AYİ, the hero of your apartment!

The hero of our house
The hero of our house

AYİ, the hero of your apartment!

In Shanghai, life is really fast!” This is one of the first things you’re gonna hear when you ask anyone about life here. In order to save time and use it in your other activities, all most every apartment has an AYİ.


What is an AYİ?

” ayi ” is the name used for local maids. They clean your apartment, take care of your kids and pets and cook for you.

How can I find an AYİ?

Generally it’s through word of mouth. You ask your friends, collegues or your landlord to arrange one. The other option is, of course, searching on line. Here is Md-Shanghai, a maid agency I’ve heard from my friends. I haven’t used them so I cannot recommend them personally as I haven’t used their services but they are well-known in Shanghai.

http://www.md-shanghai.com/ , This is especially focuses on the expat community.

The followings are local companies so you need to be able to speak Chinese with the ” ayi “s they provide.

Hao Guan Jia Bao Jie:

Address: 145 Yuntai Lu, 云台路145号

Phone Number: 6148-8887

Jin Guo Jia Zheng

Address: 1/F Jin Guo Gardens, 245 Tianping Lu, 天平路245号巾帼园1楼,

Phone Number: 6466-1616

How often should she come?

It depends on how big your apartment is and on your needs as well. There are part time and also full time ayis. Don’t forget that they have to rest two days a week. Besides, as most of the ayis are from the rural areas of China, in Chinese holidays they go back to their hometowns. Better to give your schedule considering this fact.

How much it will cost me?

It depends on the quality of the ayi’s service. In general, hourly rate starts from 7 yuan goes up to 50 yuan.

How can I trust her?

Well, it’s better to have an ayi that your friends recommend. Other than that it is always for your own sake to keep your important stuff in the safety. I can recommend you my ayi, she is such a lovely lady that you will be happy to hire her.

How can I communicate with her?

Most ayis cannot speak English although they can understand “ok”, “yes”, “no”. So, better to learn some Chinese in order to communicate with her.

Especially you need to tell her what needs to be done rather than leaving the decision of what to do to her, as you wouldn’t want her to clean the whole apartment with the same cleaning fabric. Besides, some ayis can do literally nothing whereas some can make the house look shining and we call them “The Hero of your apartment“. Here is the hero of our apartment:

ayi, the hero of our house

ayi, the hero of our house

What do we pay for “The hero of our apartment”?

We pay 400Yuan per month. Our ayi comes twice per week and stays 3 -4 hours on each day.

But the pay wasn’t standard for the three months…

Inflation or …?

Let me tell you our adventure about ayi thanks to our landlord…

Before I moved into the apartment, I was told that ayi would have come 3 times per week and it would have cost 400Yuan per month. After a month, our landlord told us that we needed to pay 500Yuan. After three months he raised the pay to 700Yuan, of course, this time we said a big “Nooooo”. The next day she came with a note,  both written in English and French, saying that she didn’t want this increase and she needed this job so she was ok with 400Yuan. We were all shocked. We sent an email to our landlord asking for an explanation of all these and he told us that she had been through a difficult time and he wanted to help her like that!!! Ok man but why didn’t you tell us in the first place instead of keep increasing the pay!

Anyway, it is back to normal now and we’re happy with this lovely lady.

As you can see ayi is an important topic in Shanghai as it is hard to find heroes right?

But now what about your bills? Check out our next article about How and where to pay the bills

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