Sunday, June 11, 2006

At last, furniture


After five weeks of sitting on the floor, we finally caved in and bought some nice rattan furniture. We always shop at Goodwill in the States, so it was a bit alarming to shell out the money for brand-new stuff. But it's great to have a sofa to flop on after coming in from the heat and craziness of the streets.

Cleaning is a challenge. Mopping in Jakarta is kind of like painting the Golden Gate Bridge: as soon as you finish, you have to start all over again. With the windows open all the time, grit from the air constantly sifts onto the floor. If you let it go for a couple of days, you start to notice a silty feeling as you walk around (we never wear shoes inside the apartment). Then the bottoms of your feet turn black. Then if you get your feet wet - say, in the bathroom, which is almost always wet - you leave a trail of black footprints everywhere.

This, combined with the fact that neither of us is exactly a dedicated housekeeper, means we will probably cave even further and hire someone to come in and clean a few times a week. Delicate and confusing negotiations toward this end are already underway. More later.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Trish,
I remember having exactly the same problem with dust and grit in Managua during the dry season.
Have you thought about getting flip flops or slippers for wearing in the apartment? That might help.
Cathy

mr_john said...

Maids aren't terribly expensive. In fact, I'd almost say that it's your duty as a rich person to hire one...

When I was conflicted over whether to hire one last year my Dad sent me a poem to ease my decision:

Lord Finchley tried to mend the electric light
Himself. It struck him dead: and serve him right!
It is the duty of the wealthy man
To give employment to the Artisan.

Hilaire Belloc

The Editor said...

A bule doing her own housework in Indonesia? What's the world coming to!

Cazzie!!! said...

I would then go about wearing some homemade flannel/toweling material sockettes on my feet that can "Mop as you go" about your apartment :-)
Now back to my housekeeping!!!

Mary K said...

Love the furniture!! Matthew turned me on to an alternative to the goodwill...auctions. We've been having a blast furnishing our new place with inexpensive stuff that rich people are getting rid of!
As for maids, I don't have a problem with hiring one, even though I can't pretend I am a rich person. I hate cleaning!!! People spend $80 a month on cable TV - why not pay for a housekeeper? At least the money doesn't go to support big corporations. Hee hee.
Mary

kopisusu2 said...

It's true, having a maid is probably better than shopping at Walmart (where I used to go all the time in NH, Mary!). And paying someone to clean means they can raise their living standards, send their kids to school, etc. But if I cleaned my own floors I could arguably give that money to an NGO doing education and anti-poverty work, and help more kids go to school.

But the fact is, now that we're both working full-time, the floor is dirty. We don't like mopping and we didn't travel halfway around the world to spend our free time cleaning. So we'll stop whining about our guilt and hire someone. In fact, we already did! She starts Monday.

I like the "slipper mops" idea, Cazzie! We may just do that anyway, seeing as the floor gets dirty with incredible speed.

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