One of my friends has been living in Beijing, China, for a few years. He is on a lavish expat package, which, among others, includes a maid who comes by three times a week for four hours. She takes care of the entire household, and if he asks her to, she also cooks. Sometimes, he only asks her to come by twice a week, and even that would be overkill for many, but my friend has very high standards and likes, for instance, his clothes to be laundered several times a week, and his sheets replaced every few days.
What he gets out of his maid is essentially what a dutiful and overly diligent wife would provide. It starts with shopping for groceries and preparing meals, which might mean a warm dinner that is left on his table, just about in time when he arrives home after a day in the office in his high-powered job. In addition, she does the laundry, cleans the entire place, waters the plants, and tidies up his luxury apartment before she leaves. As a guest at his place, I was able to witnesses her in action. She is friendly, her work is thorough, and if you are in the apartment while she does her job, you may not even notice her as she does not produce a lot of noise.
When contrasting this with the women I lived together, or the state of the apartment or house cohabiting friends of mine have to endure, the difference could not be more staggering. For instance, when my ex-wife vacuum-cleaned the apartment, she turned on the hoover for a few minutes without doing any hoovering just to draw attention to the fact that she is cleaning the place for once. She also never managed to do any cleaning while I was away. Instead, all that crap had to eat into our supposed quality time.
Noise is a particular pet-peeve of mine. I consider loud people uncouth. This could mean that they speak in a loud voice, but this also applies to people who produce unnecessary amounts of noise. I have not met many women who are able to lay the table without producing any noise. By this I do not mean that they merely keep their mouth shut for a few minutes, but that they place plates and cutlery on the table without any clangs and bangs. It seems this is way too much to ask for from the modern woman.
It is one thing to assume that keeping your place in order does not take much time, and another to witness it first-hand. I made this realization after I moved out and realized that all the supposed hard work in the household my mother loved to complain about amounted to virtually no work at all. You can thoroughly clean a studio apartment in about an hour a week, and that is an excessively generous estimate. A large apartment or house does not take that much longer. Cooking for more people does not necessarily take more time. The same is true for doing the laundry.
It is one thing to do the math and realize that a maid does not cost that much money — heck, a maid is clearly a superior option to having a harpy of a wife who no longer has sex with you, even if her house-keeping skills were stellar. Yet, it is quite another to see in real-life that a maid renders services that are far superior to what you can expect from a girlfriend or wife who believes that keeping the apartment clean is far beneath her or whose understanding of cooking amounts to throwing some ready-made junk into the microwave.
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