I've hired an ayi! An ayi is a person who can do all your housework, shopping, etc. for you. My ayi started working for me on Monday and has done some fruit and veggie shopping at local markets, cleaned up a bit, ironed clothes, chopped vegetables and hard-boiled eggs. Some people have their ayi cook and do laundry, but right now she only comes for 6 hours a week and with the shopping I'm not sure she will have time to cook and I want to do my own laundry (it's the ironing I don't like). We'll see later. It is interesting. I've actually never seen her. One ayi came when we interviewed her with an English speaking ayi from someone else. That ayi's name is Xiao Li. She worked for one day and then her mother got sick so she had to go back to her village and was replaced with another ayi, also named Xiao Li. Since she comes while I'm at school, I've never met her. She left me a lovely note on Friday but since I have yet to take it to someone who reads Mandarin and I haven't learned much, I have no idea what it says!
Last weekend, a few of us went back over to IKEA and the electronics shop to do a bit more shopping. We were quite rushed the last time. I needed to buy a vacuum so that my ayi could clean my carpets and so did Mary, another teacher. We looked at the vacuums for a little while with about 6 or 7 employees trying to help us but none spoke any English. They just followed us around and showed us things. Finally, the guy who spoke English who had helped us all the previous week when all the new hires were shopping was brought over. I recognized him immediately and said, "We know you!" He helped us a great deal. When I get ready to buy my air purifier and humidifier I will definitely go see him.
After shopping one day, three of us went over to a massage place. Two girls got whole body Chinese massages and I got a reflexology foot massage. It was so good. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me they are coming to visit. When you come, I'll take you!
School has begun and I have 17 new little kids to teach. I will tell more about that plus Moon cakes and Stationery shopping in posts to come!
(Ah! I just found a nice person to translate the message from my ayi on Skype! The note says: "I didn't buy the zucchini this time. How about the next time?" Mystery solved!)