Something for Flashback Friday from my old (private) blog when I first moved to Rome. This entry is dated, October 26, 2007.

I just realized that I haven’t posted any photos in a while. Here’s one taken today on the balcony. The sky is overcast here in Rome, but at least the weather is finally warm again, as proven by the fact that the cats actually want to be outside.


Our first children, Oliver (now 12) and the dearly departed Isabel (passed away March 1, 2013.)

Oliver likes to dig like a dog in the plants, which is why you see some dirt scattered around. As if I don’t have enough messes to clean. That reminds me… we always said we’d hire a cleaning lady once Michael moved here, and yet we haven’t done it.

It might just be that I never thought I’d be the kind of person to hire a cleaning lady. I have this thrifty attitude that if I (and Michael ) do all the chores, then those 10-30 euros we’d be paying every other week could be spent on something else. Then again, we are busy as hell and it’s not like it’s so expensive.

When I was very young (about 3 or 4), my Mom used to clean a few apartments in Fall River. She had this horrible client in one high-rise who was an old lady that watched Donahue all day long. One day the woman was in another room for a long time. Bored with my coloring books, I thought it would be OK if I changed the channel to Sesame Street. Nobody was watching the TV anyway. As soon as Cookie Monster came on, the old lady came barreling into the room and was screaming like a banshee. I was so shocked at her reaction that I immediately started crying. The old women then felt bad and gave me some graham crackers. (The way to my heart has always been through my stomach.) She was forgiven and the channel then immediately went back to Donahue.

Of course, not all people who hire cleaning ladies (and cleaning men) are like that old woman. I did have a recent dream last week where I finally did hire a cleaning lady. I opened the door with relief only to have my mother there (in her 30′s) tell me that I should clean my own apartment.

Blah. I suppose I will call my current mother, the one who is 60 and the #1 Sales Representative at The Fall River Herald News. She’ll surely tell me that we deserve to live in a clean apartment and that it’s not so wrong to pay a few euros for help with those big cleaning jobs.

The fact that it’s so cheap kind of bugs me though. How can these immigrants (usually from Eastern Europe) survive on such pay? As an immigrant myself who lucked out job-wise, I feel for the ones coming to Italy who have trouble finding work that pays a decent living wage. Then again, the Italians would probably appreciate a salary increase as well.