I went through a carwash.
That doesn’t sound very exciting, but when you’re me, it is.
New Zealand carwashes are like many other things in New Zealand: a little old, not highly efficient but, for the most part, a relaxing experience. You drive up, pausing to swipe your pre-purchased barcode (usually stretching insanely out the vehicle in some sort of complex twisted yoga pose) and then bumble on in before turning off the engine. The carwash sprays and squirts and suds all over, and then it’s done. The light turns green, you turn on your car, and you’re out of there.
In Canada, it’s a different kettle of fish. You have to line yourself up with the ticket reader (nothing new there) and then pop onto these rollers that propel you through. There’re little to no instructions (or if there are, you roll on by so fast you don’t have time to read them) so you’re like, shit. Do I turn my car off? Put it in neutral? Brakes? Who the heck knows. While I’m trying to figure all this out, this guy comes running up and tells me I’ve left my fuel cap undone, and he’s frantically trying to put it back on for me as I’m rolling hysterically towards this open mouth that’s waiting to fill my fuel tank with soapy bubbles if he doesn’t succeed, and no way to stop. I’m screaming out the window, “THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” before he finally succeeds and I decide I’d better roll my window up, pronto.
I keep on rolling toward these awful, terrifying washing arms that look so solid that I’m going to crash right on into them, and to my horror, I realize in all the excitement, I’m OFF CENTER. It feels like I’m slowly angling to the left, where I’ll run straight off the rollers, and because the car behind me is on rollers too, he’ll probably end up in my rear end and all hell will break loose.
I turn the wheel, which is the one thing I’m fairly certain you’re not supposed to do, but I don’t think it’s making a difference anyhow. And just as I think I’m definitely going to be flung into the machinery…I can see freedom, at last! I may actually get out of here alive! A minute later and I’m out in fresh air.
All I can say is, thank God that’s over.