They are almost anywhere cars go. Their number is equal or greater than that of gas stations. You can almost see them from space (joke). Many of them are illegal. They waste our drinkable water. And yet you can almost not do without them because you car gets very dirty even when you do not use it much.
I’ve spoken and heard the comments of many a foreigner visiting Tirana or traveling on the roads of Albania about the almost pervasive presence of car wash places, or “Lavazh” as they are called here. Meanwhile, Albanians are certainly used to them, we often do not think of the fact that their presence is an indicator of the level of dust and dirt in our streets and eventually in our homes and lives.
But that is why they are everywhere, because dirt is everywhere too. Our streets continue to remain prisoners of dusts and dirt, and while you can brush off your shoes, you have to wash your car if you want to maintain that necessary level of cleanliness in your vehicle.
Thankfully I have to admit that the level of dust in Tirana (at least) has decreased somewhat due to many streets being paved and the level of constructions in the city decreasing as well. Nevertheless, the presence of car wash places continues to remind me of the ever present reality of dirt in our streets and in our own lives inevitably.
Please send me your pictures of Albanian car washers if you any. Get them out of your digital dust archives and send them to be added to this gallery.