Friday, June 08, 2007

My Casual Thoughts on Israel's Clean Houses, Dirty Cars

“Yofi, such a clean place!” My Israeli friend exclaimed upon visiting my spic-and-span flat. Israelis just love clean abodes, whether they own houses in upscale subdivisions or units at Tel Aviv Bauhaus buildings. Indeed, they do have the penchant of keeping every corner of their places squeaky clean to the point of regularly hiring part time house cleaners. Such cleaners consume hours on dusting, vacuuming and cleaning floors with sponjas until these mopping cloths turn gray with floor grime and dirt.

The typical Israeli dirty kitchen cabinet contains all sorts of cleaning solutions such as 00 (or muriatic acid), Economica (a general cleaning fluid), and Windolin (for mirrors and glass panes).

Of course, they are only effective when complemented with the various cleaning gadgets and implements such as the vacuum cleaner, the squeegees and brooms. As it is, the Israelis are dead serious when it comes to maintaining so very, almost divinely clean abode.

Still, I just find it odd that while they are willing to do so much (and definitely pay so much) for their residences in Tel Aviv Bauhaus Buildings or anywhere else in the country, they can’t do the same for their cars. The following might be some words of exaggeration, but I have yet to see a day go by without encountering a dirty, dusty and unkempt car.

It seems that in Israel, a typical car is not without the scratches and dents on its sides. In fact, I’ve seen some passed by me really having misshapen appearances - just short of being grotesque.

Is there really no big-time fascination here in Israel about cars? Perhaps, the automobile’s importance is recognized but it is not a be all and end all for Israelis, as far as going around town is concerned. Surely, many would rather take the sherut, autobus and even the train anytime.

Why not get a cleaner for the car? If Israelis can shell out hundreds of shekels just to maintain their houses, I am sure they can spare a little more for an hour of car washing. Perhaps it is the Israeli culture of being indifferent when it comes to their vehicles.

Or maybe it is because of the fact that their cars just get dirtied anyway by the khamsin. This is the Israel sandstorm that is a regular natural occurrence, deeming it quite impossible to maintain a decently clean vehicle.

Once I saw one really nice car approaching– a sleek, devoid-of-dust and shiny black limo. I was ready to marvel at this Israeli car until I said oops...diplomatic.

2 comments:

Izzy Bee said...

Most cars in Israel are filthy, but just the exterior. It's probably due to the dusty climate, roadworks, roadblocks, and chronic water shortage. Also it's less likely to attract undue attention (ie thieves).

Ernest-jr said...

Yes, surely that's the reasons why. And it's not that Israelis do not value their cars, it's just that they treat them more as a necessity than a luxury or status symbol even. Thanks for commenting!