Thursday, 6 January 2011

At The Car-Wash

After a while sitting parked while I'm away, my wheels can look a bit shabby around the edges, so this evening, after a long few days beating up the skies of Asia, I drove to one of those car-wash places where you can get the inside and outside done for a couple of rials.

Kindly bear that thought in mind for the next time you go there: "It only costs a couple of rials.".

I'm waiting in line for the pressure washer guy. There's a Range Rover Sport in front of me - pearl white with all the trimmings and a wasta registration plate. 
Unusually, the guy at the end of the hose was a local chap in what looked like his late teens, ordering around what is left of the post-Omanisation Indians.

The Range Rover goes up on the hydraulic jacks and the guy starts spraying chinks of mud, tar and other crap off of the bottom. 
It was hard to see in the dark, but he seemed to lack the gusto of his "sub-ordinates" who were busily cleaning the other vehicles in the line.

He turns off the washer, and awaits inspection from the driver.
Typical Range Rover type, with the pressed dishdasha, the big ring and the attitude to match.
Lots of finger-clicking and general nit-picking about little marks on the car, with this-and-that not being perfect enough.

"You clean engine." is what came next, so up came the hood and the kid starts washing and waving the hose around for a while, still with no real commitment - just going through the motions. (Work went on around him at the other cars.)

Second inspection.
More pointing at the engine and then his attention goes to beneath the car again.
Clearly not clean enough for this man.
We can't be seen parked on the pedestrian ramp outside Starbucks at Shatti with a dirty underside now can we?

A few rude upward waves of his hand and he walks away. "You clean again better."

Back to that thought again: "It only costs a few rials."
Seriously. This is just a quick wash station, operated by a guy who just couldn't give a toss about you. It's a local....being told what to do by a local....and that appears to not go down well for some.

If you want a full showroom valet you will need to take your precious compensation device to Ziebart.

So the guy with the hose then does something that all happened for me in slow motion.
He raises the Range Rover up on the hydraulic platform again….
….but the hood is still up!

And the hood is higher than the roof of the jeep, and starts to fold to accommodate the ceiling. 

Awesome sound, then the head turning left and right to see where the odd din is coming from, then the change in facial expression when it finally dawns on this guy that it might have been better to just leave this to the Indians!

Management dishdashas had arrived by the time I stopped crying with laughter. 
They had a copy of their Terms & Conditions with them! "You can't blame us!"
I guess it was going to be a long night.


desertman said...

I was once at the car wash just at the exit from Al Harthy Complex on the way to Wattaya (not sure if it is still there now). It's quite an interesting place, being stuck up against cliffs etc.

Anyway, there wasn't a drive through at that time and all cars had to be washed by hand. A guy with a maserati - yep, a maserati at one of these car washes - came in and started to have his car washed. An Indian guy who looked like he had been working for the last week without sleep and was dead on his feet started to hose down the car and then proceed to wash it with a dirty rag and bucket full of soapy water. Part way through the wash, he dropped the wash, he dropped the rag on the ground but instead of washing it out, he just continued to rub the car. Alas, by this time the car was more being scoured than rubbed as the rag had picked up quite a variety of sharp grit and stones. The little Indian guy, having fallen asleep on his feet some days ago, didn't realise and scoured the bonnet and roof before washing off the soapy water and finding the beautiful (and expensive) paintwork was scratched to hell. Much consternation and shouting ensued. Goodness knows what happened to the little Indian guy - methinks a quick flight back to Turumderumderumderumderumderum or wherever. Call me wicked but I went home happy that evening :)

Andrew Brown said...

Now THAT is a story! And wonderfully told I might add! :-)
Happy New Year!

Jet Driver said...

Happy New Year to you both too!


Mr Insurance said...

I don't understand your style (it seems to be excessively pseudo-intellectual)...who was ordering who around? The Omani car wash attendant? The Range Rover owner? Who caused the damage?


Anonymous said...