A tricycle on which a frame is built on the metal trunk that is covered by a tightly stretched plastic sail. The plastic has been sprayed blue and colored letters and symbols indicate what it contains: Mr Lavage. Mister, or monsieur, Lavage. Your personal car wash on demand in front of the door. Phone-number clearly printed on both sides. They also clean carpets. It makes you curious what happens when you call Mr. Lavage.
Less than a day later I am being served on my hints. Our neighbor ‘the colonel’ has decided to hire him to wash his Toyota Prado. A high pressure spray, foam, a water rinse hose that can be connected to brushes. It all looks very professional. It has been thought through. I ask the man for a ticket. Who knows in the future.
More and more often, my eye falls in my neighborhood on this striking tricycle, which raises the question: Is this the only tricycle from Mr. Lavage or is it a chain of tricylces? One day I reach the conclusion that at least two Mr. Lavage are driving around. The time between encountering one and then the other in a far too distant place than in the intervening time can be bridged, strengthens my conviction. Less romantic.
This week at the regular round with the dog I decide for a change, I hate regular rounds, and walk into a new street. At a villa the gate is open to a covered garage. And there is mr. Lavage. And clearly with space to accommodate four more Lavages. Mr. Lavage has sprouted from the brain of the mediated owner of this villa. And he has his men in the field. The concept remains as simple as it is brilliant and reflects entrepreneurship. The romantic idea of a young Moroccan who has a plan, elaborates it, lends money and gets started has only slightly evaporated.
And fortunately, since Sunday, the competitor has also been spotted. Parked in a parking garage is: Lavage Automobile. With the beautiful slogan: ‘Plus propre … .Plus proche’. Freely translated ‘cleaner and closer than you think’. In contrasting purple that tends to pink, the sail is sprayed. A lot of information larded with a nice illustration of a man who sprays a car, adorns the canvas. Starting from 40 dirham you can let them come by. Access via Facebook and gmail and of course a telephone number. The mobile-tricylce-car wash-war can just erupt.
Entrepreneurship is of all times and of all points of the compass. And Morocco is no exception. Such as the shoe polishers who beat their wooden box with their brush to draw the attention of terrace visitors. Near the medina are a few covered places with chairs. You can also have your shoes polished there. Shoe cleaning 2.0.
At Higher Schools and Universities I encounter tricylces converted into mobile eateries where everything is for sale that a student likes. For the tasty appetite or healthy hunger. Here you can taste the entrepreneurship of the street. The belief to start somewhere and from there to build. Sometimes with minimal resources. Also from the necessity because mouths must be fed because there is no other way.
The latter I meet every week on my way from the pool. On the corner at a bus stop, a man with a small box on wheels has been standing for a year now. In that cupboard he puts out his limited merchandise. Some sweets, cookies and if I have seen correctly some cigarettes. Once I wrote about him that he would grow into a small hanut. To date, his attempts have not been very successful yet.
Soon to call Mr. Lavage. To hear how things are going.