Ayi issues

To our surprise our maid was already back in Shanghai when we returned this weekend, because we had not expected her back for at least the next couple of days. We were lucky, but many Shanghai families are still waiting for their ayi’s return. A lot of household staff won’t come back before the Lantern Festival (the 15th day of the Chinese New Year), even though families made arrangements with them to come back earlier. The Shanghai Daily printed a short article about this problem today. According to this report, some people are now paying their ayi’s travel expenses if they come back on time, and others will raise their salaries if they come back on time. One family decided not to wait for her, but took their car and drove a few hours to pick their ayi up in her hometown in Jiangsu province!

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  1. I read that aritcle too. I was a little surprised to see that Ayi plays such a important role in the family. Luckily my friend’s Ayi stayed at Shanghai for the CNY.

  2. Sometimes I feel that for young families that ayi plays the role the mother used to play in the past. One of the side effects of the one child policy is that many kids have never really faced any responsibilities, so when they get married they still need their parents or their ayi to ‘survive’. Another reason is that many people both have a full-time job, and combining that with housework is not easy, especially when you also have kids.