Notes From Hairenik
July 3, 2007
Around five in the morning my wife and I, not to mention the entire neighborhood, were awakened by the sound of what seemed to be gunfire at first. Turns out fireworks were going off in the courtyard behind our building, which is covered by greenery and tall trees. Why they were going off is unknown, and I didn’t go out there to find out so that I wouldn’t have a cherry bomb go off in my face. But I am assuming that they were being stored by a not very astute person in some kind of container or perhaps a garage with a hole in the roof, can’t say for sure but I saw some of them shooting into the sky. A blazing fire broke out but was extinguished in about five minutes, as the fire station happens to be just two blocks away, thankfully. It is amazing that the trees did not catch fire. From our open window I heard the voices of startled men shouting “aper” (or “bro”) at one another. There was a lot of banging about as if firemen were trying to break through something; I suppose they found the location of the fireworks. They kept going off intermittently until the problem was solved, about an hour later. To top it off, in all the chaos a pair of cats were vying for dominance in front of the tree just below our bedroom window, growling at a high pitch at one another in that catlike way of theirs, vaguely sounding like wailing infants. Somehow we managed to fall back to sleep.

In an unrelated yet perhaps not as equally idiotic situation, later in the morning I drove my Niva to a car wash located about a block down from the office, which was just relocated about five days ago to Mamikoniants (a.k.a., Furmanov) Street in the Arabkir district, not far from the Gomidas Market. Anyway, I dropped the car off and they told me it would be ready in a half-hour. I arrived 35 minutes later but they were still washing it and kept at it for over 10 more minutes. They called out to me with an “aper” (an expression I have grown to loathe), I paid them 2000 dram including a tip (they didn’t have 500 dram in change to give back) and left. After I parallel parked my car only about 200 meters away I noticed that the driver's side had small black gummy spots on it, which I had not noticed before. I drove back there immediately to figure out what the hell happened. They told me that the spots were already there, even though I was suspicious, as the dirt covered them up from being seen. Supposedly the stains had splattered up from under the carriage according to their logic, which didn’t make much sense since that had never happened before. I started to pick at one of the spots with my fingernail and it seemed to have been coming off. They laughed off the thought that they had put them there, something I did not even suggest, then mentioned something about “taking my pain;” in other words they were either giving me a break or I had to give them a break for not doing their job properly. Then they said that in order to get the spots off they had to use gasoline, which they didn’t have, so I told them they should have obtained some since there were a couple of gas stations nearby (one just next door as a matter of fact). Another moron had the audacity to tell me that they were not at fault, and when I reminded him that I was paying them for a service that they offered, namely to wash my car and remove all the filth, he restated that they couldn’t do anything without gasoline and that I should get some if I wanted the spots removed. Amazing.

Now I have to figure out how to remove the spots on my own—without using gasoline. Hopefully some cheap vodka will do the trick, even though it is considered a “shame” here to use its astringent properties for cleaning purposes or for anything else other than merriment and inebriation.

Sometimes the only way I can cool down about a ridiculously stupid life lesson is to write about it. Good thing I keep a blog.

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2 Comments:
Blogger nazarian said...
The spots could be tar from the roads. Happens to my car all the time during the summer. The car was would not try to clean them as they may damage the paint. I clean them up with kerosene or diesel fuel. I don't recommend using gas.

The scene you described in the first paragraph could have been from a movie although the producer might not have enough imagination to add the fighting cats to it :)

Blogger Christian Garbis said...
Well, as I guessed I was able to remove the black spots which apparently were tar with some old-fashioned vodka--nothing fancy like that distilled from mulberries--and a worn-out scouring sponge. It appears that no damage was made to the paint, not that it matters anyway since there are lots of dings here and there and it wasn't painted properly by one of the previous owners to begin with. I guess the guys at the car wash were simply too lazy to do their jobs, even though they had plenty of time on their hands as I was their only customer. But from now on, I'm going to wash my car myself since there's not much to it anyway, plus I can do it in about a half-hour versus the nearly one hour two bozos took to accomplish sub-mediocre work.

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