|I cannot take pictures of police officers here in Malawi; it is illegal to do so. Instead enjoy the picture of a police badge brought to you via Google search|
Okay, enough of that bull! Truth be told, before I came to Malawi I drove manually (stick shift) about five to ten times and that was over two years ago. So, I had a lot of fun learning how to drive here in Malawi - how to drive whilst still navigating the streets on the opposite of the road. Left lane not right lane. Here right is wrong! Left is best! And yes, I just came up with that. TM (trademark) that!
Now, for the best police story of my life thus far! In Lilongwe, and Malawi in general, police checks are common and usually a part of daily life. After one such check the first week I was driving here, I attempted to shift into first and pull back onto the road and off to work. However…to my great embarrassment the car stalled. And it stalled again…and again, and…seven stalls later the police officer asked me, “Are you a new driver?” I lied to save face and said, “Yes, sir! I’m very embarrassed.” The embarrassment part was true, but my flushed face easily told him that. He told me to move over to the passenger side and then he jumped into the driver's seat. Fifteen minutes of driving lessons later he sent me off into the wild streets of Lilongwe having taught me how to shift like a dream! I wish I was making this up, but it's all true. So I had a free police course on driving stick in Africa. That’s something to write home about.
Lilongwe from home