Saturday, October 20, 2007

Shanfari Automotive, I want to have your babies.

Really, I want to roll around on a sandy beach, making out with you, just like in the Chris Issac music video. I want to fall asleep in your workshop at night, snuggled against a pile of tyres, safe and secure in the knowlege that you will care for my car and fetch, in a timely manner, the spare parts I so desperatey need for my latest uselss acquisition.

Shanfari Automotive, I love you, and I want to be with you forever.

You guys may be wondering what has possessed me to express such unadultertated devotion to an Automotive parts conglomerate. Clearly, you people don't own Chevrolets, or Toyotas*. Getting a spare part for an older car from Chevrolet or Toyota* is like pulling teeth without anesthetic, only more painfull. It's the kind of struggle that saps my will to live, takes up thirty hours of my time, and usually ends with me ordering the part from a junkyard in Dubai or the states, and waiting a month for it to arrive. I am unable to have the sort of melodramatic emotional meltdown and freak-out that the parts departments at Bahwan and OTE diserve, because, as surely as the sun rises and sets, I will need another part in a week or so.

Thus, it was with heavy heart, and barrels of pessimisim that I went to Shanfari Automotive in Al Khuwair to request a small part for my aging Jeep.

I walk in, and there are three OMANI guys behind the counter. (oh my God! Omani's! Real Live, Omani's!) They spoke impeccable Arabic (obviously) and perfect English. They each have a computer available to them, which they can use to look up parts. They were able to tell me which parts they had in stock, how many of them they had, and the lead times for the parts they didn't have on hand, and where the parts would ship from. They knew a lot about cars, so when I said I needed the gasket seal for the inlet on my Fuel Injection rail, they knew exactly what I was asking for.

I often get treated like some sort of slightly retarted alien life force when I go into shops asking about specific spare parts. Baffeled stares abound, My judgement is questioned, my knowlege disagreed with, I am repeatedly told by some pompus, sexist asshole to be quiet and let him figure it out. IE: "Please, madam, don't touch that! It's the motor... Madam, This is tyres" So it was with glee, and a series of giddy school-girl squeals and jumps that I got to wander back to where they keep the parts, dictate the peice I needed, and have a wander around the workshop, stopping to touch anything I wanted.

Part received, Five rials paid, I was on my way in less than twenty minutes. You might think five rials is a lot to pay for a small rubber washer the size of a quarter, but I would like to assure you that if you factor in the monetary value of my time, and the value placed on frustration, The same part would have cost me upwards of 250RO at Chevrolet or Bahwan*.

*Toyota and Nissan Owners, you have a choice; you should get your spares from Al Kiyumi spare parts in wadi Kabir. Factory originals, purchased from the distributor in Dubai, imported here, and still sold cheaper than the dealership here is charging. We really get ripped off by the dealers here....


JP said...

Nice one Sub', the image I got in my head was priceless, and unpublishable...

Although I hope you didn't tell them that directly. If you did, it may go some way to explaining your earlier problem with stalkers!

Glad you found a competent parts dealer - although haven't Shanfari just lost the Jeep dealership to Zubair?? WTF?

Anonymous said...

Cool blog. Will be hitting you back, but right now I just wanted to thank you for commenting on my post. I kinda agree with you and I think I should stay out of it.

Be well.