Temizlemek (v.: to clean)

I finally caved.  Mr. Awesome has wanted to hire a cleaning lady for a while now, but I had resisted.  Until now.

You see, in Sarajevo we had two.  I know, I know.  Let me explain though (don’t worry, I still understand how spoiled we are and am incredibly thankful that I can be spoiled like this because in America, I highly doubt we’d ever afford to hire serious help).  The woman who did all of our ironing and some of the laundry was once Mr. Awesome’s cook (yep.), but then I moved in and did the cooking.  We couldn’t fire her because, well we felt too guilty, so we kept her on once a week to do the ironing which suited me just fine.  (For those of you that don’t know me, or never sat in a meeting with me, you should know that I hate ironing and avoid it at all costs.  Even if that means going wrinkled.)  And then we had a normal cleaning lady to do the expected cleaning: vacuuming, dusting, toilets, etc.

I loved the ladies we had working for us in Sarajevo.  They were fantastic and incredibly sweet — even patient with the fact that they had to pantomime everything since I didn’t speak Bosnian — but I didn’t like sitting around on my butt while they cleaned around me.  It made me feel so very lazy and like a spoiled princess (arguments could be made for that point, but let’s pretend not).  So when we moved to Turkey I wanted to try to go it alone.

(Important note here: we have a dog.  A big one.  She’s about 30 kilograms (65lbs).  She is the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet and loves everybody, but she’s big.  And she thinks she’s not… So finding someone to clean our house here that would be okay with being left alone with her did present a challenge.  And my justification for not hiring anyone.)

I did the cleaning and the ironing (obviously ironing was limited mostly to Mr. Awesome’s shirts because well, see above about how I dislike ironing).  And we talked about hiring someone a few times, but I would always avoid making phone calls or inquiries in the hopes that I could just put it off.  After spending 45 minutes using a brush to get dog hair out of one of the six carpets in the house (in my defense, it was the biggest carpet and the one puppy likes laying and rolling on the most the others are easier to clean but there’s always a little dog fluff even after a good vacuum), I decided perhaps I’d more seriously consider future opportunities to hire a good cleaning lady.

So a couple of weeks ago when I got an email from a friend saying her amazing cleaning lady was available as one family that she had worked for for years (like 19 of them!) had gone back to the US, I thought it was a good time to start dipping my toe in the pool of cleaning ladies (is that as cheesy to you as it was to me?).  Assuming that I’d get away with the general no dog policy of cleaning ladies I sent an email asking how she felt about dogs.  The response?  She’s good with dogs, but doesn’t like cats.  I had to hire her.

Today is the first day that our house will be completely clean from top to bottom.  I would always do a few things every day to make it more manageable (our house is freakishly big for just two people and a dog who is prone to shedding) so I’m very excited about the idea that it will all be super clean at once.  Do I feel silly sitting at home while she cleans around me?  A little, but the bigger house makes it easier to stay out of her way.  Plus… there’s no dog hair on my carpets.  I’m amazed.

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