Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lilongwe experience

Have spent almost a week in Lilongwe, Malawi. One thing I have noticed is that Malawi is very different from other places in the region in some aspects.

For starters; driving. It is probably the most "non-aggressive" driving experience you can think of. Which actually makes me a bit stressed rather than opposite. Am not used to commuter bus drivers who behave, a general tempo in town of around 40-50 km (have they been instructed that use of gear 4 and 5 will damage the car I wonder?) and everyone being sooo nice to stop and let others pass etc.

Another thing; trust. Nowhere else has the owner of a bar (Diplomat's, nice place) who has seen me once in his life offered me run a tab if I did not have cash enough (he asked me if the ATM was helpful which it wasn't, not at all). "You can pay tomorrow or Monday or whenever". I did not have a heart rotten enough to utilise this generous offer as I am leaving tonight and could not have paid him back. Also others tell me of the same attitude in shops "no worry you can come in later or tomorrow". Very strange. But heartwarming, I hope it can stay that way.

Malawi names itself "the warm heart of Africa". It is refreshing to walk the city centre after dark without a worry of being robbed or something (I am sure it can happen but is apparently very rare). Only annoying thing is streetkids and beggars but in a very poor country that is of course to be expected.
Post a Comment