Like many other poor countries there are people along the streets here trying to make any money they can. Whether that’s by selling donuts, cotton candy, wipes, toilets seats, baskets, bad art, good art, fruit, cigarettes, welcome mats, mops, jerk chicken… you name it! And yes, those are all things I’ve seen with my own eyes.
In addition to sales people, known as higglers, there are also people who play music, hold signs, or simply beg for money. And then there are the window washers. They will come to your car while you are stopped at a light with their bottle and squeegee and wash your windshield. Some of them are nice and respectful and some are…. crazy. I try to use my best judgement. There is one named Orlando who calls me boss lady and always reminds me to be safe. Another wears a BYU shirt. I’ve asked him if he likes BYU, if he’s a cougar fan, but I’m quite sure he has no idea what I’m talking about.
When somebody I’m not comfortable with comes up to wash the windshield I simply wave my hand and shake my head to tell them no. The majority of the time they move onto the next car. Some of the time they continue to wash the windshield even though I decline. It can be really uncomfortable!
Today, that very thing happened. A man walked up, one I had never seen before, and started to wash my windshield. I told him no, shook my head, and waved my hand. He continued to do it anyway. When he was finished with the passenger side he knocked on the window and muttered things I couldn’t understand. I still waved my hand no. After I didn’t pay him he grabbed onto the car and kept yelling things that I couldn’t understand. Imagine him hugging the car, one arm outstretched over the passenger window and one across the windshield. As I continued to tell him no he leaned over and started showering my windshield kisses! I don’t know if he thought his kisses would change my mind but I was still firm in my no. The light turned green (thank goodness!) while he was still going at it with my windshield. I just inched forward until he got the hint that I really wasn’t going to give him anything.
He left many kiss marks on the windshield. I wish I could have gotten a better picture but it’s hard with glass, lighting, etc. This was the best I could do. I can’t decide if I should wash the windshield ASAP or leave it as a loving memory.