Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Brazilian scavenger hunt

Come one and all, the Brazilian scavenger hunt will be starting at my place at 5pm tomorrow evening.

What is the Brazilian scavenger hunt?  It's an attempt to find anything and everything you left out on a surface of some sort the day your maid comes.  Yes people, it really is a hunt for your goods. 

I say this knowing that my maid is awesome! My brother from another mother awesome!  I love her!  Not only is she good company and makes wonderful food, she has also made it possible for me to forget what it's like to clean poop splatter off the underside of my toilet seat. 

That being said, she has the most random sense of organization, and hers is better than most maids down here.  Sometime I find my digital camera in the hutch with my wine glasses. (I don't get that either.)  Sometimes it's on the dining room table.  Sometimes it's next to the computer.  Any given day...

Finding your crap basically comes down to some math. It's 10 ounces of luck and 200 pounds of learning to understand your maid. 

Now, we used to use the family maid. Yes, in Brazil there is such thing as a family maid. Everyone in the family hires her and she is a key in bringing all family gossip into each and every single member's home.  Our family maid was special.  For starters, she really hates her job and her kids are pains in the ass.  (the kid part is from her, I've never met them). The poor woman is tired.  So what did she do when she didn't know what something was, she put it with my shoes.  Oh yes, in with my shoes. I found make up, a computer speaker, official American documents, candy, and many more things stored with my shoes in the closet. 

That was an interesting time but it did teach me something.  When I start the scavenger hunt I break down what the object looks like, how much it weighs, and the color. I then compare it to any, and I mean any, object in my apartment that is similar.  That's where I usually find it.  And when in doubt, I look in my clothes closet, the hutch, or our main bookshelf.  I've become such a master that I can almost find everything she puts away as easily as I can find my husband's lost keys. 

I do see where she's coming from though.  Half the stuff I have, she's never seen and doesn't know what it is.  And we have a lot of crap. Shockingly, that doesn't make us the most organized people in the world. 

So I don't blame her.  It's just a funny fact.  Maids here can't leave stuff out. The place doesn't look clean if anything is out, so things are placed in drawers, cabinets, closets, or anywhere else it can be hidden. Thus a scavenger hunt is born!


  1. I know what you mean. We don't have a maid so much as we have a housekeeper who comes two days a month. But the game is the same.

    We inherited a maid when we first got here from the days when Zozó and Tonico lived in the apartment. She came three days a week. But Luiz and I could not keep her busy and I prefer to wash my own clothes (to take better care of them) and Luiz and I enjoy cooking. So we said our goodbyes and scaled down to an occational house cleaning.

    Anyway - I have learned that if I am trying to keep track of a file or magazine or slip of paper on my desk I should tuck it away in a drawer before Nené comes to clean. Otherwise it may be neatly misplaced under a stack of DVDs or in the middle of scrap papers being saved for misc. note taking.

  2. Exactly! When we moved out of the family home and I finally got rid of the family maid, we had a wonderful woman who came twice a month.

    My mother in law insisted we try someone 4 times a week when I was pregnant with my 2nd. Her intentions were good but I couldn't keep her busy enough and I found myself anxious for her day off. We now have a different and perfect person for our small fam. She comes twice a week. I try to hide those things but twice a week is often enough that I miss things sometimes.

    Our new solution, which Socorro came up with, is a shoe box. When in doubt, she puts it in there.

  3. GREAT idea!

    I guess if we were blue-blooded members of the owning class we would just take her out back and berate her.

    The shoe box, on the other hand, makes more sense to me.