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April 6th, 2015:

My Ayi gave herself a raise

The lady who comes to my apartment every week (the local term for this kind of worker is “Ayi,” which literally means “aunt.” What does that say about Chinese culture?!) to clean and do my laundry left a note for me this week. She says that because of inflation, she has to raise her rate from ¥100 to ¥120 per week.


“Because of inflation in China and rates in the industry are going up, I want to raise my rate by ¥20. I hope you understand. Can we start this new rate next week?”

I now have to pay the scandalously high amount of US$20 per week to have my apartment cleaned and my laundry washed.

Even with the raise in rate, this is still less than my coworker Steve paid his Ayi, who did a crummy job of cleaning his apartment and who took naps in his bed while he wasn’t home. So I don’t mind forking out a few extra bucks for my Ayi, who does a terrific job.

Eternally loyal

“Eternally loyal to Chairman Mao.”


This sign was mounted above the front door of a store in town.

China is best to eat chicken

…or so they say.


Enjoy the what, now?

It would be easier to enjoy it, if I knew what it was…