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Saturday, February 26, 2005

House cleaning

My mum was on a holiday in Myanmar this past week. That meant that my dad and I had to do the household stuff, mostly preparing our own foods. But throughout the week, the floor got noticeably dustier and dustier.

Two reasons for the dust:
  1. Smoke and haze from bushfires in and around the country throughout the week.
  2. Dust from construction work on the highway-bridge-that-will-never-be-completed.
After this week, I can appreciate why my mum would rather close all of the windows, particularly those facing the main road, even if it means a stuffier house.

We have a part-time maid to clean the house once a week, but because no one was at home in the day this week, she didn't come. And the dusty floors reached the level of discomfort that prompted me to clean the house.

Aside: Yes, though I am a guy and cannot see dirt (as a sociology textbook said), I will clean something (tables, computers, floors, etc) when I feel totally dirty and disgusted by it. Like dusty, black-stained feet.

I had planned to wake up at 8am and start cleaning, but fatigue overcame me and I woke up only at about 10:30am. Then it was cleaning time.

10:45am - 12:15pm: Vacuum floors
12:15 - 12:45pm: Damp-dust tables/cabinets/bookshelves
12:45 - 1:45pm: Mop floors

(Times stated are estimates, but very close to actual.)

It took me three hours to clean the frickin' house!!! And I had an epiphany: Artists and thinkers do not clean their houses. Cleaning takes up so much time and energy that artists and thinkers would have nothing left to devote to their art and thoughts.

It is probably safe to say that it was only after the industrial revolution that science, technology and the arts really took off, because then people had washing machines and vacuum cleaners and, now, microwave ovens to ease the menial work, so they had more time for creativity.

At this time, I felt for domestic servants everywhere. They perform such menial work 24/7 for years on end. Where is the value in their lives? No wonder they, in general, cannot progress beyond their current state of lives.

I had an agreement with myself that I wouldn't eat anything until the housework was done. Probably a silly agreement, because I was so tired that I didn't even have the energy to eat properly. So after the great clean up, I sat down for lunch and read the newspapers.

Now the floors are less dusty, though they feel sticky. I think I used too much bleach.


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Tym said...

You used bleach on the floors?

Yuhui said...

Yup. It's fine for floor tiles, but not, as I found out later, parquet (sp?).

NARDAC said...

YES! Finally, I have a proper excuse to tell people when they come to my house. Artist and thinkers... but what if you're a domestic engineer artist? What about that? huh?

Yuhui said...

Err, decorate your house while cleaning?

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