Today there was a knock at the door. An earnest young guy stood there, offering me a free carpet-clean. Naturally I was highly suspicious at first (as most 'free' things in America suddenly sprout hidden costs or are selling you something). But I eventually decided that since I was about to vacuum anyway, and there were many small black dots scattered around the carpet from our invite-making, it would be worth it for the laziness factor. He promised to come back at 4.
So at 4, there was another knock at the door. The same earnest-looking guy stood there, with another guy and lots of boxes. Once inside, they proceeded to tell me all about the magic 'Kirby' vacuum cleaner which did so many amazing things, and dragged out much more dust than the average vacuum cleaner. Then the second guy disappeared, leaving his colleague to vacuum the room, showing me all the little circles full of dust and dirt that it had picked up on our supposedly clean floor. I asked him about college degrees in America, and every so often, when I said something he found surprising, his eyes would grow big and round and a quick little smile would come. I got the feeling he had a highly sheltered background, living with his grandparents.
He also did the mattress and the cushions - luckily we only bought our furniture a few weeks ago, so it wasn't particularly dirty (for the shock sales value). And didn't contain hordes of dust mites to give us non-existent asthma, as much as he insisted it would. And we don't have pets. So the mighty power of the $1800 vacuum cleaner was somewhat wasted on me, and my mostly-clean house.
However, the second guy was quite interesting. He was a lot more personable, was from Malaysia, had met lots of Kiwis and Aussies before when he worked in the UK, and we discussed computer games. He said he used to be friends with the girl who lived here before us, Michelle de Leon, and helped her move her copious amounts of stuff out of the apartment. He also showed me the carpet square they replaced when she had a hookah party, and someone spilled ash on the floor. We assumed it was new carpet, but obviously not!
Michelle's a well-known model, and has been in China competing in the Top Model of the World competition as Miss Philippines for the last few months. She won the first runner-up prize, missing out as the winner by .2 points. Here's another picture of her. So a top model used to live in our house! Quite exciting, really.