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December 4th, 2014:

Happy Ayi Day!

I love Thursdays. Thursday is Ayi Day.

What is Ayi Day, you ask? Why, Ayi Day is the day that my Ayi comes to my house, of course!.

What is an Ayi? It literally means “aunt” (阿姨). It’s the local word for someone who cleans your house and does your laundry. There are different kinds of Ayis. Some are full-time caregivers for children, some are live-in help. My Ayi is a once-a-week, part-time Ayi.

Li Ayi comes on Thursdays. I gave her a key to my apartment, and she comes after I have left for work. When I come home at night, my house is cleaned, my clothes are washed, my shirts are ironed. My Ayi even waters my plants!

I love Ayi Day. Every Thursday morning when I go to the office, I wish everyone that I see “Happy Ayi Day!” Sure, they look at me like I have lost my mind, but I don’t care, because I have the spirit of Ayi Day in my heart. My footsteps are light, a serene smile is on my face, because I know that as I work in the office, Li Ayi is making my apartment a heartwarmingly great place to live.

I didn’t have an Ayi for the first month that I was here. I thought that since I was living by myself, I didn’t need an Ayi. But then some coworkers told me that Li Ayi was looking for more work, and that she cleaned for the person who lived in my apartment before me. They told me that having an Ayi was like a jobs program for the local economy. So I thought what the heck, I’ll give her a try.

My eyes were opened to the gloriousness of Ayi Day. Now I know the truth: Everyone should have an Ayi.

Happy Ayi Day to everyone, and to everyone a good week!