Saturday, 31 May 2008


Where do I start?

The Chinese people always seem to be cleaning - sweeping, mopping, sweeping and mopping, but things seldom get clean. Let me explain. The pollution here is really visible some days and it is as if the air is "thick" with something, and I think it is. Maybe dust - but certainly fine fibres from the many textile factories here.

There is little carpet - which is a good idea - but acres of tiles. Mostly polished tiles. At the college the cleaners are continually mopping the corridors, but we get the sense that they are really just moving the dust around. They don't use buckets very much - so the mop (made of fabric) is moved back and forth along the tiles. Cleaning? I think not.

The "cleaners" in the classroom are students who do little more than "tidy" and remove large items of rubbish (students tend to leave a lot of debris in each class),
They sweep using a pretty ineffective little broom, and mostly move the dust particles around.

I tend to think that better quality brooms and mops might help! It seems a lot of time and effort is wasted.

I have a cleaner to clean my apartment. A lovely lady whose English is zilch, but who comes most Thursdays and sweeps with these funny little ineffective brooms, and then mops with my squeegee mop, but often scrapes it along the floor using the metal edge. I'm not sure what she is trying to achieve. If I could speak Chinese well, we might make some changes, but as she is also one of the college cleaners, I reckon she is doing the best that she can.

Perhaps cleaning lessons would be good. I guess all our Aussie brooms, and rakes are made in China, but they don't use the same style that we do. Even the streets and gardens are raked with what looks like a rake make of twigs. They are actually twigs, fashioned in a particular style.

Everywhere we go we see men and women sweeping parks and streets with this strange rakes or brooms. Just rearranging the dust.


justrecently said...

Hi Di,

which Wuzhen is it? This one?

Di Hill said...

Yes, it is in Zhejiang Province north of Hangzhou.

justrecently said...

Glad to find a blog from off the beaten track about daily life in China. I'll come back more often.