Take a chance while it lasts

Car wash motorcycle

Opportunities come and go and it’s just a question of taking the chance while it lasts.

Along a busy road, near a daladala stand, or close to a market — anywhere cars pass and a small public parking space —  is enough to inspire people to set up such a venture.

Some simple buckets and containers plus a few old vitambaa and soap of unknown source make up the equipment needed for a car wash.

Then of course there is the issue of water.

It would be my main concern, but here one knows how to improvise and especially where basics need to be sorted.

In the case of water, it usually is a question of digging in the right spot until a water main pipe is found — from there it is easy to get water flowing freely.

Even without going into such trouble free water is available if one just walks around to find it.

Along many roads and tracks in various residential areas one can notice wet patches or puddles on days without any rain of significance.

At closer sight there seems to be a broken pipe and water is welling up through the ground and just running away.

Smart people know ways to tap into this resource and start a car wash — as simple as that.

An open drain can also provide water, although I’d prefer not to use it for any washing let alone a car.

Away from tar roads the service can be specialized for bajaj or piki piki and further outside of town there are those washing lorries using a small stream.

Of course it is a type of mobile business, any day one can find it has disappeared.

Maybe Dawasco has closed the pipe and fenced off the area with barbed wire.

Or the stream has dried up during the long hot season.

Opportunities come and go and it’s just a question of taking the chance while it lasts.

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About the Author

Josie van den Hoek

Josie first visited Dar es Salaam in 2000 and is still here. She writes about encounters on her daily walks and Tanzanian life.