Slippers, dishcloths, saucepans and mops

Seems a funny topic for dating and relationships. It is currently wreaking havoc on my relationship though.


1st set. Just inside doorway.
2nd set. Front balcony.
3rd set Rear balcony.
4th set. Upstairs.


1st. Dishes.
2nd Benches.
3rd. I can’t remember but we have a blue one for it.
4th. As above but its orange.
5th. Floor. (this one has to live on the floor so you can kick it around)


Small one. Pancakes?
Medium Fish?
Big. Meat?

I can’t remember these either.



Floor cleaning system.

  1. Complaining about the various slippers that are not used and how the air makes the floor dirty.

  2. I get to the stage where I say “I’m going to wear my shoes inside and the slippers outside because the footpath outside is much cleaner than this floor” and then I mop the place out.

Rant over…

I’m the sole income provider for the feminists out there.

I’ve played Mr Mom for a year while recovering from an accident and did all the cooking and cleaning while the X sold houses and provided income. I did a reasonable job and got really close to the 2 kids, that was the bonus.

ironman, are you serious? take a vacation!

But…It’s not me.

My SO has all these systems.

I’d like to have no slippers and clean the floors in each area.

I’d like a single dishcloth that is disinfected and cleaned.

I’d like to pick up any frypan and use it.

I’d also like to not have to hide the gone off fruit and vegatables in the bottom of the bin. I’m supposed to eat food that has already achieved that garbage can sort of smell so it’s not wasted.

And…I’m starting in on my 5th year of this soon. She is lovely in most ways and the only thing that causes us grief is the above.

I was wondering if other expats have these type of system problems? Her dad was educated in Japan and I think that could be where all this started. Except the fruit and veg. I’ve noticed a different standard of edibility here.

We have slippers for indoors, slippers for the rear balcony, and slippers for the bathroom. It’s pretty standard in Taiwan, and pretty reasonable for the way they use bathrooms here (water all over the floor). However, I once lived with a Japanese woman who had separate slippers for every room, and one pair for EACH HALF of the living room! I only lived with her for a month!!! It could be a Japanese thing.

As for the fruit, just toss it out when she’s not around and tell her you ate it or made a fruit shake out of it.

Frying pans? Just pick any frying pan and use it! Stand your ground!

We have two cutting boards, one for raw foods and one for cooked foods, and I can never remember which is which. It’s a no-win situation: if I don’t ask, I get it wrong and she gets angry; if I do ask she gets angry at me for not remembering. They are both plastic and easily sterilized, so I don’t see the need for this distinction.

All relationships are like this. Everyone has their quirks. My ex-girlfriend had complex rules for how you place dishes in the dishwasher and would go nuts if there is any deviation (placement, order, how much pre-washing is necessary, dishwasher settings, etc.)

Thanks Chris. I should have mentioned this on a hike. What do we talk about on those hikes?

And I think your wife is lovely. So, if she has systems ok.

Regarding the bit I made blue. Do you mean with our lovely Asian ladies? I never had any of this fuss in Australia.

Thanks Chris. I should have mentioned this on a hike. What do we talk about on those hikes?

And I think your wife is lovely. So, if she has systems ok.

Regarding the bit I made blue. Do you mean with our lovely Asian ladies? I never had any of this fuss in Australia.[/quote]

You mean with your ex?? :sunglasses: :wink:

Ahh, Japan, now we’re getting somewhere… I remember a middle aged Japanese guy who studied at NTNU a few years back. Apart from wearing one of those SARS masks absolutely everywhere, his hand washing procedure was quite fascinating. First he washes his hands with soap - all well and good. Then he opens his bag and disinfects the tap with some kind of pink liquid. Then he washes his hands again. Then he washes the bottle. He then gets out a cloth and washes his laptop case with the weird liquid, then his hands again, then the bottle. Hands are done once more for good measure, dried with a cloth which is then disposed of and bag picked up with gloved hands.

And PS: sorry, but I live on my own - err I mean I’m a highly eligible bachelor - and I do some of these things. I have slippers for the general areas of the house, another set for the basement (I’m building down there and it’s dirty) and another for the downstairs bathroom. I hate anyone coming in with shoes or bare feet because my floor is invariably cleaner. I have different coloured chopping boards for raw fish/meat and vegetables. And yes, I have your dreaded multiple-dishcloth system. After that you’re on your own.

However, I think the next time she complains about throwing away rotting fruit you should blend it into one delicious mess and force her to drink it. Use a funnel if necessary. Or leave it in hilariously surprising places such as her favourite shoes.

Hey Ironman, the wife sounds like Courtney Cox-Arquette’s character Monica Geller/Bing from Friends… If Monica is anything to go by, the good probably far outwieghs the bad…

Me, I just wear my shoes in the house (not the bathroom) and clean the floors every week. Works for me, but I live alone…

Thanks Chris. I should have mentioned this on a hike. What do we talk about on those hikes?

And I think your wife is lovely. So, if she has systems ok.

Regarding the bit I made blue. Do you mean with our lovely Asian ladies? I never had any of this fuss in Australia.[/quote]
No, not just with Asian ladies. I’ve also experienced fuss with American women, albeit with different things (such as what position to leave the toilet seat in).


I feel for you. The pressures of your Mr. Mom duty are boling over. Good to vent here. I admire you and your wife, the sophistication and solidity of your relationship that the pressure you feel gets focused on “trivial” domestic things, rather than deep male-female/relationship power existential ones. Good luck with that.

It is kind of true, isn’t it, what you say, for those of us who have spent a lot of time in Taiwanese kitchens and homes. At least for those that run well (and I’ve seen some disfunctional ones), they can seem a bit, shall we say, anal retentive? Or do I mean, anal compulsive. Well, I think you know what I mean, afterall you live it.

You seem to be sturggling a bit with the reality of a very old adage - For everything its proper place. To be honest, beyond the slippers, which are by default unique unto No Shoes in the Home cultures, there isn’t anything freaky about what you describe - (aploogizes to the gender in advance, but…) women can be deeply compulsive about things like… towels; bath, hand, guest, kitchen, etc. Often, the presentation of these becomes so tidy and decorrative, that it almost feels a sin to soil them - which drives guys like us, nuts. I no longer live the life of a bachelor in Taiwan, I live back within the family fold in the Old Country, and I can tell you, the women in my family keep the tradition of order alive and well. The other day we made a filed trip, my San-jie, Ma, and I to a place called The Container Store (I’m sure some of you know this chain) - it’s a retail success story which owes its success to the compulsive nature of homemakers to have… Everthing in its right place. Go home for a while, you’ll see. And, when you ask yourself: how could I have ever married such a compulsive lunatiic - remind yourslef that if you had (somehow) married Martha Stewart instead, you’d be a 100 times more crazy, and… near on… 3/4 of a billion richer.

Specifically, regarding the whole slippers thing… as I write this I am wearing a pair that I bought while I was still in Taiwan and have worn, virtually every day since, including since I left the ROC in Nov., 2001. They are still going very strong, you’ll be happy to know. The are my house slippers, you see. Because, after 12 years living in Taiwan, I have become completly sold on the notion that shoes are for outside, and slippers for inside.

Here were me and my slippers are now, I shower in an enclosed tub, and live in a house, not an apartment building, so there is no call for multiple slippers for multiple locales, but, I can tell you this - in the homes I lived in, in Taiwan, we always had a hyper abundance of slippers; for guests, for ourselves (and, yes, I have to admit), for the big yang-tai, and for the back balcony. and… bathroom. Perhaps because I grew up in an ordered house, all these functions made sense to me, and I still more or less support them.

My sister is a Chef, I think she would agree with Mrs. Ironman, that each of your kitchen tools has its very specific function.

Again, I do feel your pain, but I think you’ll find that what you are going through is much more than dealing with domestic cusoms of your wife, that seem foolish to you.

llary, do you think your Japanese friend might have just a wee bit of an OCD problem, or what?

I thought I was a clean, neat, and organized person.

My wife’s standards are the same as mine…cubed.

Doesn’t bother me. I figure, keep the important stuff on an even keel, and the little things are no big deal.

Hahaha, please send your wives and so’s over to chat with Mrs. Chou…the place is a mess. and with my single and ready dishtowel, mop, and slippers…well its useless too since we are obvioulsy on different cleaning habit pages.

[quote=“mwalimu”]Good to vent here. I admire you and your wife, the sophistication and solidity of your relationship that the pressure you feel gets focused on “trivial” domestic things, rather than deep male-female/relationship power existential ones. Good luck with that.

It is actually good to vent here. The problems do appear more trivial now and you are correct, I’m dealing with little issues. It is a daily wearing down though.

I come from a farm. No shoes inside. You’d track cow plop everywhere. We have clean floors. Eat off them clean and they stay that way throughout the house in Australia. I’m just not used to seeing debris on the floor and the slippers seem to be an excuse to walk on dirt.

Yes, IIary’s poor friend is OCD city.

Ain’t no friend of mine!

Oddly enough, only two days ago a Taiwanese friend was asking me how to say 潔癖 (lit. cleaning habit) in English. If you fancy a black eye maybe you could have a ‘linguistic discussion’ with your missus.

Yes, IIary’s poor friend is OCD city.[/quote]

I’m with Ironman on this one. These systems would drive me spare in 2 days.

I either wear slippers all of the time (without changing them when entering another room) or (preferrably) don’t wear slippers at all. Not that my floors are terribly clean, I just change my socks more often.

And I still don’t like to cook or eat, so the less food-related stuff I have, the happier I feel.

I’m in the not at all please category. That makes 3 out of the 6 mixed households in my area that I am familiar with. 1 keeps spotless clean floors as I’d expect to see in a well kept house in some other country.

Next complaint is clutter while I’m in complaining mode.

I’m looking for a living environment with clean empty kitchen bench space and a clear kitchen table along with the feeling that the place is not full to the brim.

The natural local system seems to be to fill all the spaces with stuff and to make piles out of things from the floor upward if there is no bench or table space left. Same as you see in shops and workplaces.

I’ve been in places where this it taken to such an extreme there is nowhere to put something down (shopping for instance) and you walk in aisles between the stacks.

Yeah, the clutter…Taiwanese can be real pack rats!

Whenever a Taiwanese person comes to my place, I usually hear, “Wow! It’s sooo CLEAN!” I have a huge apartment, and although it’s tougher to keep it clean than it would be at home because of the air pollution, it really doesn’t take much to keep things tidy and clean. Laziness /cluelessness about how to be clean are the only reasons for a filthy home IMO. The slippers are comparable to a person who wears a lot of cologne to hide body odor. :laughing:

And I have 4 words for people who feel the need for bathroom slippers: GET A SHOWER CURTAIN!!!

Doesn’t quite work when you have no bathtub in the first place!

I have two bathrooms, one with a tub and one with just a shower. I actually got sick of shower curtains here because they mold easily, so I had sliding shower doors installed in both bathrooms. The shower bathroom one is molded right to the floor, and the other one is molded onto the edge of the bathtub. They work a treat, and I was able to put carpet down in the bathrooms…no mess (and no bathroom slippers). :wink:

Carpet in the bathroom yuk gross that is the most horrible thing about English bathrooms… all round the toilet bowl. Pink, and carpet on the toilet seat too… ghastly little china figurines balanced on the window sill…

Don’t you like being able to splash in the bathroom? Great for kids! I hate that business about not being allowed to get water on the floor back home.

SYSTEMS though… I’d have to thin more about that. Our flat is fairly untidy most of the, except just after the weekly blitz. It’s not that we can’t get ourselves organized, I don’t think; but we both work fairly long hours, want to spend some time with the kids, the flat is way too small for 4 ppl and the amount of stuff we have. Obviously it would be much easier, not more difficult, to keep in order Indiana if we had a “huge place”! I know what Ironman means abotu “full to the brim”: basically a lot of people here live in fairly cramped quarters, isn’t that all it is?

It seems I have different friends from you lot. Everyone I know round where we live has an immaculate floor (I think the purpose of the slippers is to keep it that way); people tend to buy less furniture than I’m used to, so you do see the odd stack on the floor.

Systems? I have some (try to reserve a cloth for spills on the floor and not use it for spills on the table, eg) but SO doesn’t seem to respect them especially. (She usually seems to want to clear everything up with tissues :unamused: ) We used to have to have an old item of clothing lying on the floor to kick around, and wet cloths (which had to be wrung out by rolling them on the draining board with a great deal of fuss and bother) lying on the worktops and draining boards instead of hanging up drying. Managed to put a stop to that thankfully.

We have lots of sandals and slippers lying around on different parts of the floor (and shoes too, now that we can’t keep them outside any more) but we don’t really ever wear them. Sometimes I start to walk into the bathroom for a pee, relize the floor is wet, and back out and use the other bathroom. Unless I’m not wearing socks, then I don’t mind my feet getting wet, cos we have a mat outside the bathroom door.