Washing the family cars was my job as a kid (along with raking the leaves, cleaning out the roof gutters and shoveling the snow), so I have always believed that I am more than capable of keeping my car(s) clean - until I came to Poland. Polish folks like their cars clean. I mean really clean, like once-a-week-washing clean.
And there is nothing wrong with that. "Cleanliness is next to godliness," they say and as my Grandmother used to say, “There’s nothing wrong with being poor, but there’s no excuse for being dirty.”
In Poland, in addition to the every day kind of clean, your car should also be cleaned before special holidays in which you may be driving around visiting family. Of course, you should wash your car before driving to a wedding or funeral or another similar occasion.
I’ve kind of given up competing with Polish drivers in their quest for a clean and shiny car. Maybe it is because I drive on a dirt (and mud) road several times a day, so my efforts would be futile anyway. Maybe it is just because I am lazy. Just call me “brudas”.
In Misiu’s hometown there is one very popular carwash. It isn’t cheap, but you can easily acquire enough points from the gas station for a free wash. There’s always a line of cars waiting to be washed…and in my opinion, not a one of them is dirty enough to warrant a wash. Those are the cleanest “dirty” cars I have ever seen.
On more than one occasion, I have been told by someone (usually a complete stranger) that I should wash my car. One parking attendant examined my super muddy SUV-ek and said, “Cars are to be washed, in case anyone hasn’t told you.” I replied that cars are first and foremost for driving, in case he didn’t know. And maybe that’s where I am wrong.
Maybe cars aren’t just for driving. Maybe they should look nice too. Maybe it really does say something about me that my cars are almost always dirty.
I was considering the title “Poland’s Got Talent” for this post. I’m referring to Polish people’s amazing talent of washing an entire vehicle with only one bucket of water. I have seen it done many times and am amazed that it is possible. Really, it can be done.
Wishing you sunny skies and shiny, clean cars!