Monday, June 27, 2005

Car Wash Hijackers

To those of you not familiar with Amman's peculiarities, there is one particular one that really amazes me to this day. A bit of background for you, as part of my apartment rent , I pay my caretaker (or maybe one of his sub sub sub delegates) to wash my car three times a week for the princely sum of 5 Jordanian Dinars (about £3 sterling) per month (yes, per month). He does a rather nice job and I'm deeply delighted.

A couple of weeks ago, I went for something to eat with some visiting work colleagues at a restaurant round the corner from Whispers (4th circle ish?), the restaurant does great kebabs (that's another story by its self). So, I park the car nearby as the place doesn't do valet parking and proceed to have a nice mixed grill kebab meal.

I get back to the car and see that my wind screen wipers are off the windscreen, a sure fire sign that somebody has cleaned my car. I get to my car and open the door, out of nowhere, a youngish boy darts from the shadows with his greasy rags and gestures for some dinars. At this stage, stunned and completely unbelieving, I look him in the eyes and say, "did I ask you you to wash my car?". Stunned silence from the boy as I leave him staring at my brake lights as I drive off into the distance.

Now the thing is, if my car was absolutely filthy, I'd pay, I'm told the going rate is about 0.5 JD by my Jordanian colleagues and this is, I'm advised, really pushing out the boat. However, if the car is sparkling clean (as mine was), why the hell bother trying to push a greasy rag around it trying to make it cleaner?? Is there a Amman Clean Car Societyexertingg its influence on the citizens of Amman by hijacking their car cleaning or does my car have "please clean me" etched in the dirt on the side?

Answers on a postcard please.......

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