Wait, What?!


#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!

****Totally unrelated…A few of my students are still slicing. You can see their posts here as they arrive: Juliet Zhi Hong


9 thoughts on “Wait, What?!

  1. isbergamanda

    How awesome! It is always nice to be appreciated. Sadly, we have been advised that if anyone asks where we work we twist the truth (say that we are just ESL teachers instead of international teachers) because otherwise, they will try to take advantage of us since our school is known to be the top school in the city here in Valencia, Venezuela.

    -Amanda at https://teachingwanderlust.com/

  2. dianeandlynne

    I agree that it’s important to be appreciated and recognized for the job we do as teachers. I’m glad things worked out for you and your driver. I was alarmed when you mentioned that he said, “police” quietly. It sounded as if he were fearful of what would happen.
    As for driving instead of taking a taxi–I’m with you on that score. Not only do you get time to check up on your daily communication, you don’t have to worry about traffic, etc. I’d take a taxi too. No judgment here.

  3. vanessaw2007

    I enjoyed your small moment on your way to work. This slice tells us so much about your day to day life in just a short slice. Glad everything worked out. What country are you in?

  4. mbhmaine

    I’m relieved that your morning adventure was not more dramatic. I, too, was a bit alarmed by the quiet “police” statement from your driver.

  5. terierrol

    I love reading about the respect for teachers, if only it was world wide! Sometimes I feel like I am under a microscope by parents and administration. Thanks for reminding me that it is all worth while.

  6. Chris Pesta

    That in itself must have felt so foreign. I can’t imagine that much respect. It is so nice when it does occur. Nice to know you are valued! Keep writing! I love to hear/read these stories.


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