March 23, 2010


Well, I wonder what’s up today?

Morning ritual:  wake up, bathroom, make coffee, feed my cats, check email, then Facebook.

Things are a little slow today on Facebook.  Took a bit to get it running, but now I can’t get into FarmVille…  My good friend, Marie, had posted a comment about not having Facebook or FarmVille, or any of the games run her life.  Well, it doesn’t RUN my life, but I’ve gotten used to it.  And now I can’t do anything??

Whether we like it or not, believe it or not, we are all creatures of habit.  There are certain things we like (or need) to do, and our lives are built around those things.  We need to eat.  For some people, it’s so much a routine, that if missed, causes chaos.  I, need my morning coffee.  If I forget to buy my beans, that means a trip to McDonald’s (yuck, but in a pinch!).  Eloise needs to terrorize Arabela at LEAST once a day, else her day is incomplete.

Just my morning babble before the coffee kicks in and the fingers get warmed up.

Teaching English, I’ve come across a lot of terms and idioms we use in English, and it makes me wonder sometimes where these phrases come from.  Other times, it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

I was chatting with a friend online the other night before falling asleep.  Just before ending the conversation, I said something along the lines of, “… class at 8am, so I should hit the hay …”  As soon as the message had been sent, I knew what the response was going to be, and sure enough, “… hit the hay?”  Explain that it means go to sleep, but I couldn’t explain why we use this term.  But the one word that there is definitely no problem understanding, no matter WHAT LANGUAGE you speak, is housework!

A couple of weeks ago I went up and down my 3rd and 4th floors cleaning the floors, cat boxes, mopping, doing 4 or 5 loads of laundry, straightening out my office, changing the bedsheets, cleaning the bathroom… you know!  I was actually kind of proud of myself that I had found time, somehow, to do all that, and get caught up in my lesson plans, photocopies, and still have time to putter around on Facebook.

Last week, my roommate madly went around the 1st and 2nd floors, doing the same thing, because his wife was coming for a visit.  She’ll be here for a few weeks, and I suppose he didn’t want her to think that we were slobs.  Not that we are, but when you’ve got company coming, you want to impress, even for a few moments.  Nonetheless, the house was clean, probably the first time the whole house has been cleaned since (as I made note, September!)  Yes, things get done around the house, but not to the extent that we did this!

So, his wife has been here for 3 days now (?).  Yesterday, it was time again to clean up.  Incredible just how dusty this country really is.  I went around again with the broom and swept the 3rd and 4th floors, and had just as much crap off the floor as if it had never been done!  You really don’t realize how much fur cats have!  I swept up enough fur to make another cat!  I threw THAT cat in the garbage!

I remember on one of my first trips back to Canada after moving here.  I was amazed, or realized, that after staying for a week, and walking around the apartment in New West in white socks, that, wow, my socks were still white.  I come back here, and the day after the floor is swept, my socks were gray on the bottom!

My point is, housework, is an apropos word.  Especially in Taiwan.  If you’ve looked at any of my photos in the album, Views From The Roof on Facebook, I usually take a picture looking east.  Some days, it may look like a nice day, but it is difficult to see some of the apartment buildings in the distance.  Other days, they are a little easier.  However, in the far distance (and I’m waiting for one of these days), there are mountains out there!  About three or four days a year, Tainan residents are treated with a view of the mountains.  Most of the year though, they are obstructed by the crap in the air.

You can sweep and dust to your little hearts content, but the next day, when you wake up, it looks like you did NOTHING!  I’m looking at the floor under my feet right now, and that’s exactly what I see.  I swept this floor twice yesterday.  The first time is to get all the ‘big pieces’ of fur balls and other easily noticed dust off the floor.  The second time is a little slower, and gets all the fine dust that resettled.  I’m looking down now, and there’s another kitty cat growing in the floor!  It’s like I never swept here!

I know there are people and companies in Tainan that will do housecleaning.  They come in for about 3 hours once or twice a week (depending on the contract), and basically all they do is sweep, mop, maybe clean a couple of windows, and they get paid as well as a foreign English teacher!  And, in my opinion, it’s worth it!  Housework is exactly that:  work of the house!  And all work, is worth it!

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1 Comment

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One response to “March 23, 2010

  1. Bilbet

    This is probably the one I have enjoyed the most. Amazing how your children find out what maintaining a house is, once they have their own.

    Carry on son, it doesn’t change from here on in.

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