The parking lot car wash guys

I was reading Muscat Daily yesterday and noticed Misha Daud's latest piece on the back page about unwanted cleaners. They are most often found in parking lots around Al Fair in MQ or the Turkish House in Khuwair, but they're all over the place. They've even at the MCC/QCC/MGM malls now, albeit in a legal capacity with those waterless cleaning services.

Misha described it as an epidemic, and questioned the legal status of these ever helpful parking attendants cum car washers (not the Green clean ones in the mall though). I'll agree that its bloody irritating and that they're on the rise, but they've been around for years and years.

Here's a true story that happened to me almost 6 years ago:

I had arrived here in Oman in August 2007, and needed to get a car. Not having very much money at all, my options were limited - I ended up buying a 1991 landrover discovery V8 for just under 1000 rials. I still have it today - but it's definitely on the list for getting rid of, a tree is currently attempting to merge with it.

So, I'm driving my crappy old new landrover and pretty pleased with it, it was my very first ever SUV. The first weekend I took it out wadi bashing (we went to Wadi Shatan on the knife-edge road and I nearly shatan my pants) I managed to crack my windscreen. I got a new windscreen fitted on the Saturday afternoon after work and then went to Al Fair in MQ to get some groceries. Daisy (the disco) was very dirty and so I thought I better get the car washed in case I got a fine from the ROP for having a dirty car.

Let's call him Dave, the ever helpful parking attendant and car wash guy. Dave clocked me right as I pulled into the parking lot and helped me park in the not very full parking lot. I didn't mind, I wanted him to clean my car anyway - and asked him to "do the wiping" for me.

In to UnFair I went, and some time later out I came, to a shiny green beast that was Daisy. She was gleaming in the sun and I was so impressed with the job Dave had done, I gave him an extra rial and thanked him for his hard work. I got into the drivers seat and then thats when I saw it - my brand new windscreen was shattered. Again.

I got back out and shouted to Dave who was already moving away and got him back, causing a bit of a commotion in the process. I asked him why my screen was smashed and he said it was like that before - I knew differently because the receipt for the brand new screen was still in my pocket. At this point some lady started shouting at me that I should leave this guy alone and her husband came over to sort of press her stance - at which point I offered him to look closely at the damage and he immediately agreed it was a fresh shattering - there was still all the little tiny bits of glass everywhere. I got my money back from Dave and rang the ROP - Dave legged it, like I knew he would, and I was left carrying the can for another RO 90 windscreen and trip to Wadi Kabir. I guess at least in those days, a trip to Wadi Kabir was a 15 minute drive and not the 3 hour pilgrimage it now is. As it turned out, someone else came up to me and said they'd seen Dave standing on the windscreen so he could get to the roof and wipe that down too. I guess that's how it happened.

I also noticed that lots of cars have swirled scratch marks on their panels - the product of merrily wiping dust away with dust-ridden cloths which then trashes the paint job on the car. So, armed with my personal experience, and the desire not to have my paint wrecked, I've long avoided the Dave's of this town and I urge you all to do the same. A touchless car wash is RO 1.00 or 1.5 for the basic wash - or you could wash it yourself too.

Ho hum.

More soon.

le fin.
The parking lot car wash guys The parking lot car wash guys Reviewed by Sythe on Monday, September 23, 2013 Rating: 5


BigManInOman said...

The ones in MCC/QCC are surprisingly good- I think they use a cup of water or something minimal- and good value.
If I get the guys at Shatti car park, or MQ, to wash my car I make sure they get fresh water first.
I'd like to be able to wash my own car but living in a flat makes it difficult!

BigManInOman said...

The ones in MCC/QCC are surprisingly good- I think they use a cup of water or something minimal- and good value.
If I get the guys at Shatti car park, or MQ, to wash my car I make sure they get fresh water first.
I'd like to be able to wash my own car but living in a flat makes it difficult!

BigManInOman said...

So interesting I posted it twice.......

Anonymous said...

My husband feels the same. Once we got our new car, I was surprised to know that he didn't want to have it cleaned by those cleaners (who I pitied and wanted to help somehow) and I asked him why. He said for the reason that these guys clean the cars but use the same dirty water and cloth again and again, might just bring scratches so he prefers having it cleaned once every week in the gas stations or even those from the malls is good as well.

Artquitechto said...

Have my own cleaner for a year now. And I buy cleaning materials my own for them to use, also have in my car a water sprinkler and a cloth in case my car need to be cleaned myself or even someone else from outside.

Shadi Zghoul said...

I totally agree with you, and now blaming myself more for giving money to the Dave at Al Makan - Seeb, who "washed" the cleanness of my car despite me telling him not to.
I beleive some action need to be done. If we all agree to call ROP on these guys every time, they will stop. Don't you think?

Anonymous said...

These guys aren't doing this for sport. They'll take the extra income any way it comes. If one wishes to decline the services of the gentleman, a simple shake of the head works fine. Offer and acceptance, it's nothing revolutionary.

Here let me show you. I would like the services of someone who can AR-15 the Muscat Daily offices the next time they pick up a non-topic like this and write about it (pretty sure that's tomorrow).

Takers ?

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

I always tell them not to wash our car and they do.

At least my paint job is already always scratched due to being knicked by every snobbish Khaleeji woman known to park an SUV in existance.

Alhamdulilah no one has ever collasped my windscreen. I'd camp out and catch them if they ran;). I am little but no one messes with me and gets away with it. Those Khaleeji nut-case women, I usually stalk them and spit gum into their 90-300 OMR abayas and grind it into the fabric to make up for the paint knicks and lack of care for anyone else in exiustence in this world.

I could be a better Muslim about it all, but alas, sadly I'm not.

Mars said...

They are everywhere, and I remembered how I get rid of the guy who clean my car for monthly basis, he uses a dirt full rug to clean my car, surprisingly it does the cleaning plus scratching!

TLS said...

Perhaps I'm looking through the wrong end of the telescope here, but there's no way your windscreen should have shattered because a malnourished man put his bare foot on it, even with his full weight. I think my first complaint might have been to the garage for selling me a dodgy windscreen!

Sythe said...

TLS - heel on the bonnet, toes on the windscreen and then lean forward... it was a standard laminate windscreen. I got a stronger one installed after then, and it's still there today :)

BigManInOman said...

That said- your car hasn't even moved, never mind been washed, for a couple of years has it?!

Sythe said...

Daisy was out playing in the rain puddles when it rained a few months ago... :)

Anonymous said...

Definitely an epidemic - I had to go to Starcare hospital and 'Dr'Dave was determined to scratch his grubby rag around on my already clean car. They take no notice if you want it or not - at least he didn't harass me for some coins for the privilege of causing damage.

The Duncan Adventures said...

Sadly the Dave's of this world aren't the only eejits.. I asked my ever chirpy house maid to clean out the back of my car after the dog had gotten sand everywhere. I told her that i had already done the hoovering but the carpet just needed cleaned now. I thought I was being helpful by doing half the work..

Half an hour later she returned into the house in a panic telling me there was too much water in the car. How much water can a basin hold? Umm no... I went out to see what she was on about and the back door to my brand new 4x4 was wide open with the garden hose inside and STILL running. She has hosed down the inside of my car... Seats sodden all the way through. It's never been the same since :(

Anonymous said...

To be fair to the guy, a good quality windshield does not crack just by stepping on it. Sad you took the woman's word. Your car is not the first one Dave is washing :)
There may be 2 culprits, one the woman or second the guy in WK who sold you the bad windshield.
The thousands of Dave just try to earn a living through hard work, not begging or getting a handout. It is up to you whether you allow them to clean or not. So just leave them alone imho.

c.sam said...

i chanced in on your blog while i googled a 24 hr car wash in muscat . Loved reading in and kinda agree with Sep 24 post by Anonymous A good wind screen would not crack when "Dave " stepped on it. Most SUVS pass the roll over test with the WS installed . Having said that there could have been impact by Dave ...which given his experience is doubtful

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