“High-quality housekeepers are not easy to find; development in this area lags behind other areas of China’s development.”
By Hu Tianshu, Shanghai Correspondent
Mrs. Yang, who lives by the Pu Dong Century Park, cannot remember clearly how many housekeepers have come and gone in the past half year. “The one we have is already the eleventh… or is it the twelfth?” Mrs. Yang looks toward Aunt Li, who is cooking in the kitchen, and says, “anyway, ten-something left. I fired some, the others wanted to leave themselves. I cannot count them all exactly. Let’s put it that way.”
Mrs. Yang is a chief editor for a professional magazine in Shanghai. Her husband is a bank branch-manager. They have a daughter, who is two-and-a-half years old. Having quite a high family income, a house, and a car, they are a typical small white-collar Shanghai family. Shanghai-born Aunt Li is the new housekeeper the Yangs asked to come and work for them because their tastes are quite similar. The family will have no trouble with the food Aunt Li cooks.
“You cannot imagine how troublesome it can be to ask someone just to do some housework.” When it comes to housekeepers, things just don’t come as easily as Mrs. Yang wants them to. “Bad cooking, bad cleaning, washing the baby’s clothes with the adults’ ” The worst is one maid who gossips with other households’ maids about their employers’ family business.