Tag Archives: a Microcosm of the World

A Hand-Wash Carwash


Xin-Yun had always had her small Toyota sedan washed at the malls, and, she’d just spent the last of her twenty ticket packages.  In the morning, at ten when she drove to the marketplaces, she’d passed through a certain hand-wash car wash, she though, that she could just drop her car off, walked to the marketplace, and afterwards, she could get her car back.

She’d parked the car by the side of the road, walked out, the carwash was a huge steel roof shack, about four storefronts, with three cars already parked inside, there were two stands by the door.  A man of around forty years of age walked out, very thin and tall, with a dark complexion, said to her coldly, “We have a lot of customers right now, you want to get your car washed, come back at four in the afternoon.”

Xin-Yun said, “Fine!”

The man glanced over at her license plate, said, “I’ll take down your license plate, at four in the afternoon, because it’s the New Year’s, the price will increase to $450N.T.s”.

Xin-Yun thought, four more days until New Year’s Eve, it’s normal for the car washes to hike up the prices, I’ll do something else now, and, drop my car off at four, and go shopping at the dusk market place.  She’d recalled how unrelenting the man who looked mean was, actually, he looked, like an awful person.  She thought about the shocking events from four days ago, the shooting at the jail that alerted every member of the public, of how the six escapees all committed suicide.  She thought, that maybe, the owner of this carwash is a reformed inmate who’d started his life anew.

At four o’clock, a woman was hosing a car parked by the entryway down, with her black slacks, tucked into her beige colored boots.  She’d hollered toward the inside, “Someone’s here!”

That man left what he was working on, said to her, “We have too many cars today, bring it by tomorrow.”

Hsin-Yun Said, “You told me to come back at four!”

The man walked to the office, picked up a notebook, nodded toward her, said, “Give me your keys/”, then, said, in a hard tone of voice, to the women who sat, face to face, at the desk, “Nothing to do, go wipe that car dry.”

Forty minutes later, Hsin-Yun carried the bags from shopping back to the carwash again, the man was busy, told her, “Your car just had the rinse, wait forty more minutes.”

Hsin-Yun told him, “Then I’ll sit down to wait.”, she’d found a chair by the desk and sat.

This iron clad roof shack was more simplistic than ever, even the desk, the chairs, are all worn too.  The man was cleaning off the windshield wiper of another car, she’d noticed, that he not only worked swiftly, and took care of the details too.  The cell phone rang on the desk, the girl who was wiping dry the Hsin-Yun’s car came to get it, flipped it open, and, took it to the man’s ear.  The man still busied about with his hands, said, “We can’t squeeze you in tonight, bring your car by eight in the morn tomorrow.”

Hsin-Yun said to the owner, “Boss, you have an amazing business.  As the New Year’s is about to come, everybody needed her/his car washed.”  He’d replied, “We’re like this regularly too.”

Hsin-Yun thought, that a hard working man, the heavens naturally blessed.  The woman who was rinsing the car off, petite, with a beautiful face.  The two girls who were wiping off the car, in jeans, slimly built, seeing their three faces, Hsin-Yun all of a sudden came to her senses, they’re mother and daughters, she’d misread the man of the house, it is, a family-owned carwash.  The cell phone rang again, the shorter girl answered it, “Dad, it’s Mr. Lin from the watch shop.”, the owner said, “Tell him to come get his car.”

It is, a family.  The two girls were wiping the water off of Hsin-Yun’s car, the shorter girl said to the taller, “Go wipe the backseat!”

Hsin-Yun asked the shorter girl, “Are you the older sister?”, she’d nodded.  Hsin-Yun said, “No wonder you’re giving out orders!”

The man said, “You two decide what you want for dinner.”

The older girl said, “Dad, what do you want?  You’d only had just two bites for lunch, you mustn’t skip dinner too.”

Hsin-Yun said, “You are way too busy.  Did your mother cook for you?”

The woman said, “I don’t cook at all, I don’t have the time!  We’d bought our meals out.”

Hsin-Yun saw that there was an ASUS laptop on the office desk, the two girls are probably college students, and during their winter vacation they’d helped the parents in the carwash.  She’d commended them, “But, both your girls are well-rounded, beautiful too!”

Smile curled up the couple’s faces now, the man said, “I’d just raised them.”

The younger girl called, “Dad, what, are we having?”, the man said, “I don’t know!”, the younger girl said, “You don’t know?  I won’t buy anything for you then!  Starve then!”, the man said, “You little BRAT!”

The harsher the jokes, it means that more tightly-knit the family members.  As Hsin-Yun left the carwash with her car, she’d lifted her head up to see the signs, “The Honesty Carwash”.

And so, this man kept his family well, and because he was able to manage his own family so very well, naturally, his business is well off too, because everything starts at the MOST basic levels, and, the most basic functional unit of the societies would be the families, and, this man treated his family well, and, the children are very well-rounded, so naturally, his business is well-off also.


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