Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just call me Miss. Demeanor!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just call me Miss. Demeanor!

Court was fine today, very little trouble. -- THANKS for yer prayers!! -- Things are so different here. They write your statement on a blank piece of computer paper, by hand. They couldn't find it when I got there; the cop who said he'd meet me was no where to be found... eventually they found it, we walked back to another section of this old old old run down building where the typist was just arriving to work and changed into her uniform, you know, as we were there! They asked me if I pleaded guilty or innocent, and I said that yes I was in the car, yes I was on my phone, but no the car was not moving; that I was not familiar enough with the law to know what to plead, but that I didn't really care what I pleaded just so long as I could get out of there as soon as possible. We determined that I should I plead guilty, so I did... (what a weird feeling!) and then proceeded to drive the typist, another "felon" and Mr. Blessings, my Malawian friend who came with me to make sure I didn't get the shaft, to another office down the road (real professional, hu, when they ask you for a ride!) where I waited in my car while they magistrate decided how much my fine would be. I got off with a k1,500 fine - $12!

So here's the kicker: my boss did some research into this while I was at court. He says that there are apparently all these random rules that you wouldn't even guess, like that you can't have an open can or bottle of ANYTHING in the car, even soda! and that the cops are being given bonuses if they bring people in to court, (gotta get those Christmas bonuses somehow!) so it is likely they're on the lookout for azungus (white people) messing up anyway. It seems like I've been the guinea pig for a lot of things around here lately. "Ooh, Lisa's stuff was stolen. Maybe we ought to put better locks on the doors." or "ooh Lisa was taken to court for something ridiculous, maybe we ought to look into what all the weird rules are." So, apparently my job is to be here and make life easier for all the other missionaries by taking all the hits! What's next, a killer case of malaria? I bet I'll miss Christmas from malaria, wouldn't that just top all!

Anyway... your friend is a convicted felon in a 3rd world country, how does that make you feel? ;) love it!

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