quinta-feira, janeiro 08, 2009

This particular vacation, I am spending a much better part of my time (where does that expression come from anyway, it makes no sense!) cleaning up the house and playing housewife. I don't feel particularly deprived of vacation fulfilling these duties because I spend pretty much the rest of the year not doing any of it except an occasional floor sweeping or load of laundry. We give our maid her 30 days of vacation at the same time I have mine, and my husband takes off a few weeks and we get to hang out as a family, go to the beach, and maybe travel for a couple of days somewhere outside the city (leaving lots of food for the cats). As my mom arrives tomorrow for a two week (the remainder of my vacation time) visit, I have been making an extra effort to have a "Brasilian clean" house, rather than just "American clean." This means sweeping daily, walking the floors with a wet rag to pick up spare specks of dust, doing most of the laundry, and cleaning the bathrooms. All of this has taken most of this week to complete and I am much more in the groove of cleaning up.

Our bathroom has a lot of issues. The sink leaks, the toilet has gone through some flushing problems, and now the shower faucet is broken, so the only way to turn it off is to shut off the water completely from the bathroom. Even with this "emergency handle" shut off, there is still a great amount of leaking going on and my bathroom is constantly wet, dripping, and has recently grown a lot of mildew. I just noticed how bad it had gotten and took bleach and a scrub brush to it, hopefully to better my sinus and asthma problems, which have been bothering me for some unknown reason (at least until now). Nearly all rooms here have a drain in the floor - this greatly facilitates cleaning your floors. You can empty the floor of objects, fill up a bucket with bleach water, spread it around and then scrub with a broom. Sweep all the water into the drain, then rinse with clean water, and presto - super clean floors! I spent over an hour in each bathroom that gets daily use today and am now waiting for the floors to dry. (Well, the one in my bathroom won't.)

No matter how often I sweep, the floor looks dirty again about half an hour later. Everything is left open here all the time - doors, windows, and there are no screens to keep bugs, leaves, etc. out. Dust is a constant problem. So is cat hair, now that we have three cats in the house.

These cats of Ju's have taken over. The climb up anything that will support their weight - nets, hammocks, curtains, plants, things hanging on the hat tree - and seem to have no fear or respect for human tendencies. I sweep the floor, and they follow me from room to room, trying to get under my feet, having no fear of the broom. I hang laundry to dry on the veranda and they climb up on top of the rack and take a nap on it, knocking several pairs of underwear and socks down in the process, covering everything with cat hair. I go to open the door to take out garbage or sweep and they sit down right in front of it as invisible forces of resistance and don't even jump up out of the way when it starts to move, but rather resign themselves to "riding" it like little floor dusters, staring at me with bemused expressions, completely unconcerned. When I clean out the cat box, they hop in as I am scooping and dirty it further. I don't blame Lela for being cranky with them - they are like Ju, they seem to respect no limits.

I have no idea how to end this post, since I have been trying to write one for several days, but always seem to be uninspired when I am sitting here at the computer (which is far less frequent than most of you probably think).

Off to put Ju to bed.

2 comentários:

pamo disse...

is brasilian clean much cleaner? i'd like more details.

AkuTyger disse...

Brasilian clean is much more attention to details. In the U.S., one would vacuum a room and call it clean - here we sweep it, but then walk a wet rag around the floor to get the extra specs of dust, then a dry one to make it shiney, and wax it too if we have time. We generally do this every day (well, not the waxing, that can be twice a month or so) - imagine vacuuming every day! It's not all obsessive though - there is a lot more dirt floating around here and I do sweep up a small pile everyday, and one just gets paranoid about dirt and shoes because the streets here are not very clean: people leave their dog's poop all over on the sidewalks, garbage every where, cockroaches at all over.... I don't know if it's like this in all cities, having only lived in small ones prior to this one.