Friday, September 14, 2007

Cleanliness Is Next To Awesomeness

Thanks for all of the suggestions re: my ant problem. I think my favorite one was the magical Laxman chalk with which I was to draw a circle around my bed. It seems like it ought to come with its own incantation. ^__^

(Daniel, I’ll have you know I found the anthill and poured soapy water into it, as suggested. And no, I’m not worried about hurting their precious exoskeletons.)

What actually happened today was this: I told some of the other visiting fac about my antventure, and they were astonished to find out that no one had been cleaning my room properly. There is supposed to be a woman sent to every room in the mornings to clean the floors and toilet. Mine was cleaned very well on the first day, and much less well every day thereafter, until it became cursory at best. In fact, on the day when I was lying in bed with fever, the woman came in and – instead of cleaning anything – just held out the little notebook in which I was to sign (to indicate the job had been done).

“But you haven’t cleaned anything,” I mumbled, trying to raise up from the pillow. “It’s still dirty.”

She made the “sorry, don’t understand English” grin and took off.

Anyway, one of the visiting faculty commandeered a team, and after much shouting and waving of arms, got my room completely cleaned. Scrubbed down, walls and everything. They changed the sheets, gave me towels and toilet paper (which had never been in the room before – I was doing it lota-style), and in general made the whole thing as sparkling-fresh as a cement room could be.

They did not replace the holey blanket, unfortunately, but I’ll take what I can get for now.


Anonymous said...


ah - the unfortunate, white-girl-doesn't-know-better trick. I'd say please make a noise about the blanket as well. The powers-that-be that fund your stay there probably allocated money for bedlinen which *might* have been used fraudulently.

From now on, don't sign your cleaner's notebook until you're satisfied. You can bet she'll understand enough if you state loudly in English - "No - DIRTY - clean properly", and point out various dirty areas, and she will get to it. If you have to be out of the room when she cleans (i.e. if you're at class or whatever) make a noise higher up - that is the only way you will get things to your satisfaction here.


Daniel said...

yay! death of icky bugs!

Ennis said...

You could try to speak hindi to her - she probably understands "Saf karo" from movies if nothing else.