Monday, June 20, 2011

Welcome to the Fudan laundry lady.

I just want to introduce you to the awesome lady who does out laundry here at Fudan university. Originally she was in a room near the foreign students' office, opposite the mailman's room (you'll meet him soon) but then she had to move to fit more washing machines in... so now her little laundry room is underground and she hates it. She is separate from all the other staff at Fudan, and I mean come on, who wants to work a nine hour day without sunshine. 

Anyways, she is always lovely to me and she was so sad when she had to move I felt terrible. One day I was picking up my laundry on my way home, and I had just bought some fruit, so I gave her a nice green apple. She was so happy!!! I'm serious, like, incredibly happy. I had a chat with her and now we are the best of friends. When I went in two weeks ago she sat me down and gave me some rockmelon and asked me all sorts of questions about Australia. We say to each other ni chi le ma? which means 'have you eaten?' and is pretty much the Chinese way of saying 'how are you?'. She works way too hard and all us dirty kids bring her bags and bags full of our smelly laundry.

The other week, I saw a street vendor selling plants, so I bought her a little pot plant, you know, to liven the place up a bit. She was so thankful that she became earnestly embaressed. That plant cost me less that two Australian dollars, and it brought her so so much happiness.

She keeps the plant on her tiny windowsill which is at ground level, and when I walk past on my way to class every morning I can see it growing. She must take good care of it.

It makes me think about how many people are working underground right now. At this exact moment. I can't imagine living the majority of my hours away from sunlight. Toiling in a middle place, where wires and pipes are supposed to run, away from the consciousness of others, out of sight of the things we are supposed to see.


  1. Thanks for all the info! May I ask how you dried your clothes? :)

    1. Hey - she has the washing and drying machines.
      I blog at now. Find me over there if you have any more questions :)


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