Land of Helpful Policemen – Swaziland

Here’s to wishing the NYPD would be sent on a charm-course to Swaziland (or South Africa) to learn how to be helpful, courteous and friendly.

We had stopped at a street in Manzini, looking at our guidebook and wondering where we should stay the night. We had already driven past a few guesthouses, but all of them were too expensive for our budget. The last resort was to go with Lonely Planet’s recommendation, but we didn’t know the address.

“Can I help you?” a policeman asked, as he crossed the street to speak to us. Being used to NYC policemen, we immediately thought we were in trouble.
“We’re looking for the Myxo Backpackers, but there’s no address,” we replied, hesitantly.
The policeman grabbed the Lonely Planet guidebook, called the number listed, spoke to the guy that owns the hostel, and gave us very, very detailed directions. He even ran out of minutes on his phone, so eager was he to help us.

In the end we didn’t end up staying at Myxo’s, but found a better place just up the road. But it’s cool to be reminded of how policemen used to be like, and how they should be. And given the same thing happened in Nelspruit, we know this was not a one-off incident. Police here are actually nice.

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