Friday, September 21, 2012

Automatic Car Wash

I was thrilled earlier this week to see an automatic car wash open right outside my neighbourhood on Spintex Road. My hood was far from dusty, but the elements had gnawed at the tired streets. Then, some smart person chose to cover it all with pavement blocks, and then the pavement with cement dust. Now a car can only stand clean for one hour.

Today I went to the car wash. It’s owned by two Lebanese old men. They take pleasure in pressing the buttons themselves. The car is lathered and washed with electric pompoms and semi-dried with electric dryers.

A few metres further down, four Ghanaian lads wipe the cars dry. That’s the real story of this post. They are filled with so much hate. They insult their employers from the time you drive in, and theirs is the last voice you hear on the way out – insulting. They speak in Twi, of course, and try to draw me into their xenophobia. I ignore them. When I’m ready to drive off in my shiny car, one of the owners capers up to me and asks in a friendly voice, “It good?” Although it took longer than your regular one-hose car wash, I’m going back there.

It was those boys’ attitude that needed to run through the car wash, not cars.


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