Nkhata Bay, Malawi
I am unpacking my backpack and preparing my laptop. Then, one of the friendly cooks starts talking to me.
Cook: “Good morning, how are you?”
Me: “Good and you?”
C: “Good. Thank you. — Are you preparing a ‘machine’?”
M: “Haha yes.”
C: “A ‘machine’. To do many things. — At once.”
M: “Yes, sir. Haha.”
C: “Thank you. — When do you leave my friend?”
M: “I think Tuesday.”
C: “Ah, that is soon, my friend. ”
M: “I know.”
C: “Before you leave, we have to ‘meet’ on facebook.”
M: “Haha yes, we will. When?”
C: “We can meet today, my name is Friday Chiumia. — Thank you.”
M: “Ok, sounds good. We meet today!”
In Malawi, the people are extremely friendly. Therefore, they call it the ‘warm heart’ of Africa. Here, it is the culture to say ‘Thank You’ after almost every sentence. And you are their friend from the first minute. In the beginning, that was a bit weird to get used too. My thoughts were often; it’s ok, you don’t have to ‘thank’ me all (!) the time. — Or I thought, buddy, I have to leave after this conversation. I can never be a good friend to you…
But, yeah, after many ‘free’ thank you’s and approximately 1000 friends later, I am used to it now.
Another great thing I like about Malawi is that English is one of the official languages. On a daily basis, I have many funny conversations and I’ve met many people with interesting English names. Names which are not so common in Europe, are completely normal here. Honestly, I’ve met people like: Innocent, Friday, Blessings, Happy, Freedom, Chicken Pizza, and so on.
Yes, you read it right.