This weekend I took my kids to a birthday party in Zomba. While all of the kids ran around wildly, we, the parents, got to sit down and visit. Since we were all ex-pats, our conversation shifted towards sharing of our favorite Malawian funny experiences. Listening to them and contributing some myself I decided to put them all into a post so you all could enjoy them as well! I do not want to take Michael Rea’s blog away :-) so this one is going to be about Malawi Police itself.
First of all, in Malawi we have roadblocks that are utterly useless! Police will pull you over and ask you questions ranging from whether you have windshield wiper fluid to whether your brake lights are working. Here are some of my favorites:
A policeman stops a friend of mine and asks her, “Madam, do you have a pair of triangles?” She replies, “Yes.” Policeman: “How many?” My confused friend: “A pair!”
My husband, Mark, drives a Land Rover with a huge spare tire right on the hood of the car. A police officer pulled him over and asked, “Sir, do you have a spare tire?”
Last week Mark went to the north of the country. On the way there he was stopped at one of these roadblocks. After the officer was satisfied with everything he told Mark to “go in pieces!”
Here is a story that was told to me by my friends, Tamsin Christie. It happened years ago before Malawi cracked down on drunk driving. One of Tamsin’s friends got completely wasted at a party. On his way home he had to stop at a roadblock. A police officer tapped on his window to ask him something. The friend was so drunk that he could not find the handle to open it! Instead, he accidentally opened his car door and fell out! The officer than said, “Sir, that is why you should wear a seat belt!”
And my last and best story! One time the Alisons, my friends who work in Tanzania, were stopped at a roadblock by an officer with a machine gun. They were told to get out of the car and pop open the trunk so that the police could search it. They did as they were told. The officer then asked them to take everything out of the trunk. Again, they complied. When the policeman tried to look through their things, he could not hold his weapon and search the bags at the same time. So, he gave his machine gun to my friends to hold while he did the searching! :-)