Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cleaning Lady

The price of our apartment includes a cleaning lady who comes two or three times a week to clean and to do our laundry and ironing. Personally, I prefer doing my own laundry but unfortunately we don't have a washing machine in our apartment. I feel a little spoiled having a cleaning lady but this is something one gets used to pretty fast.

The cleaning lady is really sweet but she's also really hard of hearing. At first I thought she just couldn't understand my terrible Vietnamese but soon came to realize it was a little bit more than that. One day she was wearing headphones and the music could not have been any louder. It sounded like a boom box was strapped to her ears. Then another time she gave me someone else's laundry and I tracked her down in the building and had to yell "XIN LOI!!! (EXCUSE ME!!!)" at nearly the top of my lungs before she turned around. The final hint that she might be slightly deaf though was when my neighbor said to me, "You know the cleaning lady is basically deaf, right?". I looked at him and said, "Yeah, that makes sense."

I don't want to pick on deaf people but having someone with keys to your apartment who can't hear can be a little bit troubling. For example, the Cleaning Lady knocks on the door before she comes in; I think this is a warning rather than asking permission to come in. Today, I was in the shower and heard the knock on the door. I yelled out, "TWO MINUTES!" but sure enough a second later the door opened and I heard footsteps. Luckily, anticipating her lack of hearing me, I closed the bathroom door. Well, apparently she didn't hear me in the shower either because moments later she started to vacuum. I finished showering, wrapped myself in a towel and walked into my bedroom. The Cleaning Lady, presumably embarrassed, quickly scampered out of the apartment. I guess sometimes it would be better to have a blind Cleaning Lady.