the front sidewalk with LOTS of water and clorox so why should they pick it up, when that’s what the maids exist to do? Just a theory of course, but Brasilians in general are pretty clean, so I’m thinking it comes down to the social mores of who does what.
My maid came today. Yes I’m hoite toite enough to now have a maid. While a weekly or daily maid is common, we only have her come every week and a half. So Tuesday, then the following week Friday. It seems to be working pretty well, and lets me do enough household chores to feel like I’m not a total bum. We pay her R$70 plus R$7 for the bus.
My maid cleans better than I ever would, she moves beds and cribs and washes windows. As is the o jeito Brasileiro , she dumps heaps of water on everything. She even washes my patio, which is kind of pointless as the endless torrent of rain and soot constantly undermine her hard work. She is probably not the best maid, as most of the day she is on her cell phone, and she is definitely not efficient. I also make her lunch…. and I think it is supposed to be the other way around. However, I prefer the time to be creative and try new foods out, so I cook for my maid. She probably thinks I am a sap. I use the time to embarrass myself by trying to speak Portuguese. “Eu gosto de Farofa e Feijão.” Things like that. I did have to hide my Shout stain spray that I brought down as she kept trying to use that to clean things. But all-in-all, by the end of the day, everything I have asked her to do is done.