#sol17- April 18, 2017
It was still dark as I slipped into the back seat of the taxi (don’t judge- taxis are quite cheap here, traffic is terrible, they drive on the other side of the road, and I made the decision before I moved here that the world would be a better place if I did not drive here). I went on with my normal routine- checking email, Facebook, and Twitter, and catching up on the news on my 20 minute ride to school.
“Uh, oh,” I thought to myself, as Sharul, my sometimes morning driver pulled over to the side of the road. I wondered what the problem was.
“Police,” he said quietly to me.
I was surprised because I had not heard a siren (and I knew that here drivers do not usually pull all the way over for a siren, but edge over slightly and maintain speed). I have heard many stories of the police here pulling over people and expecting a bribe- so I wondered what was next.
Sharul rolled down his window as the officer approached. The officer spoke to him in Bahasa and he responded. The only word I recognized was “sekolah”, which is school. Then the officer left and we pulled back onto the road.
As we drove off Sharul explained, “Once I told him you were a teacher and I am taking you to school he let me go. Teachers are very respected here. Many people will even salute teachers when they see them.”
I explained to him that this was not my experience in general in other places, that often people do not often look up to teachers at all.
It was definitely not how I expected to start my day, but it was nice to know that some people think that our job is important. I often tell people that I have the best job in the world- and I mean it!