Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian Main Page MenuClick to Access
OUTSIDE
China
Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian Main Page MenuClick to Access
INSIDE
China

TRAVEL LINKS

AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
Xiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu
Jimei Tan Kah Kee Jimei University Turtle Garden Jimei AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianTong'an
Jinmen Quemoy Matsu Taiwan
Jinmen
Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou
Discover Quanzhou, ancient start of maritime silk route ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi
Favorite Fujian tourist sites , in order: Xiamen Quanzhou Longyan Hakka earthen houses Wuyi mountain Ningde
#1Fujian Sites!
Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi Mountain
Fujian Foto Album
Guidebooks about Fujian and Xiamen Fujian Adventure Discover Quanzhou Discover Gulangyu Magic Fujian etc.Books on Fujian
Letters from AmoyMagic ReadersReaders'Letters

Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Zhouning Carp VillageZhouning
Longyan Yongding Hakka round houses earthen architectureLongyan Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming

Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges
Xiamen travel agents and ticketing for trains, planes and automobiles
Travel Info,
Hakka Earthen architecture Hakka Roundhouses

Xiamen Travel Agents and Tour Guides English SpeakingTravel Agents

MISC. LINKS
Historical and Modern Amoy People -- Colorful Characters!Amoy People! amoy mission missionaries
Darwinian Driving Survival of the Fastest DarwinDarwin Driving
Darwin Chinese Driving Survival of fastest
South China Tigers -- our Amoy Kitty CatsAmoy Tigers
Chinese inventions compass gunpowder printing paper zoos newspaper etc.Chinese Inventions
1994 80 day 40,000 km drive to Tibet & backTibet in 80 Days!forty thousand kilometer drive around China
Dethroned Perils of Chinese Potty ToiletDethroned!
Chinese bathrooms
Writings by Bill Brown about life in China,  Fukien Xiamen etc. Includes 80 Day Drive to Tibet  Darwinian Driving Misc.Writings
Latest news tips ideas updatesLatest News
OpiumWars short history and background of the Opium Wars between China Britain Europe missionaries battle against opium addiction etc.Lord of Opium
Kite Flying in Xiamen ChinaBack to Main Page

Chinese Kung Fu and Martial Arts Korean Tae Kwon Do  Japanese JujitsuMartial arts Chinese Kung FuKung Fu

AmoyMagic--Guide to Xiamen & Fujian
Copyright 2001-7 by Sue Brown & Dr. Bill Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books Common Talk Xiamen Dailys Weekly English SupplementXiamenguide Forum Guide to Xiamen and Fujian business tourism history culture cuisine entertainment investment Guide to Xiamen hsiamen amoy fuhken fukien
Main Page   Business Links     Recreation Links     Google Search      E-mail

Maid Service Information
Anyone in China that can afford it, from executives to teachers, hires a baomu 保姆(domestic helper)--otherwise daily chores take all day, every day! Our own helper, Lixi, has been part of our family since 1988! Read about her amazing story in "Half the Sky", which Bill wrote for "Women of China
"
Click Here
for English version of "Half the Sky"
Click Here for Chinese Version of "Half the Sky"
《半边天》中文
Click Here for "Women of China" magazine (great English site)
Click Here for NEW YORK TIMES article about Chinese nannies in U.S.! (Thanks to Chris Green for this tip).

Need a helper? Contact Ms. Eunice Chao at qp21 AT public.xm.fj.cn Her firm also provides comprehensive services for expat companies.
Also check the Amoy Magic Forum
Cartoon of Sue holding up the sky, from Chairman Mao's saying "Women hold up half the sky"

"Half the Sky"
(in "Women of China" magazine)
.............by Dr. Bill
Click Here for Chinese version (中文)

A woman is like a teabag—only in hot water do you realize how strong she is.
.........................Nancy Reagan

After seven years in Los Angeles, life in China seemed to proceed at a snail’s pace. But even so, we had little free time, because our everyday chores took all day—until we hired a baomu (housekeeper/cook).

Unless you have a baomu, the head of the house (or her husband) must spend hours each morning haggling over every onion, carrot, head of cabbage, or block of tofu with merchants who point to enigmatic scratches on bamboo scales that haven’t changed in 5,015 years, and proclaim that 4 eggs weigh a pound and a half. And once back home, the cleaning, chopping, cooking and dishwashing takes hours. No wonder that a baomu is a top priority for even poor professors. We eventually heeded our colleagues’ urges to hire a baomu.
Back to top Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
Our first candidate was a grandmother who crossed our threshold and crossed my wife in one fell swoop by instructing Susan on the errors of her ways in cooking, cleaning, studying, and raising kids. She did not last a week.

Our next time around we tried our hand with students, who were thrilled at getting paid for learning English (which is what they interpreted their job to be). Xiao Hong and Melanie did little but read our English books and watch TV.
At long last a Chinese professor suggested, “Why not hire a baomu from the countryside? They are honest, hard-working, dependable, and cheap.”

“Cheap” went straight to my heart, and the next day we met Lixi, a cook’s wife, never imagining that this froward, silent soul would become like family.

It was an oppressively hot and muggy October day, but Lixi sported her entire wardrobe: long johns and striped naval undershirt beneath cotton pants and long-sleeved shirt; and over that, a vintage, frayed exercise suit, topped off with a ratty gray sweater buttoned to the neck, and olive drab canvas regulation army tennis-shoes that were probably handed down from Mao's Long March.
Lixi contemplated her navel while her husband, wise to the “honest, hardworking peasant” lore, extolled her virtues. The few times I addressed Lixi directly, she peered furtively through thick, disheveled bangs, then resumed picking her frayed cuffs with calloused fingers.

“Can she speak?” I inquired.

“Not Mandarin, just the Minnan dialect,” her husband confessed.“But she’s smart. Just show her what to do.”

“Can she cook?”

“No, but I’ll teach her.”
Back to top Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
I suspected this sullen apparition was incapable of motion, either physically or mentally, but just as I sought to tactfully end the interview--she moved. Matthew was edging towards the doorway and the dangerous street beyond, and Lixi flew to her feet, snatched him to her breast with practiced swoop, and face aglow, bustled him off to his room. Then she retreated to her chair, donned her practiced frown, and picked at her frayed cuffs.
Back to top Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
Inspired, Lixi's husband cried, “She’s great with children.”

Enough said. Sue hired her on the spot—to my immediate regret.

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, Lixi ought never to have landed a man. No wok wizard, she was more of an alchemist than a cook. She transmuted the choicest slices of fish into blackened slabs of charcoal, and fresh vegetables, baptized in oil and pickled in salt, became mush.

And how to communicate with her? Her Mandarin was worse than ours, and she could not read. Even sign language failed. I suggested to Sue that we dismiss her, but Lixi’s desperation defused my anger, and I consoled myself that man does not live by rice alone.

Though incommunicado with us, Lixi was telepathic with tots—especially Matthew, whom she bore on her back from dawn to dusk. But no wonder she understood children: she had four of her own before begging the doctor to tie things off down below.

Mark Twain wrote, “There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.”

Twain must have meant Lixi, whose plebeian dust jacket does no justice to her contents. Lixi raised four children single-handedly by working the fields until her staunch Buddhist family drove her from home after she became a Christian. She trekked over the mountains to Xiamen and became a day laborer, lugging baskets of granite slung across her brawny shoulders. After two years in the school of hard rocks, she graduated and became our brawny baomu, lugging towheads with heads lighter but harder than the granite she was used to hauling around.
dBack to top Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian Fujian
Lixi applied her diehard spirit to becoming a capable member of our household. She learned Mandarin and, to my chagrin, taught herself to read some of the characters that still eluded me. She even taught herself to cook both Chinese and Western food. By watching Susan she learned how to whip up a pizza, sandwiches, burgers and fries, Irish stew. Even Chinese guests begged for her recipes.

After Lixi had been with us for two years, we moved her four children to Xiamen to help educate them and to fatten them up a bit, for they were skin and bone. Her oldest son eventually took up computers, her sister opened a small shop, and Lixi used her limited income to help those even poorer than herself, both in Xiamen and back home in Anxi, proving that investments in the poor reap compound interest.

Give and it shall be given…

Chairman Mao claimed, “Women hold up half the sky,” but I think that was an understatement. Chinese women, even with hands bound by lack of education, hold up a lot more than half.

Hire a baomu--because they have a lot to teach us!
Back to top Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

半边天 ----雇个保姆吧("Half the Sky" Chinese Version)Lixi carrying Matthew in 1988.  The two were inseparable for the first few years!  Amoy Magic--Guide to Xiamen and Fujian.  Http://www.Amoymagic.com  Xiamen tourism, travel, study

。。。。。。。。。。 1996年12月获《半边天》 《中国妇女杂志》的第二奖

F鷍i鄋 Fukien Fokyen fuhchien Ka-ho-san, Chuan-chhu-oa Foochow Big-Hat Toa-bo Su-beng-su ?? Ko-koa (??) Gaoqi  Gaoqi--site of Gaoqi Int'l Airport a small town about three miles northwest of Amoy Pitcher 1912, p.24 In and about Amoy Story of Amoy Mission MacGowan Lam-tai-bu Changchow Zhangzhou  Chiang-Chiu Chang-chow and Chuan-chow Zhangpu Ka-ho-san Chuan-chhu-oa outskirts of Amoy in hills The Po-lam Bridge Loh-iu Luoyang ?Chhah Siang ? Hu鞉an Pu-Nan Pho-Lam ?? Chiang Kai-Shek. Chee-ang Khy-sheck Jiang Jieshi DELL ?? Metro ?? ???  Wal-mart Koolongsoo Kulangsoo Kulangsu Koolangsu KOLONQ-SU Gul鄋gyu John Otte Reformed church Dutch Holland女人就象袋泡茶,只有放在热水里才显示出她的能量。
------------南希?里根

在洛杉矶呆了七年之后,忽然觉得在中国的生活慢得就象蜗牛。但即便如此,每天的杂务还是占去了我们大部分的时间。直到雇了保姆,情况才有所改变。

家里要是没有保姆,一家之主,或是她的丈夫,打一早起就得为了每一根洋葱、萝卜、白菜、抑或是一块豆腐,和小贩们吵个不停。当你还在对他们手里的那柄5015年未曾变过的杆秤纳闷时,四个鸡蛋怎么就重四磅多。待回到家,洗、切、煮,还有最后的刷碗,又得花几小时。因此,即使对穷教授来说,雇个保姆也算得上是重中之重。

最终,我们响应了同事的劝告,雇了个保姆。我们的第一个保姆是位祖母级的,一进家门就劈头盖脸地数落起苏姗,说她在煮菜、清洁、学习以及看护小孩等等方面犯了这样那样的错误。

“祖母”最后只干了一个礼拜。我们决定试用学生保姆,一听既能学英语,又能拿工钱,别提有多高兴。于是,小红和Melanie在我家就只顾读书看电视,别的好象什么也没干。

过了很久,一位中国教授建议:“为什么不从乡下找一个保姆呢?他们诚实可靠,手脚勤快,价格也便宜。”
Back to top Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

“便宜”一下子打动了我的心。于是,第二天,我们就见到了李西, 一名厨师的妻子,但不曾想到就是这位既固执又寡言的老婆子后来竟成了我家不可或缺的一员。
那是一个闷热的十月天,但李西依然全副武装:一条棉布裤,裤脚还露出半截的贴身棉毛裤;条纹贴身内衣外穿着长袖衬衫;衬衫外叠着一件古老、磨损的运动衫,外头又罩着一件破旧的灰色毛衣,纽扣一直扣到脖子;脚蹬一双泛黄帆布解放鞋,象是经历了二万五千里长征的洗礼。

李西的丈夫不停地在吹她的优点:老实、勤劳……, 只有她低着头站在一旁。我几乎很少直接称呼李西, 但每当此时,她也只是透过浓密、凌乱的刘海偷偷瞥上我一眼,而后又用她那双长满老茧的手扯捏着磨损的衣袖口。

“她会说话吗?”我问到。

“不会讲普通话,就会闽南话,”她的丈夫承认,“不过,她不笨。只要教她怎么做就行了。”

“那么她会烧饭吗?”

“还不会,我来教。”
Back to top Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
我开始怀疑这个迟钝的灵魂是否还能作出任何反应。但当我正想得体地结束面试的当儿,她突然动了起来。我那宝贝儿子马修不知什么时候挪到了门口,眼看就要溜到危险的大街,只见李西一下子飞了过去,一把抓住抱在胸口,硬是给揣回了房间,她的脸也一下子涨的通红。接下来,李西又坐回椅子,邹上眉头,又开始扯捏起磨损的衣袖口。

也许是受了启发,李西的丈夫突然喊到,“她挺会带孩子。”

这就够了。苏珊二话没说就点了头,全然不顾我的感受。

如果说征服一个男人必先征服他的胃口,那么李西一辈子也别想得到男人。李西与其说是厨师,还不如说是巫师。上好的鱼片到了她手里结果成了黑木炭,新鲜蔬菜在油里泡过之后,再用盐一搅拌,最后变成一团糊。

更成问题的是如何与她交流。她的普通话比我们的还差,而且还不会阅读。即使用手势也无济于事。我向苏珊暗示不如炒了算了,但李西的执着平息了我的愤怒。我只有自我安慰,其实男人靠的不仅仅是米饭。

尽管和我们很少言语,李西却是带孩子的好手。尤其是马太,她总是从早背到晚。其实这也不奇怪:她前后生了四个孩子,最后才央求医生干脆一刀了事。

马克 ? 吐温曾经写到:
“生活从来就不会乏味。乏味是不可能的。 在无聊的外表之下,总隐藏着一出戏,要么是喜剧,要么是悲剧。”
Back to top Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
莫非吐温先生讲的就是李西。她那平庸粗俗的外衣掩盖了她丰富的内涵。
此前李西一直在田里劳作,一手带着四个孩子。直到有一天成了基督徒,她那虔诚的佛门之家把她赶了出来。之后她只身翻过大山来到厦门,先是干搬运花岗岩的苦力。两年后,她从岩石学校毕了业,成了我家保姆。这回拉的虽不是沉重的花岗石,但技术要求却要高得多。

李西尽心尽力地在努力融入我家。她开始学习普通话,又自学起我至今仍云里舞里的汉字,甚至还学做起中西餐。通过观察,她学会了如何做比萨、三明治和汉堡,又学会了炸薯条和炖爱尔兰煲。就连来我家的中国客人也纷纷索要她的食谱。

两年后,我们帮忙把她的四个孩子接到了厦门并让他们上学,也让他们从又黑又瘦中解脱出来。后来她的大儿子干上了计算机的活,她的妹妹也在厦门开了一家小店。而李西则用她微薄的收入去救济那些甚至比她更困难的人。

帮助别人的人理应得到别人的帮助…

毛主席曾经说过,“妇女撑起半边天,”于我这还过于保守。中国妇女,尽管受缺乏教育的束缚,但撑起的远远大于半边天。

雇个保姆吧!

Back to top Amoy Magic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

Dr. Bill Brown, Box 1288, Xiamen University MBA Center
潘维廉博士厦门大学工商管理中心1288 信箱 厦门市 福建省 361005
Xiamen, Fujian 361005

E-mail: chinabrown1@yahoo.com

魅力厦门!


TRAVEL LINKS Hakka Earthen architecture Favorite Fujian Sites Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi MountainFujian Foto Album AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianXiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu Guide to Fukien Fuhken Fujian Guides Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou Longyan Yongding Liancheng Changting Amoy Tigers LianchengLongyan Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi Mtn Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming
Zhouning Carp VillageZhouning
Hakka Earthen architecture Taimu Mtn. Hakka Earthen architecture Roundhouses Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges Hakka Earthen architecture Jiangxi Hakka Earthen architecture Guilin Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books
Letters from AmoyMagic ReadersReaders' Letters

Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu Kulongsu
Gulangyu

Guide to Xiamen University Historic and modern, including departments -- Arts Science computers mathematics accounting management law department etc.Xiamen Univ

Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  Chinchew
Quanzhou

AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
XiamenGuide


Fujian Adv

Guide to Fukien Fuhken  Bilingual Chinese English Parallel with MP3 CDFujianGuide

Click to e-mail Dr. Bill Brown or Susan BrownClick to E-mail Email address for Bill and Sue Brown     Letters from AmoyMagic ReadersReaders'Letters

Last Updated: May 2007Return to main page and main menu of Amoymagic Return to Main Page       Return to top of pageBack to Top


DAILY LINKS
Frequently Asked Questions about Xiamen andFujianFAQs Questions?
Info on apartments or houses in Xiamen, real estate agentsReal Estate
Xiamen Shopping guide malls supermarketsShopping Download  Xiamen MapsMaps
Xiamen BookstoresBookstores
Train rail schedule for Xiamen, fukien Trains Amoy Bus ScheduleBusses
Car rental rent a car or van with driver in xiamen and fujianCar Rental

Xiamen hotels guesthouses hostels Hotels English News Services sources in Xiamen Fujian ChinaNews (CT)
Doctors Dentists Hospitals Clinics in Xiamen Jimei and Tong'an Medical & Dental
Xiamen YMCA and YWCAYMCA Volunteer! Xiamen International Christian Fellowship Expat Nondenominational interdenominational
Xiamen International Christian FellowshipXICF Fellowship 
Xiamen Churches Protestant Catholic Seventh Day Adventist Amoy Mission Missionaries AbeelChurches Islamic Muslim Mosques Ashab Quanzhou Damascus Fuzhou Xiamen
Xiamen and Fujian Buddhist Taoist Confucian Temples Mazu Manichean Hindu IslamicTemplesXiamen and Fujian Temples and Mosques  Buddhism Confucian Taoism Taoist Buddhism Mazu Matsu Meizhou IslandXiamen and Fujian  Mosques Islamic Muslim Ashab Mosque Quanzhou Fuzhou  Mohammed Disciples DamascusMosque

Xiamen Expat Association Welcome SupportExpat Groups
Hire a Maid Household help servant baomu amah etc.Maids Xiamen Emergency and Frequently used telephone numbersPhone #s

EDUCATION
Xiamen University GuideXiamen University
Xiamen International School  International Baccalaureate ProgramXIS(Int'l School)
Study Mandarin Chinese or Minnan Dialect at Xiamen University  or with private tutorStudy Mandarin
 
China Studies Program Xiamen University  Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Washington D.C. Jay LundeliusCSP(China Studies)
Piano Island Music Events Xiamen Philharmonic OrchestraLibrary Xiamen Museum Library Science Center  World's largest organ museum Asia's largest piano museum China's first anthropology museum Sino Eurolpean art museum etc.Museums
History of Amoy Changchow Chinchew Zaiton Fukien etc.History
DINING
Xiamen restaurants dining western and Chinese cuisineRestaurants Xiamen Asian restaurants -- Singapore Thailand Thai Malaysian  Japanese Korean PhilippineAsian
Xiamen Vegetarian cuisine Nanputuo Temple Seventh Day Adventist Health foodVeggie Xiamen Restaurants Fast Food McDonalds KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken Pizza Hut Burger King (just kidding!) Cafes Coffee shopsJunk Food
Xiamen restaurants dining western and Chinese cuisineChinese Xiamen Italian Restaurants -- over 40!  Pizza pasta cheeseItalian
Western (Internationall) Cuisine in XiamenInternationalAlien visa info -- Americans, Europeans E.T. Outer space visitors
Chinese visa and passport informationVisas 4 aliens
RECREATION
Hakka Earthen architecture Massage!
Hakka Earthen architecture Beaches Kite Flying in Xiamen ChinaFly Kites
Sports -- Golf, Badminton Tennis Bowling Paint BallSports Xiamen Boardwalk One of the most beautiful boardwalks in China or anywhere else.  Along the Island Ring road over 6km long so far.Boardwalk
Xiamen Parks, recreation, hiking boardwalk etcParks Xiamen Museum Library Science Center etcPets
Bird watching in Xiamen Amoy  SwinhoeBirdwatching
Martial arts Chinese Kung FuKung Fu Hiking around Xiamen BushwalksHiking
Piano Island Music Events Xiamen Philharmonic OrchestraMusic Events
Chinese festivals and culture minnanFestival&Culture
Chinese Jokes Humor Funny China photosHumor&Chinese Jokes Humor Funny China photosFun Fotosfunny photos of China
BUSINESS
Doing Business Invest in Xiamen Fujian ChinaDoing Business
Work or teach in Xiamen, Quanzhou or other Fujian schools and universities  English French RussianJobs!(teach/work)
Hire permanent or temporary workers labor craftsmen maids tutorsHire Workers
Foreign Companies in Xiamen Joint Ventures Foreign Companies
China International Fair for Investment and Trade and Cross Straits Exchanges
CIFIT (Trade Fair)
Common Talk Xiamen Dailys Weekly English SupplementMTS(Translation)

Back to Top

Google