Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Trev’s (Trevor Winston Elroy Walter Katter) Ultimate Makeover. (Uzbekistan)
By Ben Crowley and Thomas George Stanley Denner.
Six months in to our overland odyssey Trev had gathered quite the collection of plant and other organic matter. We had grown fond of our brown Toyota 4Runner but alas with our impending entry into Turkmenistan (Long live Turkmenbashy!) this needed to change. As such we decided that a car wash would be in order for our dear Trev. Turkmenistan, for those unaware, places hefty penalties on any vehicles considered to be in a less than spotless state.
While in Khiva, our last destination in Uzbekistan before crossing the border, we (Thomas George Stanley and Ben) found ourselves no more than a hole in the wall that apparently provided such a service. Greeted by a small collective of Central Asians we ascertained that for the small fortune of 20,000 Uzbek Som ($8-black market rate, $12-official rate – have a read of “Day 171 – The brick phenomenon” for more on this) we would receive the full service, inside and out.
We hurriedly drove back to our accommodation and emptied Trev of all our belongings, originally for fear of loose hands possibly taking something that took fancy, but as you soon will find out this was a very smart move. Satisfied that all our possessions were safely removed, we took him back to begin the two hour process of giving Trev his second wash this trip (the first being in Darwin for the purposes of shipping). Two boys, no older than sixteen, possibly younger, then set to work. Their first and most important task was to ensure that our car had a working stereo system and to check what music we had. Having removed our iPods, all that remained was a single CD that Tom Denner had bought Ben as a souvenir entitled Praised Red Army Chinese Patriotic Songs which brought much hilarity to us, but shock and genuine interest from the aforementioned collective.
The boys then went to work with the high pressure hose. We watched in amazement as almost 27,000km’s of dust, dirt, mud, leaves, grass and heaven knows what else was physically assaulted like a drunk by a nightclub bouncer. This went on and on, interchanging between high pressure awesomeness and the occasional good old fashioned elbow grease of the old rag. At this stage we were loving every minute of the titanic struggle between hose and dirt but found particularly peculiar how much attention was given to the wheel arches and undercarriage.
Entertainment turned to shock when they commenced cleaning the inside, still using the high pressure hose! Our seats, dashboard, steering wheel, windows and back tray were all sprayed down with the immense drenching abilities of the hose. Needless to say the interior was still damp the next day even despite the harsh dryness of our desert surrounds.
Throughout this experience we had two primary concerns, one which was founded and the other of which we’re just not really sure about. The first was the possible damage to our sticker collection and the spray paint job Eilidh and Tom Denner had expertly but rather hastily done. In the end we lost one Australia sticker and incurred some minor damage to some others, easily repaired by Tom Denner’s fine handiwork. On the flip side, the website spray painted on the side, on which you are no doubt currently reading this, once again became legible. The second was the possible damage to the car/paint work itself. Once the car was cleaned and the many scratches scrapes, bumps and even a broken headlight protector became apparent, we were just completely unsure as to what was there before but invisible due to the dirt coverage and what may have been new.
After two hours, a local man (who may or may not have worked for the business, it’s always hard to tell in these countries) noting our sticker collection had arrived with a brand new Uzbekistan sticker to adorn our window, thus making up for the loss and damage. We then ended with payment and the obligatory handshakes took places, after which we drove off as the proud owners of a sparkling white Toyota 4Runner.