Thursday, August 09, 2007

Here's another

Here is the second of my Liberian moments to share with you...

Last week I took Cheri Shea, wife of Alan, to town for her first shopping trip. I also had quite a bit to do and Lisa Kejr was with us. We were running a bit late for something- probably just that I wanted to get home so my househelpers could feel free to leave. But I try to not be in a hurry when I drive in Liberia - there are too many opportunities to get into an accident and the extra 4-5 minutes it takes to drive sanely won't really bother anyone. Someday we should take a video of what it's like to drive here and post it.

Anyway, we were just leaving a congested area of town when a traffic officer stopped me at the intersection to let someone turning left into the traffic. We have exactly one working stoplight in Liberia, so most of the traffic control is done by policemen. By and large, these officers put in long days doing a rather tedious and thankless job with a pretty good attitude. But after I stopped and the other car entered the traffic, the officer signalled me to pull over. Oh no, what is he going to say that I did (after all, I stopped in plenty of time at his signal...) I was grumbling behind my closed window but I pulled over. He strolled up to the car as I let the window down and greeted him in as friendly a manner as I could muster. "What is your name?" he asked, and I replied with my name, "Mrs. Debbie Sacra". "Thank you," he said, "my name is Frances - I see you passing here every day and I wanted to know you. Have a nice day." Lisa, Cheri and I just cracked up - he pulled me over out of curiosity? To introduce himself by name? I told him he really scared me, pulling me over like that, but why feel bad? Liberians are friendly, maybe to a fault, but overall, it makes Liberia a nice place to live.


Anonymous said...

Debbie, you're right. Liberians are very friendly people, but when the officer pulled you over, my first thought was a demand for "little something." Fortunately it was just an introduction, albeit a little strange. I believe there are many decent police officers amomg the few bad apples.

Anonymous said...

That's a great story, Debbie - good to remember that sometimes a little friendliness goes a really long way! :) Naomi